Monday, May 27, 2024

Veterans, PETA Urge US Navy To End Decompression Tests on Animals


US Navy veterans and People for The Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) are calling on senior military leaders to end decompression sickness experiments on animals.

In a letter sent this week, more than 100 US Navy veterans joined PETA to urge Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and Navy Secretary Carlos Del Toro to end “cruel and irrelevant” decompression sickness and oxygen toxicity experiments on pigs and other animals.

PETA claims that documents it obtained reveal that researchers at the Naval Medical Research Command (NMRC) sliced open baby pigs, implanted devices in them and locked them in high-pressure chambers for up to eight days before killing them.

Since 2020, the US Navy has also bankrolled decompression sickness and oxygen toxicity tests on animals at four universities using more than US$4.9 million (~€4.5 million) in taxpayer money, according to PETA.

The animal rights organization claims records it obtained show that at the University of California San Diego, Navy-funded researchers locked rats in pressure chambers, forced them to inhale radioactive gas and electroshocked them if they failed to run on treadmills.

Additionally, records obtained by the group from the University of South Florida reveal that the lead researcher falsely claimed that he wasn’t withholding pain relief from at least 70 mice and 153 rats being used in oxygen toxicity tests — even though they’re “Category E” experiments, which cause prolonged pain without analgesia.

According to PETA Vice President Shalin Gala:

“The Pentagon is prioritizing bad science and animal suffering over decent care for service members. PETA and Navy veterans want these archaic experiments on animals — which haven’t changed treatments for humans in decades — replaced with superior, human-relevant research.”

Check out the letter here.

John Liang
John Liang
John Liang is the News Editor at He first got the diving bug while in High School in Cairo, Egypt, where he earned his PADI Open Water Diver certification in the Red Sea off the Sinai Peninsula. Since then, John has dived in a volcanic lake in Guatemala, among white-tipped sharks off the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica, and other places including a pool in Las Vegas helping to break the world record for the largest underwater press conference.