Victory for Animals Used in Military Medical TrainingPublished January 14, 2013
Animals who suffer greatly while being used in military medical training programs have achieved a huge victory thanks to the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM). This is one of the major issues that PCRM has been advocating for on a non-stop basis.
PCRM is an organization comprised of doctors who strongly oppose the use of animals in military medical training and other educational institutions. The organization considers live-animal based training inferior and ineffective. According to them: "ensuring that trauma education and training are most effective for treating human injuries requires phasing in of a combination of human-based methods."
As a result of PCRM’s work and their supporters’ efforts, a provision has been Included in the recently approved National Defense Authorization Act requiring the Secretary of Defense to report to Congress on a plan, including a specific timeline for replacing the use of live animals with a human-based model. The deadline for the Secretary’s report is March 1, 2013.
This bill demands accountability from the Department of Defense for the annual killing of more than 7,500 animals in their medical training programs was signed into law a few days ago by President Barack Obama.
PCRM, along with the help of the tens of thousands of concerned animal lovers who signed petitions, made phone calls, sent e-mails, letters and who personally visited their members of Congress to express their opinions, helped to bring about the passage of this crucial piece of legislation.
According to PCRM, "This marks the first time that any part of Congress has passed binding language on this issue." With the strong stand members of Congress are taking, this bill makes it crystal clear to the Department of Defense that while they support service members receiving top notch training; at the same time they are sending a message that it’s high time to start ending the unnecessary, cruel and inhumane use of live animals.
In many of the medical military combat trauma training, live goats and pigs are shot and their limbs amputated. PCRM asserts that the use of human-based simulators is a far more effective training method. Since simulators are amazingly realistic and far more anatomically correct they provide a much more accurate teaching model than the use of wounded goats and pigs.
What makes the use of live animals in medical training even more unacceptable is that not only do they endure horrific pain and suffering, they are then killed once the training courses are completed.
To ensure that a transition toward human-based simulator medical training takes place in a timely manner, PCRM will continue to work closely with Congress to hold the Department of Defense accountable.
Hopefully, as a result in the near future these unfortunate animals will no longer have to undergo the pain and agony to which they are presently subjected; and then killed unnecessarily. What’s more, the people training to care for wounded military personnel will be receiving superior instruction.
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