UK Germ Warfare Center Kills Thousands of Animals


Thousands of animals blown up, poisoned or given anthrax in secret military  experiments at Porton Down last year

By  Steve Robson


Junior defence minister Philip Dunne revealed that almost 10,000 experiments were conducted on animals at military research base Porton Down last year Junior defence minister Philip Dunne revealed that  almost 10,000 experiments were conducted on animals at military research base  Porton Down last year

The number of animals being used for military  experiments has increased by more than 1,000 in the last three years.

  • Pigs,  monkeys, rabbits and rodents used in ‘gruesome’ tests
  • Minister  Philip Dunne reveals number carried out in past three years
  • Says the  Government is acting in ‘strict accordance’ with the law

Almost 10,000 pigs, rabbits, monkeys and  rodents were used in top-secret tests at the Porton Down military research base  in Wiltshire last year, it has emerged.

The figures were revealed by junior defence  minister Philip Dunne in response to Lib Dem MP Mike Hancock who raised concerns  about the facility in parliament last month.

The British Union for the  Abolition of  Vivisection highlighted ‘disturbing and cruel’ experiments which include live  pigs being blasted with explosives  and forced to inhale mustard gas, monkeys  being infected with anthrax  and guinea pigs being killed with nerve  agent.

And the number of procedures being carried  out is on the up.

Mr Dunne listed the number of animal  procedures undertaken at DSTL Porton Down over the last three  years.

The figure has risen from 8,452 in 2009 to  9,582 in 2010 and 9,882 last year.

Currently 21 licensed animal procedures are  under way at Porton Down Defence Science and Technology Laboratory  (DSTL).



Most of these fall into the ‘substantial’  severity category which may cause ‘significant or prolonged animal  suffering’.

Lib Dem MP Mike Hancock said he was shocked by the number of animal experiments being carried out at Porton Down in Wiltshire every year Lib Dem MP Mike Hancock said he was shocked by the  number of animal experiments being carried out at Porton Down in Wiltshire every  year

Six of the projects cover work funded  directly by US defence agencies.

Mr Hancock said he was shocked by the  statistics which, until now, were never made generally public.

He said: ‘I was shocked to  learn that almost  10,000 animal experiments are taking place at Porton  Down every year, including  ones inflicting substantial levels of  suffering.

‘The details were not included in the annual  statistics published by the  Home Office and many people will be totally unaware  that this suffering  is occurring.

‘It is important that the Ministry of Defence  routinely gives more  information on its use of animals so the public can be  fully informed.’

Mr Dunne stressed that DSTL operates in  ‘strict accordance’ with the Animals(Scientific Procedures) Act.

‘All the research projects that involve  animals are licensed by the Home Office. As part of the licensing process, the  researchers have to convince the Home Office that the work is required, that the  results cannot be obtained without the use of animals and that every step has  been taken to minimise pain and suffering to the animals involved,’ he  said.

But BUAV chief executive Michelle Thew said:  ‘It is alarming that almost 10,000 animal experiments for military purposes took  place in 2011 and that many animals were subjected to the most extreme suffering  categorised by the Government.

‘Some of the animal research conducted at  Porton Down was even funded by the US defence agencies.

‘The BUAV is calling for an end to the use of  animals, including monkeys and pigs in these gruesome experiments. We need to  ensure the safety of soldiers and civilians but the answer does not lay in  blowing up or exposing animals to lethal chemical warfare and nerve  agents.’

Campaigners say the military research on animals such as pigs is 'gruesome' and any evidence it saves lives is 'questionable'Campaigners say the military research on animals such as  pigs is ‘gruesome’ and any evidence it saves lives is ‘questionable’

All scientific experiments on animals,  including those at Porton Down, have to be licensed by the Home Office under the  proviso that suffering is minimised as much as possible.

Procedures are graded according to the  severity of harm or suffering they inflict.

Of the 21 ‘active’ projects at Porton Down,  four are ‘unclassified’, three are ‘mild’, six are ‘moderate’ and eight are  categorised as ‘substantial’.

A moderate procedure may cause animals a  ‘noticeable degree of pain, suffering, distress or lasting harm’, according to  the Home Office definition.

Substantial severity ‘may cause a major  departure from the animal’s usual state of health or well-being with significant  or prolonged animal suffering’.


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