Porton Down’s own data shows the extent of the experiments conducted there. The experiments involve thousands of animals, of many different species, each year. Species vary from monkeys to mice.
The figures above are obtained from different sources, so some details are not available.
Porton Down’s website describes how they carry out ‘research to ensure that the UK’s military and wider public benefit from the latest technical and scientific developments’. Porton Down is the home of the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl), which is the address listed in most of the scientific papers describing animal experiments at Porton Down.
According to their website, the UK’s chemical and biological weapons programme closed in the 1950s and since then, Porton Down has ‘been active in developing effective countermeasures to the constantly evolving threat posed by chemical and biological weapons. To help develop effective medical countermeasures and to test systems, we produce very small quantities of chemical and biological agents.’
|Name||Mode of action||When used||Where|
|Sarin||Nerve agent||March 1988||Iran-Iraq war, used in Halabja, killing 5,000, and on the Japanese subway, by members of the Aum Shinrikyo cult, killing 13 and injuring thousands (March ’95)|
|VX||Nerve agent||1994||Osaka, by members of the Aum Shinrikyo cult, to kill a former cult member.|