Professor Sir Nicholas Wright, Warden of Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry
What rights do animals have?
“Well it is difficult to attach rights to animals since they have no responsibilities. However, animals should have a reasonable expectation to be treated in a kind and reasonable way, and without cruelty.”
Is it fair to kill animals to help humans?
“I believe it is! It is very clear that grafting kidneys and other organs would not have been possible without experiments on animals and of course many of these animals would die. But, if you had a mum or dad who needed a kidney graft to save their lives – wouldn’t you agree? And I bet you would give them one of yours!”
Sometimes researchers suffer at the hands of animal rights activists. What is the morality of direct action to protect animals?
“I suppose it depends on your viewpoint. Some people think animals are more important than humans, so it’s quite alright to attack scientists who work with animals. But most people believe that humans are much more important than animals, and therefore to injure humans for the sake of animals is morally wrong.”