- The trial, if approved, will be the first use of human remains in police dog tests in the UK.
Amputated human legs could be used in experiments to see if they help police find human bodies for the first time in the UK.
According to the PA news agency, scientific trials will take place at Porton Down, the UK’s defense and medical research centre, next month.
The trials are expected to use lower limbs surgically removed and donated with their consent, from living hospitalized patients with conditions such as diabetes, to see if police cadaver dogs can distinguish between human and animal remains.
Dogs are often trained to search for bodies of missing people using pork, but experts believe there is a risk they may miss victims who would otherwise be found due to differences in their smells.
It is hoped that the use of real human meat could improve the ability of dogs to find people.
The tests will take place at the Porton Down research facility, near Salisbury, Wiltshire.
A police dog during the search for a missing person. Researchers hope the trials, if approved, will improve the canines’ ability to find human remains in searches for missing people.
The project will involve several police dog teams at the top-secret investigation site near Salisbury, Wiltshire, in October.
It is thought the canines will be offered a mixture of decomposed human and animal odor samples to test whether they can identify the difference.
Ethical approval from the Health Research Authority (HRA) is legally required for the research, commissioned by the Home Office, before it can begin.
The application is currently being reviewed by the agency and an update is expected in the coming days, an HRA spokeswoman said.
The HRA has been informed that the project has been reviewed by the Ministry of Defence’s research ethics committee, he added.
If successful, the trial could lead to changes in government policy on how police dogs are trained.
It comes as the National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC) is reviewing dog training practices.
A source told PA: “This is the first time research of this type has been carried out in the UK and could be groundbreaking if it shows that using human meat in training can help dogs find more victims.” missing.”
“The work even has the potential to pave the way for the country to have its first body farm.”
A corpse farm is a research center that studies the decomposition of human corpses.
There are several in the United States of America, one in Australia and one in the Netherlands (believed to be the only one in Europe), but so far none in the United Kingdom.
The NPCC said it would not comment on the project.
The Home Office and the regulator, the Human Tissue Authority, have been contacted for comment.
Porton Down is home to the Ministry of Defence’s Defense Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL), as well as a branch of the UK Health Security Agency.
The defense research center is heavily guarded and was once the epicenter of UK research into chemical agents for use in the First and Second World Wars.
Scientists there have samples of some of the world’s deadliest pathogens, including Ebola, anthrax and plague, and the center is home to a new vaccine development center that opened last month.