• Question: in your experiments etc, which would you put first: a scientific break through, or saving an animal from being brutally killed?

    Asked by sophielovescaroluslinnaeus to laurenceharwood on 16 Mar 2012.
    • Photo: Laurence Harwood

      Laurence Harwood answered on 16 Mar 2012:

      That’s a bit of an extreme situation. If the breakthrough were to save human lives I am afraid I would have to go for it even if it did mean some laboratory animals died. However “brutal” treatment is simply not permitted. It is a very tricky subject but what if killing a rat meant one of you family lived? It is the way we go about the research that counts and the pharmaceutical industry is doing its best to reduce the use of animals – but they have to be sure potential medicines are likely not to be harmful before trying them on human volunteers.