Federal Legislation

Federal: End the Use of Live Animals for Military Research

Name: Name: Battlefield Excellence through Superior Training Practices Act (BEST Practices Act)
Number: HR 3172 and S 1550

A federal bill, the BEST Practices Act, which would end the use of live animals for research for both combat trauma injuries and chemical and biological casualty management exercises by the U.S. military, has been re-introduced this year in Congress. This bill, which remained stalled in committee during the 2011-2012 session, directly addresses the horrific abuse to animals used by the military to simulate battle conditions and injuries by targeting live animals

The U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) continues to use live monkeys to train medical personnel to treat casualties of chemical and biological agent attacks and uses live goats and pigs to teach physicians, medics, corpsmen, and other personnel methods to respond to severe battlefield injuries. According to a report commissioned by the DOD, more than 6,000 live animals are used for lethal training each year, although non-animal training methods have already been proven to be more effective. The bill asks legislators to consider that:

  • The civilian sector has almost exclusively phased-in the use of superior human-based training methods for numerous medical procedures currently taught in military courses with the use of animals;
  • Human-based methods have been developed and validated for training responses to common battlefield injuries and chemical and biological agent attacks;.
  • Management of hemorrhage, sucking chest wounds, airway compromise, and many other combat trauma injuries can be taught using numerous medical simulators and partial task trainers; and
  • Entirely human-based curricula (consisting of medical simulation and moulage training sessions) for the management of patients exposed to biological and chemical agents are widespread in civilian hospitals.

It is time to end the practice of using animals for medical experiments by the military without accountability—or humane considerations. A ban on the use of all animal-based training methods would take effect not later than October 1, 2018.

Call to action:

    1. Contact your U.S. Representative and Senators and ask them to support the BEST Practices Act by joining as a co-sponsor and voting to end the use of live animals for military research.
    2. Spread the word! Share this page with your social network.

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