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Gulf War: Causes of Animal Deaths

The Countess of Mar asked Her Majesty's Government:

Earl Howe: As stated previously on this subject, it is to be expected that animals will die in any conflict, and this was so in the Gulf. The local nomadic bedouin

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herded both sheep and camels which normally grazed within the war zone on both sides of the border. As to the causes of death in those animals found, it is the opinion of the veterinary officer who was with the British forces that the deaths were caused by starvation, battle casualties or Iraqi and local culling. Samples from dead animals were sent back to the Edinburgh Veterinary School and Tropical Medicine Centre and all were found to have died of natural causes or such things as eating vehicle batteries. There was no evidence of death by nerve gas.

Gulf Veterans: Incidence of Cancer

The Countess of Mar asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What incidence of cancer has been recorded in military personnel involved in Operation Granby and in Ministry of Defence employees who handled equipment and materials during and after the conflict.

Earl Howe: Records currently indicate that 480 Gulf veterans have been diagnosed with cancer while still serving. Records for veterans who have left the services and for Ministry of Defence employees are not held centrally.

The Countess of Mar asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they will contact Gulf veterans' organisations and legal advisers to establish the incidence of cancer in veterans.

    Whether they intend to initiate research into the incidence of cancer in military personnel and Ministry of Defence employees; and, if so, whether they will involve research institutes with specialised epidemiological knowledge and interest in this area.

Earl Howe: The Medical Research Council has called for research proposals into all aspects of Gulf War illness and will consider any proposal relating to the incidence of cancer. The Ministry of Defence, in conjunction with the Office for National Statistics, is currently establishing arrangements to monitor the health records of Gulf veterans to ascertain the incidence of cancer among this group.

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