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Army To Shoot Live Pigs For Medical Drill


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http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080718/ap_on_...st_pe/army_pigs

HONOLULU - The Army says it's critical to saving the lives of wounded soldiers. Animal-rights activists call the training cruel and outdated.

Despite opposition by the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, the Army is moving forward with its plan to shoot live pigs and treat their gunshot wounds in a medical trauma exercise Friday at Schofield Barracks for soldiers headed to Iraq.

Maj. Derrick Cheng, spokesman for the 25th Infantry Division, said the training is being conducted under a U.S. Department of Agriculture license and the careful supervision of veterinarians and a military Animal Care and Use Committee.

"It's to teach Army personnel how to manage critically injured patients within the first few hours of their injury," Cheng said.

The soldiers are learning emergency lifesaving skills needed on the battlefield when there are no medics, doctors or facility nearby, he said.

PETA, however, said there are more advanced and humane options available, including high-tech human simulators. In a letter, PETA urged the Army to end all use of animals, "as the overwhelming majority of North American medical schools have already done."

"Shooting and maiming pigs is outdated as Civil War rifles," said Kathy Guillermo, director of PETA's Laboratory Investigations Department.

The Norfolk, Va.-based group demanded the exercise be halted after it was notified by a "distraught" soldier from the unit, who disclosed a plan to shoot the animals with M4 carbines and M16 rifles.

"There's absolutely no reason why they have to shoot live pigs," PETA spokeswoman Holly Beal said.

The bloody exercise, she said, is difficult for soldiers because they sometimes associate the animals with their own pet dogs.

Cheng said the exercise is conducted in a controlled environment with the pigs anesthetized the entire time. He had "no doubt whatsoever" in the effectiveness of the instruction, which he called the best option available at the base.

"Those alternative methods just can't replicate what the troops are going to face when we use live-tissue training," he said. "What we're doing is unique to what the soldiers are going to actually experience."

Cheng didn't have details about the number of pigs, how they were acquired or the weapons involved in the training.

The soldiers being trained are with the 3rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, which is deploying to Iraq this year.

"We understand (PETA's) concerns and point of view. At the same, the Army is committed to providing the soldiers with the best training possible," Cheng said.

Disappointed at the Army's decision, PETA on Thursday instructed its 2 million members to inundate the Army with calls and e-mails.

"We're hoping at the 11th hour here that we can have this stopped. We have to hang on to hope," Beal said.

PETA believes the U.S. military has conducted similar training at other bases using pigs and goats.

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Out of curiosity, how is this much worse than dog fighting?

Instead of fighting them against each other, these pigs are getting purposely shot, then stitched up and probably shot at again.

I could care less whether they do it or not, but it is interesting to see double standards.

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jdu00743 (7/21/2008)
Out of curiosity, how is this much worse than dog fighting?

Instead of fighting them against each other, these pigs are getting purposely shot, then stitched up and probably shot at again.

I could care less whether they do it or not, but it is interesting to see double standards.

At least I'm consistent then...

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capologist (7/21/2008)
jdu00743 (7/21/2008)
Out of curiosity, how is this much worse than dog fighting?

Instead of fighting them against each other, these pigs are getting purposely shot, then stitched up and probably shot at again.

I could care less whether they do it or not, but it is interesting to see double standards.

At least I'm consistent then...

I wasn't referring to you specifically, Cappy...This is more a question for the message board in general.

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jdu00743 (7/21/2008)
Out of curiosity, how is this much worse than dog fighting?

Instead of fighting them against each other, these pigs are getting purposely shot, then stitched up and probably shot at again.

I could care less whether they do it or not, but it is interesting to see double standards.

This isn't any worse than killing the pigs for food. This is a better purpose, actually. Instead of killing the pigs for food that we really don't 'need' we are:

Shooting them, with a chance for them to survive, in order to better train our troops so that they can save lives of their fellow soldiers, civilians, and in some cases enemy combatants.

May be cruel, but its effective, works, and allows the pig to sometimes live longer than they would whilst they were in line for the Grinder.

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nuccah (7/21/2008)
jdu00743 (7/21/2008)
Out of curiosity, how is this much worse than dog fighting?

Instead of fighting them against each other, these pigs are getting purposely shot, then stitched up and probably shot at again.

I could care less whether they do it or not, but it is interesting to see double standards.

This isn't any worse than killing the pigs for food. This is a better purpose, actually. Instead of killing the pigs for food that we really don't 'need' we are:

Shooting them, with a chance for them to survive, in order to better train our troops so that they can save lives of their fellow soldiers, civilians, and in some cases enemy combatants.

May be cruel, but its effective, works, and allows the pig to sometimes live longer than they would whilst they were in line for the Grinder.

And they WERE headed for the grinder.

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i dont buy the 'its ok because they were going to die anyway' argument. I would need to see the opinions on viable alternatives from someone other than PETA or the Army since neither of them can really be trusted to even look at the other side's arguments.

If the alternatives truly do not provide the same quality of training, I would grudgingly support this since that would indicate that it would save more of our soldiers' lives

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I want to say that I don't support it, because shooting an animal is different than the methods that are used to kill livestock for food, but in the end, this training may save numerous lives, and if I was presented with the option of shooting a few dozen pigs or letting people die, the decision would be easy. 

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Dago (7/21/2008)
i dont buy the 'its ok because they were going to die anyway' argument. I would need to see the opinions on viable alternatives from someone other than PETA or the Army since neither of them can really be trusted to even look at the other side's arguments.

If the alternatives truly do not provide the same quality of training, I would grudgingly support this since that would indicate that it would save more of our soldiers' lives

the alternatives are some other kind of livestock or plastic dummies...  not hard to see that they want a realistic scenario and a live subject to treat

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nuccah (7/21/2008)
jdu00743 (7/21/2008)
Out of curiosity, how is this much worse than dog fighting?

Instead of fighting them against each other, these pigs are getting purposely shot, then stitched up and probably shot at again.

I could care less whether they do it or not, but it is interesting to see double standards.

This isn't any worse than killing the pigs for food. This is a better purpose, actually. Instead of killing the pigs for food that we really don't 'need' we are:

Shooting them, with a chance for them to survive, in order to better train our troops so that they can save lives of their fellow soldiers, civilians, and in some cases enemy combatants.

May be cruel, but its effective, works, and allows the pig to sometimes live longer than they would whilst they were in line for the Grinder.

Would dog fighting be more acceptable to you if people ate the dogs after they served their purpose?

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