MARCH 2006
As usual, the public on both sides of this argument are utterly confused.

Steve Richards is right that animal testing that involves cruelty should be stopped. In the UK most of it has been, hopefully soon all. Possibly all use of animals for testing that involoves their death, even if pain-relieved, should be stopped, but unfortunately that would simply mean that it would be done elswhere than in the UK, by people who did not follow such strict rules against cruel treatment. Therefore an international agreement should worked for, first, on how animals should be used - for the training of surgeons for instance, as unless we are to have all surgeons train on humans it will be difficult for them to learn the craft. The humans used instead might not be too enthusiastic

Animal rights activists who threaten or carry out violence against those acting within the current law, whatever it is, should be arrested, charged and if guilty imprisoned until judged not likely ever to offend again. Those guilty of only threats could be released provided they undertake to work publicly against violence and threatening. All those convicted should be tagged, on release, for a significant period and asked to report regularly to appropriate authorities during that period.

As for those marching in the streets, if anyone marches they should do so in favour of the above. They need to march only because none of these things are being done by elected governments, and they should be.

None of the above will be happen, of course, as humans are so obsessed with their own personal importance, even if they are genetically defective and insufferably boring, that if they or their children can be kept alive or out of pain, no matter how many animals are tortured in the process, they will put themselves first. At the moment there are too many humans and a shortage of some wild animals, and it is we who are the waste of space.

MAY 14 2006 - I sometimes wonder, but...

As you will read from the following, the PM supports animal testing. That is just as well as it is required by law. At the moment, drugs cannot be administered to humans unless they have been tested on animals. Of course we could abolish the law, or we could cease to demand endless new medicines to deal with our diseases. Most to the point we should be finding out if we are creating these diseases ourselves. It would seem that bird flu, for example, has been caused by the unhealthy management of domesticated and farmed birds. BSE and CJD was caused by the wrong management of cattle. MRS is entirely our own fault and the consequences of farming bacteria resistant to antibiotics are simply a just reward for idiocy. We live in unsuitable places, eat the wrong food or starve because there is none, fight over historical grieveances, argue over ideological theories we learn without understanding, procreate without aim or responsibility and consume the earth's resources because we are ever more and ever wanting more. GROWTH is the ony way we know to get round our mismanagement of human affairs, and growth without regard to the consequencs is mismanagement itself.  All this should start to sink in eventually now we have global communications and multiple access and input potential. Simplistic idealism and fundamentalist pressure groups on all sides are part of the problem. The animal rights extremists are utterly wrong and do not hep their cause. Those who believe endlessly evolving drugs are the key to the better future are just as crazy, though we can hardly blame our chemists from trying to produce them when the public demands and government tells the public they have the right to whatever treatment can be devised.

Blair pledges support for animal testing

  Sunday May 14, 01:15 PM

LONDON (Reuters) - Prime Minister Tony Blair declared his support for the country's key drugs industry on Sunday by announcing he would sign an online petition supporting the use of animals for medical research.

Blair said he was making the unusual move to show how important he felt it was that "as many people as possible stand up against the tiny group of extremists threatening medical research and advances in this country".

His break with tradition -- petitions are normally handed to prime ministers, not signed by them -- follows a week when animal rights activists threatened drug company shareholders and four other animal rights militants were jailed for 40 years.

The prime minister will join 14,000 other people who have signed the People's Petition, launched last month by the Coalition for Medical Progress, a broad alliance of drug companies, medical bodies, scientists and charities.

The petition says it "gives a voice to the silent majority of people in Britain who want to show their support for medical research using animals in the UK".

Last week four animal rights militants were jailed for a total of 40 years for a six year campaign of intimidation that culminated in the desecration of the grave of a woman whose family bred guinea pigs for medical research.

On Tuesday drugs firm GlaxoSmithKline secured a rare High Court injunction against an unknown group of animal rights activists to stop them publicising the names of its shareholders.

The campaigners had threatened to publish on a Web site the names and addresses of private shareholders who refused to sell their shares in the company, Europe's biggest drugsmaker.

Blair, writing in the Sunday Telegraph, said the targeting of GlaxoSmithKline shareholders "shows why we must support and protect individuals and companies engaged in life-saving medical research."

"There is no alternative for the foreseeable future to using animals if we are to see the full benefits of scientific advances," he added.

The National Anti-Vivisection Society (NAVS) condemned Blair's support for the animal testing petition, calling it "hugely irresponsible".

"This petition is being run by an extremist group of vested interests representing a very narrow area of medical research," said Jan Creamer, NAVS chief executive.

Drugs research is one of the country's most important industries but the country is also host to some of the world's most vociferous animals rights groups.

A quarter of the world's top 100 medicines were discovered in Britain, although the country accounts for less than 4 percent of the global drug market.