The UK Government are being urged not continue the use of animals in chemical weapons tests by the National Anti-Vivisection Society (NAVS). Animals are subjected to painful inhalation tests at its new Chemical Weapons Defence Centre at Porton Down at the hands of the Ministry of Defence (MoD). NAVS are calling for the publicly funded facility to use methods that yield more accurate results that are more relevant to humans.
Jan Creamer, the President of the National Anti-Vivisection Society said: “The use of animals in chemical weapons tests is wrong, ethically and scientifically. Unlike advanced alternatives, the results simply cannot provide reliable predictions of how humans will react to harmful substances, hindering medical progress and costing animals’ lives.”
A total of 2,745 animals were used by the MoD in experiments, including 116 monkeys, 2,167 mice, 199 rats, 236 guinea pigs and 27 pigs, in reports released for the year of 2016. The animals were subjected to mustard gas, melioidosis, turaraemia, monkeypox, and western equine encephalitis virus. When animals showed signs of illness, they were euthanized and their organs tested, if they hadn’t died during the test performed on them.
The government recently released statistics for the number of animals used in vivisection tests in the UK, with the number exceeding 3 million. Cases of negligence were found, with animals not being provided basic food and water after being subjected to tests, among other startling discrepancies.