15.4.13 / FAB /GOATS – KILLED IN MILITARY TRAINING
ARMY WILL STOP ‘SHOOTING, STABBING, AND BLOWING UP GOATS TO TRAIN MILITARY MEDICS’ FOLLOWING NEW LEGISLATION.
Thousands of goats who were used to train Army medics will now be spared, thanks to legislation that was passed at the beginning of 2013.
Goats at Fort Bragg were routinely shot, stabbed, and blown up to simulate injuries soldiers could receive in combat situations, according to animals rights’ activists.
As many as 3,600 goats were used in the program last year, government documents show.
The goats will no longer be used as part of a larger legislation asking Congress to replace the use of animals in military medical training, the Fayetteville Observer reports.
The National Defense Authorization Act was passed earlier this year.
However, the Army Special Operations Command would not confirm to the Observer how many animals were used in training.
Animal rights groups such as People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) have long protested the military’s use of goats, saying that simulators should be used instead.
Justin Goodman, the director of PETA’s Laboratory Investigations Department, told the paper that the group successfully stopped the use of cats and dogs in training in the 1980s.
Even medical schools used animals up until the 1970s, but have since changed their practice.
According to the paper, around a third of the estimated 10,000 animals killed for military medical training have been at Fort Bragg.
Aside from the ethical implications, experts say that using animals for trauma training does not teach medics proper anatomy.
Human-like simulators with flowing blood, realistic tissue, and other features are widely believed to succeed the use of goats and other animals.
The North Carolina Army installation is home of the Airborne and Special Operations forces.