28 March 2014, 15:01

UK secret slaughterers: British army tests new weapons on live pigs

UK secret slaughterers: British army tests new weapons on live pigs

Army has blown up live pigs for research into battlefield injuries, despite most of NATO allies banning similar cruelty, Freedom of Information requests have revealed.

In three years, 115 were killed at the Ministry of Defence's secret Porton Down base in Wiltshire to test whether the animals could be saved after suffering blast wounds, Freedom of Information requests show. Some of the pigs were even put in body armour before being mutilated with explosives.

Mimi Bekhechi, director of animal welfare group PETA UK, said: "The UK military's involvement in the cruel and archaic exercises is impossible to justify medically, ethically or educationally.

"It's time for the military to end its participation in these inhumane and ill-conceived exercises for the sake of both our fighting forces and animals.

NATO pledged to stop the practice which would be illegal in the UK.

British MoD killed 28,000 animals in the last three years for a number of reasons, including to test poisons. A Mirror investigation can reveal 21 pigs were blown up in 2010, 37 in 2011 and 57 were killed during 2012.

Pig flesh is genetically close to humans and there have been numerous attempts at organ transplants and blood transfusions between species.

An MoD spokesman said: "The research we undertake saves lives by helping us develop world class protective equipment and new medical treatments that benefit both troops and civilians.

"Advances in technology mean we're reducing the number of procedures carried out on pigs but there is some research, such as countering the threat posed by chemical and biological weapons that can't be conducted without use of animals."

It said the pigs were anaesthetised when they were subject to explosions and then "humanely culled".

Voice of Russia, Independent, Dailyrecord.co.uk

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