Skip to content

Animal experiments: did they ever help us?


Oxford university claims…


Research using animals: an overview


How have humans benefited from research using animals?

As the Department of Health states, research on animals has contributed to almost every medical advance of the last century.
Without animal research, medicine as we know it today wouldn’t exist. It has enabled us to find treatments for cancer, antibiotics for infections (which were developed in Oxford laboratories), vaccines to prevent some of the most deadly and debilitating viruses, and surgery for injuries, illnesses and deformities.


Life expectancy in this country has increased, on average, by almost three months for every year of the past century. Within the living memory of many people diseases such as polio, turberculosis, leukaemia and diphtheria killed or crippled thousands every year. But now, doctors are able to prevent or treat many more diseases or carry out life-saving operations – all thanks to research which at some stage involved animals.


Each year, millions of people in the UK benefit from treatments that have been developed and tested on animals. Animals have been used for the development of blood transfusions, insulin for diabetes, anaesthetics, anticoagulants, antibiotics, heart and lung machines for open heart surgery, hip replacement surgery, transplantation, high blood pressure medication, replacement heart valves, chemotherapy for leukemia and life support systems for premature babies. More than 50 million prescriptions are written annually for antibiotics.

Response to each claim


Claim: As the Department of Health states, research on animals has contributed to almost every medical advance of the last century.
Without animal research, medicine as we know it today wouldn’t exist. It has enabled us to find treatments for cancer


Reply:  In fact depite the use of about a billion animals in cancer research in the last century cancer continues to increase…

“ The history of cancer research has been a history of curing cancer in the mouse. We have cured mice of cancer for decades, and it simply didn’t work in humans.” Dr Richard Klausner, Director, National Cancer Institute, LA Times, May 6.1998
“Animals in Cancer Research: A Multi-Billion Dollar Fraud”, is the title of an article written by Dr Irwin D. Bross former Director of the Sloan-Kettering, the largest private cancer research institute in the world, and then Director of Biostatistics at Roswell Park Memorial Institute for Cancer Research, Bufallo, NY: reproduced in Fundamental and Applied Toxicology, November 6 1982.  It begins:
“The use of animals in cancer research has been attacked as unnecessary cruelty to animals, and defended as absolutely essential for research progress that will prevent or cure human cancer.  From a scientific standpoint, what is pertinent is that what are called ‘animal model systems’ in cancer research have been a total failure.”
It concludes:
“The moral is that animal model systems not only kill animals they also kill humans.  There is no good factual evidence to show that the use of animals in cancer research has led to the prevention or cure of a single human cancer.”
1981 Congressional Testimony by Dr. Irwin Bross, former Director of the Sloan-Kettering, the largest private cancer research institute in the world, and then Director of Biostatistics at Roswell Park Memorial Institute for Cancer Research, Bufallo, NY: “The uselessness of most of the animal model studies is less well known…Indeed, while conflicting animal results have often delayed and hampered advances in the war on cancer, they have never produced a single substantial advance either in the prevention or treatment of human cancer.”

“Giving cancer to laboratory animals has not and will not help us to understand the disease or to treat those persons suffering from it.”
– Dr. A. Sabin, 1986, developer of the oral polio vaccine.
“Everyone should know that most cancer research is largely a fraud, and that the major cancer research organisations are derelict in their duties to the people who support them.”
– Linus Pauling, PhD, 1986, two time Nobel Prize Winner.
It’s been well known for maybe two decades that many of these preclinical human cancer models have very little predictive power in terms of how actual human beings – actual human tumours inside patients – will respond…Preclinical models of human cancer, in large part, stink…Hundreds of millions of dollars are being wasted every year by drug companies using these [animal] models…Prof. Robert Weinberg, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Fortune, 9th March.2004
[mouse models are] woefully inadequate…if you look at the millions and millions and millions of mice that have been cured, and you compare that to the relative success, or lack thereof, that we’ve achieved in the treatment of metastatic disease clinically, you realize that there just has to be something wrong with those models. Homer Pearce, research fellow at Eli Lilly. Fortune, 9th March.2004

Mouse models that use transplants of human cancer have not had a great track record of predicting human responses to treatment in the clinic. It’s been estimated that cancer drugs that enter clinical testing have a 95 percent rate of failing to make it to market, in comparison to the 89 percent failure rate for all therapies . . . Indeed, “we had loads of models that were not predictive, that were [in fact] seriously misleading,” says NCI’s Marks, also head of the Mouse Models of Human Cancers Consortium. The Scientist, April 1, 2010
We have learned well how to treat cancer in mice and rats but we still can’t cure people. Professor Colin Garner, quoted in Accelerator MS Is a Powerful New Tool, Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News, Vol. 27, No. 15.
We do trials in people because animal models do not predict what will happen in humans. Dr Sally Burtles, Cancer Research UK, Report of the Expert Scientific Group on phase one clinical trials, following the TGN1412 clinical trial disaster.
You really have to design the medicine for the species of interest…You’ll find it very rare to find a medicine that will work in both… Patrick M. O’Connor, head of oncology research for Pfizer, quoted in The New York Times, 24 November.
My own medical perspective is that animal cancer research should be regarded as the scientific equivalent of gossip – with about the same chance of turning out to be true, i.e. truly effective in humans. Some gossip turns out to be true, but most of it does not…and gossip can cause great anguish for those affected, in this case millions of desperate cancer patients worldwide. G. Timothy Johnson MD, Boston Globe, May 22.1998
God knows we’ve cured mice of all sorts of tumours. But that isn’t medical research. Thomas E Wagner, senior scientist at Ohio University’s Edison Biotechnology Institute, the Columbus Dispatch, March 20.1998
The US National Cancer Institute also undertook a 25 year screening programme, testing 400,000 plant species on animals for anti-tumour activity. Out of the outrageously expensive research, many positive results surfaced in animal models, but not a single benefit emerged for humans. As a result, the NCI now uses human cancer cells for cytotoxic screening.[25] Handbook of Laboratory Animal Science, Volume II Animal Models Svendensen and Hau (Eds.) CRC Press 1994 p4.

‘Lab mice…have responded quite well to an experimental Alzheimer’s vaccine…Lab rats with paralyzing spinal-cord injuries have walked again…And we’ve cured cancer in enough rodents to fill several New York City subway systems. For people, however, there is no cure for spinal-cord injury, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, cystic fibrosis, osteoporosis, brain and other cancers…the list goes on….”
(Sharon Begley, ‘Research lags due to few physician-scientists’, Wall Street Journal, 25 April 2003).

DAVID KORN Chairman of the National Cancer Institute’s (sometimes known as the National Mouse Institute) Advisory Board says:
For 35 years U.S. scientists labouring in the National Cancer Institute’s screening programme have injected more than 400,000 chemicals into leukemic mice, hoping to find chemotherapies that would help solve the riddles of cancer… We’ve been using the wrong system as the screening device.

And animals cannot be used to predict human carcinogens:

Given substances are not necessarily carcinogenic to all species. Studies show that 46% of chemicals found to be carcinogenic in rats were not carcinogenic in mice. [23] ·  DiCarlo DrugMet Rev,15; p409-131984.

If species as closely related as mice to rats do not even contract cancer similarly, it’s not surprising that 19 out of 20 compounds that are safe for humans caused cancer in animals. [24] ·  Mutagenesis1987;2:73-78
Claim: antibiotics for infections (which were developed in Oxford laboratories)


Reply: Not according to the 3 Nobel prizes for penicillin…


“How fortunate we didn’t have these animal tests in the 1940’s, for penicillin would probably never been granted a license, and possibly the whole field of antibiotics might never have been realized.” [7] Sir Alexander Fleming

7) Parke DV: Clinical Pharmacokinetics in Drug Safety Evaluation. ATLA 1994, 22:207-209.
“Mice were used in the initial toxicity tests [by Florey and Chain] because of their small size, but what a lucky chance it was, for in this respect man is like the mouse and not the guinea-pig. If we had used guinea-pigs exclusively we should have said that penicillin was toxic, and we probably should not have proceeded to try and overcome the difficulties of producing the substance for trial in man.” [8] Howard Florey

8) Florey H: The advance of chemotherapy by animal experiment. Conquest 1953, 41:12.

“No animal experiment with a medicament, even if it is carried out on several animal species including primates under all conceivable conditions, can give any guarantee that the medicament tested in this way will behave in the same way in humans; because in many respects the human is not the same as the animal”. Nobel Prize winner Sir Ernst Boris Chain, under oath at a hearing investigating the Thalidomide tragedy. Tony Page, Vivisection Unveiled, Jon Carpenter Publishing, 1997, p. 103.


