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Stop Animal Exploitation NOW!
S. A. E. N.
"Exposing the truth to wipe out animal experimentation"

Articles and Reports

Military Experiments -- The War on Animals


            The Department of Defense (DOD) is one of the most infamous abusers of animals in laboratories, and was the subject of congressional investigative hearings in the early nineties.  While minor changes have led to increased accessibility to information (there is not an internet accessible database of DOD animal research projects), independent oversight has not increased.  The USDA, the federal agency required to enforce the Animal Welfare Act within U.S. laboratories, does not have the authority to inspect facilities owned by other federal agencies.  This leaves the animals totally at the mercy of the very individuals who are experimenting upon them.

            Recently leaked government reports have given us a look inside the labs of the DOD, and what we have found is very disturbing.  DOD labs subject animals to radiation, laser injuries, microwaves and chemical weapons.  

            The currently available information is incomplete because it does not contain data relevant to several of the DODís largest labs including the Armed Forces Radiobiological Research Institute, Walter Reed Army Hospital and Fort Detrick.  In the past these facilities collectively used over 100,000 animals per year in some of the DODís cruelest experiments.

One of the facilities which we know the most about is the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) at Brooks Air Force Base in San Antonio, TX.  AFRL use of animals in experimentation has long been a cause for concern due to the types of experiments performed as well as the extremely long term nature of the projects involved. 

2004 experiments at AFRL utilized 2091 animals including dogs, rabbits, pigs, monkeys (rhesus and other species), mice, frogs, rats, and snakes.  907 (43.4%) of these animals were used in painful experiments without benefit of anesthesia.  This may be the highest level of experiments with unrelieved pain of any laboratory in the U.S.  Fifteen of the animals experiencing unrelieved pain were dogs, five were primates, 685 were mice, and 202 were rats.

The type of experimentation conducted at Brooks AFB clearly reveals the reason for the highly painful nature of these protocols.  DOD information discusses the use of primates in projects involving laser injuries, microwaves and radiation.  Pigs are used in munitions research and wound research.  Rabbits and guinea pigs are used in radiation research.  Rabbits are also used in microwave experiments.  The nature of these experiments clearly reveals why AFRL is probably the most painful lab in the nation.

The DOD Biomedical Research Database reveals that the AFRL receives $5,359,870 per year in funding for 34 separate projects.  These research projects do not appear to be unique in nature.  Medical literature searches on the pubmed website, which is used to search medical journal articles, shows that many of the projects at the Air Force Research Laboratory are potentially duplicative.  This website lists citations for 1717 research projects involving radiation in macaque monkeys.  This same website lists 3546 publications that examine wounds in pigs.   While Brooks is among the only labs currently studying laser eye injuries in macaque monkeys, other labs studied this area dating back to the 1970ís.  Similarly, microwaves have been studied at other military labs and in other research facilities.  The researchers at AFRL are in the business of producing protocols in areas that are already being investigated thoroughly by other researchers.           

            Documents obtained from the Air Force and Government databases illustrate that the protocols at Brooks AFB appear to be very long lived.  Experiments which are similar (if not identical) to current experiments date back into the late 1990ís and beyond.  How much longer will these experiments be allowed to continue?  How many more animal lives will be swallowed up by experiments that have already spanned decades and wasted millions of tax dollars?  At a time when US military personnel have to pay for their own equipment (i.e. Kevlar vests) it is absolutely criminal to waste over $5 million per year on unnecessary experiments.

            Other laboratories owned by the Department of Defense also use large numbers of animals.  Fort Bragg in North Carolina uses over 2700 animals per year in medical training programs.  The Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences in Maryland uses over 800 animals in similar procedures.



            Please write to your legislators to ask for more independent oversight of Military labs, and an investigation of DOD experiments for redundancy.  You can obtain the contact information for your elected representatives at:


www.house.gov              www.senate.gov


See Printable PDF Chart 2004 DOD Animal Experiments

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