I WAS shocked to learn that animals are still being used in warfare experiments in the UK.

Animal Aid recently launched a national campaign to highlight the terrible suffering of the animals involved and to seek a ban on their use.

While researchers are not allowed to use animals to develop or test weapons, they are allowed to use existing weapons on animals to see the effects of different remedial treatments and countermeasures. Obviously, this can lead to severe and prolonged suffering.

Animal Aid has described experiments where guinea pigs had a nerve agent applied to their backs and were then watched for symptoms such as 'writhing' and 'gasping'.

Guinea pigs only open their mouths to breathe when they are in extreme distress. Animals who didn't die during the experiment were killed afterwards.

It is not just guinea pigs who are being hurt and killed; nearly 4,000 animals were experimented on at Porton Down in Wiltshire (the oldest chemical warfare research establishment in the world) in 2017, including monkeys, pigs, rats and mice.

Animals are different to humans, so results in animals cannot be reliably predictive of what will happen in humans - for example, chocolate is poisonous to dogs, but not humans! So, conducting experiments on animals means that treatments that might be potentially valuable for people are being ignored.

I want to see an end to warfare experiments and, for your other readers who do too, more information is available at animalaid.org.uk/warfare.