Live pigs blown up in secret Wiltshire experiments

First published in News by

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 today.

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 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 suffered severe lung damage after inhaling phosgene and mustard gas, two lethal chemical weapons, according to the BUAV. They were eventually killed, it said.

In a further experiment, funded by the US Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency, 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.

This study was published in the International Journal of Antimicrobial Agents last year. There were no reports of pain relief or other supportive measures and the monkeys must have "suffered immensely" before experiencing a painful death, said the BUAV.

Two other experiments reportedly involved killing guinea pigs with a highly toxic nerve agent, and injecting mice with the bacteria that cause bubonic plague.

Michelle Thew, chief executive of the BUAV, said: "Although supporting the need to ensure the safety of soldiers and civilians in an increasingly dangerous world, the BUAV is opposed to deliberately causing suffering and death to animals in such disturbing and cruel experiments. We believe it is totally unacceptable to treat animals in this way."

A number of experiments were funded by US defence agencies, or conducted in collaboration with them, said the BUAV.

Porton Down is subject to the normal Home Office regulations intended to avoid unnecessary suffering by animals used in research.

But the Animal Welfare Advisory Committee, which previously advised the Ministry of Defence on the care of animals used in experiments, was dissolved in 2010.

Ms Thew added: "It is... unacceptable that at a time of growing public concern regarding the use of animals in research, there is no advisory body that could at least provide an element of independent overview on the care and welfare of animals used in warfare research."

The Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL) based at Porton Down said in a statement that it was "proud" of the research undertaken by its staff.

It added: "The remit to provide safe and effective protective measures for the UK and its Armed Forces could not, currently, be achieved without the use of animals.

"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.

"The Home Office, their inspectors and their independent Animal Procedures Committee (APC) make both announced and unannounced visits several times a year to ensure compliance with these guidelines. The MoD's Animal Welfare Advisory Council (AWAC) was dissolved as it duplicated this work."

International collaboration resulted in burden sharing and reduced the necessary use of animals in experiments, said the statement.

The BUAV said its science team obtained the reports from a search of the PubMed free access research database conducted between 2010 and 2012.

Comments (11)

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6:22pm Mon 26 Nov 12

mambo1331 says...

WOW!! Hurting, maiming and killing animals so we are more effective at hurting, maiming and killing our own species. What a twisted sick world we live in. I genuinely hope the sick people who subject these animals to these experiments die a painful death themselves.
WOW!! Hurting, maiming and killing animals so we are more effective at hurting, maiming and killing our own species. What a twisted sick world we live in. I genuinely hope the sick people who subject these animals to these experiments die a painful death themselves. mambo1331
  • Score: 3

7:50am Tue 27 Nov 12

Mrs Donnyfly says...

It seems to me that the purpose of these experiments is not to make us more effective at killing each other, but to make those that deal with these things more effective at treating those that have suffered such attacks. Wishing a painful death on a fellow human being is a bit twisted and sick though.
It seems to me that the purpose of these experiments is not to make us more effective at killing each other, but to make those that deal with these things more effective at treating those that have suffered such attacks. Wishing a painful death on a fellow human being is a bit twisted and sick though. Mrs Donnyfly
  • Score: 0

9:12am Tue 27 Nov 12

FromTheWirral says...

I love bacon.
I love bacon. FromTheWirral
  • Score: 0

9:56am Tue 27 Nov 12

Yourallidiots says...

Mambo clearly doesn't think that researching bomb blast injuries in real time isn't a good way of treating wounded soldiers on the battlefield. Yes it's not very nice, but sure you've had a bacon Sarnie or 2 in your time
Mambo clearly doesn't think that researching bomb blast injuries in real time isn't a good way of treating wounded soldiers on the battlefield. Yes it's not very nice, but sure you've had a bacon Sarnie or 2 in your time Yourallidiots
  • Score: 0

11:35am Tue 27 Nov 12

Harold Shand says...

mambo1331 wrote:
WOW!! Hurting, maiming and killing animals so we are more effective at hurting, maiming and killing our own species. What a twisted sick world we live in. I genuinely hope the sick people who subject these animals to these experiments die a painful death themselves.
And since you wish it on them, I guess that makes you just as bad.
[quote][p][bold]mambo1331[/bold] wrote: WOW!! Hurting, maiming and killing animals so we are more effective at hurting, maiming and killing our own species. What a twisted sick world we live in. I genuinely hope the sick people who subject these animals to these experiments die a painful death themselves.[/p][/quote]And since you wish it on them, I guess that makes you just as bad. Harold Shand
  • Score: 0

4:38pm Tue 27 Nov 12

bevjon says...

