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Coast Guard Suspends Use of Injured Animals to Train Medics

Goats eat evasive weeds in a field July 13, 2106, on an underdeveloped area of Malmstrom Air Force Base, Mont. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Delia Marchick)
Goats eat evasive weeds in a field July 13, 2106, on an underdeveloped area of Malmstrom Air Force Base, Mont. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Delia Marchick)

NORFOLK, Va. — U.S. Coast Guard medics have stopped using military contractors who intentionally injure sedated animals so that medics can practice treating combat wounds.

Spokeswoman Lisa Novak said in a phone interview Thursday that the practice was suspended in January. A working group will decide if the training will continue.

The so-called "live tissue training" involved anesthetized goats.

Novak said she didn't know what led to the suspension. In 2012, activist group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, or PETA, released a video of a goat's legs being removed with tree trimmers during what it said was Coast Guard training.

Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard, a California Democrat, wrote in The Hill newspaper on Thursday that she had raised concerns with the Coast Guard. She said most Americans are against the practice.

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