Диалоги на английском языке с переводом. № 93.
How do you feel about animals being used in experiments?
Well, the whole principle of using animals in experiments has been reviewed certainly in this country very, very strongly. And the principle has been to try to reduce the number of animals used. Now unfortunately, there seems to be no other way of achieving always the result that we require in testing a particular substance. I don't find myself a little bit uncomfortable with the wish that there is to test substances other than medicines. When we start to get testing cosmetics and things that are somewhat ephemeral in the needs of the human population, I'm not sure that's a good use of animals.

How do you feel about people having large dangerous dogs as pets?
All dogs can be dangerous. If you look at where deaths have occurred in babies and small children, it's surprising, sometimes it's been very small dogs that have been involved. It hasn't always been the big dogs. Unfortunately, it's not really the dog's problem and fault, it's usually the owner's problem and fault. And so if the owner can't restrain, keep control, have a proper care of that animal, then any dog can become more dangerous. And the principle of leaving children with dogs is one that should not on any occasion occur, no matter how good anybody believes a particular dog is. Dogs can be dangerous.

Are there any animals or insects you are afraid of?
I suppose that 'afraid' is one word, 'being extremely cautious of', is another. I've been attacked by cows, not uncommonly unfortunately over the years, picked up and thrown across the room and so on. Now everybody thinks cows are rather nice creatures and so on but when they've got a calf at foot, they are very protective and they can be extremely dangerous. A sow with its piglets will be very dangerous and possibly one of the most dangerous species that we deal with. I've treated tigers, I've treated chimpanzees, and in their own right those are extremely dangerous, so I think it's a question of assessing the animal, the risk, and taking the suitable precautions, because sometimes it's the small ones that bite you when you're not thinking about it rather than the big one that you are watching and thinking was going to be dangerous.


Do you have any pets yourself?
Yes, over the years we've had various animals. At the moment we've got a dog, 40 sheep, a couple of ponies and a snake. And it sits in its, in its vivarium on the landing at home, and it's my son's snake and I think he uses it purposely to terrify some of the young ladies who visit and others, and my daughter's boyfriend, is not at all keen on it and walks round the landing to try and avoid it.

Has it ever escaped?
On one occasion it did escape briefly, but was rapidly recaptured I hasten to add.

Would you recommend becoming a vet?
Yes, I think it's been a good life. I certainly have enjoyed it. It's meant it's very challenging, very demanding. You never stop learning and, in fact, you can't stop learning because medicine - whether it be veterinary medicine or human medicine - the changes are immense over the years. So you're constantly having to be kept up to date by reading, attending lectures, talking to colleagues, and also by your clients. Because these days with the Internet, they very often will come in with a whole sheaf of papers and say, 'We think our dog has got so and so. Here you are Mr Vet, look at all this information.' And you then sort of go, 'Thank you very much,' and put it gently to one side and have a look at the animal and decide that this extraordinary disease that they've just found on the Internet doesn't have any relation to what's in front of you. But that's one of the challenges of today.