PETA protests outside Fort Carson to urge military to end trauma training on animals

FORT CARSON, Colo. — Armed with tree trimmers and lab coats, PETA members protested outside Fort Carson Thursday, objecting to the way the military post trains for deployment.

PETA says goats are used in cruel and archaic training drills, but soldiers say the training is needed for real-life combat.

“Military research shows stabbing, dismembering, and mutilating live animals does not help to properly train military medics,” PETA campaigner Tricia Lebkuecher said.

The protesters called for an end to the military’s use of live animals in training drills.

“I think our troops deserve better, the animals deserve better, and we could all really benefit from simply switching to high-tech human simulators instead of mutilating, stabbing, and dismembering live animals,” Lebkuecher said.

But members of the military said it’s not like that. A former Army medic who didn’t want to be identified told FOX21 they do train on animals, but only when they’re preparing for war.

“While a lot of the injuries can be reproduced on one of these high-tech dummies that PETA talks about a lot, it’s still not the same,” she said. “There’s certain things you can never replicate with a dummy.”

The medic said the animals are treated with the utmost respect, but training on them is essential to every soldier coming home.

“We will be on the front lines of Afghanistan, in the war zone, where we’re not going to have a reset button for our brother and sister in arms who was wounded on the battlefield,” she said.

In a statement, Fort Carson officials said they are aware of the protests.

“Every American citizen has the right to peacefully protest,” the statement said. “The right to protest is a long-standing protection afforded by the U.S. Constitution.”

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