Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 28 August 2014

Animal testing is both wrong and flawed

YOUR story about a possible medical breakthrough – 'Scientists pave way for pill to cure Alzheimer's' (Online, October 10) – misses a crucial fact.

Readers should be cautioned that, according to official Government figures, around 90% of drugs which pass trials in other species, such as mice, ultimately prove either unsafe or ineffective for humans.

Researchers often oversell the value of their work, but it is important for those of us with loved-ones afflicted by Alzheimer's, or who fear its onset ourselves, to stay grounded in reality.

The only certainty regarding animal research is that animals needlessly suffer and die.

Continuing to use a species that is very different in fundamental ways from our own – although not, unfortunately, in terms of the ability to feel pain – means continuing to rely on a fundamentally flawed scientific technique in an age of real technological and epidemiological breakthroughs.

BEN WILLIAMSON

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals

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