Questions prompted by a BUAV exposé of disturbing military research on animals have been answered in Parliament, revealing that nearly 10,000 experiments were carried out in 2011 at the Porton Down research establishment in Wiltshire.
The number of experiments carried out at Porton Down has risen each year for the past three years to nearly 10,000 in 2011. Nearly half of these experiments were categorised as causing ‘substantial’ suffering.
Research papers recently published reveal that animals, including monkeys, pigs, rabbits and mice, have been blown up or exposed to lethal chemical warfare or nerve agents or infected with the agents that cause anthrax or the bubonic plague.
The BUAV has also raised concerns that an Animal Welfare Advisory Committee, which was set up to provide independent scientific advice on the care and welfare of animals used in military research at Porton Down was dissolved in 2010.
The BUAV is calling for an end to the cruel use of animals in warfare experiments.
In addition to the ethical objections of using animals in such grotesque and cruel experiments, the BUAV also points out the inadequacies of using nonhuman animals in an effort to understand human beings.
Mike Hancock MP, who tabled the parliamentary questions states: “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.”
The BUAV Chief Executive, Michelle Thew states: “The BUAV supports the need to ensure the safety of soldiers and civilians, but we do not believe that subjecting animals to these grotesque experiments is the way to achieve this. We believe the public will be as horrified as we are to learn of the extent of the suffering that is being inflicted on thousands of animals every year.”