Coast Guard Limits Animal Use

The Physicians Committee

Coast Guard Limits Animal Use

Coast Guard Limits Animal Use

In February, the U.S. Coast Guard announced it would cut in half the number of animals it uses for combat training exercises. This will spare the lives of hundreds - or even thousands - of animals. But why can’t the entire military reduce and eventually eliminate the use of animals?

In the Coast Guard and other branches of the U.S. military, medical trainees continue to dismember, burn, shoot, and stab goats and pigs in a misguided effort to prepare service members to treat human injuries on the battlefield.

Despite the fact that superior human simulators are widely available and despite the fact that 98 percent of civilian hospitals teach many of the same procedures without using animals, more than 8,500 pigs and goats are killed every year in this type of training.

By continuing this outdated practice, the Department of Defense is allowing our military to fall behind the civilian sector. All but four civilian trauma training programs in the United States and Canada (out of nearly 300) have switched to human-based training methods.

A bill entitled the BEST Practices Act will require all military branches to drop the use of animals in favor of these ethical, cost-effective, and efficient non-animal methods. But members of Congress need to hear that their constituents support this critical bill.

Take action today. Call or e-mail your elected officials, and ask them to support the BEST Practices Act.