Letter: Pigs' hearts should stay in pigs

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The Independent Online
In Her eulogy for pig organ transplants ("Pig ignorant", Review, 16 March) Susan Greenfield does not mention that pig organs could spread new viral diseases to their human recipients and beyond. This is the main reason why the recent Kennedy Report recommended that trials on humans should not yet take place.

She also appears to think that pigs' lives don't matter. But of course a pig's life matters to a pig - and the quality of that life should matter to us, if we are the species capable of compassion and technological enterprise.

To establish a herd of genetically engineered pigs will require surgical operations on pigs to obtain eggs and insert embryos. Piglets will be "born" by extraction of the uterus, followed by killing of the sow. The piglets will then be kept in "bio-secure rooms" far from the fields, woods and puddles they naturally enjoy.

Xenotransplantation may eventually be one way to deal with serious heart disease, but we should try alternative approaches which do not inflict suffering on other sentient beings first.

Joyce D'Silva

Compassion in World Farming

Petersfield, Hampshire