The increase in the numbers of procedures involving both mice and non-human primates is directly related to the size and maturity of the on-going medical countermeasures research programme. Mice are used mainly in studies to identify and assess candidate pre-treatments and therapies against biological warfare agents.
Non-human primates are involved in studies to develop advanced animal models for efficacy assessment of post exposure therapies for biological and chemical warfare agents, and studies to assess the visual effects resulting from exposure to very low levels of nerve agents.
Recent products from the Defence research programme include a therapy to treat those suffering from botulism. This is now available to treat UK servicemen, should botulinum toxin ever be used as a weapon against them, and has already been used to treat patients in both UK and Thailand who were subject to naturally occurring cases.