Science Should Look for Other Methods; Scientists versus Liberationists as the Laboratory Research Row Steps Up a Gear

Article excerpt

The British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection is totally opposed to the use of any animals in research.

'To say that animal experiments benefit every aspect of human and pet life is a standard response,' says Sarah Kite, the BUAV spokesman.

'What depresses us hugely is the apparent inertia among scientists in seeking alternatives to animal experimentation. Between 1998 and 1999, the UK Government put aside just pounds 259,000 to fund non-animal tests, a sum we regard as derisory.

'Our bottom line is that it's ethically wrong to use animals in experiments that could cause them pain and suffering, then put them down, but our objections go deeper than our thoughts on ethical matters.

'The simple fact is that animals are not mirrors of humans. An animal reaction is not a human reaction, therefore animal experimentation is a false path.

'Animals react as animals, not as people. It is well known that different species react differently to different substances. Because a product is safe for an animal doesn't mean it is safe for human use.

'It is an over-simplification to beg the old chestnut 'should a child or a rat die?'. Science isn't like that.

'That's emotional blackmail.

'The question to be asked is whether we progress with medical research in a humane and more applicable way by not using animals or do we continue down this path where appalling cruelty is inflicted on animals who, at the end of the day, aren't accurate human models at all? …