I was disappointed by your lukewarm report of the Newsnight debate on the use of animals in experiments (Oxford Mail, July 28).

It stated that "Mike Robins used his own affliction (Parkinson's disease) in an attempt to show the benefits of Tipu Aziz's research".

The 'deep brain' stimulation technique pioneered by Mr Aziz stops the debilitating trembling that prevents Parkinson's sufferers from leading normal lives.

The only views quoted in the report were those of Mel Broughton, one of the leading animal protesters, who asked: "Are animals the best model for cures for human diseases? Animals are not people, they never have been, they never can be the best way of moving forward."

Of course, animals are not people, but they are living organisms and it is for this reason that, under very strict Home Office regulations, scientists are allowed to use them to test drugs and surgical techniques which alleviate human suffering.

When there is a breakthrough in medical research, or a new drug is developed, the public should be told how much animal testing was involved.

Then people could make an informed decision about their treatment in hospital or the medicines they take.

I cannot understand why the animal rights lobby targets the life saving use of animals (99 per cent of which are rats and mice) in medical research, when millions of larger animals are used, or misused, every day, in the meat industry. After all, it is perfectly possible to live a healthy life on a vegetarian diet.

THERESA FRAYN, Ramsay Road Headington, Oxford