Animal Aid


Posted 21 March 2002
Brown rat. Photo by Iain Green

New report brands animal research a catastrophe for human medicine. Mass mail-out to science, medical and nursing colleges.

With the debate about the value of animal experiments at boiling point, Animal Aid this week publishes a major new report that focuses on the scientific shortcomings of the so-called 'animal model' of human diseases.

Copies of the new document, called Bred to Suffer - Animals as Models of Human Disease, are being sent to university libraries, medical schools, nursing colleges and specialist medical and science correspondents throughout Britain. Every MP will also receive a copy.

Based on an analysis of dozens of published scientific papers, Bred To Suffer looks at attempts to extract answers to conditions such as cancer, heart disease, arthritis, stroke, epilepsy and diabetes by subjecting thousands of animals in the UK each year to physical, chemical and genetic manipulation.

The Animal Aid report comes in the wake of a major pro-vivisection propaganda offensive by the lobby groups, the Research Defence Society and Seriously Ill for Medical Research. Their campaign has been backed by the Royal Society, and Science Minister, Lord Sainsbury, has also been vocal in his support for animal research.

While the pro-vivisection lobbyists seek to focus public attention on the 'thuggery' and 'extremism' of those who oppose the use of animals in laboratories, Animal Aid's new report concentrates strictly on the science. It provides fully referenced examples, from the medical literature, of a range of animal experiments, with assessments of their scientific validity and usefulness to clinical practice. It shows that, far from being a 'necessary evil', animal experiments are actually an obstacle to medical progress because the resulting data cannot be reliably applied to people.

In welcoming the Animal Aid report, Liberal Democrat animal welfare spokesman, Norman Baker MP, declared:

"Everyone who reads this meticulously-prepared report will be angered by the futility of so much animal research. The notion that mice are miniature people is a grossly simplistic one. Bred To Suffer highlights the fact that superior research methods are available right now and need to be appropriately funded and enthusiastically embraced by the scientific community."

Says Animal Aid science researcher and Bred to Suffer author, Kathy Archibald:

"The idea that animal experiments actually detract from human well-being is the dark secret that the research establishment dare not confront. If animal model systems not only kill animals, but also kill humans - as asserted by Dr. Irwin Bross, former director of the world's largest cancer research institute - it is little wonder that animal researchers would rather divert the public from examining the evidence."

View/download Bred to Suffer here.

Notes to Editors

  • More information from Kathy Archibald or Andrew Tyler on 01732 364546.
  • We have an ISDN line for broadcast-quality radio interviews.

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