New Bill Would Permanently End The Mutilation Of Animals For Law Enforcement ‘Training’

A new federal bill that has been introduced by bipartisan legislators, following investigations and campaigns by nonprofit White Coat Waste Project (WCW), would permanently restrict the Department of Justice (DOJ) from funding law enforcement “training” that involves maiming and mutilating animals – including dogs, sheep, and pigs.

Currently, the DOJ’s Federal Bureau of Investigations and the U.S. Marshals Service, allow animals to be burned, stabbed, shot, and dismembered in what’s called “live tissue training” so that agents can then allegedly practice treating the traumatic injuries, according to public records obtained through numerous investigations by WCW

The Stop Wasteful and Outdated Medical Training on Animals Act, co-sponsored by Reps. Madeleine Dean (D-PA) and Troy Nehls (R-TX), would end funding of DOJ live tissue training and instead require the DOJ to use more effective, cost-efficient, and humane alternatives – including human simulation technology that the agency already has, according to the legislators championing the change.

“Wounding live animals for this training is outdated and unnecessary,” Dean said in a press release. “With the abundance of medical training tools available today, like high tech patient simulators, there is no reason to continue this cruel practice – much less at taxpayer expense.”

Bipartisan legislators have widely condemned live tissue training since at least 2019, when a relentless WCW investigation involving a public records lawsuit exposed that the DOJ had doled out more than $130,000 of taxpayer funds in recent years for animals to be maimed and also that any survivors were killed at the training’s end.

In a letter to the DOJ’s Attorney General at the time, more than a dozen legislators led by Rep. Dean shared concerns that the gruesome and deadly use of animals for the trainings was “expensive, obsolete, unnecessary, and opposed by most Americans” – citing a poll that showed 63% of taxpayers surveyed across the political spectrum wanted the animal-involved trainings defunded.

The legislators also cited other federal agencies – including the Department of Defense, the U.S. Coast Guard, and the U.S. Navy – that had acknowledged that live tissue training was “outdated and cost-prohibitiveand “not anatomically accurate,”  and that high-tech patient simulators that mimic human biology were more effective, cost-efficient, and indefinitely reusable.

“If our military can adapt to rely on new practices, then surely law enforcement can follow their lead,” the legislators wrote.

Following the outrage, U.S. President Joe Biden signed off on restricting the DOJ’s funding of live tissue training in both the 2023 and 2024 appropriations bills.

Permanently prohibiting the funding is a logical next move that makes sense to co-sponsor Nehls, who has nearly three decades of law enforcement experience.

“As someone who served in law enforcement for nearly 30 years, I know there are better ways to train federal officers to treat human casualties than by mutilating animals,” Nehls said. “Law enforcement officers deserve to have the best medical training possible. That’s why I’m working with my colleague, Representative Dean, to defund the DOJ’s outdated and inhumane live tissue training on animals in favor of better modern simulators that save money, animals, and patients’ lives.”

WCW’s Senior Vice President Justin Goodman said the legislation could not come at a more critical time.

“We commend Reps. Dean and Nehls for their outstanding work to protect animals and taxpayers by introducing bipartisan legislation to permanently defund DOJ’s wasteful live tissue training, which WCW exposed involves shooting, stabbing and dismembering live animals,” said Goodman. “A majority of taxpayers—Democrats, Republicans, and Independents alike—oppose DOJ’s barbaric live tissue training on animals, and we’re grateful to Reps. Dean and Nehls for taking action and working across party lines to end this taxpayer-funded animal abuse.”

WCW is encouraging people to contact their legislators and ask for their support of the Stop Wasteful and Outdated Medical Training on Animals Act.

Help stop wasteful and deadly DOJ “live tissue training” on animals by signing WCW’s petition, HERE! 

You can help all animals and our planet by choosing compassion on your plate and in your glass. #GoVeg

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