WITH World Day for Laboratory Animals coming up on April 24 it is only right that we should reflect on the millions of dogs, cats, rabbits, mice and monkeys enduring laboratory experiments around the world.

The UK conducts more animal experiments than anywhere else in Europe, but that could change. A non-animal research future is achievable and desirable for animals and people, if the government commits to a strategy for change. Modern, non-animal techniques that are more rele-vant to human medicine are already having a dramatic impact on the quality of modern medical research.

Advanced human cell cultures, molecular analysis, detailed computer modelling of human organs, sophisticated brain scanners, biosensors combined with microelectronics, 3-D human tissue engineering; this is the cutting-edge of medical research. The European Commission has recognised that for the benefit of animals and patients alike our ultimate goal must be to replace animal experiments.

To achieve that goal in the UK the Dr Hadwen Trust charity is calling for a national strategy to replace animal experiments. Our own medical research programme into illnesses like epilepsy, cancer, diabetes and brain disorders, all without animal experiments, demonstrates that we don't need to harm animals to save human lives.

On this World Day for Laboratory Animals, support the Dr Hadwen Trust's cruelty-free medical research at www.drhadwentrust.org It’s a practical way to help both people and animals.

Wendy Higgins

Communications director