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Porton Down

Volume 301: debated on Tuesday 25 November 1997

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To ask the Secretary of State for Defence for what reasons the number of animal experiments at the chemical and biological defence establishment, Porton Down, has increased since 1993. [14306]

This is a matter for the Chief Executive of the Chemical and Biological Defence Sector at Porton Down. I have asked the Chief Executive to write to my hon. Friend.

Letter from John Chisholm to Mr. Ken Livingstone, dated 25 November 1997:

I have been asked to respond to your question on animal experiments as Chief Executive of the Defence Evaluation and Research Agency which has responsibility for the Chemical and Biological Defence Sector at Porton Down.
In the years up to 1993 there has been, in general, a downward trend in the number of animal experiments conducted at CBD. However, the number of experiments conducted each year depends o the requirements of the MOD programme, and since 1993 there has been an increase in the numbers of animals used.
This increase does not represent any change in the policy of CBD which is committed to reducing animal experimentation wherever possible. The increase has resulted from the identification during the Gulf conflict of a heightened biological and chemical threat to UK forces, and the need to develop new and improved medical countermeasures to strengthen UK defence capabilities.
The majority of the results arising from this work will be published in the open literature.