Mod Blast Pigs

10/2/10

'Blowing up pigs has saved lives' says Grantham MP Quentin Davies

By Neil Graham

Wednesday, 5.10pm - EXPLOSIVE tests by the Ministry of Defence using live pigs has saved the lives of British soldiers, Grantham MP Quentin Davies said this week.

The Ministry of Defence has killed 119 pigs since 2006 in bomb tests designed to improve the treatment of soldiers suffering blast injuries.

Mr Davies, a junior defence minister, said the research has "saved many lives in the theatres of Iraq and Afghanistan".

Mr Davies was responding to a question from MP for Stroud, David Drew, who wanted to know how many animals have been used in tests involving explosives in each of the last five years.

Mr Drew is well-known in his constituency for taking a stand on animal issues. Sarah Madley, a spokesman at his office, said the MP has the first constituency office in the UK that has been certified "cruelty free" by the British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection.

In a written reply to Mr Drew, Mr 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."

The pigs were sacrificed at a Government military research laboratory in Porton Down, near Salisbury.

The RSPCA has been told the pigs are anaesthetised throughout the explosive experiments and never regain consciousness.

In the last four years 119 pigs have been used in MOD research studies involving explosives - 25 in 2006, 19 in 2007, 40 in 2008 and 35 in 2009.

The British Army is not the first to make use of pigs in a manner which could be considered inhumane.

Historians believe the Roman Army would sometimes use pigs as a way to combat enemy elephants in battle.

The pigs would be tarred, pointed at the enemy and set alight. The squeals would terrify the elephants, making them turn and flee back towards their own army, causing havoc in the ranks.

http://www.granthamjournal.co.uk/news/Blowing-up-pigs-has-saved.6061410.jp

 

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