LETTER: Cloning a nightmare for sheep - and farmers

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Sir: Professor Albert Weal's comment (report, 7 March) that "xenotransplantation promises much" has a hollow ring. Not one xenograft patient has survived more than a matter of months since the first operation in 1964. Despite years of "research"- costing millions of pounds and countless animal lives - vivisectors are no closer to making this Frankenstein science a reality. Animal-to-human transplants are always fatal for both human and animal victim.

A single xenograft operation costs over pounds 150,000 now, taking funds away from real public health initiatives. The millions wasted on xenotransplants could more usefully be used to encourage human donors to come forward. It would only take another 2,000 donations every year from a population of 56 million. A human organ must give a human-being a better chance of survival and it removes the risk of diseases crossing the species barrier - a horror story waiting to happen.

Paul Gaynor

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals

London NW1

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