Every year, more than 10,000 animals are shot, stabbed, mutilated, and killed in military training exercises that purportedly prepare soldiers for treating trauma on the battlefield. Although more advanced military training facilities have replaced animal victims with human-like simulators that “breathe,” “bleed” and “die” in a manner that more accurately mimics human trauma, horrific procedures are still used at 17 military training bases and four private contract facilities across the country. The Department of Defense’s own rules require the use of humane alternatives when such methods “produce scientifically or educationally valid or equivalent results.”
Undercover video at a Coast Guard training course in Virginia Beach revealed military men in training actively breaking and cutting off the limbs of live goats with tree trimmers, stabbing the animals, and shooting them, as well as animals with their internal organs pulled out. In the video, goats are seen and heard kicking their legs and moaning: an indication that they were inadequately anesthetized prior to the mutilations.
The Battlefield Excellence through Superior Training (BEST) Practices Act, H.R. 1417, was introduced by Rep. Bob Filner (D-CA) to replace live animals with human patient simulators. H.R. 1417 is supported by the Physician’s Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM), the American Medical Student Association, and the medical counsel for the Iraq War Veterans Organization.