Monday, 3 December 2012

Claims of cruel animal experiments

Live pigs were blasted with explosives and forced to inhale mustard gas, and monkeys infected with anthrax during "disturbing and cruel" experiments at Porton Down, it was claimed.

Scientists at the top secret military research establishment in Wiltshire were accused of causing "substantial" suffering to animals in the past two years.

The alleged evidence was collected by the British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection (BUAV) from papers published in scientific journals.

In one study, reported in the Annals of Surgery in 2010, explosives were said to have been detonated eight feet from pigs that had been anaesthetised, wrapped in blankets, and placed on trolleys.

The animals were said to have suffered blast injuries and blood loss, after which an attempt was made to resuscitate them. Eleven out of 28 died, it was claimed.

Other pigs, which were eventually killed, suffered severe lung damage after inhaling phosgene and mustard gas, two lethal chemical weapons, according to the BUAV which added a number of experiments were funded by US defence agencies, or conducted in collaboration with them.

In a further experiment, funded by the US Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency (Darpa), marmosets were infected with anthrax before being treated with an antibiotic, it was alleged. Four animals died and those still alive at the end of the study were killed and dissected, it was claimed.

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