Animal experiment industry's scare tactics based on illogical nonsense

Animal researchers are, as usual, raising the spectre of research migrating to countries with poor welfare standards if animal protection is improved in Europe (your report, 15 January). This is unsupported by evidence and illogical in principle.

The European Commission, when researching revision of the law, found wage differentials, not animal welfare laws, were the primary driver of companies' decisions to relocate. Indeed, such a momentous decision is likely to be based on a whole raft of complex fiscal and socio-economic issues. But in any event, animal researchers always claim animal protection is important to them and they welcome the relatively higher (though still wholly inadequate) standards in this country.

If companies did decide to relocate their research, there would be nothing to prevent them from maintaining those standards in the new location.

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The proposed new law is defective, but not for these reasons. It represents an improvement on current legislation in certain respects, but it would still allow severe suffering to be inflicted; primates could still be used (a particular issue in Scotland); experiments would still be needlessly repeated; there would still be far too much secrecy; animals would still be able to be used for research into weapons, tobacco, alcohol and washing-up liquids, in cruel psychology tests and just about anything else one cares to mention; and, crucially, there is no strategy to coax research towards increasing use of non-animal alternatives, which everyone says they want to see.

We believe the Scottish public will want to see animal protection strengthened, not weakened, as the animal research industry appears to want.


Chief executive, British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection

Crane Grove


Now animal extremists are being urged to keep quiet over vivisection in case their opposition could ultimately lead to worse treatment of animals as research is pushed overseas to countries which care little for the creatures they experiment on. This same nonsense comes from the dark side of the British intensified farming industry.

Once a creature finds itself caged in any closely guarded, windowless laboratory here or anywhere else, its fate is sealed, none of the mangled specimens will ever emerge alive or experience any semblance of animal welfare, which, in any case, could not be applied in such conditions. So why pull the wool over people's eyes? There is no reliable record of the numbers involved, but it's estimated to be in the thousands every day in Britain alone.

Many eminent medical personnel view animal experimentation with horror, considering it futile, dangerous and a waste of time and money, actually impeding the advance of medicine as results based on it are unreliable. However, animal extremists can do more harm than good. We can learn much from animals simply by observing, not butchering them.


High Street West


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