After this good luck a 29 year delay occurred due to misleading information from rabbits…His statement was reinforced by Koppanyi and Avery [9].
Fleming re-discovered penicillin and proceeded to test it in vitro and in vivo on rabbits and mice (he mentions the rabbits in his original paper). The in vitro results showed promise, as did topical application on rabbits. But when given systemically, the rabbits metabolized it too rapidly and led Fleming to believe it would be ineffective for humans when administered systemically that is by mouth or intravenously. Therefore he put the life saving antibiotic on the shelf and essentially forgot about it. He did occasionally use it on topical infections but never even tried it on humans with systemic infections.
Some have criticized Flemming for not trying penicillin systemically on humans. His reluctance was based on the rabbit study. Weisse:
[Fleming was discouraged about penicillin’s possible use because first . . . ] Third, after injection into an ear vein of a rabbit and with blood samples taken periodically thereafter for testing, it was found that penicillin was rapidly removed from the bloodstream. Samples taken at 30 minutes were found almost completely devoid of activity. Of what use might be an antibacterial agent that took several hours to act but was removed from the body within 30 minutes and inhibited by the blood with which it would obviously be mixing? [10]
Steffee states:
Flemming considered penicillin a potential chemotherapeutic agent, but his early in-vivo investigations were discouraging. In rabbits, serum levels of penicillin dropped rapidly after parenteral administration, too fast to allow the several hours of contact with bacteria required for an effect in vitro. [6]
I can only encourage those who think this that i am talking ‘bollocks’ to inform themselves. Many doctors and scientists now acknowledge that human medicine cannot be reliably based on animals.

references 6) Steffee CH: Alexander Fleming and penicillin. The chance of a lifetime? N C Med J 1992, 53:308-310.
9) Koppanyi T, Avery MA: Species differences and the clinical trial of new drugs: a review. Clin Pharmacol Ther 1966, 7:250-270.
10) Weisse AB: The long pause. The discovery and rediscovery of penicillin. Hosp Pract (Off Ed) 1991, 26:93-96, 101-104, 107 passim.

“One of the new antibiotic drugs, Chloramphenicol, has been recorded as a cause of fatal aplastic anaemia in human beings.  But extensive experiments on dogs have failed to show any evidence of injury or disease to the canine species.”
(Bulletin, Easton, Mass., U.S.A., April 2 1953.)

Streptomycin: This popular antibiotic caused birth defects such as limb malformations in the offspring of rats.

Clindamycin, an antibiotic, causes a bowel condition called pseudomenbraneous colitis. It was tested in rats and dogs every day for one year. They tolerate doses 10 times greater than humans.[42][43][44]

[42]Reg Tox & Pharm, 1990, vol.11, p 288-307
[43]Br Med J, 1983, Jan 15, p 199-202
[44]Br Nat Form, no.26, 1993


Claim: vaccines to prevent some of the most deadly and debilitating viruses


Reply: This is what Dr Albert Sabin, creator of the oral polio vaccine had to say…
… prevention [of polio] was long delayed by the erroneous conception of the nature of the human disease based on misleading experimental models of the disease in monkeys.
Sabin, Albert, MD statement before the subcommittee on Hospitals and Health Care, Committee on Veterans Affairs, House of Representatives, April 26, 1984 serial no. 98-48.

As monkeys gain polio via the respiratory system and humans via the digestive system, the creation of the polio vaccine was delayed by 29 years by primate research and resulted in the creation of a nasal spray which did nothing but damage the olfactory (smelling) ability of children it was given to.



11. McKeown T: The Role of Medicine. Oxford, Basil Blackwell, 1979.


Re vaccines generally it is difficult to say what extent they have contributed to the elimination of disease and to what extent this is the result of hygiene (elimination of disease causing conditions via clean water and food, sewerage and rubbish removal, adequate living space, asepsis and antiseptic).

Either way vaccines can be made without animals and are more efficacious and less toxic if done this way.



Claim: and surgery for injuries, illnesses and deformities.

Reply: “Vivisection is barbaric, useless, and a hindrance to scientific progress. I learned how to operate from other surgeons. It’s the only way, and every good surgeon knows that.”
– Dr. Werner Hartinger, 1988, surgeon of thirty years, President of German League of Doctors Against Vivisection (GLDAV).

I have never known a single good surgeon who has learned anything from vivisection.”- Dr Abel Desjardins, President of the Society of Surgeons of Paris, foremost surgeon of his time in France and Professor of Surgery, from “Slaughter of the Innocent” by Hans Ruesch

“Like every member of my profession, I was brought up in the belief that almost every important fact in physiology had been obtained by vivisection and that many of our most valued means of saving life and diminishing suffering had resulted from experiments on the lower animals. I now know that nothing of the sort is true concerning the art of surgery: and not only do I not believe that vivisection has helped the surgeon one bit, but I know that it has often led him astray.”
– Prof. Lawson Tait, M.D., 1899, Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons (F.R.C.S.), Edinburgh & England. Hailed as the most distinguished surgeon of his day, the originator of many of surgery’s modern techniques, and recipient of numerous awards for medical excellence.


“I have seen surgeons who carried out experiments on some organs from dogs in the belief that these were identical with those of humans, and they did not know they were cutting into a quite different organ, even into a lymphatic gland instead of the thyroid gland.  Nobody has become a surgeon because of having operated on animals.  He has only learnt wrongly through animals.  I have been able to see this over my many decades as a surgeon, also as a Director of Hospitals.  I have carried out tens of thousands of operations on people without ever performing them first on an animal.
(Prof. Sr Salvatore Rocca Rossetti, Surgeon and Professor of Urology at the University of Turin, Italy, in the science programme Delta on Italian television, March 12 1986.)

In Vivisection: Science or Sham, Dr Roy Kupsinel wrote in 1988 the following about surgical techniques:
“To gain experience, first an aspiring surgeon should practice on human cadavers, then observe experienced surgeons at work on human patients.  They can help out with simple operations, then progress to more complex ones as experience permits.  Even the vivisection manuals caution medical students about applying surgical techniques from animals to humans.
“Though the research community would like the public to believe that the use of animals is responsible for the breakthroughs in surgical methods, what really happens follows this typical pattern: In the effort to overcome heart disease, the heart of a human heart attack victim is studied during autopsy.  An operation is then proposed to overcome the coronary artery blockage.  Extensive animal experiments are then conducted in hopes of developing the surgical skill and in determining the feasibility of the operation on human patients.  If the animal lives a false sense of optimism develops and human trials are begun.  Due to the variation in blood clotting and anatomical differences between animals and humans, the initial surgeries on humans result in a high frequency of deaths from the operation.  Over time, as the surgeons perfect the operation on actual patients, mortality rates from the operation decrease.  Surgeons initially claim that the operation will prolong life, but as time goes on it becomes clear that the operation still kills many patients, and in fact doesn’t improve the ultimate survival of coronary artery disease in patients.  The operation passes out of vogue and is replaced by another one which passes through the same stages of evolution.”
In Experimental Surgery, Dr J. Markowitz states:
“The operative technique described in these pages is suitable for animals, usually dogs.  However, it does not follow that it is equally and always suited for human beings.  We refuse to allow the student the pretence that what he is doing is operating on a patient for the cure of an ailment.


“The gastro-intestinal tract in man is unfortunately very different from that of animals, and the results of a new operation for gastric disease cannot be predicted from operations on dogs.”
(Editorial, Lancet, May 1951, page 1003.)


“Many years ago I carried out on the Continent sundry operations upon the intestines of dogs, but such are the differences between the human and the canine bowel, that when I came to operate on man I found I was much hampered by my new experience, that I had everything to unlearn, and that my experiments had done little but leave me unfit to deal with the human intestine.”
(Sir Frederick Treves, Director of London Hospital, Surgeon to the Royal Family and world-renowned authority on abdominal surgery, British Medical Journal, November 5 1898, page 1389.)

Dr. Werner Hartinger of Germany agrees:
“The claim, frequently heard, that animal experimentation is vitalfor the training of surgeons and that practice on living animals is necessaryto gain manual and operating skills cannot be left unchallenged. A surgeonacquires his basic knowledge by observing and then assisting his teacher.In time, according to his experience, ability and manual dexterity he participatesin supervised operating duties, until the surgeon responsible for his training,decides as to when he can start operating on his own. Specialized knowledgeof microsurgery is gained in the same way, just as working at the surgicalmicroscope does not call for operating on animals.”

“Experiments have never been the means for discovery; and a survey of what has been attempted of late years in physiology will prove that the opening of living animals has done more to perpetuate error than to confirm the just views taken from the study of anatomy and natural motions.”
– Sir Charles Bell, M.D., 1824, F.R.C.S., discoverer of “Bell’s Law” on motor and sensory nerves.

Open-heart surgery is a classic example of surgery that was successful on dogs and fatal to humans. The procedure depends on the heart-lung machine, which tested well on dogs and killed the first human patients. It was later modified according to human clinical observation and is now used successfully every day

any surgeons have done trial procedures on lab animals, but many others have admitted that working on animals confuses the issue. Common sense suggests that orthopaedic surgery on a dog, for example, will differ greatly from that on a human. Applying animal data to the human body is always unscientific. Here are some examples:

  • Once ophthalmologists practiced radial keratotomy (corrective eye surgery) on rabbits, they later tried it out on humans. After blinding many individuals, doctors modified the procedure for the human eye. Had they originated their research on the human eye through in vitro or autopsy research, these tragedies would have been prevented.
  • Extracranial-intracranial (EC-IC) bypass procedures for inoperable carotid artery disease were tested and perfected on dogs and rabbits. Once approved for humans, neurosurgeons performed thousands of EC-ICs before they discovered the operation caused death and strokes more often than it resulted in recovery.[27] Yasargil, M.G., ed. Microsurgery Applied to NeurosurgeryGeorge Thieme Verlag 1969. Donaghy, R.M.P and Yasargil, M.G. Eds. Microvascular Surgery, Mosby, 1967.
  • Thousands of cats, dogs, pigs and primates have been sacrificed to find successful procedures for organ transplants. But despite the number of practice surgeries on animals, the first human operations fail.

