I RESENT our taxes being used to fund useless animal studies. UK universities have now spent £10m to research the harmful effects of ecstasy, cocaine, cannabis and amphetamines.

How's that going to help human health? After all, the rats and mice used in the experiments differ so very much from us humans, both physiologically and mentally. It is clear that our hard-earned money is being squandered.

To quote the anti-vivisection group Peta (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals): "Observing interactions in animals is no guarantee that the information can be extrapolated to humans.

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"Different species of animals vary enormously in their reactions to toxins and diseases and in their metabolism of drugs. For example, a dose of aspirin that is therapeutic in humans is poisonous to cats and has no effects on fever in horses; benzene causes leukaemia in humans, but not in mice; insulin produces birth defects in animals, but not in humans, and so on.

"Animal experiments cannot replace careful clinical observation of human beings."

Surely public money should be invested in more meaningful research, such as human cell and tissue cultures and complex computer models.

Aled Jones, Bridlington, East Yorkshire