The U.S. Coast Guard has announced that it will limit the number of animals it uses in medical combat training by reducing the total number by more than half. Simulators and other non-animal methods of training will be used in the place of live, suffering animals.
It’s about time this shift occurred.
The change of heart comes after a military video, narrated by Oliver Stone, was released depicting Coast Guard training in 2012. The video captured a gruesome scene where a goat’s legs were being mutilated by tree trimmers, and it had many animal advocates outraged, calling for an end to animal abuse for military gain. Last May, a contracted instructor was found to be in violation of the Animal Welfare Act, but a Coast Guard investigation continues to claim that its personnel were not guilty of any wrongdoings.
Approximately 10,000 animals are killed each year in military trainings, according to PETA. PETA’s Director of Laboratory Investigations, John Goodman, says, “The Coast Guard has taken a laudable first step by slashing in half the number of live animals who will be shot, stabbed, and mutilated in its training drills. We continue to urge the Coast Guard to join the more than 80 percent of our NATO allies that have completely replaced their use of animals in medical training with superior simulation technology.”
Cutting use of animals by more than half is a great start, but let’s not stop until animal cruelty in any form is a barbaric practice of the past.
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