By Alisa Mullins
In a move that is waaaay long past overdue, a military panel has recommended adding cruelty to animals to the Uniform Code of Military Justice, which is the foundation of US military law. Hard to believe it wasn't already in there, but we're just glad it's in the works now.
Last year, PETA called for such a provision after a video of a Marine apparently throwing a live puppy off a cliff circulated on the Internet. If this new regulation is added, service personnel who commit such atrocities could be prosecuted specifically for cruelty to animals, as opposed to military authorities having to scramble to find some vaguely-worded offense, such as "unbecoming conduct," to file such crimes under.
The law is intended to address crimes like killing or abandoning companion animals, but maybe it will also add fuel to our case that lethal military trauma training exercises on animals violate military code too.
Before it can be added to the UCMJ, the new provision has to be approved by Congress. Congress, you know what you have to do.