THE debate about animal testing for medical research is a complex one. Many of us have probably used products that have been tested on animals. We are living in the 21st century and it is a time for change.

Animals of different species react differently to chemicals, drugs and toxins. Animal tests do not accurately predict what will happen in humans, only what will happen in that species of animal.

Official statistics show a nine per cent increase of experimented animals last year to about four million animals – despite successive governments stating they will reduce research on animals.

Animal Aid published a report which it claimed highlighted charity-funded tests that caused appalling suffering. Sixty-six charities were identified as using public donations to fund animal research. Most of us would not want to inflict suffering on another creature.

Halting animal testing does not mean halting medical progress as there are many alternatives.

PAM TREADWELL, Dodgson Road, Cowley, Oxford