§ Sir R. GOWER
asked the Secretary of State for War what is the number of horses, dogs and other animals, respectively, which have been the subject of poison-gas experiments in Great Britain during the last 12 months?
§ Mr. SHAW
The following statement shows the number of animals used for experimental purposes at the experimental station, Porton, and in the experiments conducted at the physiological laboratory, Cambridge, on behalf of the War Department.
establishment work in strict conformity with the provisions of the Cruelty to Animals Act, 1876. The terms of these licences ensure that no unnecessary suffering is caused to the animals.
asked the Secretary of State for War whether his attention has been drawn to the reports in the Press in regard to the work carried on at the research station on Salisbury Plain; if any, and, if so, how many, old horses were handed over for experiment 487W in poison gas and in plague bacteria cultivation; and what action he proposes to take to stop such activities on the part of the Government?
§ Mr. BROMLEY
asked the Home Secretary if he is aware that a number of old horses were being used at the Hampshire research station on Salisbury Plain for the purpose of experiments in the use of poison gases and the cultivation of bacteria for spreading plague; and if he will take steps to put an end to this practice?
§ Mr. SHAW
I will answer at the same time the question of the hon. Member for Barrow-in-Furness (Mr. Bromley), to which my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary has asked me to reply. My attention has been drawn to certain statements reported in the Press to the effect that 2,000 old horses have been handed over to the experimental station at Porton for experiments in poison gas and the cultivation of bacteria for spreading plague. The facts are that during the period from 1921 to 1930 only 25 horses in all have been used for experiments at Porton in connection with poison gas, but no horse, or indeed other animal, has been used at Porton for experiments in plague bacteria cultivation. I am advised that the experiments carried out were to enable data to be obtained for preventive and curative treatment in the case of horses affected by poison gases.