Cautious assertion

Published: Friday 30 September 2005

The bottomline: scientific res Over 700 scientists, including three Nobel Laureates, have signed the Declaration on Animals in Medical Research, drawn up by the uk Research Defence Society in support of humane animal research. The statement, also signed by 190 fellows of the Royal Society and Royal Colleges and 250 academic professors, says animal testing continues to benefit scientific research.

"...people enjoy a better quality of life because of advances made possible through medical research...A small but vital part of that work involves the use of animals," it says. However, in an apparent attempt to appease animal rights activists, the statement is more cautious than its 1990 version. It says the uk government's animal research policy is based on "replacement, refinement and reduction" and calls for more candidness from laboratories and better housing for animals. It came a day after Darley Oaks farm in Newchurch, Staffordshire, a target of activists, said it would stop breeding guinea pigs for respiratory diseases research.

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