By practicing procedures on non-humans, surgeons lead patients to believe their risk is minimal. Unfortunately, when a new method is introduced and tested on a human subject, projected results are no more than guesswork. By conducting the initial operations on human cadavers, doctors would reduce this risk and improve patient care.

Claim: Within the living memory of many people diseases such as polio, turberculosis, leukaemia and diphtheria killed or crippled thousands every year. But now, doctors are able to prevent or treat many more diseases

Reply: As stated earlier polio research was delayed for 29 years due to misleading results from monkeys, again, Dr Albert Sabin, creator of the oral polio vaccine…
… prevention [of polio] was long delayed by the erroneous conception of the nature of the human disease based on misleading experimental models of the disease in monkeys.
Sabin, Albert, MD statement before the subcommittee on Hospitals and Health Care, Committee on Veterans Affairs, House of Representatives, April 26, 1984 serial no. 98-48.



McKeown, T., 1979. The Role of Medicine.

The following graph taken from the N.Z. Official Yearbooks and Appendices to Parliamentary Journals paints an identical picture: i.e. that tuberculosis in New Zealand had all-but disappeared before the advent of the BCG vaccine.




One Hundred Years of T.B. in New Zealand











The above graphs, based on the official death numbers as recorded in the Official Year Books of the Commonwealth of Australia, are taken from Greg Beattie’s excellent book Vaccination A Parent’s Dilemma and represent the decline in death rates from infectious disease in Australia. They clearly show that vaccines had nothing to do with the decline in death rates. (Note: Graphical evidence on the decline in death rates from infectious disease for USA, England, New Zealand and many other countries shows the exact same scenario as above).

So what were the true reasons for this decline? From his book ‘Health and Healing’ Dr Andrew Weil best answers it with this statement;

“Scientific medicine has taken credit it does not deserve for some advances in health. Most people believe that victory over the infectious diseases of the last century came with the invention of immunisations. In fact, cholera, typhoid, tetanus, diphtheria and whooping cough, etc, were in decline before vaccines for them became available – the result of better methods of sanitation, sewage disposal, and distribution of food and water.”

Alternatives in potency testing of human bacterial and viral vaccines.

Vaccine Alternative method Reference
Diphtheria Vero cells
Toxin Binding Inhibition
Kreeftenberg et al. (27)
Hendriksen et al. (28)
Tetanus Lf test
Toxin Binding Inhibition
Lying (29)
Hendriksen et al. (30)
Rabies Antibody binding test
Barth et al. (31)
Adamovicz (32)
Yellow Fever Plaque counting assy WHO (33)

References: 27. Kreeftenberg JG, van der Gun JW, Marsman FR, Sekhuis VM, Bhandari SK, Maheswari SC: An investigation of a mouse model to estimate the potency of the diphtheria component in combined vaccines. J Biol Stand 1985;13:229-234.
28. Hendriksen CFM, van der Gun JW, Kreeftenberg JG: The use of the Toxin Binding Inhibition (ToBI) test for the estimation of the potency of the diphtheria component of vaccines. J Biol Stand 1989;17:241-247.
29. Lyng J, Bentzon MW: Quantitative estimation of diphtheria and tetanus toxoids. 1. The flocculation test and the Lf-unit. J Biol Stand 1987;15:27-37.
30. Hendriksen CFM, van der Gun JW, Marsman FR, Kreeftenberg JG: The use of the in vitro Toxin Binding Inhibition (ToBI) Test for the estimation of the potency of tetanus toxoid. Biologicals 1991;19:23-29.
31. Barth R, Gross-Albenhausen E, Jaeger O, Milcke L: The antibody binding test, a useful method for quantitative determination of inactivated rabies virus antigen. J Biol Stand 1981;9:81-89.
32. Adamovicz P: The use of various immunochemical, biochemical and biological methods for the analysis of rabies virus production in tissue cultures. Develop Biol Standard 1984;55:191-197.
33. World Health Organization: Requirements for Yellow Fever Vaccine. WHO Technical Report Series 594.

The Effects of Immunization on Public Health

Undeniably, mortality rates were already declining before the introduction of immune therapy and prophylaxis at the end of the nineteenth century. (Table 3 shows mean annual mortality figures of two cities during successive historical time periods.) This increased life expectancy, due primarily to a reduction in deaths from infectious disease, is chiefly attributed to improvements in nutrition, living and working conditions, hygiene, and sanitation.(11) McKeown T: The Role of Medicine. Oxford, Basil Blackwell, 1979.



Claim: life-saving operations – all thanks to research which at some stage involved animals.

Reply: “Animal research was NOT responsible for the development of coronary bypass surgery.  In 1961 in France, Kunlin first used a portion of a person’s own vein to replace obstructed arterial segments.  This gave birth to arterial bypass surgery for different parts of the body, the heart included. 


By contrast, Beck of Ohio and Vineburg of Canada took their theories to the animal laboratory in search of surgical answer to the complications of coronary artery disease.  Each devised more than one procedure, envisioning success from their findings in animals.  Not long after, their recommended operations were performed on thousands of human patients.  What were the results?  To say the least, unworthy.  To put it bluntly; a fiasco, a total failure.  I am witness to this event and the least I can do is speak out.  Animal experimentation inevitably leads to human experimentation.  That is the final verdict, sad as it is.  And the toll mounts on both sides.

Dr Moneim A. Fadali. For 25 years one of America’s leading cardiovascular surgeons.  This highly respected doctor is also: Diplomate to the American Board of Surgery; Diplomate to the American Board of Thoracic Surgery; Certified with the Canadian Board of Surgeons; Certified with the Royal College of Surgeons, Canada; twenty-five years on the clinical staff of the University of California where he currently practises.



Experiments on dogs to develop transplant techniques were disastrous.  Hundreds of dogs were used yet the first human patients died because of complications which arose when the technique was applied to the first human patients.
(Dr Albert Iben, Stanford University cardiac surgeon reported in the Erie Daily Times, May 23 1968.)

By 1980, 65% of patients survived more than a year as a result of increased skill gained through clinical experience.
(Lancet, March 29 1980, pages 687-688.)



Dr Forssman used his own forearm to develop cardiac catheterization and his technique was completed through clinical trials with human patients.
(M. Beddow Bayly, Clinical Medical Discoveries, NAVS, 1961.)




Doctors Ivan Magill and E.S. Rowbotham, working with World War I casualties at Sir Harold Gillie’s plastic surgery hospital in Sidcup, Great Britain developed the technique of delivering anaesthetic gas through a single endotracheal tube under positive pressure controlled by the patient’s breathing.  They performed no animal experiments.
(R.G. Richardson, The Surgeon’s Heart: A History of Cardiac Surgery, William Heinemann Medical Books Ltd, page 101.)

Fibrillation of the ventricles is life-threatening.  Reverend John Wesley in the 18th Century through clinical observations successfully used electrotherapy to stop fibrillation in human patients.  More than a century later in 1899 Presost and Batteli “re-proved” what Wesley had developed, by using electric shock to reverse ventricular fibrillation in dogs.  William B. Kouwenhoven of Johns Hopkins University is sometimes credited by pro-vivisectionists for developing a closed-chest defibrillator for dogs and then for human use in 1957.  However clinician Dr P. Zoll had developed closed-chest resuscitation on patients in 1956.  Once again Kouwenhoven repeated what Zoll had discovered through human observations and falsely credited animal research for the advance.
(L. Wertenbaker, To Mend the Heart, the Viking Press, 1980, page 178.); (J.H. Comroe, Exploring the Heart: Discoveries in Heart Disease and High Blood Pressure, W.W. Norton and Company, 1983, page 159.); (L.E. Meltzer, Textbook of Coronary Care, The Charles Press Publishers Inc., A Prentice Hall Company, 1980, page 4.)

For “restarting” the heart once again animal experiments gave misleading results.  Though a technique was shown “effective” in animals, it was discarded for use in humans because of “many problems, consisting of pain, burns and inability to keep up continuous stimulation for a prolonged period”.
(W. Lillihei, “The Treatment of Complete Heart Block by the Combined Use of a Myocardial Electrode and an Artificial Pacemaker”, Surgical Forum, 43rd Clinical Congress, Vol. VII, American College of Surgeons, Chicago, 1957.)

In 1935 Dr Claude S. Beck pioneered the surgical technique to increase the blood supply to the heart muscles when blood became blocked in the coronary arteries.  Beck whose success was based on clinical observations said though he had conducted thousands of animal experiments they were useless, that his only useful knowledge came from clinical studies.  The Beck operations were carried out for 25 years before being superseded by the clinical development of new operations.
(T. Preston, Coronary Artery Surgery: A Critical Review, Raven Press, 1977, page 9.)

