Target: President Barack Obama
Goal: Commend President Obama for signing a bill that will eliminate animal cruelty from military drills
For years, Department of Defense (DOD) regulations have required that military trainers use humane alternatives to animal cruelty whenever possible. However, video footage of a recent Coast Guard training session in Virginia Beach revealed horrifying animal abuse.
Fortunately, President Obama just signed the National Defense Authorization Act into law, a section of which requires the Secretary of Defense to submit a plan within two months for phasing out the use of animals in military training. The President deserves praise for taking a stand for animals, and to be encouraged to keep the pressure on the DOD.
Animals have been a part of military trauma training for many years. The exercises, which mutilate and ultimately kill animals, are meant to replicate battlefield injuries and are supposed to help soldiers learn how to save lives in battle. However, a report from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) claims that the exercises did little to help soldiers learn how to save others.
Public outcry against military training involving animals reached a fever pitch after PETA obtained video footage of goats being mutilated by a company hired by the military to assist in training. The shocking footage showed goats–alive and inadequately anesthetized–being stabbed, having their legs broken and cut off with tree trimmers, and getting their organs pulled out. The whistleblower who provided the footage to PETA also claimed that goats were shot in the face and hacked to pieces with axes–while they were still alive.
The fact that practices like this continue to exist is all the more horrifying given the availability of extremely lifelike training dummies which, according to PETA, “can breathe, bleed, talk, and even ‘die.’” All these facts make the passage of legislation prohibiting the use of animals in training long overdue. While this is a victory, there is still more to be done. Thank President Obama for signing anti-cruelty legislation into law, but urge him to continue pressuring the DOD to phase out animal use as quickly and effectively as possible.
Dear President Obama,
For too long, our military has relied on violent and abusive treatment of animals to conduct trauma training sessions. The recent passage of the National Defense Authorization Act will change all that. I thank you for signing this important legislation, but I strongly urge you to further pressure the Department of Defense to phase out the use of animals in trauma training as quickly and efficiently as possible.
A recent video obtained by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) showed shocking images of goats being disemboweled and stabbed and having their limbs amputated–all without adequate anesthesia. Further claims assert that goats were shot in the face or hacked with axes while they were still alive.
Given the availability of highly realistic training dummies, animal abuse like this is completely unwarranted. The NDAA’s recognition of this is a huge step forward, but the battle is not won yet. Although the NDAA requires the secretary of defense to submit a plan within two months for phasing out the use of animals in training, there is no timeline that mandates when these new regulations must be implemented. As a result, progress may become mired down in politics and red tape.
Please keep the pressure on the Department of Defense and ensure that no other living animals have to experience torture at the hands of the United States military.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Kenneth Allen via geograph