This is absolutely terrible, surely it cannot help anybody at all. Totally unnecessary and unjustifiable. A blast injury surely is the same in all species man included so what gain does using pigs have?
This is absolutely terrible, surely it cannot help anybody at all. Totally unnecessary and unjustifiable. A blast injury surely is the same in all species man included so what gain does using pigs have? bevjon
  • Score: 0

9:42am Wed 28 Nov 12

Harold Shand says...

bevjon wrote:
This is absolutely terrible, surely it cannot help anybody at all. Totally unnecessary and unjustifiable. A blast injury surely is the same in all species man included so what gain does using pigs have?
I think you've answered your own question. And if this might have helped our soldiers then I say "sorry, Babe".
[quote][p][bold]bevjon[/bold] wrote: This is absolutely terrible, surely it cannot help anybody at all. Totally unnecessary and unjustifiable. A blast injury surely is the same in all species man included so what gain does using pigs have?[/p][/quote]I think you've answered your own question. And if this might have helped our soldiers then I say "sorry, Babe". Harold Shand
  • Score: 0

6:49pm Wed 28 Nov 12

Grumpy of Calne. says...

if this country stopped poking its nose into other countries business the blowing up of pigs would not arise
if this country stopped poking its nose into other countries business the blowing up of pigs would not arise Grumpy of Calne.
  • Score: 0

9:43am Fri 30 Nov 12

freddie_W says...

Here we go again bleeding heart progressive liberals, what have we done to deserve them. Experiments such these advance the understanding of battlefield injuries and the effects of biological agents on people, this advances knowledge in treatment and protection.

How many of you hypocrites like pork? the pork that you eat in 101 different products has been electrocuted through the head and had its throat cut.
Here we go again bleeding heart progressive liberals, what have we done to deserve them. Experiments such these advance the understanding of battlefield injuries and the effects of biological agents on people, this advances knowledge in treatment and protection. How many of you hypocrites like pork? the pork that you eat in 101 different products has been electrocuted through the head and had its throat cut. freddie_W
  • Score: 0

11:25am Fri 30 Nov 12

Harold Shand says...

Freddie, I'm generally with you this time. I bet you find that confusing.
Freddie, I'm generally with you this time. I bet you find that confusing. Harold Shand
  • Score: 0

4:39pm Sat 1 Dec 12

mjhudston says...

freddie_W wrote:
Here we go again bleeding heart progressive liberals, what have we done to deserve them. Experiments such these advance the understanding of battlefield injuries and the effects of biological agents on people, this advances knowledge in treatment and protection.

How many of you hypocrites like pork? the pork that you eat in 101 different products has been electrocuted through the head and had its throat cut.
I'm with freddie and Harold on this one. Experiments like this have not just helped soldiers, but also those who were injured in the London bombings, not to mention car crash victims!

It is a misleading article, because it states when the data was discovered (within the last two years) in the database of an organisation that was abolished two years ago! Nowhere does it state WHEN the experiments took place.

Nothing like the G&H being upto date on the news!
[quote][p][bold]freddie_W[/bold] wrote: Here we go again bleeding heart progressive liberals, what have we done to deserve them. Experiments such these advance the understanding of battlefield injuries and the effects of biological agents on people, this advances knowledge in treatment and protection. How many of you hypocrites like pork? the pork that you eat in 101 different products has been electrocuted through the head and had its throat cut.[/p][/quote]I'm with freddie and Harold on this one. Experiments like this have not just helped soldiers, but also those who were injured in the London bombings, not to mention car crash victims! It is a misleading article, because it states when the data was discovered (within the last two years) in the database of an organisation that was abolished two years ago! Nowhere does it state WHEN the experiments took place. Nothing like the G&H being upto date on the news! mjhudston
  • Score: 0

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