I WAS shocked to read the Government’s new figures for animal experiments in the UK.

They show that the number of experiments rose last year by 68,100 to nearly four million: that’s more than 10,000 animals every single day.

Animals in laboratories are poisoned to death, they have chemicals rubbed into their skin or dripped into their eyes and they are made to inhale smoke or toxic fumes. Others are surgically damaged, given cancer and infected with viruses. Most are given no anaesthetic at all.

As well as being cruel, animal experiments are unreliable and even dangerously misleading when researchers try to relate the results to treating human disease.

Therefore, we need to end vivisection, and focus instead on non-animal techniques, including epidemiology, microdosing, computer modelling and the use of tissue cultures. The results are directly applicable to human patients.

One way in which all of us can show our support for humane non-animal research is by donating to medical research charities that exclusively fund those techniques - and avoiding charities that also fund vivisection. A list of both types of charity can be obtained free of charge from Animal Aid by calling 01732- 364546 or emailing info@animalaid.org.uk.

Richard Mountford, Animal Aid.