An animal rights group is accusing Suffolk, Virginia city leaders of ignoring the illegal slaughter of animals.
PETA says Marine personnel–using a Suffolk compound for medical training drills – are breaking zoning laws, since the property is designated for ‘agricultural use’ only.
According to a News Channel 3 investigation, farm animals are being sedated, shot, stabbed and killed as part of a trauma training exercise.
Documents and emails obtained by News Channel 3 show that animal control officers planned a surprise inspection at the property on Sept 28, but backed off after seeing a NO TRESPASSING sign.
PETA Director of Laboratory Investigations said, “The Marine Corps should not be doing business with a company that has so little regard for following the law.”
The man who owns the farm property – John Janota—is CEO of the military contracting company, Assessment and Training Solutions Consulting Corporation (ATSCC). Federal records show that in the past five years, ATSCC has used more than 10,000 pigs in training courses.
PETA also uncovered video of a Virginia Beach training course where military members learn to treat battle field wounds. In 2013, a PETA tip prompted a zoning inspector to meet with Janota’s neighbor, who reportedly described “pits full of dead animals” as well as military vehicles entering the property.
The issue may be controversial but it is legal, according to authorities. The company has all the required animal permits. But PETA says the illegal part is where the training is being held. The zoning laws in Suffolk don’t allow it.
City officials have commented very little on the matter. They did tell the local news station that when police did go to the farm, officers “heard five gunshots.” But since no one “saw” anything, no further action was taken.
But PETA says it’s enough evidence to inspect. The group has sent a letter to the mayor of Suffolk asking for an investigation to ban the owner from any more training on that property.
“Heads are going to roll for this… this is illegal,” said PETA representative Shalin Gala. PETA says a complaint was also sent to Gen. Robert Neller this week, about ATSCC’s activities.
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