DAVID Scott’s letter (View Points, September 4) goes a long way to exposing the perverse world-view of some animal rights activists.

In his letter he cites the opposition of Professors Sir George Pickering and John Ruskin, but neglects to mention they died in 1980 and 1900 respectively and may well have revised their views on animal experimentation if they could have seen the billions of human and animal lives it later saved. Pickering’s quote that “no fundamental truths revealed by laboratory experiments on animals of a lower kind when applied to the problem of a sick patient” was later shown to be 100 per cent incorrect as it was revealed that we share most of the same genes with animals. He should have known better anyway as, by that time, insulin had already been discovered using dogs.

By 2012, thousands of fundamental truths have been revealed by laboratory experiments on animals of a lower kind when applied to the problem of a sick patient. Animal research is conducted for the benefit of both humans and animals. While I realise that Animal Aid take a very dim view of Oxfordians who have the temerity to own a pet cat or dog, we would surely be failing in our duty of care if we were not to have them vaccinated. Those vaccines are tested, unsurprisingly, on animals.

However, merely having power over smaller animals does not automatically generate a moral duty of care. I have visions of animal activists berating a cat for catching a mouse or a bear for catching a salmon. While no animal should suffer needlessly, it is bizarre that Mr Scott sees people trying to cure cancer as “ugly-minded”, or vegetarianism as being in any way natural. Given that some 90 per cent of experiments are deemed ‘mild’ or ‘moderate’ by the Home Office, and the ‘experiments’ are usually no more harsh than administering an injection, Mr Scott is really saying that he wouldn’t give a rat an injection which did it no lasting harm in order to save a sick human or animal. Does anyone really agree with that?


Portland Road