The U.S. Army unnecessarily subjects monkeys to a simulated nerve agent attack in an outdated training exercise that is part of chemical casualty management courses held at Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland.
Monkeys are injected with a toxic overdose of physostigmine to produce cholinergic crisis, marked by symptoms that include cessation of breathing, involuntary defecation, and violent seizures. Veterinary records show that these monkeys suffer both during and after the exercise.
In addition to being cruel, this training is subpar due to the availability of superior human-based training methods such as advanced medical simulators. Please sign the petition calling for an immediate halt to the use of animals for this training exercise in order to improve military readiness.
Response to Petition
By Col. Thomas Collins
Thank you for your participation in the We the People platform on WhiteHouse.gov
On September 20th, 2011, the Army stated that it would no longer use monkeys as part of life-saving training at Aberdeen Proving Ground. This change was long planned, and was made possible by improved technology, the development of alternative training methods, shifting chemical threat environments, and changes in the medical competencies required of first responders during a chemical incident.
Col. Thomas Collins is Deputy Chief of Army Public Affairs