Almost 50,000 animals have been killed in 7 years at secret MoD research base

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ALMOST 50,000 animals have been killed in experiments by military scientists at a top secret government research base, it can be revealed.

Scientists blasted pigs with explosives, infected monkeys with biological weapons and poisoned guinea pigs with nerve gas at the government’s top secret Defence Science and Technology Laboratory at Porton Down in Wiltshire.

Alamy

Pigs were blasted with explosives at the secret government facility[/caption]

The base is where scientists also confirmed that the nerve agent Novichok was used to poison Sergei and Yulia Skripal and kill Dawn Sturgess,

Official figures show that between 2010 and 2017, 48,400 animals were killed.

The animals killed were used in a variety of tests in which scientists shot, blew up, gassed and poisoned with chemical and biological agents as part of the Ministry of Defence’s secret weapons’ research programme.

The MOD defends the practice, claiming it provides surgeons and doctors with vital training which has helped save the lives of British troops injured in battle.

But animal rights’ campaigners claim the experiments are unnecessary and the numbers being killed are “alarming”

To expose live animals deliberately to compounds, simulated blasts and biological pathogens which are known, and indeed developed, to cause extreme suffering and death, is morally unconscionable.


Jessamy Korotoga, Animal Aid

Animal Aid’s Jessamy Korotoga said: “Animals suffer and die in so many different types of animal experiments, but there is something especially dark and troubling about warfare experiments.

“To expose live animals deliberately to compounds, simulated blasts and biological pathogens which are known, and indeed developed, to cause extreme suffering and death, is morally unconscionable.”

Pigs were also killed in explosive tests at Porton Down as part of a research programme to develop more effective body armour for troops serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, where improvised explosive devices killed hundreds of servicemen and women.

Pigs were wrapped in body armour material before being seriously injured or killed by explosives. After the tests were completed scientists studied the animals to assess which parts had been damaged and protected.

In other tests monkeys were injected with “biological weapons” such as anthrax while scientists recorded the levels of pain experienced by the animals and how long they took to die.


Other animals were forced to breathe other chemical weapons such as mustard gas which burns the lungs and causes huge blisters on the skin. The animals eventually die when their lungs fill with fluid caused by the breakdown of tissues.

An MOD spokesman said: “The Defence Science and Technology Laboratory is responsible for developing and creating indispensable technology and equipment to protect the UK and its armed forces. This could not, currently, be achieved without the use of animals in research.”

“The laboratory is committed to reducing the number of animal experiments and only applies for licences if the research aims cannot be achieved without animal experiments.”


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