Coast Guard reduces use of live animal training

By By BROCK VERGAKIS

NORFOLK, Va. (AP) — The Coast Guard says it won't use as many live animals in its combat training.

The agency reviewed its policies after Norfolk-based People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals posted a video of the training in 2012 that showed a goat's legs being removed with tree trimmers. The training was held in Virginia Beach for personnel preparing to deploy to Iraq.

In May, the Coast Guard said an instructor employed under a contract was cited by the Agriculture Department for violating the Animal Welfare Act. A Coast Guard investigation said none of its personnel committed misconduct.

The Coast Guard said this week it's able to reduce its use of live animals by half only requiring personnel deploying in support of the Defense Department to train with them.

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