He’s written a letter to both Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano urging them to replace training on live animals with lifelike human simulators.
Barker’s letter comes just a week after the release of a video showing a live goat that appeared to be conscious while its legs were sawed off with tree trimmers during a Coast Guard training session. According to a PETA press release, veterinarians watching the video said the goats didn’t seem to be properly anesthetized.
“I have long been a supporter of efforts to preserve the health and well-being of our troops, most recently donating to a number of projects that directly aid the recovery of injured servicemembers and assist their families during this difficult time,” Barker wrote in the letter to the two secretaries. Barker has donated millions of dollars to Semper Fi, which provides financial assistance to wounded Marines and their families, and Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund, which serves military personnel injured in service and their families, according to a PETA press release.
In his letters, Barker asked Panetta and Napolitano to invest in modern human simulators, which better prepare servicemembers for combat medicine and spare animals.
“It is clear from this video that dismembering and then trying to mend live goats in these crude procedures is worlds apart from treating an injured human on the battlefield. Thankfully, realistic human simulators that breathe, bleed and even have bones that break have been shown to do a much better job at preparing medical providers to be able to treat traumatic injuries than does the use of animals. Unlike animals, these simulators accurately mimic human anatomy and physiology and allow trainees to repeat procedures until they are skilled and confident,” Barker wrote.