News24

Goat's legs cut off in Coast Guard training

2012-04-19 12:09

Richmond - The US Coast Guard is defending its practice of using live animals in its combat medical training after an activist group released a video on Wednesday of a goat's legs being removed with tree trimmers during what it said was training for agency personnel.

Live anesthetised goats have been used in Coast Guard training to treat combat wounds, but the agency could not verify if the video involved its personnel.

The courses do involve "live tissue training using live animals", Lieutenant Commander Jamie C Frederick, spokesperson for the Atlantic Area, wrote in an e-mail.

Frederick was responding after People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (Peta) called on the Pentagon to stop the practice.

A congressman also has introduced legislation that would phase out the use of animals by the military for such training.

Peta said the undercover video it released from a whistleblower did show military instructors contracted by the Coast Guard cutting off an anesthetised goat's legs in Virginia Beach. The faces of the participants are blurred and they are not in uniform.

Wartime injuries


"Animals used in trauma training are supported and monitored by well-trained, experienced veterinary staff to ensure that appropriate anaesthesia and analgesia prevent them from experiencing pain or distress," Frederick wrote.

In the video, the goat is still while its legs are cut. Later it makes noise and moves, followed by one of the men calling for another "bump" of anaesthesia.

Other branches of the military use similar training on goats and pigs and have defended it as a way to replicate wartime injuries and prepare medics and front-line troops for treating catastrophic injuries in the field of battle.

The Pentagon declined to respond to an AP request for comment on the video.

"Effective combat trauma training and treatment results in lowering the fatality rate of US troops deployed in combat situations," Frederick wrote.

He said the training has also proved invaluable in noncombat situations, such as when Coast Guard members were the first to respond to Haiti's devastating 2010 earthquake.

Call for investigation

Peta and other animal rights groups, as well as some medical professionals, say the practice is cruel and unnecessary. They promote the use of human simulation models over animals.

"Learning how to apply a tourniquet on a severed goat's leg does not help prepare medical providers to treat an anatomically different human being wounded on the battlefield," according to Dr Michael P Murphy, an associate professor of surgery at Indiana University School of Medicine and a lieutenant colonel in the US Army Reserves who served two tours of duty in Iraq.

He was among the medical professionals who signed Peta's letter to Defence Secretary Leon Panetta seeking an end to the practice.

The group has also asked US Department of Agriculture to investigate "apparent serious violations of the Animal Welfare Act".

US Congressman Bob Filner, a California Democrat, has introduced legislation that would phase out such use of animals by the military. He said he's faced fierce opposition from the Department of Defence.

"With these animals, they can break their limbs, or they want to simulate broken bones or a gunshot wound, and it's not clear if they're anaesthetised or not," he said. "You're torturing animals when you don't have to."

Comments
  • bluzulu - 2012-04-19 12:18

    SAVAGES, What the hell are yous doing?

      TSR01 - 2012-04-19 12:28

      Wait, so anesthesia for a goat to prevent pain and suffering, which is likely to later be humanely killed and eaten, is better than bleeding out live chickens and pigs, or running a piston rod through a cow's head to kill it? Its okay to kill animals to eat them, but when you give them anesthesia and use them for medical training to save people's lives, its wrong.... sounds kind of hypocritical. I mean, sure, there are other ways to approach that kind of training, but it just comes across as skewed when people defend "one type of animal abuse" and condemn "another type of animal abuse". Is keeping chickens locked in tiny cages to lay eggs for your breakfast cruel? Is force-feeding animals food to fatten them up for human consumption cruel? Is eating an animal that was bred and raised purely for the purpose of being eaten cruel? Is eating animals cruel? There are a lot of ways to look at it, and a lot of factors to consider, and honestly, if they were chopping off animals' legs without anesthesia, leaving the animals without treatment, to die, I could understand it - heck, even shooting at live animals as "target practice", I could understand as "unethical". Just consider that there are two sides to every story, and not everything is as "shocking" or "evil" as some people like to portray. P.S. I don't condone what they're doing, but I don't condemn it either - who am I to selectively say who is right and wrong?

      bluzulu - 2012-04-19 12:37

      Exactly, The method of putting down Cattle is humane and instant, has absolutely no bearing on what is going on here.

      bluzulu - 2012-04-19 12:40

      This along with many other issues speaks to what the US has in mind for the next century of Human existence. Utilize the moneys you have to make this a better planet on many fronts other than WARmongering.

      Liz - 2012-04-19 12:53

      @ Bluzulu. Suggest you take a peek at some video footage on the internet of what goes on in abbatoirs before deciding that commercial slaughtering of animals is all so humane and instant. I am appalled by this report but agree with TS that what happens to animals on a daily basis in food production is also gruesome and nobody rants about that.

