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California Briefing / San Diego

Military uses pigs for medic training

July 25, 2009|Tony Perry

The Marine Corps is using live pigs in a training exercise to teach Navy corpsmen and doctors and some infantry Marines how to treat battlefield injuries. The pigs are euthanized afterward.

The training, conducted on private property in rural Valley Center, Calif., is part of a $1-million contract with the Washington-based firm Deployment Medicine International. The troops are from the Camp Pendleton-based 1st Marine Expeditionary Force, which deploys to Iraq and Afghanistan.

The training includes intravenous access, hemorrhage control, airway management and treatment of breathing injuries, among other things.

Officials with the San Diego County Department of Animal Services visited the site this week and concluded that no animal cruelty laws were being broken.

The Marine Corps, in its statement, said that a study by the Army confirmed the usefulness of the program by "frontline corpsmen and the doctors of our battalion aid stations."

-- Tony Perry

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