Animal Aid supporters were on the streets in 50 towns and cities across the UK on Saturday, building public support for a ban on monkey research.

Around 10,000 primates are used in European laboratories each year, with about one third undergoing procedures' in Britain. Most will die having been deliberately poisoned with an overdose of chemicals or drugs by pharmaceutical companies.

Over a period of days, weeks or months, monkeys suffer the effects of these toxicity tests: retching and vomiting, uncontrollable diarrhoea, tremors, liver failure and death.

Aside from the appalling cruelty inflicted on our close kin, there are sound scientific reasons why testing on animals is unacceptable.

Doctors and scientists admit that women and men react very differently to drugs, so we must accept that animal tests cannot be relied upon to give accurate information about humans.

No wonder adverse drug reactions - that were unforeseen in animals - are the fourth biggest killer of humans.

People wishing to know more about the Europe-wide campaign to end primate experiments should visit

KATE FOWLER-REEVES, head of campaigns, Animal Aid