Animal testing outdated

Ann Baldwin's article (Science & Environment, 27 October) on measures that might reduce animal testing's unreliability and irrelevance is a classic case of trying to repair a piece of rusty old machinery that really needs scrapped.

According to the US Food and Drug Administration, more than 90 per cent of drugs that pass animal trials fail in humans. Animals will never make effective models for medical research because even the smallest physiological differences can confound attempts to extrapolate results to humans.

Modern research into the mechanisms of disease in humans represents the future - not patching up this outdated and cruel Victorian technology.

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ALISTAIR CURRIE, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), Southwark Street, London