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Demand a Hearing on Bills to End the Use of Live Animals for Military Training

Demand a Hearing on Bills to End the Use of Live Animals for Military Training

Name: Battlefield Excellence through Superior Training (BEST) Practices Act

Bill Number: HR 1243/S 498

This legislation would end the use of live animals by the U.S. military for combat trauma injuries training exercises and for chemical and biological casualty training. Over the past several years, the U.S. military has already begun replacing live animal use with more technologically advanced simulators or other human-based training methods. The Department of Defense (DOD), however, continues to use thousands of goats and pigs each year, despite the success of human-based training models. This bill would mandate that only human-based training methods be used instead of injuring pigs and goats, to better prepare our service men and woman to treat severe battlefield injuries on human soldiers.

In 2013, the DOD, in a pledge to Congress, agreed to reduce the use of live animals in medical training and increase the use of validated simulation training platforms by 2017. There is still much more progress that needs to be made. The BEST Practices Act would give the DOD until 2022 to achieve this goal. 

This legislation was first proposed in 2011, and has growing support from members of Congress and the public. The House bill now has 139 cosponsors and the Senate has three cosponsors. It is time to demand that this legislation be given a hearing and be allowed to move forward to better prepare our military with the skills they need—and to stop the suffering of animals in the process. 


Call to Actions:

  1. Please contact the Committees on Armed Services and urge them to conduct hearings on this important piece of legislation.
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Support the best training for military personnel by ending training on live animals

Dear [Decision Maker],

As you are a member of the Committee on Armed Services considering the Battlefield Excellence through Superior Training Practices (BEST Practices) Act, I am asking you to please support holding hearings on this bill. The BEST Practices Act would require the use of human-based methods, including simulators, for training members of the Armed Forces in the treatment of severe combat injuries. The U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) currently uses thousands of animals every year for training purposes, even though non-animal alternatives are already used in the civilian sector, as well as on many military bases.

According to a DOD report issued in 2009, impressive strides have already been made in the development of methods for the replacement of live animals in training. The DOD report also notes that, "according to scientific, peer-reviewed literature, medical simulation increases patient safety and decreases errors by healthcare providers." Furthermore, in a 2013 report on the "Strategy to Transition to Use of Human-Based Methods for Certain Medical Training," the DOD pledged to reduce the use of live animals in medical training and increase the use of validated simulation training. Yet there is still a long way to go to fulfill this pledge.

This bill would require the DOD to use the best available practices to prepare our troops for combat. The best training methods don't include shooting pigs to train medical personal how to treat human victims. There are far better, more technologically advanced and effective methods available now for training all types of military personnel that do not involve inflicting injuries on live animals.

While the DOD is already working to push military training practices into the 21st century, this bill addresses one more area where we can provide benefit to our soldiers and end the needless suffering of animals. Hearings must be held in order to move this legislation forward--and I'm counting on your help.

[Your Name]
[Your Address]
[City, State ZIP]