LETTER : Amber for animal welfare

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The Independent Online
Sir: Joyce D'Silva writes (Letters, 12 March) that the Nuffield Council on Bioethics has given a "green light for pig-human organ transplants".

In fact, Professor Albert Weale, the chairman of the council's working party on xenotransplantation, summed up the message as "Proceed, but proceed with caution, always paying attention to the highest standards of patient care and animal welfare." In terms of traffic lights, this is perhaps more like the flashing amber on a pelican crossing.

If Joyce D'Silva and Compassion in World Farming examine the report, they will find that Chapter 5 contains detailed discussion and recommendations for action to promote the welfare of transgenic pigs that may be used for transplantation.

David Shapiro

Executive Secretary

Nuffield Council on Bioethics

London WC1