Sir: Polly Toynbee ("The Relative value of mice and men", 10 December) invokes the pro-vivisection group Seriously Ill for Medical Research. This organisation was a response to an earlier-established group called Disabled Against Animal Research and Exploitation, whose members - many of whom are profoundly disabled - object to the use of animals on both moral and scientific grounds.

Ms Toynbee once more tries to characterise those of us who campaign for animal rights as bloodthirsty extremists when this movement is overwhelmingly peaceful and anti-violent. In fact, it is we on this side of the argument who have taken the serious knocks - three peaceful campaigners killed in recent years, many others having suffered broken limbs, harassment, death threats and so on.


Director, Animal Aid