Goats being used by army -
- Army Training Exercise That Injures Goats Causing Controversy
Animal Welfare Group Wants Practice To Stop
POSTED: 7:01 am MDT September 8, 2004
UPDATED: 5:08 pm MDT September 8, 2004
FORT CARSON, Colo. -- A training exercise planned at Fort Carson later
this month is creating some controversy.
The Army said an undisclosed number of goats will be sedated and then
injured to simulate combat wounds so medics can practice treating them.
Officials said the exercise will help save the lives of soldiers in Iraq
"It's very important training," said Ben Abel, a spokesman for Army
Special Forces Command in Fort Bragg, N.C., which is responsible for the
training exercise at Fort Carson.
Abel characterized the number of goats that will be wounded and
eventually killed at Fort Carson this month as "a small amount," but he
wouldn't provide a number. He said the training is in compliance with
federal animal cruelty laws.
Do you think the U.S. Army should injure goats to give medics simulated
Yes. If it can save the life of a soldier.
No. Hurting animals for any reason is wrong.
I'm not sure on this one.
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The Washington-based Humane Society sent a formal protest to Defense
Secretary Donald Rumsfeld last week asking him to block the exercise,
said Martin Stephens, the society's vice president for animal research
"We wouldn't be much of a Humane Society if we didn't oppose the
shooting of goats for training purposes," he said. "There clearly has to
be a better way."
The Army has made some concessions, discontinuing similar training using
dogs and switching to goats, Stephens said.
An informant told the Humane Society that at least one goat will be
pushed off a cliff.
Animals have long been used in training exercises throughout Army
history. Dogs were once used before being replaced by goats in medic
"If medics didn't get this training, their first interaction with
serious wounds would be on the battlefield," said Abel.
"I wouldn't want to be treated by a physician whose last patient was a
goat," countered Dan Hanley, with People For the Ethical Treatment of
After the goats are treated by Army medics, they will be killed and
The medics also spend time at trauma care hospitals in major cities
nationwide to gain experience, Abel said.
Copyright 2004 by TheDenverChannel.com
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