People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) alleges that at least 300 goats are killed and maimed at Fort Bragg each month for medical training. Now activists are applauding signs the army may be starting to the change the way soldiers are trained for trauma response. According to the 2013 National Defense Authorization Act, Congress has required the military to lay out a timeline to phase out the use of animals for training purposes.
Justin Goodman is director of laboratory investigations for PETA. He says new language in an army contract solicitation stipulates non-medical military personnel are now prohibited from participating in this training.
"Previously people who are not even doctors or medics were being enrolled in these courses in which goats and pigs are being have their limbs chopped off with tree trimmers, they're shot with pistols and AK-47's, they're burned with blow-torches, they're blown up and then people crudely try to repair the injuries," he says.
Goodman says 80% of U.S. NATO allies use human simulators instead of animals and that studies show they provide better training.
The military's full report on efforts to phase out the use of live animals in such trainings was due out in March. It has now been postponed until June. Officials at Fort Bragg were not available for comment.