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To coincide with animal research debates held during Biology Week, The Observer published an article about the use of marmosets in the development of drugs for Parkinson’s disease.

Animal Aid replied with a letter stating that ‘Contrary to the extraordinary claims quoted in this article, today's most successful treatments for Parkinson's (levodopa, selegiline and apomorphine) were pioneered in human trials’

This statement is not only misleading but factually incorrect. The drugs were fully tested in animals prior to human trials. In fact, it is a legal requirement to do so.

The Society of Biology replied with a letter correcting the factual inaccuracies and highlighting the importance of animals in research. This was consigned by the Association of Medical Research Charities, the Academy of Medical Sciences and Parkinson’s UK, and was published in The Observer on 27th October.

Dr Mark Downs, chief executive of the Society of Biology, says: “It is important that debates around the use of animals in research are held openly, and that people are able to draw their own conclusions based on reliable information. We believe it is important to achieve greater transparency about research involving animals, and we are achieving this through our Animal Science Group.”