The animal lab issue is one that tends towards more heat than light, and there are difficult balances to be made between life-saving drugs and animal rights, civil rights and keeping the peace.

Gillian Whitty (Oxford Mail, June 16) is right that not enough has been done to explore future replacements for animal experiments, but I agree with Edward Woollard (Oxford Mail, May 27) that until that happens, there is a compelling case for medical research that saves human lives or relieves human suffering.

It is also the case that as long as we are willing to use drugs developed thanks to animal research, we should keep that research in Britain where we can always rigorously regulate it, rather than send it abroad.

As a longstanding opponent of both fox hunting and cosmetic testing, I can see why some people disagree with my support for the lab. Their right to protest peacefully is sacrosanct, but that protest should never slip over into intimidation and harassment.

For people who live and work in my ward, the regular use of megaphones did just that.

Richard Huzzey (Councillor), Holywell Ward, Oxford City Council