No defence for lab animals

PUBLISHED : Monday, 13 September, 1999, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 13 September, 1999, 12:00am

I write in reply to Dr K. S. Lo's letter 'Animal experiments subject to board approval' (South China Morning Post, September 2).

He skilfully paints a rosy picture of what is in fact a horrific state of affairs. The university 'ethical' committees were set up more to deflect public criticism than to improve the lot of the wretched animals.

How can it be seen to be otherwise when the proceedings are secret and the majority of members active vivisectionists? There needs to be far more openness and public involvement in the decision-making process.

In addition, as Dr Lo admits, there is much vivisection carried out that never even comes before these inadequate committees.

Other species may not be our equals in intellect or manual dexterity but many are our equals in their ability to suffer. I appeal to the appropriate government departments to draw up new legislation to protect those least able to defend themselves.