According to a new report by PETA, the Polish Armed Forces have just announced that they will no longer use live animals in trauma training exercises.

Trauma training involves the deliberate mutilation and maiming of pigs and goats so that the military is prepared to treat soldiers for injuries they may encounter during the course of their duties, but it involves untold cruelty to animals. PETA claims that “[t]hese barbaric exercises are conducted on many military bases in the U.S. as well as on other bases around the world.”

The U.S. Department of Defense is known to take part in these “barbaric” practices. However, the Air Force’s Center for Sustainment of Trauma and Readiness Skills, the Navy Trauma Training Center, and the U.S. Army’s Rascon School of Combat Medicine at Fort Campbell does not use animals in its trauma training program, instead opting to use sophisticated human-like medical simulators. The Rascon School has publicly stated that “[t]raining on simulators is more realistic to providing care for a person than training on animals.”

Commenting on these cutting-edge simulators, the Humane Society of the United States says that they “provide the opportunity for students and military personnel to gain familiarity and comfort with medical procedures through unlimited repetition. Given the differences between human and animal anatomy, the mannequins provide markedly improved anatomical and physiological realism when compared with live animals. In addition, the long-term savings are substantial compared to the use and care of live animals.”

Poland’s decision to turn away from the practice of abusing animals in their trauma training program proves that safer, more compassionate alternatives are available. This is the latest announcement in a long series of good news for animal lovers – following developments such as the EU’s nine-month-old ban on animal testing, India’s ban on elephants in circuses, and the recent decision by Indonesia’s national airline to end their transportation of shark fin products. It looks as though the tide is finally beginning to turn against the industrial exploitation of animals.

While we Green Monsters have been able to celebrate many good news stories and animal protection victories over the past year, we cannot afford to forget about the suffering endured by the thousands of pigs and goats who are so cruelly exploited by the Department of Defense every year. You can help by answering PETA’s call to send a message to your local government representative and making it clear that you do not condone such abuse.

Image Source: Nick Saltmarsh/Flickr