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Working to abolish experimentation on animals in Ireland

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Breaking: End Animal Testing European Citizens’ Initiative Validated With Over 1.2 Million Signatures
January 2023

Brussels – Signed, sealed, and delivered! The End Animal Testing European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI) has smashed the requirement of gathering 1 million validated signatures – reaching over 1.2 million statements of support from European citizens. The citizens of Ireland have ensured this country is officially included by submitting 11,211 signatures, verified by the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage.

The campaign in Ireland has been spearheaded by the Irish Anti-Vivisection Society (IAVS), as part of a Europe-wide anti-cruelty coalition.

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Animal testing no longer required in drug development
January 2023

For the first time in more than 80 years, a change in U.S. law allows the animal-free testing of new drugs using modern, human-based methods. The Irish Anti-Vivisection Society is pleased with this huge step forward and calls for Ireland and the EU to use this as an example by developing and implementing a strategy for human-relevant drug development without animal testing.

The new law, signed by U.S. President Joe Biden at the end of December 2022, allows the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to approve new drugs without demanding data from animal testing. Previously, pharmaceutical companies were required by law to test the safety and efficacy of their drug candidates in multiple animal trials using at least two species before they were allowed to test the drug candidates in clinical trials with human subjects and patients. "A large amount of data clearly exposes the failure of the outdated system based on animal testing. On average, 92% of drug candidates that successfully pass all animal tests are later abandoned during human clinical trials, mainly because they do not work or cause significant side effects," says Dr. Dilyana Filipova, a scientist at the German group Doctors Against Animal Experiments, a partner of the IAVS in the European Coalition to End Animal Experiments (ECEAE).

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Latest Stats
December 2022

The Irish government’s Health Products Regulatory Authority (HPRA) has just released its statistical report for animal experiments in Ireland for the year 2021.

The IAVS is grateful for the small mercy of an 11% reduction in animal tests compared with 2020, with 15,760 less animals being painfully sacrificed in Irish labs. However, the death toll of over 121,000 animals is still a bloody stain on Ireland’s reputation. Once again, most of these killings – about 82,000 - are due to extremely cruel poisoning tests of botox-type products (Botulinum toxin – Bt), which the HPRA misleading describes as ‘medicinal’ products, even though a significant proportion of these batches are destined for cosmetic use.

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Air France communicates the date on which it will stop transporting primates for animal experimentation
December 2022

The long-term campaign by One Voice (since 1996) and its partners Action for Primates (UK), Stop Camarles (Spain), and Peta (USA) for Air France to stop taking part in the transportation of primates to laboratories has finally paid off. It was one of the latest ‘national’ companies in Europe to continue to transport primates from countries where they live freely to those where they are experimented on on laboratory benches.

Animal testing is no longer allowed to be carried out on first generation (F1) primates within the European Union since November this year. However, breeding activity continues in Asia and Mauritius leaving the door open to potential illegal capturing.

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Join us on our committee
December 2022

The IAVS is seeking new committee members!

Would you like to speak up for innocent animals subjected to pain, suffering, and death in laboratories?

The Irish Anti-Vivisection Society is committed to responsible and non-violent action and members must share IAVS values and be genuinely committed to the cause of animal rights. We are looking for dedicated and intelligent people with imagination and the time to devote to the IAVS.

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Remembering Yvonne Smalley
September 2022

The IAVS pays tribute to a true advocate for animal protection

We are very sorry to announce the tragic passing of Yvonne Smalley, the chairperson of the Irish Anti-Vivisection Society (IAVS), on 20th July 2022. Yvonne dedicated her life to animal protection. For around 30 years she volunteered for and chaired the IAVS, ensuring the voice of the animals was heard by the Government and public through pivotal times such as major reforms in animal experimentation legislation and fighting the horrific expansion of botox animal testing.

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ECI PRESS RELEASE 1 September 2022
September 2022

Irish citizens join historic European effort to stop unnecessary animal testing cruelty.

Irish citizens are leading the way in a historic Europe-wide effort to tackle animal cruelty in testing laboratories. An official EU petition – known as a ‘European Citizens’ Initiative’ (ECI) - has smashed through the target of 1 million signatures to attract the support of over 1.4 million citizens in time for its deadline today, 1st September 2022.

Each country has a threshold of numbers to exceed in order to validate the country’s support, and Ireland has achieved its target with around 11,000 supporters, led by the campaigning of the Irish Anti-Vivisection Society (IAVS).

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July 2022

One Hundred Thousand Mice Killed for Botox in Ireland in 2020.

Irish Anti-Vivisection Society Freedom of Information request uncovers evidence of unnecessary suffering in severe tests.

The Irish Anti-Vivisection Society (IAVS) joins the European Coalition to End Animal Experiments (ECEAE), for a continent-wide Day of Action on 9th July 2022 calling for an end to what is the most severe and gratuitous abuse of animals in laboratories.

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June 2022 Read More

Shocking Animal Testing Footage Causing Outrage in Ireland.

