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

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The Federal Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. Marshals Service—which are part of the U.S. Department of Justice—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 to practice trauma management, after which the animals are killed. In 2019, we sent a letter to 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 That same year, the U.S. Defense Health Agency criticized the use of animals in military trauma drills as being "outdated and cost-prohibitive" and "not anatomically accurate."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 Department of Justice continues this cruel practice, despite efforts by members of Congress to stop it.

What You Can Do
Take action below and tell the Department of Justice 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 that doesn't injure or kill animals. There's no reason the Department of Justice can't do the same.

Honorable Merrick
U.S. Department of Justice

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