Scientists at the Middlesex Hospital and Medical School recently isolated individual heart cells from human heart muscle.  These cells are useful in research into heart disease and in the preservation of heart (myocardial) tissue for cardiac surgery, with the advantage that results are directly applicable to patients because as the researchers stated: “… it is difficult and often misleading to extrapolate experimental results in animal tissues to man.”
(T. Powell, et al, BMF, October 17 1981, pages 1013-1014.)



It is emphasised in many sources that medical progress has been delayed because of the vast difference in dogs and human beings and that dog experiments were a failure in this area.  The conduction system in dogs is less likely to clot than in human blood; dogs walk on four legs, thereby placing less stress on the circulatory system than upright human beings; the ventricles in dogs are opposite to the human system; and animal recipients of artificial hearts are healthy before the operation.  There are many other variables noted elsewhere in this work.  The first recipient of an artificial heart, Barney Clark, survived a miserable 112 days kept alive against his wish to be allowed to die, until he expired from kidney collapse.
(C.F. Scott,”Appropriate Animal Models for Research on Blood in Contact with Artificial Surfaces”, Annals N.Y. Academy of Science, 516, 1987, pages 636-637.); (C.F. Scott, The Physiologist, 31 (3), 1988, page 53.); (Hans Ruesch, One Thousand Doctors (and many more) Against Vivisection, 1989, page 28.)

Elsewhere in this work it is recorded how the discovery of insulin and the success of open heart surgery, and organ transplants were developed despite confusion arising from experiments on dogs (and other animals).  As revealed under the section on congenital heart defects the success of the “blue baby” operation was developed through clinical observation of human patients.  Similarly the pacemaker for complete heart block was developed through investigation of those afflicted with the condition.

Each of the techniques made to contract or stimulate the ventricles in attempts to “pace” the human heart was tested on dogs and shown “effective”, even heralded as a success, however they were “quickly discarded in patients because of the many problems, consisting of pain, burns and inability to keep up continuous stimulation for the prolonged period”.  Dr C. Walton Lillihei pioneer of the pacemaker, seeing his method which was developed on dogs fail to cross the species, devised, through observing his patients, a method of “stitching electrodes directly on to the heart, leading them through the chest and running a pulsed current through them”.

“The development of artificial pacemakers for complete heart block grew out of direct studies of human patients suffering from ventricular septal defect.”
(W. Lillihei, “The Treatment of Complete Heart Block by the Combined Use of a Myocardial Electrode and an Artificial Pacemaker”, Surgical Forum, 43rd Clinical Congress, Vol. VIII, American College of Surgeons, Chicago, 1957, page 360.)

Also refer L. Wertenbaker, To Mend the Heart, The Viking Press, 1980, page 181; and R.G. Richardson, The Surgeon’s Heart: A History of Cardiac Surgery, William Heinemann Medical Books Ltd, page 101.


The heart-lung machine was the most critical development in open-heart surgery for it takes over the function of the patient’s heart and lungs during open heart operations.  John H. Gibbon of Philadelphia, U.S.A. who developed a heart-lung machine on dogs abandoned his project when two patients died, admitting that it was unsafe for human beings.  J.W. Kirklin of the Mayo Clinic, without the use of animals and using careful clinical trials made a heart-lung machine which was successful on human beings.
(H. McLeave, The Risk Takers, Holt, Rinehard & Winston, 1962, page 70.)

Journal of the American Heart Association titled Stroke.  In issue 7:14 of 1976 an article headed “Clinical Relevance of Experimental Stroke Models” by G.F. Molinari says the following:

“The way researchers ‘simulate’ a stroke in an animal is by the application of microsurgical spring-clips to an artery.  The clipping itself affects blood vessels in ways totally artificial and never seen in blood vessels of human stroke patients.”

In the May 1989 issue of Stroke, Samuel Neff of the New England Medical Centre wrote:

“The repeated failure of laboratory-proven stroke therapies in human beings can be due only to the inapplicability of animal models to human cerebrovascular disease.”

Less than a year later, in January 1990, in Stroke, David O. Wiebers and his colleagues at the Mayo Clinic and the University of Iowa wrote a substantial and comprehensive article in which they called the relevance of information from animal experiments “dubious”.  They cited a review of experimental treatments for stroke over the past decade extracts of which read:

  1. “Of 25 treatments which worked in animals, not a single one worked in human studies.”
  2. “Human strokes are complicated by underlying artherosclerosis, genetic factors, chronic hypertension, diabetes, smoking and medications, all of which can have important effects and cannot be duplicated in animal studies.”
  3. “Attempts to cause strokes in animals are highly artificial and can send armies of researchers down blind alleys, wasting precious time and money.”

In a further issue of Stroke, July 1990, Weibers wrote:

“Dozens of treatments tested on animals did not work in people.”

He, along with his team of researchers, cautioned against the assumption that information from animal experiments is relevant to the human disease.  In the same issue, Justin Zivin and James Grotta agreed that:

“Drug studies in animal models have not… translated into effective therapy in humans.”

Stroke journal, which is the most relevant and weighty source of information applicable to the subject states in the above article:

“Conclusions arising from the whole Stroke debate were that reliance on animal models impede rather than advance scientific progress in the treatment of stroke.”


“Basic physiology tells us there is no suitable animal model for strokes because, unlike humans, animals have a collateral vascular system in their brains which allows blood to bypass clots; therefore they do not have strokes in the way humans do, nor are the effects from stroke the same.  In addition, many domestic animals have a retermirable system of blood vessels which effectively filters out blood clots and other substances that might otherwise flow to the brain.”
(J. Moossy, “Morphological Validation of Ischemic Stroke Models”, Cerebrovascular Diseases, edited by T.R. Price and E. Nelson, New York, Raven Press, 1979, page 7.)


Claim: Each year, millions of people in the UK benefit from treatments that have been developed and tested on animals. Animals have been used for the development of blood transfusions

Reply: Blood transfusions have now saved over 1 billion people.

“In 1900 Karl Landsteiner found out that the blood of two people under contact agglutinates, and in 1901 he found that this effect was due to contact of blood with blood serum. As a result he succeeded in identifying the three blood groups A, B and O, which he labelled C, of human blood. Landsteiner also found out that blood transfusion between persons with the same blood group did not lead to the destruction of blood cells, whereas this occurred between persons of different blood groups.[5] Based on his findings, in 1907 the first successful blood transfusion was performed by Reuben Ottenberg at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York.

Ref 5: Title of German publication: Bur Kennie red argumentativeness, Fleischer undo agglomeration Workings eds Blusters fund deer Nymphet in Centralblatt f. Bakteriologie, Parasitenkunde u. Infektionskrankheiten, vol. 27 (1900) pp. 357-362

From the official site of the Nobel Prize…”But his name will no doubt always be honoured for his discovery in 1901 of, and outstanding work on, the blood groups, for which he was given the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine in 1930.

…in 1909, he classified the bloods of human beings into the now well-known A, B, AB, and O groups and showed that transfusions between individuals of groups A or B do not result in the destruction of new blood cells and that this catastrophe occurs only when a person is transfused with the blood of a person belonging to a different group.”

Needless to say transfusing blood from animals to humans could never have determined this.




Re Rh factor… Rh Blood Antigen
[An antigen is a cell surface protein that may initiate an immune system response. If a person who lacks a certain red blood cell antigen receives donor blood with that antigen, that person may have a transfusion reaction.]

In 1937, a woman bled severely after delivering a macerated fetus, requiring a blood transfusion. A transfusion with her husband’s blood, matched for the known blood groups at the time, resulted in a near-fatal transfusion reaction. Clinical researchers, after performing a series of clotting studies, surmised that there must be a yet-undefined major blood antigen.14 Karl Landsteiner and Alexander Wiener’s subsequent blood clotting studies indicated that this antigen was similar to one found in monkeys, and they named it Rh for the rhesus monkey.15 Subsequent research demonstrated that the two antigens were genetically different,16 but the term Rh had already been so widely used that it was impossible to change. R. Race and Ruth Sanger have observed:

Many years later it came to be realized that the rabbit anti-rhesus and the human anti-Rh antibodies are not the same. The vast literature which had accumulated made it impossible to change the name of the human antibody from anti-Rh, and the suggestion of Levine that the rabbit anti-rhesus antibody should be called anti-LW, in honour of Landsteiner and Wiener, has been widely adopted.7  Landers A. Advice to readers. Baton Rouge Morning Advocate Mar 1, 1990.


Indeed, Philip Levine himself, who discovered the new human blood antigen, has noted that Landsteiner and Wiener’s report, “contains nothing of clinical significance.”16 While the name Rh suggests a close link between nonhuman primate research and human medicine, we now know it to be a misnomer.

14. Simmer H. Pfluger’s nerve reflex theory of menstruation: The product of analogy, teleology and neurophysiology. Clio Medica 1977;12:57-90.
15. Morris RT. The ovarian graft. New York Med J 1895;62:436-437.
16. Morris RT. Notes on ovarian grafting. Medical Record 1901;59:83-87.