Everyone in Ireland needs to see this. These Irish celebrities were horrified to learn what’s happening to animals out of sight of the public in laboratories in the EU:


160,000 animals put down after experiments in Irish universities
May 2022 Read More

Almost 160,000 animals have been put down by Ireland’s top universities over the past four years after being used in research experiments. The most commonly used animals were mice, rats and fish, but others including rabbits, pigs, birds, lizards and seals were also used in drug trials.

Animal rights campaigners have called for an end to the practice, which they say is cruel and produces poor results as most drugs that test well on animals do not work on humans. But the universities argue that the research contributes to scientific knowledge and say testing on animals is done to the highest ethical standards.

Toll of animals sacrificed in Irish labs rose in 2020
December 2021 Read More

The latest Statistical Report on animal experiments issued by the Government’s Health Products Regulatory Authority (HPRA) reveals that in 2020, 137,318 animals were subjected to experiments in Ireland that fell into the legal category of being ‘likely to cause pain, suffering, distress or lasting harm’, an increase of 1,154 animals compared with 2019.

The rising death toll in Irish laboratories is a devastating setback after welcome declines in 2018 and 2019, and highlights the tragic failures behind the Government’s claims to be promoting reductions in animal testing.

Prize for animal-free antibodies - Apply now!
November 2021 Read More

To raise awareness about the advantages of animal-free antibodies and promote their development and application, the European Coalition to End Animal Experiments (ECEAE) is happy to announce for the first time a unique Prize for animal-free antibodies. The aim of this prize is to highlight the versatility and superiority of animal-free antibodies and encourage their acceptance and use for research and therapeutic purposes.

The prize amounts to €10.000 and can be awarded to an individual researcher or a researcher consortium, a university department, an industrial company or other type of research facility. The prize will be awarded at an event in Brussels in March/April 2022.

Monkeys destined for US labs die on board Wamos Air flight
November 2021 Read More

Animal Protection groups are calling on the Spanish holiday charter airline, Wamos Air, to immediately stop transporting monkeys for research laboratories following the tragic deaths this week of several monkeys on board its flight from Cambodia to the US.

The tragedy began Sunday 14th November. According to a tip-off received by a concerned person in Madrid, Wamos Air transported 720 long-tailed macaques as cargo on Flight EB998 from Cambodia (PNH) to Houston (IAH) (AWB 46090129060). The ordeal suffered by these monkeys included confinement inside small transit crates for 24 hours of flying time, with an additional six hour stop-over in Tbilisi, Georgia, which included a three hour delay. In addition, many hours would have been spent in transit to and from the airports.

September 2021 Read More

Irish Anti-Vivisection Society statement on European parliament motion for action plan to phase out animal experimentation

The IAVS warmly welcomes last night’s (15 September) European Parliament vote directing the European Commission to implement an Action Plan for the reduction and elimination of animal experiments. This has the potential to be a historic juncture in the battle to save around 10 million animals a year from pain and suffering in EU laboratories.

EP votes in favour to end animal experiments
September 2021 Read More

The European Parliament called on the European Commission to put forward an action plan to facilitate the reduction and replacement of animals in science.

Yesterday evening the European Parliament (EP) adopted a Resolution calling on the European Commission to establish a EU-wide Action Plan for the active phase-out of the use of animals in experiments. The plan shall include milestones and targets to incentivise progress towards the replacement of the use of animals with non-animal and human-based methods.

Save Cruelty Free Cosmetics
September 2021 Read More

Sign here for a Europe without animal testing

The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) is calling for new animal testing on ingredients that have been safely used by consumers for many years. If this goes ahead, millions of animals could be subjected to cruel and unnecessary tests. It’s time to take urgent action against animal testing in Europe.

Kabul Small Animal Rescue - Afghanistan Evacuation
August 2021 Read More

An animal rescue group is racing to get hundreds of pets out of Afghanistan by Aug. 31

The staff at the Kabul Small Animal Rescue has been working around the clock to pull off what feels like the impossible.
The mission? Fundraise at least $1.5 million for a cargo plane that can airlift more than 200 dogs and cats, the rescue organization's staff, and their families out of the capital safely — all in less than a week and while the Taliban are breathing down their necks.

IAVS Condemns EU’s ‘Tick-Box Torture’ of Animals
July 2021 Read More

IAVS lobbies Irish MEPs over EU breaching own ‘ban’ on poisoning animals to test cosmetics.

On 11th March 2021 - the 8th anniversary of the EU law that was supposed to ban animal testing for the sake of cosmetics - the Irish Anti-Vivisection Society (IAVS) joined forces with animal protection groups and cosmetic companies across Europe to complain to the European Commission about massive loopholes in the Cosmetics Regulation which mean that animals were still being poisoned and killed for vanity products. In particular, regulations around chemicals – REACH – are being enforced by the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) in a way that means ingredients exclusively used in cosmetics continue to be tested on animals.

June 2021 Read More

Cruel botox tests on mice continue despite animal-free tests have been available for 10 years - Week of action across Europe.

