I have been following the debate in The Argus for and against animal testing. We who oppose animal testing are frequently accused of taking the position that there are not medical conditions in humans that can be replicated in animals. Animal models do occasionally get it right. One reason the germ theory of disease was accepted was that animals died when injected with bacteria. I do not believe that there are no medical conditions in which an animal could provide an adequate research or clinical analogue to a human. I do believe that because we cannot know which animal is like humans until we know how humans react to the drug, surgery, and so forth, then animal models are not predictive.

Though some may mimic the human condition, using them will do more harm than good.

Animal-model research is a deeply entrenched system that resists change because the status quo works in favour of animal researchers and the industry is built around them in terms of monetary gain, career advancement, personal ego and job security.

By educating people about animal-model research, as well as why it is perpetuated, we can bring pressure on lawmakers to re-examine the corrupt system through which research funds are distributed.

When more people begin to understand that human lives are lost every day because of scientists and corporate profiteers protecting their own interests, the seeds of change will be sown.

David Hammond, North Court, Hassocks