Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 30 October 2014

Some research using animals is still necessary

ISOBEL Hutchinson (Write Back, July 16) criticises the failure to "reduce the number of animals used in research" in response to the Government's annual release of the animal research statistics.

This is confused, as the statistics show that the number of animals used in 2013 was 15,552 less than the preceding year.

By law, animal research can only be approved where non-animal alternatives are deemed unsuitable.

Research on animals in 2013 has led to a new gene therapy for haemophilia A in dogs, and nerve grafts allowing additional movement to rats with spinal injuries. Both breakthroughs offer a real hope to alleviate human suffering.

If we wish to continue to develop and improve treatments for diseases in humans and animals, then we must continue to conduct carefully regulated research on animals.

TOM HOLDER

Understanding Animal Research

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