Letter: Vivisection views

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The Independent Culture
Sir: It is a relief that someone as eminent as Professor Stephen Hawking has defended the current need for vivisection ("Hawking defends tests on animals", 7 September). It is extremely unfortunate that no real alternative exists.

I once asked a vegan friend whether he used medicines (because inevitably they had been tested on animals). He told me that he didn't if they were recent additions to the market. When I asked what he would do if his young son had a disease that was fatal unless a new drug under trial was given, he admitted that he would want his son to live.

The problem of vivisection will not go away overnight but violence against scientists who are devoting their life to the advancement of medicine will not solve anything.

SARAH HUNTER

Diggle, Greater Manchester

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