Sir – The animal rights lobby claim to be helping animals, but they forget one important group. That’s the people with health problems and disabilities who benefit directly from animal-based research.

Until recently I had a serious spinal condition, which left me in massive pain and hardly able to work.

Thanks to animal-based research I had an operation where bone was taken out of my pelvis and placed into my spine to reinforce it. The pain has now completely gone, I can work full-time, and have a social life.

The research underpining this operation could only have been done on animals. Test tubes and computers won’t let you work out how bones fuse together.

The animal rights lobby tell us that we should treat animals in the same way as humans. But if we do that, we’re condemning people with health problems and disabilities to pain, to isolation, to unemployment, and to massively reduced quality of life.

I want to see the best possible conditions for animals, and will be happy when we have alternatives that work. But until that day, we need to keep animal research legal.

Kevin Elliott, Oxford