Nearly 50,000 animals have been killed in seven years at Ministry of Defence’s top secret Porton Down research base by being shot, blown up, gassed or poisoned.
- 48,400 animals blown up, tested with nerve agents or poisoned in secret tests
- Happened at Ministry of Defence laboratory of Porton Down in Wiltshire
- The government agency defended the claims saying the research was used to protect armed forces personnel overseas
Official figures show the series of fatal tests took place between 2010 and 2017.
The animals were used in a variety of tests for new experimental chemical and biological agents for MoD’s weapons research programme, according to the Sunday Mirror.
Scientists reportedly strapped pigs in body armour material before hitting them with explosives, causing either serious injuries or death.
The tests are believed to be in aid of developing more effective body armour for troops serving abroad in countries such as Iraq, where there is a high risk of Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) being used against them.
There were also reports of monkeys being tested with biological weapons and guinea pigs being poisoned with nerve gas at the top-secret Wiltshire test site.
The base was also where tests were conducted to discover what was used to poison Salisbury Novichok victims Sergei and Yulia Skripal and kill Dawn Sturgess.
But animal rights’ campaigners claim the experiments are unnecessary and the numbers being killed are ‘alarming’
‘Animals suffer and die in so many different types of animal experiments, but there is something especially dark and troubling about warfare experiments,’ Animal Aid’s Jessamy Korotoga told the Sunday Mirror.
‘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.’
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.
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.’
This post was originally published at The Daily Mail