Animal Defenders International


Animal Defenders International

Unlawful MoD killing verdict welcomed ­- but sarin deaths at Porton Down continue

Posted: 25 May 2005

16th Novemebr 2004: As the nation reels from the shocking case of Ronald Madisson ­- the 20-year-old serviceman killed by sarin at the MoD¹s highly secretive Porton Down base in Wiltshire -­ the National Anti-Vivisection Society (NAVS) can reveal that Porton Down has been killing with the deadly nerve agent far more recently than 1953.

Today NAVS reveals that MoD funded research at Porton Down was published as recently as 1999 where sarin ­- the toxic warfare chemical used in the 1995 Tokyo underground attack ­ was injected into 17 marmoset monkeys over a 15-month period.

The shocking experiments involved drilling holes in the animals’ skulls to implant electrodes to record brain activity. Wires were tunnelled under their skin from transmitters in their abdomen to the top of the skull where they were cemented into position.

“ It is highly likely that this appalling and totally unnecessary research is still going on today ­despite the secretive nature of Porton Down, the National Anti-Vivisection Society has been able to unearth this detail -­ but this is just the tip of the iceberg,” said chief executive of NAVS Jan Creamer.

At Dstl Biomedical Sciences, Porton Down, the most deadly chemical warfare agent ever produced, known as VX, was also dripped onto the skin of pigs. 200 times more poisonous than sarin, three pigs died within three hours of exposure to VX, another pig lingered on, displaying signs of severe poisoning (twitching, salivation and difficulty breathing) before being killed.

"It’s disgraceful that British taxpayers have paid for such cruel and unnecessary tests, especially when the effects of these poisons are already known", said chief executive of NAVS, Jan Creamer. “The results of killing these pigs in such a terrible way were inconclusive.

"VX was tested on animals as far back as the 1950s and its effects on humans are already known. It has long been recognised that there are clear species differences between animals and humans but more animals than ever are suffering in the name of so-called research.”

The UK already experiments on more monkeys than any other European Country, yet the Government continues to support moves to increase primate experiments. The Medical Research Council (using taxpayers money) has set up a new monkey supply and experimentation facility at Porton Down.

NAVS can provide media with:

Interviews (studio, ISDN or telephone) with its chief executive Jan Creamer and campaigns director Tim Phillips, both seasoned campaigners and well-known spokespeople for the animal protection movement.

Broadcast quality footage (BETA format rushes available) and high quality photographs to support stories - including undercover footage Well-researched and qualified facts and information about vivisection in the UK and overseas

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