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Re: Fwd: Animals in research...

Dear Pierre,

you are of course quite right that this is a loaded question. In addition,
the British media give a lot of air time to nutters who paint a very
distorted picture of animal research, both with respect to it's methods and
the amount of suffering these cause, as well as with respect to the
usefulness of the research. The sad thing is that many in the UK are
hesitant to do what you (senisbly) suggest, because they fear that they
may, by way of reply, get incendiary devices in their mail and paint
stripper poured over their vehicles, or threatening letters to their
families. Only a few weeks ago the head of a UK animal research facility
was attacked by masked ALF terrorists and beaten up with baseball bats. In
fact, some colleagues of mine have declined to vote on that web site
because they are worried that the BBC might be infiltrated by ALF
terrorists who collect information about where the votes in favour of
continued animal research come from. Paranoid? Perhaps, but sadly, there
are some anti-vivisectionists in the UK who are as vicious as they are
misguided, and who are quite capable of very irrational and threatening
behaviour. Thankfully the number of extremists is not enormous, so they
only have the resources to target a small number of individuals at a time
for their intimidation campaigns. Still, it a remarkably effective tactic,
because very few scientists in the UK now have the guts to go on TV and put
the record straight on animal experimentation, for fear they may be singled
out by the ALF. With that background, it's easy for them to deliberately
misinform the public, and distort and manipulate the debate.
The UK has probably the strictest animal welfare legislation in the world.
Animal welfare standards in research in the UK are very high, and it's
simply not true that animals are "routinely tortured". On that basis, I
voted in support of continued animal experimentation (and I hope you will
too, and persuade your friends and colleagues to do the same), but be aware
that there is some risk involved in sticking your neck out.



At 16:03 21/03/01 -0800, you wrote:
>Why does that web site equate animal research with vivisection? Is not the
>question, posed that way, heavily loaded? Isn't there a way to tell
>somebody on that link to go home and grow up?
>Pierre Divenyi
>Pierre Divenyi, Ph.D.      Speech and Hearing Research (151)
>                                      V.A. Medical Center, Martinez, CA
>94553, USA
>Phone: (925) 370-6745
>Fax:     (925) 228-5738
>E-mail :                       pdivenyi@marva4.ebire.org
Dr. Jan Schnupp
Oxford University, Laboratory of Physiology, Parks Road, Oxford OX1 3PT, U.K.
Tel (+44-1865) 272 513  Fax (+44-1865) 272 469