U.S. Air Force Mutilates Live Animals for Combat Trauma Training
The U.S. Air Force recently mutilated live animals for combat trauma training at Hurlburt Field in Florida. PCRM member William Morris, M.D., a neurosurgeon who served as a U.S. Army doctor for 20 years, filed a legal complaint against the U.S. Air Force Special Operations Command.
Trauma training typically involves amputating the legs of pigs or goats and forcing tubes and needles into their bodies. This practice is inferior to the more advanced human-based simulation methods. For instance, the Cut Suit, an interactive suit worn by an actor who mimics an injured soldier, was specifically designed for combat trauma training courses.
In the Petition for Enforcement, Dr. Morris and PCRM director of academic affairs John Pippin, M.D., wrote, “The current unnecessary use and killing of animals in an Air Force Special Operations Command combat trauma training course constitutes a serious violation of the DoD instruction regarding animal use, due to the availability of superior human-based training methods."
The Air Force’s Center for Sustainment of Trauma and Readiness Skills uses simulators and human cadavers, the U.S. Marine Corps in Okinawa, Japan, “relies on lifelike, robotic mannequins” to conduct trauma courses, and 98 percent of civilian hospitals only use nonanimal methods to teach similar lifesaving skills.