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20th Feb 2012

Animal testing on the rise in Ireland

Figures released by the Department of Health show that the number of animals being experimented on in Ireland has risen dramatically in the space of five years.


If you thought animal testing was a thing of the past, think again as new figures show that the number of animals used for experimentation in Irish laboratories has increased dramatically in the space of five years.

The Irish Examiner reports that the figures, released by the Department of Health, show 280,000 animals were used in live experiments in 2010 alone, and this figure is continuing to grow. Needless to say, serious concerns have been raised among animal welfare groups.

More than 80 per cent of the animals were used for experiments that were conducted by “commercial establishments.” The rest were used at universities, hospitals, agriculture and veterinary institutes, fish farms and research institutions.

The Irish Anti-Vivisection Society has spoken out and said that the new figures were “disturbing” and “unprecedented.” The society also said that Ireland had one of the highest levels of animal testing in Europe.

So what kind of animals are being experimented on? If you’re an animal lover, you should probably look away now. Horses, dogs, cats, mice, rats, goats, cows, fish, birds, rabbits, guinea pigs – basically anything that moves really.

However the situation gets more disturbing – more than 80 per cent of the animals that were used for experimentation, did not receive any kind of anaesthetic before these operations and experiments were carried out. In Ireland there is a special licence which specifically allows researchers to carry out procedures while the animal is completely conscious.

831 dogs were used in experiments in 2010. Of this number, 791 were not given any kind of anaesthetic.

“Some 226,070 tests, over 80 per cent, were conducted by commercial establishments, raising serious concerns that animals are being made to suffer, often purely for the sake of profit maximisation,” said a spokesperson for the Irish Anti-Vivisection Society.

The society has called for a full investigation into the recent increases in numbers when it comes to Irish animal testing.