About Us

Who We Are

The IAVS campaigns peacefully for the law to be changed so that all animal experiments will be abolished.

We believe it is morally wrong to deliberately inflict pain, suffering, emotional harm and death on animals for whatever purpose. Animal experiments, by definition, cannot be separated from some degree of pain and suffering. Using animals as substitutes for human beings in research and testing is scientifically questionable and experimental results are unreliable due to the numerous ‘species differences’ between animals and ourselves.

The Department of Health regulates vivisection in Ireland and issues licences for people in universities, research institutes, hospitals and commercial companies to perform experiments and tests on animals.

We continually request information from the Department of Health to find out exactly what is happening to these animals and why. It is a matter of great public interest and yet the details about experiments on animals are not released on the grounds that information is confidential and/or commercially important. This protects the interests of those conducting experiments but not the animals involved. Even requests made under the Freedom of Information Act are denied due to various exemptions that prevent information on vivisection from being made public. However, public money is involved in funding some animal experimentation work, which we believe entitles the public to know what is going on behind closed doors of laboratories.

A ban on all experiments on animals is unlikely to be won in the short term due to the powerful prevailing views of science, industry and governments worldwide. It is therefore vital that the IAVS strongly opposes animal experiments on both moral and scientific grounds while promoting scientific research and testing methods that do not involve animals.

If you agree that it is wrong to use animals in experiments please join the IAVS. We are member of the European Coalition to End Animal Experiments and are part of a Europe-wide campaign to end vivisection.



To secure the total abolition of all experiments causing suffering or distress to animals.
Pending the achievement of this fundamental aim, to sponsor, promote and/or assist such measures of partial reform as shall be approved by, or acceptable to, the Society.
To encourage research into, and the use of techniques not involving the use of living animals.


Vivisection is permitted by law and, indeed in many cases required by it. The Society therefore considered that it can best pursue its aims by encouraging scientists to use existing alternative methods and look for others, and by urging public representatives and officials to change the law.
The Society is committed to persuasion and debate rather than confrontation.
The Society rejects illegal action in the campaign against animal experiments.
The Society's public statements and propaganda are undertaken with the greatest care for accuracy and for the Society's reputation as a responsible body.


The IAVS has set up a fund to subsidise work on alternatives by Irish scientists. It will support projects directly related to finding or validating replacement techniques.

Examples include:

Epidemiology (Population studies)
Medical research has sought to identify the underlying causes of human disease in order to develop effective preventive and therapeutic measures. It was epidemiological research, not animal experiments, which first identified the links between cigarette smoking and cancer, between bad diet and cancer, between lack of exercise and heart disease, between environmental toxicity and illness and death from poisoning, Animal experiments only confirmed them.

Patient Studies
The main source of medical knowledge has always been the direct study of human disease by closely monitoring human patients. Modern noninvasive imaging devices such as CAT, MRI, PET and SPECT scans have revolutionized clinical investigation. These devices permit the ongoing evaluation of human disease in living human patients and have contributed greatly to medical knowledge.

Autopsies and Biopsies
Autopsies have been crucial to our current understanding of many diseases, such as heart disease, appendicitis, diabetes and alzheimer's disease. Although the usefulness of autopsies is generally limited to the disease's lethal stage, biopsies can provide information into other disease stages. Diagnostic needle and endoscopic biopsies often permit safe procurement of human tissues from living patients.

In vitro cell and tissue cultures
In tissue and organ cultures, specimens are grown outside their normal human, animal or vegetable environments in specially prepared nutrient cultures. Tissues can be derived from many sources acceptable in ethical terms. In vitro tests using using cells with human DNA can detect DNA damage much more readily than animal tests.

If you are interested in applying for a research grant from the IAVS, please contact us by email at info@irishantivivisection.org