LETTER: Cruelty to animals in medical reserach labs

A NEW Animal Aid report describes how the research programme to tackle major human diseases by breeding and experimenting on genetically modified mice is resulting in terrible and pointless animal suffering.

Epilepsy mouse “models” have seizures triggered by having acid injected into their abdomens, with some of them dying from uninterrupted fitting. In lung disease studies, mice are locked in chambers and forced to inhale tobacco smoke.

For depression studies, mice are dropped into beakers of water and monitored for several minutes as they move from frantic attempts to save themselves from drowning to despair, defeat and immobility. Those responsible for such terrible suffering argue it’s worthwhile because the “reprogrammed” rodents can teach us about human disease.

But the report, “Science Corrupted: the nightmare world of GM mice” demonstrates that while mice have the capacity to feel pain and fear, the genetic and physiological differences between rodents and our own species are far too great for them to act as reliable human substitutes in disease research.

To read the report and watch a short film containing footage of some of the experiments described in it, go to www.animalaid.org.uk/GMmice or contact Animal Aid on 01732 364546.

ANDREW TYLER

Animal Aid,

Tonbridge