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‘Homeland’ Producer Brings Animal Training Message to Hill

Grijalva will join PETA and Raff at the briefing. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Emmy award-winning executive producer of Showtime’s spy drama "Homeland," Gideon Raff, wants to ban animals from taking part in military training, and he's bringing his message to Capitol Hill, along with congressional allies and the animal rights group PETA.  

On Wednesday, Raff will moderate PETA’s congressional briefing, “Saving Soldiers by Sparing Animals,” along with hosts Reps. Raúl M. Grijalva, D-Ariz., and Ted Lieu, D-Calif.  

The briefing, scheduled for 10:30 a.m. in Rayburn 2203, will focus on protecting pigs and replacing medical training on the animal with training on human simulators. “Not only do the anatomical and physiological differences between humans and practice animals like dogs and pigs make them poor surrogates for training, but the practice is also more expensive and inhumane,” Grijalva told HOH.  

“We have the technology to give our troops the training they deserve, while saving money and protecting live animals. There is no excuse for us not to.”  

Raff is a former Israel Defense Forces paratrooper. Lieu is an Air Force veteran and a fan of "Homeland," according to his office.  

“I believe maiming animals to train military medics makes little scientific, economic, or ethical sense,” Lieu told HOH. “In light of the existence of more lifelike and less costly simulators, it is critical that we transition away from this practice to better prepare medics and protect animals.”  

At the briefing, PETA and medical professionals will demonstrate how human simulators work, which talk, breathe and bleed, according to the invitation. "Homeland" just wrapped its fifth season and is the adaption of Raff’s 2010 Israeli television drama series, "Prisoners of War."  

“I have the utmost concern for the health and security of the heroic service members—like those portrayed on my shows,” Raff said in a statement. “Research has proven time and again that the military doesn't need to mutilate animals to save troops' lives.”  

Contact Gangitano at AlexGangitano@cqrollcall.com and follow her on Twitter at @AlexGangitano.

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