On individual differences in human blood

Nobel Lecture, December 11, 1930


“The question now arises whether iso-agglutination by normal serum is

confined to human blood or whether it also occurs in animals. In fact such

reactions are found but are distinct in only a small number of species and are

hardly ever as regular as in man. Only the highest anthropoid apes – whose

blood corpuscles, though scarcely their proteins, differ from those of man –

have blood group characteristics, which, in so far as we have yet been able

to establish, correspond completely to those of man.

It can be assumed that a comparative examination of a large number of

animal species will help to explain how the groups are formed – a phenomenon which is not fully understood. One noteworthy result of the examination

of animal blood has already been obtained. Very soon after the first

observations on iso-agglutination had been made, Ehrlich and Morgenroth

described experiments in which, by means of blood-solvent antibodies (isolysins),

they demonstrated differences in the blood of goats which arose

when the animals were injected with blood of other individuals of the same

species. In this case, however, no typical blood groups but, instead, numerous

apparently random differences were found – a result which, except

possibly for the intensity of the reactions, is roughly what one might have

expected. Similar investigations, especially those conducted by Todd on

cattle and chickens (Landsteiner and Miller; Todd) indicated almost complete individual specificity.”


Claim: insulin for diabetes

Reply: During the 1920s, the dog experiments performed by scientists Banting and Best were strongly criticised as:

“… a wrongly conceived, wrongly conducted, and wrongly interpreted series of experiments.”
(Dr F. Roberts, “Insulin”, British Medical Journal, 1922.)

Readers are also directed to the clinical work of an American pathologist Dr Moses Barron, who published an article based on the autopsy of a patient who had died of pancreatic lithiasis, in which he says:

“The scientists Banting and Best were incorrectly credited with the discovery of insulin.”
(Dr M. Barron, “The Relation of the Islets of Langerhans Diabetes with Special Reference to Cases of Pancreatic Lithiasis”, Surgery, Gynaecology and Obstetrics, November 5 1920.)

  • “Unfortunately, the condition of a dog with a small but healthy part of his pancreas left is essentially different from that of a person suffering from diabetes… in human diabetes two factors are present:
    1. an essentially progressive lesion absent in experimental animals; and
    2. the detrimental effect of improper diet.”

(Hugh MacLean, M.D., D.Sc., Lancet, May 26 1923, page 1043.)

  • “There is no laboratory method of inducing diabetes… which is exactly comparable to the clinical condition.  At best we can get only crude approximations.  The dangers of arguing from one species to another, or even from one strain to another of the same species are certainly not to be neglected.”
    (Dr F.G. Young, Professor of Biochemistry at the University of London, Lancet, December 18 1948, pages 955-956.)

“Arguments based on the insulin requirements of the depancreatised dog and cat applied to human diabetes are quantitatively dangerous.”
(Dr F. G. Young, D.Sc., PhD., F.R.S., British Medical Journal, November 17 1951, pages 1167-1168.)

  • “The causes of diabetes mellitus remains unknown in both man and animals.  In spite of certain species similarities, there are a number of important differences – differences in clinical manifestation, in aetological factors and in the liability to certain long-term complications of the disease.”
    (Dr Harry Keen, BSc, M.R.C.P., “Spontaneous Diabetes in Man and Animals”, Veterinary Record, July 9 1960, page 557.)

Further, in Clinical Medical Discoveries, Medical Historian M. Beddow Bayly, M.R.C.S., L.R.C.P., says that the association of diabetes with degenerative changes in the Beta cells in the pancreas was a well-recognised clinical discovery long before animal experiments in this connection were contemplated.  “The means of separating from the pancreas the active principle, which Professor Schafer, a renowned physiologist had already in 1915 designated insulin”, was, says Dr Beddow Bayly, “repeated by Banting who demonstrated it on a medical colleague who suffered from the disease.  However the numerous experiments made by Banting on thousands of dogs proved nothing of value to human medicine, since, as is scientifically recognised, the dogs were not suffering from diabetes… The discovery, isolation and application of insulin was a clinical one.”


  • “Dr Banting, Canada’s medical hero, who is popular and erroneously credited with the discovery of insulin by extirpating the pancreases of thousands of dogs, did not cause diabetes, but stress.”
    (J.A. Pratt, “A Reappraisal of Research Leading to the Discovery of Insulin”, Journal of the History of Medicine, Vol. 9, 1954, pages 281-289.)

Animal derived insulin for humans…


  • “Side effects of insulin treatment include an unusually high incidence of heart attacks, stroke, kidney failure and gangrene.  This, some medical men believe is due to the foreign nature of animal insulin.”
    (A.L. Notkins, “The Causes of Diabetes”, Scientific American, Vol. 241, No. 5, November 1979, pages 62-73.)

Claim: anaesthetics

Oxford Dictionary of Scientists:

Crawford Williamson Long



American physician (1815–1878)

Long, who was born in Danielsville, Georgia, received his MD from the University of Pennsylvania in 1839. He then practiced in the small Georgian village of Jefferson where he became probably the first physician to perform surgery using ether as an anesthetic. (There is one earlier record of the administration of ether, for a tooth extraction: in January 1842, William Clark gave ether to a patient whose tooth was then removed by Elijah Pope.)

The idea of using ether came to Long after he had engaged in ‘ether frolics’ – wild parties at which ether was inhaled for exhilarative effect. Long noticed that he developed many bruises during such parties but had no recollection of sustaining any injuries. This suggested to him the possibility of using it more constructively to provide surgical anesthesia. Consequently on 30 March 1842, Long removed a small tumor from the neck of an etherized patient who assured him, when he regained consciousness, that he had not experienced any pain. Long followed this up in July by painlessly amputating the toe of a young etherized boy. However, Long had little chance to use his dramatic discovery in major operations and did not publish details until 1849. By this time William Morton had already (1846) given a public demonstration of the use of ether as an anesthetic and Long thus received little credit for his discovery.




Research on modern techniques to reduce surgical pain began when an English scientist Joseph Priestley (1733-1804) discovered that inhalation of nitrous oxide might relieve pain. Others followed suit and dug up other gases like carbon dioxide which produced similar effects. Cocaine injections in the eye, mouth and other areas of body were also found useful in blocking nerve impulses.


Not too many medical revelations could be termed as significant and elementary as the discovery and development of Anesthesia. It was a turning point for the world of medicine and surgery, as the physicians and surgeons could concentrate on the case at hand without either worrying about the safety of the patient in terms of enduring pain or the shrieks that shook the hospital buildings.

Different anesthetic practices were in use in his time when Crawford Long revived the field of surgical anesthesia by using diethyl ether as an anesthetic. This ingenious discovery based on his insightfulness and keen observation established him as the pioneer of surgical anesthesia. In the honor of his groundbreaking achievement, the day of his discovery is recognized as ‘Doctor’s day’ to celebrate the birth of anesthesia which conquered human pain.


Dr. Crawford W. Long applied his social observations with ether to surgery well before Morton’s discovery. During his time in Philadelphia, it was tasteful among young socialites to inhale gases such as sulphuric ether to induce euphoria. During one such “ether frolics”, Long observed an attendee take a heavy fall but display no indication of pain. With this reference, he performed his first surgical procedure using the gas on March 30, 1842, when he removed a tumor from the neck of a young man who did not feel any pain.

Long did not publish his findings as he wanted to be sure of his discovery. He began writing his own account of his discovery only after an editorial ran in the December 1846 issue of Medical Examiner about the Boston dentist Morton who claimed to have used ether as an anesthetic. In 1849 he presented his findings to the Medical College of Georgia in Augusta.

Commemorated by a statue in the National Capital’s Hall of Fame, he has come to be regarded as the father of modern anesthesiology. “
Read more:

Read more:
Read more:

Read more:

Reply: ·  “The development of anaesthetics were severely retarded because the German pharmacist Friedrich Sertuner finding that morphine caused maniacal excitement in the dogs he tried it on discontinued his work on anaesthetics which was taken up decades later by an American dentist who used nitrous oxide when extracting the tooth of a colleague.  Showing once again the barrier to medical progress brought about by animal trials.
(Hans Ruesch, Slaughter of the Innocent, page 165.)


“The maximum single dose of morphine for human beings is given as one-third of a grain.  Mr Hobday, F.R.C.V.S. giving evidence before the Royal Commission of Vivisection 1906-10, ‘considered that morphia affected dogs differently, he has given large doses to dogs, as much as 20 grains, without a fatal result, and considers them to be very insusceptible to a toxic dose of morphia’.”

  • “This substance acts upon dogs as a violent stimulant rather than as a narcotic, large doses causing excitement and convulsions.”
    (Review of a paper by E. Lugaro, British Medical Journal, January 14 1899, page 94.)

Animal experiments failed to predict the kidney toxicity of the general anesthetic methoxyflurane. Many people lost all kidney function.


Claim: anticoagulants



There have been four main anticoagulants used for human medicine.  None of these four were discovered through animal experiments.  Two, Hirudin and Citrate, grew out of direct patient study.  Hirudin is an anti-coagulant secreted by leeches that allows them to suck the blood out of animals.  The observation was made that since the patient continued to bleed after a leech was removed from a site, it must have deposited the anti-coagulant in the wound before removing the blood.
(J.H. Comroe and R.D. Dripps, The Top Ten Clinical Advances in Cardiovascular-Pulmonary Medicine and Surgery 1945-1975, Washington D.C., 1977, U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare, DHEW Publications No. (NIH) 78-1521, page 61.)

