PETA to Department of Justice: End Gruesome Trauma Training on Animals

UN LAB Middleware Label: Title Ends

Update (January 4, 2023): Progress! The omnibus spending bill just signed into law by President Joe Biden includes language that blocks the funding of the U.S. Department of Justice’s (DOJ) gruesome training drills on animals (details below) unless the attorney general issues a “determination that such training is medically necessary and cannot be replicated by alternatives.”

Since this scenario won’t occur—given that animals are poor stand-ins for humans because of their different anatomy and physiology and given that superior human-simulation technology is readily available—we hope this signals the end of the DOJ’s mutilation of animals. To help ensure that, we sent a letter today urging Attorney General Merrick Garland to ban this waste of taxpayer money in favor of animal-free training methods for trauma training drills, as the U.S. Coast Guard has already done. Please take action below to add your voice to ours.

Original post:

The Federal Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. Marshals Service—which are part of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ)—recently spent more than $100,000 of taxpayers’ money on horrific and archaic trauma training drills, which typically involve shooting, stabbing, and dismembering live pigs or goats in attempts to recreate human battlefield injuries in order to practice trauma management, after which the animals are killed. In 2019, we sent a letter to then Attorney General William Barr urging him to prevent this senseless atrocity from continuing, and in 2021, we sent a follow-up letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland asking him to act on this issue. Now we need your help.

In 2012, PETA released never-before-seen grisly video footage of a similar trauma training drill conducted by the U.S. Coast Guard, showing instructors cutting off inadequately sedated goats' legs with tree trimmers, cutting into their abdomens to pull out internal organs, and stabbing animals as they moan and kick. In 2015, a PETA exposé of Deployment Medicine International, which was at the time the self-proclaimed "single largest trainer of US military forces in operational medicine," revealed that live pigs were shot and instructors cut into the animals to induce bleeding as well as making racist, sexual, and homophobic remarks.

pig used in trauma training with large wounds

trauma training on goat by cutting off legs

This pressure by PETA was responsible in part for the U.S. Coast Guard's decision in 2017 to end these training sessions, which the head of the agency at that time referred to as being "abhorrent." That same year, the U.S. Defense Health Agency criticized the use of animals in military trauma drills as being "outdated and cost-prohibitive" and "not anatomically accurate."

In 2018, President Donald Trump signed into law a PETA-backed provision requiring the Department of Defense to use medical-simulation technology in trauma-skills training "to the maximum extent practicable" before resorting to harming animals in the deadly drills.

Mutilating animals in trauma training has been made obsolete by effective, ethical, and economical human-simulation technology already in use by many branches of government. But the DOJ continues this cruel practice, despite efforts by members of Congress to stop it.

In 2021, the U.S. Department of Agriculture issued an official warning against a company that maims animals in trauma training exercises, for violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act. The president of this company also runs Assessment and Training Solutions Consulting Corp., which received $22,594 in 2019 from the FBI to conduct cruel trauma training drills using animals for that agency.

The DOJ shouldn’t waste taxpayer money on contractors that blatantly violate the law. Given this disturbing development, PETA filed a new complaint with Attorney General Merrick Garland urging the agency to end these crude exercises on animals.

What You Can Do
Take action below by telling the DOJ that it’s time it stopped wasting taxpayer money on these horrific, needless, and obsolete training sessions immediately. The U.S. Coast Guard has already switched to more effective, humane training methods that don’t injure or kill animals. There’s no reason the DOJ can’t do the same.

Honorable Merrick
U.S. Department of Justice

Take Action Now!

Fields with an asterisk(*) are required. 

Sign me up for the following e-mail:

Get texts & occasional phone calls for Action Alerts, local events, & other updates to help animals with PETA! (optional)