The British ministry of defence has killed 119 pigs since 2006 in bomb tests designed to improve the treatment of soldiers suffering blast injuries.
Explosive tests by the ministry has saved the lives of British soldiers, cabinet member Quentin Davies, a junior defence minister, explained. He said the research has ‘saved many lives in the theatres of Iraq and Afghanistan’.
Davies said: “These research studies involving explosives have followed up on identified problems with prolonged pre-hospital resuscitation following blast injury.
“The studies have included evaluation of the whole body trauma caused by various blast explosive injury in order to identify and evaluate the effectiveness of improved post-traumatic methodology.
“This research has led to significant advances in post-traumatic techniques such as reducing blood loss from major trauma and has saved many lives in the theatres of Iraq and Afghanistan.
“The advances made due to this research can be utilised both in theatre and civilian scenarios particularly if there are mass casualties and evacuation to hospital is delayed.”
Military research laboratory
The pigs were sacrificed at a government military research laboratory in Porton Down, near Salisbury, Wiltshire. The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) has been told the pigs are anaesthetised throughout the explosive experiments and never regain consciousness.
• Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA)©
• UK ministry of defence (MOD)