Sir – It is difficult to accept Daniel Emlyn-Jones’s statement (Letters, January 8) that animal experiments are performed only “because there is no alternative”, since a range of alternatives exists and can be developed. If there is substance in the claim, it represents an indictment of scientific and academic communities, who have failed to promote alternatives, thereby visiting unjustified suffering on sentient animals over many years.

His letter might suggest that thalidomide was not tested on animals. That is incorrect: it was.

Sir David Madden, Oxford