Distortion by denial

January 7, 2005

Why does The Times Higher print letters from antivivisectionist groups such as the British Union of Antivivisectionists that deny the efficacy of animal experimentation in alleviating human suffering (Letters, December 24/31)?

Their arguments are the intellectual equivalent of Holocaust denial. Denying the extent to which animal research has benefited medicine, veterinary sciences and human knowledge can easily be refuted by examining the evidence. The mountain of scientific data reporting the outcome of biomedical research, as well as data reporting the limitations of such research in particular circumstances, weighs heavily in favour of animal research for the foreseeable future. Anyone who denies this is distorting the truth and leading others to a similarly distorted conclusion.

David McAlpine
Reader in auditory neuroscience
University College London

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