asked the Secretary of State for Defence if he will take steps to abolish the practice of using animals in experiments carried out by the Chemical Defence Establishment at Porton Down for the purpose of testing chemical and biological warfare agents; and if he will make a statement.
No. The Chemical Defence Establishment at Porton Down is the United Kingdom centre for defensive work on chemical agents that may be used against our forces in war. The United Kingdom, of course, does not possess chemical and biological weapons and has no plans to acquire them. The Warsaw Pact has a massive offensive chemical warfare capability, with large stocks of chemical agents deployed in forward areas, together with the necessary munitions for their delivery. In these circumstances it would be irresponsible not to develop the means to protect our forces. Although alternatives are used whenever possible, animal experiments form a small but very necessary part of this work.
asked the Secretary of State for Defence what animals are used for experimental purposes at the Chemical Defence Establishment at Porton Down.
Guinea pigs, mice and rats are the kinds most used. Others used include principally monkeys, pigs and rabbits.