“The use of citrates stemmed from the observation of sailors treated for scurvy in the 1700s.  Physicians noted that sailors often suffered spontaneous hemorrhages from lemon and lime juices, notably high in citrates.”

“The use of the anticoagulant dicumoral was developed from the observation made by veterinarians that cattle who ate the toxic plant ‘sweet clover’ (which contains dicumoral), suffered the same spontaneous hemorrhages as the sailors.  By coincidence, this particular agent had the same effect on humans.”
(J.H. Comroe and R.D. Dripps, The Top Ten Clinical Advances in Cardiovascular-Pulmonary Medicine and Surgery 1945-1975, Washington D.C., 1977, U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare, DHEW Publications No. (NIH) 78-1521, page 63 and page 68.)

“The last anticoagulant, heparin, was discovered when Jay McLeon tested various chemicals on blood in a test-tube.”
(C.H. Best, “Preparation of Heparin and its Use in the First Clinical Cases”, Circulation, Vol. XIX, January 1959, page 79.)





Claim: antibiotics

Reply: The antibiotic drug Chloramphenicol was responsible for causing leukemia and fatal aplastic anaemia in human beings.

  • “This drug was tried out for long periods on dogs and found to produce only a transient anaemia, but fatal results have followed its use in human disease…”
    (Editorial, Medical Review, September 1953.)
  • “Extensive experiments on dogs failed to show evidence of injury or disease to the canine species.”
    (Bulletin, Easton, Massachusetts, April 2 1953.)

see earlier re. origin of antibiotics


Claim: heart and lung machines for open heart surgery


Reply: The heart-lung machine was the most critical development in open-heart surgery for it takes over the function of the patient’s heart and lungs during open heart operations.  John H. Gibbon of Philadelphia, U.S.A. who developed a heart-lung machine on dogs abandoned his project when two patients died, admitting that it was unsafe for human beings.  J.W. Kirklin of the Mayo Clinic, without the use of animals and using careful clinical trials made a heart-lung machine which was successful on human beings.
(H. McLeave, The Risk Takers, Holt, Rinehard & Winston, 1962, page 70.)


Claim: hip replacement surgery

Reply: Hip and knee replacement is the result of technology and engineering and obviously needs to be specific to humans.


Claim: transplantation
Reply: Experiments on dogs to develop transplant techniques were disastrous.  Hundreds of dogs were used yet the first human patients died because of complications which arose when the technique was applied to the first human patients.
(Dr Albert Iben, Stanford University cardiac surgeon reported in the Erie Daily Times, May 23 1968.)

By 1980, 65% of patients survived more than a year as a result of increased skill gained through clinical experience.
(Lancet, March 29 1980, pages 687-688.)


“Results from animal experiments in the 1960s suggested that there might be important advances in transplantation and there-by prompted a large amount of further research into heart and kidney transplants in rats.  But tissue differences between humans and rats proved that animal experiments were once again misleading.  The encouraging results had raised hopes that a major advance in clinical immunosuppression for transplantation was in the offing, but these hopes have now faded and nothing of the great mass of work has been translated into clinical practice.”
(John Fabre of Oxford’s Nuffield Department of Surgery, Transplantation, Vol. 34, 1982, pages 223-234.)



“ development of surgery to replace clogged arteries with the patient’s own veins was impeded by dog experiments which falsely indicated that veins could not be used.32 Likewise, kidney transplants, quickly rejected in healthy dogs, were accepted for a much longer time in human patients.33

References: 32.         Domingo RT, Fries C, Sawyer P, Wesolowski S. Peripheral arterial reconstruction. Transplantation of autologous veins. Transactions of the American Society of Artificial Internal Organs 1963; 9: 305-316.


33.         Hume D. Experiences with renal homotransplantation in the human subject. Journal of Clinical Investigation 1955; 34: 327-381.



Perspectives On Medical Research


Volume 2, 1990

Baby Fae: The Unlearned Lesson

Kenneth P. Stoller, MD.

On October 26, 1984, Dr. Leonard L Bailey placed the heart of a baboon into the chest of Baby Fae, an infant born with a severe heart defect known as left hypoplastic heart. Baby Fae seemed to do well for a few days; then her body mounted a massive immunological attack on the foreign tissue and rejected the graft. Baby Fae’s death came as no surprise to scientists and physicians familiar with the human immune system and with the scientific realities that preclude successful cross-species transplants.

Before the Baby Fae incident, Bailey, a surgeon at Loma Linda University Medical Center, spent almost a decade vainly pursuing research grants. His work in xenografts, largely unknown and unreviewed by other professionals, had not appeared in journals and was funded by Bailey himself and his colleagues.1,2 During the seven years preceding the Baby Fae baboon transplant, he performed some 160 cross-species transplants, mostly on sheep and goats, none of whom survived more than 6 months…


…Baby Fae was not the first human to receive a primate xenograft. In a review of xenografts,4 the Council of Scientific Affairs of the American Medical Association noted a rapid rejection of all baboon transplants to humans.

References: 1. Anon: Next please. PCRM Update, July-August, 1985.

2. Roe BR, Glaser RH: The lessons of the Baby Fae Case (letter). The Wall Street Journal Dec 24, 1984.

3. Mathews J: Colleague warned doctor before Baby Fae implant. Washington Post, 1984.

4. American Medical Association Council on Scientific Affairs: Xenografts: Review of the literature and curreut status. JAMA l985;254:3353-3357,

Claim: high blood pressure medication


Reply: “In the old days we were taught, as the result purely of animal experiments, that digitalis raised the blood-pressure.  We now know that this is utter nonsense.  Indeed, it is a remedy of very great value in certain cases when the blood pressure is found to be abnormally high.”
(James Burnet, M.A., LLB (Lond.), M.D., F.R.C.P.E., Medical World, July 3 1942, page 338.)

“Animal experimenters found, as a result of experimentation on animals that digitalis raised the blood-pressure, and, as a consequence, it was not used for some years on human beings.  The fact that the blood-pressure is raised by digitalis was found – clinically – to be incorrect in the case of human beings, and it is now freely used in cases in which the laboratory experiments warned us that it would be dangerous.”
(Andrew S. McNeil, L.R.C.P.S. Ed., Medical World, February 5 1943, page 608.)


A spokesman for SmithKline French with whom Beechams merged, remarked in 1967:

“Hypertension can be produced in experimental animals in several different ways, but none of these artificial systems have been helpful in predicting the action of hypotensive drugs in man.  The data cannot be analysed because so many unjustified assumptions and interpretations have been made.”
(G.E. Paget, Drug Responses in Man, Pub. J.A. Churchill Ltd, 1967, pages 120-121.)


Reserpine, a common drug used for high blood-pressure, was tested by driving cats insane with electric shocks before being deemed safe to prescribe to human patients.  It is linked to such serious side effects as mental depression, disturbed heart rhythm, angina, glaucoma and impotence.  Dr Robinson of Michigan City, Indiana, who studied high blood-pressure for many years has this to say:

“Other side effects of high blood-pressure drugs have just as many dangers, most hypertensive drugs should not be on the market doing their dirty-work.  Their side effects include arthritis, liver disease, diabetes, heart failure and senility.  Out of the 15 million people who will take hypotensive drugs within the next five years, one hundred thousand may be killed by the drug… Many of these deaths will be improperly reported since a death by stroke or heart attack is usually attributed to natural causes and seldom to side effects of drugs.”

Though the U.S. National Cancer Institute claimed that Reserpine caused cancer in laboratory animals, this was ignored.  The drug was put on the market proving once again how little the vivisectors think of their own laboratory findings based on animal experiments.

“In a study of high blood-pressure conducted by the Medical Research Council, the prevalence of male impotence after two years in men treated with the drug Bendrofluazide was more than twice that of the untreated group.  Other side effects included lethargy, constipation, nausea, dizziness and headache.  Many of these symptoms would never have been observed in animal tests.”
(Lancet, 1981, page 539.)

The drug for high blood-pressure SLOW-K (Ciba-Geigy) was brand-leader for 17 years until it was taken by 12 healthy volunteers for one week, all of whom developed ulceration of the stomach, gullet, bowels.
(Sunday Times, October 10 1982.)


Claim: replacement heart valves


Doctors Starr and Edward almost discarded the caged ball valve as it killed all their experimental dogs.  It was however successful on human beings.
Mitral Replacement: *

Clinical Experience with a Ball-Valve Prosthesis


From the Department of Surgery and Division of Thoracic Surgery,

University of Oregon Medical School, Portland, Oregon





Claim: chemotherapy for leukemia

Reply: Dr Ray Greek of Americans for Medical Advancement “Chemotherapy” began in 1946 when Alfred Gilman and Frederick Philips convinced the world that nitrogen mustard, derived from the mustard gas of World War I, could cause lymphomas to shrink.