      Fred - 2012-04-19 12:55

      Bluzulu believes the US attacked itself on 9/11 :)

      Willem - 2012-04-19 13:45

      www.meat.org

      Jackie - 2012-04-19 14:32

      This is atrocius! And even more so when we have so many prisoners that they could use! I wouldnt mind at all if they skipped the anesthetic too. That would really make it realistic. Its costing SA taxpayers a fortune to keep these criminals alive. And they also often get to leave jail early. Leave the animals alone - they arent part of mans wars and they havent done anything to deserve this. Also there is no way that these animals could be eaten after they are finally murdered - full of chemicals.

      Preshen - 2012-04-19 14:38

      They just playing with there food

      bluzulu - 2012-04-19 14:41

      AAAAHHHHAAAAA.............Animals Animals herd together with No exceptions, Animals eat from the same tree, Animals sleep on the same Plains, Animals drink from the same pool of water, Animals don't disenfranchise other animals within their herd cos' they have different colour Furs. Animals protect each other in a pride no matter what it's status in the hierarchy. Animals , we can learn so much from these fantastic creatures of Mother Nature.

      Lenzi - 2012-04-19 19:59

      Barbarians. Karma will come round I hope.

  • lydonmcg - 2012-04-19 12:18

    Utterly sick and disgusting. It makes me ashamed to be human. The thought of having to go through such torture oneself is frightening.

  • Ben - 2012-04-19 12:23

    Dfuk? Seriously?

  • Richard - 2012-04-19 12:24

    We have eight rape-accused that can be donated for this practice, simply disgusting to use goats or any other animals...

      Jandl Reevo Reeves - 2012-04-19 14:19

      But you will eat meat and sit on leather couches....petty

  • sharyn.dabbs - 2012-04-19 12:32

    This is probably the most disgusting thing I have ever heard.

      Jandl Reevo Reeves - 2012-04-19 14:18

      A bit dramatic don't you think.if that's the worst thing you've ever heard what little room have you been locked up in

  • Christian J Denyschen - 2012-04-19 12:35

    fck me, makes me sick. i would expect something like this from a tribe in the rain forest who's never seen civilization.

  • Rainbow - 2012-04-19 12:37

    This is sick so sick and barbaric!

  • 8ella - 2012-04-19 12:41

    I wish that all involved in such acts get to undergo the same experience in this life and for all eternity. It's disgusting and disgraceful to be ignorant to the value of any living creatures life!!

  • Liz - 2012-04-19 12:44

    Ja well! They also write "God Bless America" on the missiles they fire into civilian communities so this story does not surprise me.

      Fred - 2012-04-19 12:56

      Exactly when did the US fire missiles into civilian communities?

      Liz - 2012-04-19 13:09

      @Fred. Could have been early bombing of Baghdad in Iraq - it was TV footage from US aircraft carrier loading missiles on fighter aircraft. No figment of my imagination - the image will live in my mind forever.

      Fred - 2012-04-19 16:07

      Liz, those missiles were targeting Saddam Hussein's military and support resources. They were not fired into civilian communities.

      Liz - 2012-04-19 16:40

      @Fred okay maybe I worded it badly should read ... fired into communities which inluded Hussein's military and support resources as well as civilians. But it is well known that "U.S.-led wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have been causing huge civilian casualties with 63 percent of some 109,000 people killed in the Iraq war being civilians, according to a report on the U.S. human rights record released on Sunday." http://www.disinfo.com/tag/collateral-damage/. I still do not know why one would write "God bless America" on a missile and that is the point I was trying to make.

  • Gavin - 2012-04-19 12:51

    an alien observer studying earth from afar turns to his mate and says, f me but this planet has some serious issues...

  • Fidel - 2012-04-19 12:57

    Why should animals be treated "humanly", they are not human beings and are meant to be eaten.

      Shaun McDermott - 2012-04-19 13:04

      This practice is wrong and disgusting. soldiers are going to come off the battle fields and more drones used. why not use death row perverts and cut them up one by one slowly.

      Irené - 2012-04-19 13:50

      @ fidel, thats your OPINION, there is no proof that ANIMALS WERE PUT ON EARTH TO BE EATEN. by that logic, humans are also fair game-we also have meat that can be eaten... i dont see the difference. Animals feel pain and sadness, any person with a little compassion can observe that, so why not treat them 'humanely'? your logic is seriously twisted. and its people like you that justify gross animal abuse by claiming they are not human. i am sickened by how many thumbs ups you got! I for one prefer animals to humans since they show more compassion than many humans do- as displayed again by the US coast guard. you are a sad man, open your eyes and you may see that all creatures, great and small are more than a means to an end- they serve their own purpose in their ecosystems- even if you are too stupid to see what that is. we were not given sole rights to choose their future...

