Sir: Dr Hillman asserts that there is no substitute for a living organism in the production of mono-clonal antibodies (letter, 18 December). In the UK, the mouse was the animal almost invariably used for this purpose. However, in a November 1997 statement, the government announced that the use of mice to produce mono-clonal antibodies would no longer be allowed unless exceptional justification could be provided. In vitro methods of production are to be used instead.
British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection