House Passes Bill Making Animal Cruelty a Felony but Agencies Still Doing Testing on Animals

Photo: Jo-Anne McArthur, We Animals via Humane Society

The Hill reports that lawmakers on Capitol Hill have expressed concern regarding medical training exercises by certain law enforcement and homeland security agencies that involve “stabbing, burning and shooting animals” — a practice known as “live tissue training” or “LTT.”  Last week the House of Representatives also passed a bill that would make it a felony to engage in animal cruelty.

Why This Matters: Most taxpayers would be horrified to know that their tax dollars are paying for cruel, expensive and unnecessary experiments being conducted on animals.  Many agencies such as the U.S. Coast Guard no longer conduct LTT experiments, but other agencies are still engaging in these types of experiments.  With the technology that is available today, simulations should be the rule for training purposes.

Which Agencies Conduct LTT?

According to The Hill, Congressmen Ted Lieu (D-Calif.) and Matt Cartwright (D-Pa.) have sent a letter to Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen, objecting to the fact that the FBI and U.S. Marshals Service (USMS) recently spent more than $120,000 on contracts for exercises involving so-called “live tissue training” (LTT).

In the letter, Lieu and Cartwright said, “LTT involves intentionally wounding live animals—usually stabbing, burning and shooting pigs and goats, and sometimes even dogs—and then having trainees crudely attempt to repair the damage…The use of animals for this training is expensive, obsolete, unnecessary and opposed by most Americans.”

Who Can’t Use LTT on Animals

The Coast Guard no longer uses LTT, according to Military.com. And DoD policy also says that simulations, rather than animals, should be used “to the maximum extent practicable” before live tissue training.

The Bill Has Vast Bipartisan Support

Not a single member of the House opposed the bill there — the legislation would make animal abuse a federal offense nationwide.

A similar bill is pending in the Senate.

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