PETA, an animal advocacy group, plans to protest the U.S. Navy on Thursday over its decompression illness and oxygen toxicity experiments, which are conducted on sheep and other animals. PETA said a “giant sheep” will lead the protest during the Professional Services Council (PSC) Defense Conference in Arlington, Virginia, where Secretary of the Navy Carlos Del Toro is scheduled to speak.
In an email to American Military News, PETA said the group is urging the U.S. Navy to end “cruel deep-dive tests on animals” and instead use “available animal-free, human-relevant methods.”
“A flock of PETA supporters led by a giant ‘sheep’ will descend on the 2022 Defense Conference, where U.S. Secretary of the Navy Carlos Del Toro will be speaking, to confront the U.S. Navy over its agonizing decompression illness and oxygen toxicity experiments on sheep and other animals, whose spinal cords are injured in simulated dives,” the email stated.
PETA Vice President Shalin Gala said in a statement that the tests are “outrageous.”
“It’s outrageous that the U.S. Navy is wasting taxpayer money squeezing gentle sheep to death in barbaric deep-dive tests that have no relevance to human health,” Gala said. “PETA is urging Del Toro to sink these unethical decompression tests on animals and instead pursue superior, human-relevant modeling and in vitro studies.”
The protest will be held at the Renaissance Arlington Capital View Hotel, 2800 S. Potomac Ave., Arlington, on Thursday, October 20, 11:30 a.m.
Earlier this year, PETA demanded the U.S. military stop using caisson horses in Arlington National Cemetery after a U.S. Army report obtained by CNN revealed that the working animals are kept in poor conditions.
The animal rights group called for the tradition of horse-drawn carriages carrying fallen service members’ caskets in Arlington National Cemetery to be “relegated to the history books.”