On Thursday, animal rights group PETA sent Fort Sam Houston officials a letter accusing them of mutilating goats during training exercises and asking that they please stop.
PETA claims a "whistleblower" recently came forward to say that Army Reserve combat medics at Fort Sam shoot, stab, and kill goats during training in order to learn how to treat traumatic injuries. "Cutting open goats in training exercises provides military medics with substandard training, because humane simulation-based training methods are superior," said Ingrid Taylor, an air force veteran and PETA veterinarian, in a prepared statement. "There is no need to harm animals, upset our service members, and send medics into war zones inadequately prepared." (Fort Sam officials didn't respond to our request for comment Thursday.)
In its letter to Fort Sam Houston Brigadier General Heather Pringle, PETA takes the curious step of both asking if the allegations of goat mutilation are true and
urging officials to "take immediate steps to move Fort Sam Houston away from Cold War-era animal-based trauma training."
While using live animal in military training exercises may seem grotesque, the practice is legal. Only recently have army medic programs started to transition from practicing on dead or wounded animals to artificial "human simulators." In its letter, PETA asks that Fort Sam consider doing the same.