      Jandl Reevo Reeves - 2012-04-19 14:16

      @irene I'm guessing you a vegan and got your tits in a tangle over this all.do us a favour and look at it like this...when the real deal happens and it's your life in the hands of your savior but unfortunately you die because he hasn't had the right training do you think the goat will come to your funeral...no!! But he will eat the flowers off your grave.you wear leather shoes and possibly eat meat but surely sit on leather couches and walk on hides on your lounge floor.what is the difference at the end of the day.a abattoir puts hundreds of cows through their clutches everyday.get a life

      Irené - 2012-04-19 14:39

      @jandl i was commenting on Fidel's twisted opinion- he's justifying any animal abuase because they are not humans! I know exactly what goes on in abattoirs, also animal testing for big pharma, cosmetics etc- im not naive or idealistic, i just dont support any industry that uses animals to further a cause where blood shed was not necessary - we live in the 21sc century we have all the technology to do simulations without using live animals. and how is a goat in water without legs like a human? I would love it if some animal are the flowers from my grave. I dont expect any sentiment, I am a naturalist and prefer nature to be left to itself, why do people always go and mess with things that do not concern them? why did the goat have to suffer for some hypothetical person? especially if they could have used dummies/mannequins to simulate a life saving situation?? again, we've put man in space, a lifelike dummy is not that hard to come up with... PS: i dont like leather furniture, dont have hide on my floor, and i am vehemently opposed to modern abattoir methods of slaughtering animals, just because something has to die doesnt mean the method doesnt matter. dont assume anything about me, just because you have no conscience doesnt mean we are all mindless drones only concerned with our own welfare- the world is much bigger and more fantastic than my own ego.

      Irené - 2012-04-19 14:41

      @jandl I was commenting on Fidel's twisted opinion- he's justifying any animal abuase because they are not humans! I know exactly what goes on in abattoirs, also animal testing for big pharma, cosmetics etc- im not naive or idealistic, i just dont support any industry that uses animals to further a cause where blood shed was not necessary - we live in the 21sc century we have all the technology to do simulations without using live animals. and how is a goat in water without legs like a human? I would love it if some animal are the flowers from my grave. I dont expect any sentiment, I am a naturalist and prefer nature to be left to itself, why do people always go and mess with things that do not concern them? why did the goat have to suffer for some hypothetical person? especially if they could have used dummies/mannequins to simulate a life saving situation?? again, we've put man in space, a lifelike dummy is not that hard to come up with... PS: i dont like leather furniture, dont have hide on my floor, and i am vehemently opposed to modern abattoir methods of slaughtering animals, just because something has to die doesnt mean the method doesnt matter. dont assume anything about me, just because you have no conscience doesnt mean we are all mindless drones only concerned with our own welfare- the world is much bigger and more fantastic than my own ego.

      Fred - 2012-04-19 16:08

      This is consistent with your consistently inhuman view Fidel

      Lenzi - 2012-04-19 19:55

      Its a matter of loosing respect for life, when this happens life looses respect for us.

  • Jerzy - 2012-04-19 13:42

    This is truly sad coming from a first world civilized nation, and once again fred flinstone can never comment on the related topic. He has to make mention of something totally irrelevant to defend these horrific acts.

  • Willem - 2012-04-19 13:45

    Everyone condemning this so vehemently, do you know where your meat comes from? If you don't, chances are you've played a part in similar torturous treatment. I hope one day we'll speak out as strongly against cruel farming and slaughter methods as well.

  • Jandl Reevo Reeves - 2012-04-19 14:26

    Everyone is following the pied piper and commenting based on what joe soap had to say because he disagrees...when the real deal happens and you die because they haven't the correct training then do you think the goat is going to come to your funeral to cry or to eat the Flowers at Your grave.jee wiz people.you wear leather shoes and sit on leather couches while you eat goat cheese and eat meat that comes From where ?? . From the aunty marice's ass.get real and look at the bigger picture...they want to save lives.

      Irené - 2012-04-19 14:51

      that sounds great, sacrifice one life to save another! typical egocentric humans.

      Dylan Dario Sciarappa - 2012-04-19 15:12

      When will u see through the USA facade.

      Jandl Reevo Reeves - 2012-04-19 15:16

      You are top notch hypocrite ...clap clap.it's reality and been around longer than your family tree

  • Mike - 2012-04-19 14:40

    and shoving an iron rod into an animals neck or slitting its throat so it bleeds to death in the name 'our culture' is all ok?

  • healthcenter.forbetterliving - 2012-04-19 15:40

    Completely uncalled for and deplorable!

  • lori.elkins.zwetz - 2012-04-29 23:13

    What kind of training would justify to hack, torture and kill helpless animals for enjoyment. You people are demented and is nothing that people in a civilized society do. You are hypocrites and there is no other way to look at this. You guys used to be respected and admired, however, this, I find you people as a whole disgusting and no better than the crazies in Pakistan.

  • Cris - 2012-04-30 00:06

    I am in the military, have been for over 29 years and I have never heard of such practice from the Coast Guard. I have trained in combat life saving and we simulate. Why are they using barbaric and inhumane methods of training. This needs to end!! What ever their excuse, it "does not" prepare you whether simulating or doing it "live". It is better to be humane that to perform cruelty on the animals.

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