38 white rabbits were blasted with compressed air to injure their legs, in an attempt to find out if blast injuries to the limbs, caused by explosions on the battlefield, result in damage to cells lining the blood vessels. Each rabbit was anaesthetised and then subjected to 10 blast injuries between their knee and ankle. After being kept alive for 12 hours so that blood samples could be repeatedly taken from them, they were killed and dissected for further analyses.
"We all want to ensure the safety of soldiers and civilians, but we do not believe that subjecting animals to such cruel and disturbing experiments is the way to achieve this. The level of suffering animals endure in military experiments conducted at Porton Down is completely unacceptable."
"Our Armed Forces could not be provided with safe and effective protective measures without this research. We are committed to reducing the number of animal experiments and they are only undertaken where there are no alternatives. All of our animal experiments are fully licensed by the Home Office."