The US Coast Guard recently became the first branch of the national military to ban the use of live animals in military training. With support from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-Calif) pushed the Coast Guard to consider the ban—which will last six months while the Coast Guard investigates alternate methods of training. As documented by a 2012 undercover investigation conducted by PETA, animals used in live military training are shot, stabbed, have their organs removed, and are eventually killed in an effort to simulate combat conditions. “The Coast Guard’s progressive move will save humans and animals,” PETA veterinarian and Air Force veteran Ingrid Taylor said. “We’re grateful to Representative Lucille Roybal-Allard for working with the Coast Guard to modernize, and we urge all branches of the military to switch to superior simulators that accurately mimic human anatomy.” If enacted, recently reintroduced legislation Battlefield Excellence through Superior Training (BEST) Practices Act (H.R. 1243/S. 498) would effectively replace animals with human relevant models in all branches of the military—such as the Marines, which currently use live pigs and goats for combat training.
Photo courtesy of Farm Sanctuary
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