We are writing to thank you for the excellent article by Lynn Simross ("Pets Reap Benefits of Human Medical Progress," March 8) describing how animal research benefits humans. As Simross pointed out, what has been learned in veterinary medicine not only helps animals but frequently leads to important improvements in human health.
Vaccines for rabies, distemper, parvo-virus, infectious hepatitis and feline leukemia, treatment for parasites, nutrition research, genetic research, orthopedic surgery and treatment for pet cancer and heart disease all resulted from testing on animals. Most of the research that has extended human life has also depended on the use of animals. The remarkable breakthroughs in the cure and treatment of heart disease, cancer and lung and kidney disease result directly from animal research. Animals continue to be needed in order to study these diseases as well as other threats to human life and animal life.
As an organization dedicated to preserving life and eradicating heart disease, we know that biomedical research is the key to continued medical advances. We are certain that Lynn Simross' article has helped to create a better awareness and understanding of the importance of using animals in scientific studies.
MICHAEL T. PFEIFFER
Chairman, Public Policy Committee
American Heart Assn.