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Army to stop animal nerve-agent tests

WASHINGTON, Oct. 14 (UPI) -- Bowing to pressure from animal rights groups and a congressman, the U.S. Army said it would phase out a program of testing nerve agents on animals.

At Aberdeen Proving Ground in Harford County, Md., the Army has been injecting monkeys with a nerve-blocking drug meant to create symptoms of a nerve gas attack to train Army personnel how to respond to a chemical attack on troops, The Washington Post reported Thursday.

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Rep. Roscoe G. Bartlett, R-Md., who urged the Army to end the testing, said he was told by Army officials the program would end by the end of the year.

The Army said it would replace animal testing with trained actors, computer simulations and life-like mannequins.

"The Army is committed to providing its healthcare providers with the best possible training while reducing reliance" on animals, Army spokesman Michael Elliott said in a statement.

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