ANIMAL rights activists have attacked the UK Ministry of Defence’s warfare lab for testing on monkeys in a bid to eradicate deadly diseases.
Experts at Portdon Down, in Wiltshire, have been using marmoset monkeys to better understand the development and spread of deadly viruses such as Ebola and Tuberculosis.
The research is aimed at understanding the development and spread of Ebola and TB in animals, with later experiments working on possible treatments.
It is also necessary to enhance the treatment of conventional casualties on the battlefield, which could not currently be achieved without the use of animals.
But outraged campaigners have hit out after a Freedom of Information request revealed that 115 monkeys were used for experiments, compared to the 45 in the previous 12 months, labeling the research cruel and unnecessary.
In response, The Ministry of Defence said that the unit’s remit is to ‘provide safe and effective protective measures for the UK and its Armed Forces.
A spokesman for the MoD said: ‘While we are working to reduce the requirement for animal experimentation, some of this life-saving research cannot be conducted without using animals.’