From Physicians Committee
for Responsible Medicine (PCRM)
The year is off to a good start. We have another PCRM campaign victory to announce, and we have our supporters to thank! For the first time, a bill was signed into law that demands accountability from the Department of Defense for its killing of more than 7,500 animals each year in medical training courses.
The massive National Defense Authorization Act, approved last month by the Senate and House of Representatives, contains a provision that calls on the Secretary of Defense to report to Congress by March 1, 2013, on a strategy, including a detailed timeline, for replacing the use of animals with human-based methods. Last night, the president signed the bill into law.
PCRM has been working nonstop on Capitol Hill since the original BEST Practices Act was introduced, and this marks the first time that any part of Congress has passed binding legislative language on this issue. It is the strongest stand Congress has ever taken on this issue, making it clear that members of Congress want the Department of Defense to provide the highest level of training to service members and begin to end its cruel and unnecessary use of animals.
In many of the military’s combat trauma training courses goats or pigs are shot and their limbs are amputated. Trainees are told to keep the animals alive as long as possible. At the end of each course, the animals are killed.
We will continue to work with Congress to hold the Department of Defense accountable in order to ensure that a transition toward human-based medical training happens as quickly as possible.
This legislation is a big step forward, and PCRM and its supporters can take credit for that. Tens of thousands of you signed petitions, sent e-mails, made phone calls, and even personally visited with your members of Congress to make this happen.
I am looking forward to sharing more victories with you in the coming year. Together, we can continue to save lives.