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UK’s Porton Down investigation: Deadly nerve agent tests left animals gasping, writhing and shaking before dying

Nearly 4,000 animals were experimented in 2017 using VX, a highly toxic chemical compound developed for military use, Of those, 73 were monkeys, 3,400 were mice, 240 rats, 126 guinea pigs and 26 pigs.

JANE DALTON: ‘A deadly nerve agent was used to poison dozens of guinea pigs during tests that left them writhing, gasping and shaking at the Porton Down laboratory, an investigation has found. Nearly 70 animals were given the chemicals that caused blurred vision, drooling, excessive sweating, eye pain, nausea and vomiting at low doses in humans. Higher doses can cause fits, paralysis, breathing failure and death. Some were given a second chemical, an antidote known as a bioscavenger, to test its effectiveness. In one test, all the guinea pigs that did not receive the trial cure died within 10 hours, while those that received it took up to two days to die, according to the research by the Animal Aid organisation…

In the first experiment, 32 guinea pigs were tethered to a pump via tubes, before the chemical agent VX was applied to their backs in a dose higher than necessary to kill them, the researchers said. They were given various injections, then scored for effects including “no meaningful voluntary movement”, “gasping”, “continuous tremor”, “production of tears” and “writhing”. They were killed after the study, when they became too cold or had lost too much weight, the research found. A second VX experiment was done on 37 guinea pigs…

Nearly 4,000 animals were experimented in 2017 at the government’s weapons-research laboratory. Of those, 73 were monkeys, 3,400 were mice, 240 rats, 126 guinea pigs and 26 pigs… VX is a highly toxic chemical compound developed for military use. Animal Aid cited a 2007 academic paper that said guinea pigs “may not be a suitable animal model for the evaluation of nerve agent antidotes”. Jessamy Korotoga, of Animal Aid said: “There is something especially dark and troubling about warfare experiments. To deliberately expose live animals to compounds, simulated blasts and biological pathogens known and developed to cause extreme suffering and death is morally unconscionable” .’ SOURCE…

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