In 1949 Sidney Farber and his colleagues showed that methotrexate could induce remissions in children with leukemia. These early indications suggested chemotherapeutic avenues, but using animals to hone them frequently frustrated them.  In 1965, Dr A. J. Shorthouse and colleagues wrote,

Most available chemotherapeutic agents have been developed using serially transplantable rodent tumours. Unfortunately their biological behavior and chemotherapeutic sensitivities do not closely resemble those found in human solid tumors. Chemotherapeutic data derived from these experimental systems may therefore be misleading with the result that patients in clinical trials frequently receive ineffective agents.

Dr. Irwin Bross, former Director of the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, the alrgest private cancer centre in the world, later corroborated this view,

…the discovery of chemotherapeutic agents for the treatment of human cancer is widely heralded as a triumph due to the use of animal model systems… There is little, if any, factual evidence that would support these claims…


Claim: life support systems for premature babies




                        for PREMATURE BABIES

* Life support has been defined as “the process of keeping a person alive by artificial inflation of the lungs, and, if necessary, maintaining the heart beat with a pacemaker”. For treatment of prematurity, the index of the same reference refers the reader to “incubator”, “neonatal care”, and “ventilator”(1). Each of these parts is considered separately below.


In 1891, George Fell, an American surgeon, forced respiration to treat victims of accidental morphine poisoning or drowning. Nine years later, Matas used positive-pressure ventilation through a tube in the larynx for operations on the open thorax. This was followed, in 1907, by a technique developed in France, whereby air containing anaesthetic gas was blown into the lungs of the patient on inhaling(2).

Ferdinand Sauerbruch of Leipzig, originally, had the idea of blowing air into the lungs to keep them inflated when opening the thorax – positive-pressure ventilation or insufflation – but in his animal experiments he found that the technique was actually harmful and concluded that positive-pressure ventilation should not be used to deliver anaesthesia to human patients. Others were influenced by Sauerbruch`s belief – delaying progress along the right lines. Sauerbruch reasoned that if positive-pressure on the inside would not work, then perhaps negative pressure on the outside might be effective. He then conducted dozens of animal experiments – opening the chest and placing an animal in a specially designed chamber, which had most of the air drawn out to lower the pressure. The lungs of the animal were effectively held in an inflated state by negative air pressure. From these animal experiments, Sauerbruch concluded that negative-pressure cabinets were the final solution to the problem of the open thorax. After Sauerbruch`s animal experiments, Samuel J Meltzer, in 1910, revived the technique of insufflation – in which air is continually blown into the lungs – in his own animal experiments. He is said to have found that the results of which indicated that the method could be a safe way of keeping the lungs inflated during surgery(2).

In about 1915, E S Rowbottom and Ivan Magill, anaesthetists at Sir Harold Gillie`s plastic surgery hospital, Sidcup, Kent, were faced with a problem of not being able to fit a mask on the face of a patient because it would obstruct their work, so they considered positive-pressure insufflation through the trachea, but found that this caused many post-operative complications – despite the positive results obtained by Meltzer in his animal experiments(2). Rowbottom and Magill gave anaesthetic gas through a single tube down the trachea, under positive-pressure when the patient breathed in. Effectively, this meant blowing the air containing the anaesthetic gas into the lungs with bellows. Clinically, they had overcome the problem(2).

PACEMAKER (see earlier)


Heated rooms, to incubate eggs, were first used by the Ancient Chinese and Egyptians(3). Modelled on these ancient methods, Giovanni Bartista della Porta designed an incubator in 1588 (4).

In 1609, Cornelius Drebbel invented the “Athenor”, an incubator fitted with a thermostat(4), consisting of a coal-fired cabinet in which hot air circulated around an inner box containing eggs. The box, with the eggs, was protected by a water-jacket incorporating a thermostat tube filled with alcohol. As the alcohol expanded with the heat, mercury was pushed up in an adjacent U-shaped tube, which, in turn, moved a metal rod to open and close dampers controlling the intensity of the fire in the grate below the cabinet. In this way, Drebbel kept the temperature fairly constant(5).

Almost 150 years after Drebbel, Rene Reaumur, in 1750, invented an incubator similar to that of Drebbel but it was less efficient. Reaumur`s incubator consisted of a circular stove surrounded by a heated platform on which eggs were placed to hatch(5).

In 1770, John Champion of London patented the incubator, which was repatented in 1846(6).

Bodin, in France, constructed an incubator in 1880. Made of wood, Bodin`s incubator was heated by saucepans of hot water placed underneath it(7).

In 1891, Alexandre Lion of Nice made an incubator – based largely on Drebbel`s ideas – which was adapted for the intensive care of premature babies(8). Air in Lion`s incubator was purified through a filter and kept constantly fresh by means of a fan ventilator, while the temperature was regulated automatically by a thermostatic control. Lion set up centers in Nice, Bordeaux, Marseilles, Lyons and Paris. At the latter, 50 centimes was charged to see the premature babies in the incubators as a way of offsetting the cost of the equipment. Of 185 babies reared in his incubator in Nice, 137 survived infancy whereas they had all been expected to die shortly after birth(9).

If babies were considered too weak to swallow, Lion arranged for them to be fed – through the nose – by a specially moulded spoon, or breast-fed by a “wet nurse” who had a tube attached to her nipple(9).

Lion`s incubator – under the name “Couveuse” – was first introduced in London in 1897. In America, Dr Martin Cooney tried to persuade hospitals to adopt Lion`s technique. With the hospitals showing a lack of interest, Cooney installed the Child Incubator exhibition at Coney Island`s Dreamland in 1904. Of 8000 infants brought to Cooney, 7500 survived infancy in the Lion incubator(10).

Modern electric incubators, which have become standard in some hospitals, are similar to that of Lion, with additional equipment to measure respiration and heart-beat(11).


Dr John Stenhouse, in 1853,  invented a charcoal respirator, fitted with air filters(12); which was first used shortly afterwards at the Mansion House in London(13).

In 1879, Woillez in France anticipated the idea of a respirator for patients(14).

Alexander Graham Bell (inventor of the telephone) began work on a way of preventing respiratory failure in new-born children after his own son died. He invented a vacuum jacket to cope with such emergencies, which according to his sketches (which survived) show an airtight iron “lung” surrounding the patient up to the neck. A hand operated pump was fitted to the chamber and when operated would then rhythmically raise and lower the air pressure inside, which in turn, would compress or expand the lungs(15).

It was not until 1927 that Philip Drinker of Harvard produced his first model of his “iron lung”(16), which consisted of two vacuum cleaners that alternatively gave positive and negative pressure – producing carefully timed fluctuations of the thorax(17). After much improvement, and manufactured by Warren C Collins of Boston, the Drinker Respirator was used clinically for the first time on 12 Oct 1928(18).

On 6 Oct 1932, a Drinker Respirator was used for the first time in Britain – on a polio sufferer. The patient wrote a letter to The Times and as the respirator was considered so successful, Lord Nuffield offered a respirator to every hospital in the British Empire(18).


1. Smith,T [ed ed]. BMA Complete Family Health Encyclopaedia. 6th ed. Dorling Kindersley. 1993.

2. Reines,B. Heart Research on Animals. NAVS. 1985.

3. Brown,D. in Inventions that Changed the World. Reader`s Digest. 1982.

4. Carter,E. Dictionary of Inventions & Discoveries. Fredrick Muller. 1969.

5. Brown,D. in Inventions that Changed the World. Reader`s Digest. 1982.

6. Carter,E. Dictionary of Inventions & Discoveries. Fredrick Muller. 1969.

7. d`Estang,V-A. Book of Inventions & Discoveries. Macdonald Queen Anne Press. 1992.

8. Brown,D. in Inventions that Changed the World. Reader`s Digest. 1982.

9. Robertson,P [ed]. Shell book of Firsts. Ebury books. 1974.

10. WGBH Educational Foundation/WNET 13/Coney Island Film Project. Screened by Channel 4 TV UK. Xmas 1991.

11. Brown,D. in Inventions that Changed the World. Reader`s Digest. 1982.

12. Carter,E. Dictionary of Inventions & Discoveries. Fredrick Muller. 1969.

13. Desmond,K. Harwin chronology of Inventions, innovations, Discoveries from pre-history to the present day. Constable & Co. 1987.

