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PETA Investigators: Government contractor used farm to shoot, stab animals for military training

Posted at 6:21 PM, Oct 19, 2015
and last updated 2015-10-19 18:21:35-04

Suffolk, Va. - PETA investigators told Suffolk city officials last month they believed a government contractor used a rural farm as a secret location where animals were shot and stabbed for military training.

The animal-rights group says an undercover video shows what happens during "live-tissue training."

Animals are sedated and wounded so military members can practice battlefield first aid. PETA says Suffolk's zoning ordinances don't allow that. On that point, Suffolk officials appear confused.

City emails obtained by NewsChannel 3 quote animal control as saying "It is allowable on agricultural lands." But a zoning official wrote the training "is not permitted."

NewsChannel 3 obtained dozens of emails that reveal a daylong odyssey of police calls, gunshot reports, and contradictions between city departments over whether they could or should do anything about PETA's complaint.

The emails also show officials tried to contact the property owner -- the CEO of the military-training company -- but couldn't reach him. His wife turned us away.

The documents show while police declined to investigate, they did agree to escort a zoning official onto the property if he got a warrant.

However, the documents reveal that took too long. At 4:21 and without a warrant in hand, the zoning official wrote: Operation suspended.

PETA has filed a complaint with the city, saying the city's ultimate inaction allowed military training where zoning laws forbid it.

A spokeswoman said Suffolk is taking no further action.

Related: 

PETA accusing Suffolk leaders of covering up an illegal animal slaughter