Animal researchers are responsible for the deaths of thousands of men, women and children every year; they are also directly responsible for a massive amount of human and and animal suffering.
It is impossible to say precisely how many animals are abused, tortured, maimed and killed every year in the name of science. Altogether the total number of animals used around the world is probably somewhere in the region of 250 billion a year.
Evidence shows that approximately three quarters of all animal experiments are conducted without any anaesthetic at all.
The people who do animal experiments frequently claim that the results they obtain can be used to help patients. The simple fact is that there are some fairly dramatic differences between a human being and a laboratory cat, dog, monkey or mouse. In addition, many of the diseases which kill or cripple human beings do not affect any other members of the animal kingdom. For example, arthritis, multiple sclerosis and high blood pressure all commonly affect human beings but do not occur anywhere else in the animal kingdom. The type of tuberculosis which affects people is very different from the type that is produced artificially in animals. The cancers which affect human patients are quite different from the cancers which affect mice.
There are massive differences too in the ways that drugs affect other members of the animal kingdom. Penicillin kills cats and guinea pigs, but can save human beings from death by infection. Aspirin can kill cats too, whereas arsenic, which is dangerous to human beings, does not have anything like the same effect when given to rats, mice or sheep. Steroids damage mice in a way that they do not affect people.
The differences are endless, and doctors now believe that by testing new products and procedures on animals, research scientists are endangering human lives.
Relying on animal tests means that new products which are thought to be safe are mass marketed far too quickly. New and untried drugs and procedures are tested on vast numbers of people on the basis of "safe animal tests'' so that companies can make massive profits quickly.
Instead of testing drugs and chemicals on mice and rabbits, scientists can already use human cells grown in the laboratory. Back in 1976, for example, the World Health Organization gave its approval for the use of cell cultures to replace mice during the production of vaccines, while drug companies which have made the financial and intellectual effort needed to switch to culture testing have found that they can test far more substances more efficiently than they could when using animals.
America's Food and Drug Administration has produced a "test bed" made of human muscle tissue cells which can be used reliably to test anti cancer drugs.
Thirty scientists working at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in America have already designed a computer program meant to duplicate the complex physiological systems of the human body. Their program makes it possible for scientists to make remarkably accurate predictions and for doctors to learn about diseases and treatments.
A survey conducted this spring among 500 British GPS and hospital doctors showed that 88 per cent don't trust animal experiments because of different reactions between animals and humans.
If you agree, act now. Send a copy of this article to your MP. Bombard every newspaper you read and every TV station you watch with letters complaining about the use of animals in experiments.
Together we can stop animal experiments which is needlessly killing them and killing us too.
Excerpted from Dr. Coleman's latest book, Why Animal Experiments Must Stop and How You Can Help Stop Them (Green Print, 10 Malden Road, London NW5 3HR; lb4.99).