A handful of activists showed up in Jackonville Monday afternoon to protest what they say is animal cruelty at Camp Lejeune.
PETA, which stands for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, held the protest on Lejeune Boulevard at Hargett Street.
The group originally wanted to stand at the much more visible intersection of Western & Lejeune Boulevards, but Jacksonville police said that was a safety concern.
The group says the protest is in response to a whistleblower's report that the base is using live goats as "stand-ins" for wounded troops in training, and that the goats end up getting killed.
"Killing goats in training exercises is cruel, antiquated, and a disservice to our soldiers, who deserve to be treated by medics who have been trained with the best methods available," PETA Director of Laboratory Investigations Kathy Guillermo said in a press release posted on the PETA website.
PETA says the alleged use of goats would violate the Department of
Defense's own animal welfare regulation; PETA says that regulation requires the use of non-animal methods when such methods are available.
Late Monday a Camp Lejeune spokesman said the base is drafting a letter in response to one PETA sent the base last month. The spokesman says the base does not conduct live tissue training, but it hires a private contractor to provide that training. (There is a link to the PETA letter at the top of this story)