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Ignore the misinformed tree-huggers over animal testing

Published 27/01/2016

Your shocking headline - 'Animals subjected to 20,000 lab tests in a year' (News, January 22) draws attention to the current state of medical and scientific research in our universities.

As a former scientist carrying out laboratory tests on animals, can I say how shocked and disappointed I was to learn that there were only 20,000 tests per year.

It should be 30,000-40,0000 if we are to push back the boundaries of medicine and science faster.

The bleating of the Green Party's Steven Agnew is obviously appealing to his idealistic and healthy minority supporters.

Any of us in this country who have benefited from antibiotics, chemotherapy for cancers, stents for artery disease, implanted devices for heart disease, surgery for cancer, burns treatment, dementia drugs, diabetes drugs, or stem cell treatments (among many others) owe the success of all of these therapies to preliminary trials on animals or harvested animal cells to prove efficacy and safety. There is no other safe way.

Animals used in research are treated with respect and dignity and the process is tightly regulated.

With epidemics of Alzheimer's disease, prostate, gut and breast cancer heading our way, we do not need the process of research slowed down or halted by misinformed tree-huggers.

Funding for basic research must be increased if we are to face these health challenges in our lifetimes. Steven Agnew's populist comments are simplistic and unhelpful.

OBSERVER

Lisburn, Co Antrim

Belfast Telegraph

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