Moo-ving people toward compassionate living
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Originally Posted: April 22, 2013
Please take a minute to ask your senators and representative to urge the Department of Defense to stop the use of live animals in combat trauma training courses. We have provided text for you, but if you decide to write your own message, please be polite and encouraging. Here are some talking points:
Please urge the Department of Defense to end the use of live animals in combat trauma training courses.
The DOD’s recent report on this issue does not go far enough, offering no timeline for replacement of this cruel and unnecessary use of animals.
The use of animals in this type of training is inadequate, due to the numerous anatomical differences between animals and humans.
More than 7,500 pigs and goats are killed every year in this type of training.
Human-based methods such as medical simulators are effective and widely available.
INFORMATION / TALKING POINTS
I am writing to ask that you urge the Department of Defense (DOD) to replace the use of live animals with human-based medical simulation in combat trauma training courses. Recently, the DOD provided Congress with a report on this issue.
The report is woefully inadequate. DOD has set no firm deadline for replacement of animals in combat trauma training courses. In fact, it states its goal is only to "reduce" - not replace this cruel and unnecessary use of animals. Even worse, the report makes the outrageous claim that a swift transition to medical simulators would actually cost American lives on the battlefield without any evidence to back it up. Of course, no such evidence exists, and most experts agree that simulation is a far superior teaching tool than the use of animals.
Despite what the DOD's report says, this use of animals can be quickly phased out, resulting in a superior educational experience for our troops.
Combat trauma training courses can be taught using any of a variety of realistic, high-fidelity medical simulators. For example, the Cut Suit, by Strategic Operations, Inc., was specifically designed for such courses and can be used to teach a wide variety of procedures, including all of those featured in the live tissue portion of training courses. The Cut Suit can teach extremity tourniquet application, extremity arterial hemorrhage clamping, surgical incisions to the thoracic and abdominal cavity, hemorrhage control of organ structure, and suturing or stapling of organs and skin.
Other simulators designed specifically for this type of training have been developed and are available for use. Maryland-based Operative Experience, Inc., uses medical simulators with unprecedented anatomical and surgical fidelity within a rigorous real-world instructional protocol to reduce training costs while increasing effectiveness. Recently, one highly regarded battlefield trauma expert and Uniformed Services University professor of surgery stated about Operative Experience's devices that it is "as close to human tissue as anything I've ever seen...[T]these models are like nothing else out there...Combined with a curriculum, they have the capacity to revolutionize training."
Please urge the DOD to end the use of animals in combat trauma training courses immediately.
Thank you for everything you do for animals!
Other information you may find useful for your activism