A law passed by Congress appears to be the end of using live goats to train Army medics on how to treat soldiers wounded in battle.
The recently passed National Defense Authorization Act requires the Defense Department to provide plans by March to replace animals that are currently used for medical training, according to The Fayetteville Observer.
Officials with the John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School, and Army Special Operations Command wouldn’t tell the newspaper how they plan to replace animals or say how many are killed during training.
Documents show Fort Bragg’s Army Special Operations Command requested up to 3,600 goats last year.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals pushed for the changes at Fort Bragg and other Army bases, and said they will now turn their attention to getting the Marines to stop using live animals for training.
Officials at nearby Camp Lejeune didn’t respond to questions from the newspaper, but government documents show the base obtaining live animals for trauma training.
Using live animals for medical training has a long history. But Dr. John Pippin, a Dallas cardiologist who advocates on behalf of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, said technology has advanced to where using an animal to train someone on how to respond to a human makes no sense.
“The use of goats and pigs for this type of training, if it was ever the best method, is not the best now,” Pippen said.
A better training method involves suits that can be worn by people that have lifelike skin, anatomically correct organs, breakable bones and realistic blood flow, Pippen said