14. Carter,E. Dictionary of Inventions & Discoveries. Fredrick Muller. 1969.

15. Harris,M. ITN Book of Firsts. Michael O`Mara Books. 1994.

16. Carter,E. Dictionary of Inventions & Discoveries. Fredrick Muller. 1969.

17. Harris,M. ITN Book of Firsts. Michael O`Mara Books. 1994.

18. Robertson,P [ed]. Shell Book of Firsts. Ebury books. 1974.


It’s been well known for maybe two decades that many of these preclinical human cancer models have very little predictive power in terms of how actual human beings – actual human tumours inside patients – will respond…Preclinical models of human cancer, in large part, stink…Hundreds of millions of dollars are being wasted every year by drug companies using these [animal] models…Prof. Robert Weinberg, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Fortune, 9th March.2004

[mouse models are] woefully inadequate…if you look at the millions and millions and millions of mice that have been cured, and you compare that to the relative success, or lack thereof, that we’ve achieved in the treatment of metastatic disease clinically, you realize that there just has to be something wrong with those models. Homer Pearce, research fellow at Eli Lilly. Fortune, 9th March.2004

Drugs known to damage the human foetus are found to be safe in 70% of cases when tried on primates. Developmental Toxicology: Mechanisms and Risk, p313, McLachlan, Pratt, and Markert (Eds). 1987



The World’s Most Important (and unsung) Hero


The World’s Most Important (and unsung) Hero

Hans Ruesch, the father of the modern anti-vivisection movement has died on 27 August 2007 at age 94. If we measure a persons greatness by the extent to which they expose and seek to eliminate suffering and are prepared to dedicate themselves to this end no matter what then Hans Ruesch was the most importnat person in the world today…and also the most persecuted.
A book called “Ideas that Changed the World” list  him along with Einstein and Gandhi as inclusions from the 20th century (all vegetarians/vegans). The Guiness Book of  Records listed him as the most litigated person in the world. These two facts speak volumes about him and the world we live in today.
A genuine anti-vivisectionist he forced a referendum on the elimination of vivisection in Switzerland, the country which had and still may have the highest number of animal experiments per capita due to pharmaceutical companies. He was also instrumental in helping Italian parliament to vote for the elimination of vivisection and brought this about in South Tirol. No-one has ever come closer to exposing and eliminating this, the most despicable crime ever committed. His ideas should have changed the world and would have if his books and words were not so successfully suppressed. If we do not hear them then there is little hope. Please buy his books, read them and for the sake of laboratory animals, spread the truth far and wide. Go to  and other sites.
What a life! Grand Prix winner, best selling novelist (selling millions of books, some made into Hollywood films) and MOST IMPORTANTLY BY FAR, the most successful anti-vivisectionist of all time.
Here is something I wrote in 2004:

In June last year I had the honour of meeting a man who is truly the founder of scientific anti-vivisectionism and the most effective anti-vivisectionist in the world, Hans Ruesch. I admit that I was unaware that he was still alive until shortly before then. I was travelling in Europe and so decided that I would go through Lugano in Switzerland for the purposes of meeting the man who is a hero to me and would be to anyone who knows the truth about vivisection and his tireless efforts to expose and stop it. Upon arriving at his address I found a block of flats with many numbers, once a millionaire persecution by his opponents had lead to him living here. Not knowing what number was his I felt despair until a moment later a man arrived and said to me in english “I’m here to see Mr Ruesch, who are you here to see?”, something which has never happenned to me before. If I believed in fate this would be a sure sign of it.

I met an 89 year old man, very modest and not requiring my compliments and still writing an entire book in four languages without help despite ill health and constant persecution which caused him to leave his country for years. After writing to him I had the good fortune to receive a reply which is unusual for such a busy man. In it he said that at eighty nine he was reaching the end of his rainbow and I replied that if anyone’s life could be described as such then his could.

Let me paraphrase from “1000 Doctors (and many more) Against Vivisection”. “Born in 1913 as a Swiss citizen to a Swiss couple who was living in Naples, Italy, he grew up multilingual, studying first in Italy and then in German speaking and partly in francophone Switzerland – Zurich and Geneva. As a very young man he embarked in a car racing career which took him all over Europe and Africa. He established two world records at nineteen and went on to win the British Grand Prix of the time.

But he felt that literature was his calling, and in 1938 he sailed to the USA, where he was one of the few European writers to succeed in publishing short stories and articles in Americas leading magazines and newspapers of the time. In 1950 Harper Brothers published his first American novel, set among the Eskimos: “Top of the World”, which had by 1989 sold over 3 million copies world wide and was also filmed, starring Anthony Quinn. Kirk Douglas starred in another film taken from one of Ruesch’s novels, “The Racer”.

Having also studied medicine, he worked in the 1950s as a medical editor. It was in this capacity that he gradually discovered the fraud inherent to the industrialized, money spinning, disease producing vivisectionist practice.

In 1973 when his latest novel, “Back to the Top of the World” was released, Ruesch announced that he was never going to write fiction again so long as the fraud of vivisection was not generally exposed, and from then on he dedicated all his efforts to this end.

His first book about the cruelty and counterproductivity of the practice, “Slaughter of the Innocent”, first appeared in Italy’s publishing empire of Rizzoli in 1976 and in New York (Bantam) in 1978. “Naked Empress” (1982) exposed the dire consequences that medicine and humanity have derived from an erroneous method of “research”, and “1000 Doctors (and many more) Against Vivisection” shows that a growing number of people share his views. Vivisection based medicine is in fact being increasingly recognised as the principal cause of disease today.”

Bette Overell, former leader of the New Zealand Anti-Vivisection Society said in her excellent book “Animal Research Takes Lives…Humans and Animals Both Suffer”, 1993, (available from, “Shocked by what he discovered, in 1974 Ruesch founded his own Center for Scientific Information on Vivisection (CIVIS), a publishing house dedicated exclusively to the fight against vivisection, from which he despatches regular foundation reports in many languages. In 1979 Ruesch’s ‘Slaughter of the Innocent” was the breakthrough which altered the whole concept and course of the ‘anti-vivisection movement’. Revealing that vivisection is not merely a question of cruelty to animals, but also the vital international alibi which paves the way, through fraud and conspiracy, to solid gold profits, in Great Britain the book lasted a few short weeks before being banned from the shelves. Abandoning his lucrative literary career Ruesch pledged to devote the remainder of his life to this cause. He has been highly successful, not only in becoming the recognised father of the new abolitionist movement, but for his many subsequent powerful works on the subject.

In 1985 Ruesch was a key figure in the Swiss Referendum Against Vivisection, when on December 18 of that year a third of the Swiss population voted in favour of abolition. In October 1987 he helped launch the first ever International League of Doctors Against Vivisection of which he was made Honourary President. The worlds most sought after exponent of abolition, Ruesch undertakes a gruelling lecture circuit, debates with adversaries at symposia, addresses internatioinal congresses and is a well known figure on European and American radio and television. He is the draw card which leads marches and addresses rallies, always dispensing the facts as they are. Many organisations worldwide have been formed to support Hans Ruesch, whose name, and rightly so, since we and future generations are in his debt, is already carved in history”.

Here is a letter Mr. Ruesch wrote to me in 2002;
“Milan, 10 December, 2002
Dear Mr Douglas Leith,
Your letter of Oct 14th reached me only a few days ago because I’ve had to leave my Swiss address about 3 years ago because of constant persecution by the courts. I regret not having heard from you earlier, otherwise you would be on my mailing list and you would have received all my Foundation Reports of which I am enclosing the last one. I don’t know if I’ll ever find the time and the strength to do still another report in English, as I am also writing and publishing Reports in my other three languages and I am very much at the end of my rainbow.
Your letter moved me particularly although I receive many of the kind. I’ll soon be turning 90 and feel very much at the end of my strength. I know there are a great many people who feel as we do.
Yours; Hans Ruesch

If you have never heard of him I am not surprised for his books and work have been kept out of the public eye very effectively since his first anti-vivisection book “Slaughter of the Innocent” was published in 1978. This book exposed vivisection for what it is, a massive hidden fraud which not only kills hundreds of millions of animals a year but is also the largest cause of human illness and death, a fact which has been very well hidden from almost all of us. Why is it so well hidden? Primarily because extremely powerful industries rely on fraudulent animal “tests” to pass their products as “safe” so as to avoid litigation for the damage which they cause constantly, the careers of many “academics” rely on vivisection as an alibi for publishing papers and the “medical research” business relies on it for constant “breakthroughs” without ever curing a disease and thereby ensuring constant business. The media relies on these for advertising income and often outright ownership and the government receives “donations” from them so influencing the education and legal systems. They also infiltrate groups who claim to be opposed to vivisection.

So we have some very powerful enemies. We can defeat them by expressing the truth about vivisection. To do this firstly we must inform ourselves and the works of Hans Ruesch are essential reading for anyone who is opposed to what Mahatma Gandhi called “the blackest of all of the black crimes ever committed against God and his fair creation.” Do not let the vivisectors succeed in stopping the truth from being heard as they have done by stopping his books. These books are more empowering than disturbing. If you have ever had no answer when someone has said “What would you rather kill, a baby or a rat?” then you must read these books before they are completely suppressed.

“Conclusions drawn from animal research, when applied to humans are likely to delay progress, mislead and do harm to the patient. Vivisection, or animal experimentation, should be abolished.” Dr Moniem A Fadali. For over a thousand more quotes against vivisection by eminent doctors and scientists see “1000 Doctors (and many more) Against Vivisection” by Hans Ruesch.



Hello world!

Welcome to After you read this, you should delete and write your own post, with a new title above. Or hit Add New on the left (of the admin dashboard) to start a fresh post.

Here are some suggestions for your first post.

  1. You can find new ideas for what to blog about by reading the Daily Post.
  2. Add PressThis to your browser. It creates a new blog post for you about any interesting  page you read on the web.
  3. Make some changes to this page, and then hit preview on the right. You can always preview any post or edit it before you share it to the world.