Sir - Tony Augarde, in his review (December 1) of Adam Wishart's recent BBC2 documentary on animal experimentation Monkeys, Rats and Me was inclined to say 'A plague on both your houses' - understandably so, given the divisive way in which the media tends to present the issues.

In Wishart's film and in the Newsnight debate broadcast over the summer, the sides were represented by extreme positions: in both cases, the principals were Tipu Aziz, who experiments not just on animals but on primates (which, rightly or wrongly, is widely seen as more morally objectionable than experiments on lobsters or mice), and Mel Broughton, himself not a scientist but an activist, now a spokesman for the legal organisation SPEAK but an unrepentant perpetrator of violent acts in the past.

Why is the media so blind to intermediate positions?

Why not talk to scientists who are prepared to experiment on mice but would refuse to experiment on primates? Why not talk to scientists who are opposed on ethical grounds to all animal research and who believe that more University and Government money should go toward seeking humane alternatives to animal research (eg the Dr Hadwen Trust:

Why not talk to members of Oxford University who abhor violence and feel uncomfortable with the legal, but often confrontational, behaviour of some SPEAK members, but are opposed on ethical grounds to animal experimentation and would like a calm and rational discussion both of the science and of the ethics behind it (eg, VERO:

Katherine Morris, Mansfield College, Oxford