Vivisection at Trinity

 

Madam, - In response to my letter of support for the National Animal Rights Association's campaign to halt the practice of vivisection at Trinity College, Dublin, which you published on October 3rd, the Nobel Prize-winning novelist J.M. Coetzee, who is also an officer-member of the Australian Association for Humane Research, has sent me the following statement:

"I support the sentiments expressed by John Banville. There is no good reason — in fact there has never been any good reason, scientific or pedagogical - to require students to cut up living animals. Trinity College brings shame on itself by continuing with the practice. — J.M. Coetzee." - Yours, etc,

JOHN BANVILLE, Dublin 1.

Madam, - A Trinity College spokesperson provides chapter and verse on the legal framework governing vivisection ("TCD defends use of vivisection", The Irish Times, October 7th); but regulation provides no guarantee that any action is legitimate, wise or ethical, as the current banking crisis clearly shows.

In the face of widespread and justified public concern, permissive European regulations allow more than 12 million animals a year to face confinement, suffering and violent death behind laboratory walls.

Sadly, research on animals remains more likely to be published, to attract money and to confer prestige on educational institutions; and it persists for these reasons despite the mounting scientific evidence against it.

Trinity must embrace progressive, humane science rather than remain wedded to this Victorian methodology. - Yours, etc,

ALISTAIR CURRIE, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals Europe, London SE1.