I AM replying to Pamela St Clair’s reply to Sheila English’s letter (July 17) “There is more cruelty to animals taking place behind closed doors.”

Ms St Clair confidently states that “Standing in the rain with cold hands and feet, will not help humans with diseases”. She also seems to believe that you should not hold opinions about animal experimentation unless you have been in a lab or have witnessed animal research firsthand.

Is she aware that section 24 of the Animal Scientific Procedures act is used to bar public access to the details of animal testing?

Ms St Clair also omits to mention that under Home Office guidelines, animal researchers are permitted to inflict mild, moderate or severe pain to sentient creatures. Indeed Oxford University has itself been granted licenses which permit the infliction of “severe suffering” on primates.

No one, including the SPEAK protesters, is against research that may help humans and non-humans alike. However, Ms St Clair should be reminded that no government has yet commissioned an independent evaluation of the efficacy of animal research against non-animal methodologies.

And to accuse SPEAK, or any other anti-vivisection organisation, of neglecting cruelty cases like the Russell’s is disingenuous.

Welford Road