Joe Heck
Joe Heck

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals has enlisted former Congressman Joe Heck (R-NV) to lobby in support of the Best Practices Act, which phases out the use of animals in live combat trauma training over a five-year period.

Heck, a physician and retired Army Reserve brigadier general, lost to Democrat Catherine Cortez in the 2016 race for Harry Reid's Senate seat. The Reserves last deployed Heck in 2008 when he commanded an emergency room in a combat hospital outside Baghdad.

Heck launched RedRock Government Relations, as part of Las Vegas-based RedRock Strategies, a year ago.

Georgia Congressman Hank Johnson (D), Pennsylvania Representative Tom Marino (R) and Oregon Senator Ron Wyden (D) are pushing the Best Practice Act to require the military to replace animals with medical technology to trauma courses.

They contend artificial simulators better mimic human anatomy than animals, provide superior training, save taxpayer money and are more humane.