§ Mr. Hugh Jenkins
asked the Secretary of State for Defence what programmes of research using live animals are carried out at Porton Down; how many animals are involved; and what happens to them.
§ Dr. Gilbert
Research at the Chemical Defence Establishment using live animals relates to protective measures against chemical warfare agents, the medical aspects of wound injury, the safety of riot control agents and studies in connection with the Health and Safety at Work Act.
At the Microbiological Research Establishment animals are used for research on diseases and their treatment, including the development of diagnostic methods, new vaccines and other therapeutic substances for civil customers.
The total number of animals used at the Porton establishments varies from year to year, but in 1975 was approximately 100,000, the vast majority of these being rodents.
Each animal is used in only one experiment. All experimental procedures, including humane destruction at the end of experiments, are carried out in accordance with the requirements of the Cruelty to Animals Act 1876.