Vital vivisection

October 1, 2004

Kathy Archibald and Gillian Russell (Letters, September 17 and 24) show gritty determination not to allow overwhelming scientific evidence, public opinion and the findings of the House of Lords' Select Committee on Animals in Scientific Procedures to get in the way of antivivisectionist views.

Some 90 per cent of the British public support the humane use of animals in medical research, according to a MORI poll. The select committee stated: "There is at present a continued need for animal experimentation." I believe The Lancet reflects the views of medical practitioners better than a flawed poll of GPs carried out by an antivivisectionist group. It said on September 4: "The use of animals in medical research and safety testing is a vital part of the quest to improve human health."

We need more information on what scientists do in their research and why, and we need a well-informed and open debate. We're unlikely to achieve this while the views of antivivisectionists - based on half-truths and unsubstantiated statements - appear in the media unchallenged.

Ted Griffiths
The Biomedical Research Education Trust, London

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