A training exercise planned at Fort Carson later this month is stirring up quite a bit of controversy. The Army says an undisclosed number of goats will be sedated and then injured to simulate combat wounds, so medics can practice treating them. They will be then be killed.
Officials say the exercise will help save the lives of soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan. But the Humane Society of the United States is trying to stop the exercise and last week wrote a letter of protest to Defense
Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. The group wants the Army to switch to electronic simulations.
Animals have long been used in training exercises throughout Army history. Dogs were once used before being replaced by goats in medic
Army Special Forces Command at Fort Bragg, North Carolina is responsible for the Fort Carson exercise. Spokesman Ben Abel says it's "very important training," and that the goats will be sacrificed to save human lives. Abel wouldn't say how the goats will be injured, but said the training is in compliance with federal animal cruelty laws.
An informant told the Humane Society that at least one goat will be pushed off a cliff. The goats will be killed and cremated after the medics treat them.