The terrible secrets of Porton Down – revealed

Posted on the 8th July 2019

Almost 50,000 animals have been killed at secret military laboratory

For decades, the name Porton Down has been associated with experiments including those using chemical and biological weapons. Despite attempts by the Ministry of Defence to keep as much as possible about these experiments under wraps, Animal Aid has highlighted a dark secret that sickens us all. Many of these experiments are carried out on defenceless animals.

In 2017, 3,865 animals, including monkeys, mice and pigs – were experimented upon at Porton Down.

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How are animals used?

Warfare experiments – conducted using biological inquisitive guinea pigweapons or even simulated blasts – can involve the use of living animals. As you would expect, this can lead to terrible, prolonged suffering followed by death.

Animal Aid has accessed information revealing nerve agent tests using guinea pigs. Researchers were looking for the following effects: substantial incapacitation, gasping, continuous tremor, writhing and the production of tears.

To summarise the fate of the animals:
Animals were killed at the end of the study or when their body temperature was too low or they had lost a quarter of their bodyweight. Dead animals were dissected.

The horrifying truth

As if this torture wasn’t bad enough, we can also reveal that Porton Down keeps a breeding colony of marmoset monkeys. Monkeys are bred for use in painful experiments and killed, their bodies then cut up for research.

In 2015 paper describes forcing marmosets to inhale the Ebola virus.

The symptoms displayed by the monkeys are terrifying: “Overt signs of infection included a hunched posture, unkempt fur, altered respiration, subdued nature, and reluctance to move, eat or drink. External hemorrhaging from the genitals was observed in 4 animals.”

The lives of marmosets

In the wild, marmosets live in family units. They choose their own partners and provide a high degree of cooperative care to their young. They climb, forage and have been known to live for up to 16 years.

pair of marmosets sitting on a branch

We can only imagine the very different lives that marmosets bred in laboratories would experience. Never feeling the sun on their faces, not being able to carry out their natural instincts. Then to be subjected to the most horrific experiments, suffering terrible pain and distress. Eventually to be killed, dissected and discarded.

Help us stop this

We believe that all animal experiments are cruel and unreliable, but warfare experiments are particularly heinous. This is because they involve intentionally exposing animals to compounds, weapons or blast injuries which are known to cause terrible suffering and death in humans.

Animal Aid is determined to see a ban on all warfare experiments – please help us to stop this needless suffering and donate today.

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Kind regards,

Jessamy Korotoga
Campaign Manager – Animal Experiments

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