Philosophy > Animal Testing > Anti-Viv Index

Doctor's group condemns vivisection

10 May 2005.

Sir, - Michael Ardron (Letters, May 6) has been misinformed.
     Animal tests were not responsible for the polio vaccine or any of the breakthroughs he mentions. Dr Albert Sabin, who invented the polio vaccine, swore under oath that the vaccine "was long-delayed by misleading experimental models of the disease in monkeys." Penicillin was delayed for years by misleading experiments in rabbits - and would have been abandoned if it had been tested on guinea pigs, which it kills. Sir Alexander Fleming himself said: "How fortunate we didn't have these animal tests in the 1940s, for penicillin would probably never have been granted a licence, and possibly the whole field of antibiotics might never have been realised."
     Today, animal tests continue to hinder medical progress. For example, hormone replacement therapy increases women's risk of
heart disease and stroke, though monkeys predicted the opposite. Adverse reactions to prescription medicines - all tested for
safety on animals - are the fourth biggest killer in the western world.

KATHY ARCHIBALD Director, Europeans for Medical Progress

11 May 2005
Letters: Computers point way forward.

JIM EADIE (Letters, May 10) says it would be too risky to give new drugs to people based on computer simulations. Actually, it would be less risky than the current procedure, where drugs move straight from animal tests into human volunteers. Nobody is suggesting replacing animals with computers alone but rather with a battery of human-based tests, including virtual metabolism simulators, sophisticated tests in human tissues, toxicogenetic studies using human DNA chips and safe, effective human microdose studies.
Together, these methods would protect consumers far better than animals do. The scandalous death rate from drug side-effects would plummet, to the great benefit of the pharmaceutical industry as well as their customers.


The misleading evidence from animal experiments:
-kills 106,000 Americans every year (290 per day)
-kills more UK citizens than cancer
-kills and permanently injures 70,000 people in the UK every year
-causes thousands of birth defects every year - which are now running at rates over 300 times those from the 1940s.