1. What happens to these animals?
The animals are shot, stabbed, and often burned with blowtorches. Anesthesia is intended to be used, but records and witness testimonials have revealed routine failures in this process, as well. That may be because anesthesia makes the training even less realistic than it already is. After contractors finish showing how to deal with the wounds they caused the animal, the animal is disposed of. (1)
2. When and why did live tissue trainings start?
The 1970's, under Dr. John Hagmann, who was at Uniformed Services University at the time. There is evidence to indicate that Dr. Hagmann used his position to mandate these trainings, and then set himself up as the contractor to profit from the trainings. Dr. Hagmann recently lost his medical license in the state of Virginia for a wide range of abuses of conduct that took place during Live Tissue Trainings. His victims have included U.S. military personnel that he allegedly drugged past the point of being able to give consent. Link
3. Has Congress ever voted on this issue?
Yes. In 2012, Congress included report language in the FY13 National Defense Authorization Act that stated that Congress “believes that the Department [of Defense] should continue to aggressively pursue alternatives to the use of live animals in combat-trauma training.”
4. If alternatives exist, why are animals still being used?
One military advisor says that the reason animal training has lasted as long as it has is because of a "general bias.” Some whistleblowers have suggested that forcing service members to do this to animals is a form of hazing. Lastly, a sincere lack of awareness of the capabilities of modern medical simulators may explain some adherence to the failed LTT model.
5. Are animals more expensive than simulators?
Using animals raises costs nearly 20 times more than simulators, according to statistics provided to Congress from the U.S. Army.In an Information Paper provided to Congress on 14 MAY 2016, DOD confirmed that Live Tissue Training is more expensive than the other methods of training the same skills. U.S. Army Legislative Affairs confirmed that a day of trainings that include LAMT costs $720 per student per day. A day of trainings that excludes LAMT and uses simulators instead costs just $35.75. This means that choosing to use LAMT drives training costs 1,913% higher than they would otherwise be.
(1) "They shot him twice in the face with a 9-millimeter pistol, and then six times with an AK-47, and then twice with a 12-gauge shotgun. And then he was set on fire" (Chivers, 2006, para. 35). Kirby indicated that the pig lived for fifteen hours after these wounds were inflicted before dying."
(2) Ali J, Sorvari A, Pandya A. Teaching Emergency Surgical Skills for Trauma Resuscitation-Mechanical Simulator versus Animal Model. ISRN Emergency Medicine. January 2012;1-6. Available from: Academic Search Complete, Ipswich, MA. Accessed November 1, 2016. In a study comparing procedures on TraumaMan versus live animal surgery (mutilation trainings), researchers found that TraumaMan was preferred by 78% of students and 93% of instructors for teaching ATLS.
Training on dummies is more realistic to providing care for a person than training on animals.”