The Good Dr. Kirby writes direct from his lab:
Home Office statistics released this week reveal that the number of animal experiments conducted in Britain has hit a 15-year high. There were over 3 million animal experiments started in 2006, making Britain the biggest animal tester in the EU. This contradicts Labour’s pledge to reduce vivisection and fund replacement non-animal research.
News of the surge in animal experiments coincides with a withering criticism of the failings of government legislation that was supposed to minimise the use and suffering of animals in medical research.
The criticism comes from the scientist father of cabinet minister Ed Balls. Michael Balls, emeritus professor at Nottingham University, has urged an immediate review of the way animal experiments are licensed. He has criticised the government for granting scientists permission to conduct animal research even when the medical benefits are in doubt. Professor Balls wants more investment in alternative technologies that can safely and reliably obviate the need for vivisection.
The latest statistics declared by each EU member state reveal the top three countries involved in animal experiments. Britain is No 1, with 3,010,000 experiments (2006), followed by Germany with 2,412,678 (2005) and France with 2,325,398 (2004).
That’s because the UK does LOTS of GOOD SCIENCE.
See Fig.1 from this: http://www.dfes.gov.uk/hegateway/strategy/hestrategy/need.shtml
I could vivisect the rest, but it wouldn’t give me any new knowledge.
This man is not a scientist. He does not understand how working scientists feel about carrying out animal-based research. And he clearly does not have the brains to understand why basic research is carried out and is essential in the first place. I would not be so presumptuous as to write an article denouncing the merits of anal sex and equal rights legislation, and I wish Tatchell had kept his promiscuous pen (http://commentisfree.guardian.co.uk/peter_tatchell/index.html) OUT of my field of expertise.
He bleats about ‘genetically-modified animals’, pathetically trying to conjure images of FrankenMouse, but I can GUARANTEE that he would not be able to explain to me what constitutes a genetically modified animal under home office rules, or why they are required, or for what purposes they may be used, or what insights they might bring.
He claims to understand HIV medicine and drug generation, stating that their development was computer based. Yet he fails to comprehend that the computer models are based largely on animal research and testing is often carried out in primates and great apes. He does not grasp that without the animal models we would not understand the progression of HIV infection, which receptors to target, which cells are required… and none of the test-tube work would be comprehensible or translatable into an infectious human system.
When I meet a leather-free vegan with no domesticated pets who refuses any drug or product or surgical procedure that has ever been developed with the aid of animal-based data and has made a significant contribution to basic human science without ‘standing on the shoulders of mice’, then I’ll listen to their opinion on ‘vivisection’.
And THERE is a misused term, in it’s literal sense. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vivisection
I know that almost no real ‘vivisection’ is carried out nowadays. You cannot get a license to do it, as there is little new that it can teach us. And that’s the way it should be.
And now look, I’ve wasted precious research time on this middle-brow idiot’s sneering moralistic self-righteous soul-salving misunderstandings. Right, where’s my scalpel?