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L Grayson. The British Library, 2000, £35, pp 300. ISBN 071230858X
The use of animals for the purpose of scientific research is an emotive subject. The moral arguments often exhibit polarised positions: the scientific demand for absolute freedom of research, and the abolitionist demand for a total ban on all animal experiments. At one extreme are those who argue that research on animals is essential in the battle against disease, and on the other extreme it is argued that the cost in terms of animal suffering is too high and that if experiments were prohibited medical researchers would find some other means of ensuring scientific progress. The rhetoric employed is also suggestive of a polarity: experimenters are accused of cruelty and indifference, whereas campaigners on behalf of animals are accused of irresponsibility and insensitivity towards the wellbeing of humans. Yet to ask …