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July 5, 1985

The LD50

JAMA. 1985;254(1):56. doi:10.1001/jama.1985.03360010062018

To the Editor.—  It is disturbing to read Dr Hubbard and Ms Young's1 letter in The Journal urging medicine "to develop modern nonanimal alternatives for all toxicity testing" (my italics). Groups like Friends of Animals and mobilization for Animals (there are about 400 of them worldwide) generate a strong emotional appeal for the alleged poor, victimized laboratory animal. Many television and movie celebrities have backed these movements and added glamour and generous contributions to this cause. These groups are now well organized with plenty of money at their disposal.The public should know, however, that from 12 to 20 million unclaimed animals are put to death in the United States each year. The County of Los Angeles alone destroys 6,000 to 10,000 animals per month, often at taxpayers' expense. Of this number, only 3% are needed for medical research. Thus, the life of the vast majority is terminated with