U.S. Army reversed ban on shooting cats and dogs for wound testing and PETA are livid

PETA usefully sets out the history of this grim and disturbing story of animal cruelty. They state on their website that the then Secretary of Defence, Casper Weinberger, permanently banned the shooting of dogs and cats in “wound labs”. The year was 1983 and Mr Weinberger banned the practice because of PETA’s campaign to shut down the laboratories. Another victory for PETA in the interests of animal welfare.

US Army testing on animals by shooting at them and checking the wound caused
US Army testing on live animals such as cats, dogs and goats by shooting at them and checking the wound caused. Image PETA (modified by addition of generic badge)
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But PETA report that in 2020, the army issued a memorandum which appears to them to reverse the “permanent” ban. The memorandum apparently permits “the purchase or use of dogs, cats, nonhuman primates, or marine mammals to inflict wounds upon using a weapon for the purpose of conducting medical research, development, testing or evaluation.”

That strongly indicated to PETA that the army had restarted shooting animals to test the effects of the weapon on flash, bone and sinew.

Accordingly, PETA, on March 18, 2022, asked for photos, videos and other documentation relating to these experiments under a Freedom of Information Act request in order to clarify and confirm.

The request was denied by the army. PETA believes that the army has a legal duty to provide the information requested. The US Army Medical Research and Development Command stated that it possessed more than 2,000 pages of records in relation to PETA’s request but then apparently backtracked and claimed that it had only “one protocol that meets the criteria of the request”. And they refuse to release that document because they say its release is prohibited due to national or foreign security concerns, they claim.

In response, PETA has filed a formal appeal with the U.S. Army requesting release of the information on weapons testing. PETA has also written to Secretary of the Army Christine Warmuth requesting that she reinstate the ban on these tests.

The Vice President of PETA stated that “Taxpayers deserve to know what the U.S. Army is hiding by refusing to release details of its horrific weapon wounding experiments on animals. PETA is demanding that the Army ban weapon wounding tests on dogs, cats, monkeys, and marine mammals and release all non-sensitive information about these tests that it marked as ‘classified’—a designation that speaks volumes about what animals likely endure in the Army’s secret torture labs.”

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