U.S. Army Quietly Reverses Ban on ‘Weapon Wounding’ Studies on Animals, PETA Finds


PETA Files Appeal on Denial of Access to Army Records of Weapons Experiments on Dogs, Cats, Monkeys, or Marine Mammals

For Immediate Release:
September 30, 2022

Tasgola Bruner 202-483-7382

Washington – PETA has filed an appeal with the U.S. Army requesting the release of public information on weapons testing that inflicts wounds on dogs, cats, monkeys, and/or marine mammals. The military branch confirmed to the group that at least one such study protocol existed yet refused to release it, claiming that it’s “classified … ‘in the interest of national defense or foreign policy.’” PETA also sent a letter to Secretary of the Army Christine Wormuth urging her to reinstate the ban on such tests.

In 1983, PETA exposed and successfully campaigned to shut down a U.S. Department of Defense “wound lab” in which dogs, goats, and other animals were shot with high-powered weapons in order to inflict injuries, resulting in the first-ever permanent ban on the shooting of dogs and cats in wound labs, which was issued by then–Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger. In 2005, the Army issued Regulation 40-33, which prohibited the use of dogs, cats, nonhuman primates, and marine mammals in “[r]esearch conducted for development of biological, chemical, or nuclear weapons.” Yet in 2020, the Army issued a memorandum that apparently reversed its position by permitting “[t]he 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.”

The Army denied PETA’s March 18, 2022, Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for photos, videos, and other documentation relating to experiments approved by the U.S. Army Medical Research and Development Command (USAMRDC) Animal Care and Use Review Office “that involve the use of a weapon … to inflict wounds” on such animal species—even though a redacted version of the requested information should have been provided, as PETA believes is legally required. USAMRDC initially stated that it possessed “in excess of 2,000 pages” of records responsive to PETA’s FOIA request before backtracking and claiming that it has “only (1) one protocol that meets the criteria of the request,” which is prohibited from release due to national or foreign security concerns.

“Taxpayers deserve to know what the U.S. Army is hiding by refusing to release details of its horrific weapon wounding experiments on animals,” says PETA Vice President Shalin Gala. “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.”

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to experiment on”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information on PETA’s investigative newsgathering and reporting, please visit PETA.org or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.


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