Ten years have passed since the first manufacturer of botulinum toxin products (commonly known as botox) received regulatory approval for an animal-free test. After Allergan, two other global companies, Merz and Ipsen, switched to animal-free tests in 2015 and 2018. Despite these victories for animal rights campaigning, the extremely cruel botox tests on mice continue. The Irish Anti-Vivisection Society, member of the European Coalition to End Animal Experiments (ECEAE), is calling upon the European Medicine Agency (EMA) to delete the LD50 test on mice from the European regulations. The ECEAE will be holding a Week of Action across Europe from 21 to 26 June to protest against the continued use of mice in this cruel poisoning test.

Landmark international guideline for non-animal skin testing
June 2021 Read More

Approaches now approved offer prospect of fully replacing skin sensitisation tests on animals for many chemicals.

We are excited to report that the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has adopted a new groundbreaking guideline on Defined Approaches for Skin Sensitisation (DASS), employing a selection of non-animal methods in approved combinations for predicting if chemical substances could cause human skin sensitisation.

Irish Anti-Vivisection Society Press Release
March 2021 Read More

Irish Anti-Vivisection Society Joins Coalition to Call On the European Commission to Honour Ban on Animal Testing for Cosmetics.

Eight years ago on 11th March 2013, cosmetics tests on animals and the sale of cosmetics relying on such tests were supposed to be banned in the EU – yet loopholes mean cosmetics ingredients continue to be tested on animals. The Irish Anti-Vivisection Society (IAVS) has joined forces with other European animal protection organisations to urge EU authorities to call looming off new animal tests and to assure the safety of cosmetics and their ingredients using only non-animal methods.

2019 Animal Experiment Statistics for ireland
January 2021 Read More

The latest official annual figures for Irish animal testing reveal that 139,343 experiments likely to cause pain and suffering were conducted during 2019.

As has been the case since 2008, the significant majority of experiments in Irish laboratories have involved crude lethal dose procedures on mice (dying painfully from suffocation) for the purposes of marketing Botox-type products, many of which are for cosmetic purposes. In 2019, around 96,000 mice were subjected to these tests.

IAVS COVID-19 Statement
April 2020 Read More

Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 became a pandemic within a few weeks.

We all hope for a fast development of vaccination and antiviral drugs. History has taught us that animal experiments are not the right model to achieve this goal but it is human nature to repeat past mistakes. When will the world finally realize that human-relevant model systems need to be promoted and adequately funded if we want medical research to be effective and fast?

Fighting COVID-19 without animal tests
March 2020 Read More

As the deadly coronavirus spreads exponentially across the globe, researchers are racing to develop a vaccine that will bring the pandemic to a halt.

Typically, potential vaccines undergo extensive animal testing before use in human clinical trials. But in their urgency for developing a COVID-19 vaccine, some researchers are skipping this step, exposing animal testing for what it is: wasteful, unnecessary and inapplicable to humans.

Proposed Large Animal Testing Facility in Ireland
February 2019 Read More

Proposed Large Animal Testing Facility could see controversial experiments on primates for first time in Ireland.

In January 2019 the Health Business Services, the business division of the Health Service Executive, tendered for consultancy companies to bid to write a report ‘to determine the feasibility of establishing a Large Animal Test Facility in Ireland’, following lobbying from multi-national biotech firms.

Ipsen move to replace cruel animal
botox tests in Ireland
January 2019 Read More

The IAVS and colleagues in the ECEAE are welcoming news that French pharmaceutical company Ipsen has received approval in August 2018 to move away from severely cruel live animal tests to use a cell-based method to test botox products sold in the EU and Switzerland. The new test method replaces the controversial LD50 (Lethal Dose) poisoning test in which groups of mice are injected in the abdomen with different dosages and suffocate slowly through muscle paralysis while fully conscious. A significant proportion of these animal botox tests have been taking place in Ireland, where in 2016 up to 167,589 of these types of test took place.

China gene-edits cloned monkeys
to have mental illnesses
January 2019 Read More

China has gene-edited cloned monkeys to show symptoms of mental illness including schizophrenia and depression. The five macaques were born after cells were cloned then embryos were edited to remove the BMAL1 gene. This led to them displaying the mental illness traits brought on by disrupting their circadian rhythms, a study in the National Science Review revealed.

2017 figures show Government is still failing to control
animal cruelty in Irish laboratories
December 2018 Read More

The Irish Government has revealed another increase in the number of animals subjected to painful tests in the country’s laboratories. In 2017 there was a 7% rise in experiments to 242,302, compared with 226,934 in 2016. The expanding death toll is being driven by the most severe and controversial toxicity tests for botox-type products, which went up by over 24,000 to 194,247 in 2017.

New 2016 statistics reveal increased suffering
in Irish animal labs
November 2017 Read More

New figures covering 2016 released by the Health Products Regulatory Authority (HPRA) have revealed a disturbing trend of increasing animal cruelty in Irish laboratories. They reveal a rise in “severe” experiments to 66,303 from 62,246 in 2015, and “moderate” severity experiments up from 49,705 to 58,832. European and Irish law classifies “moderate” severity to include inducing cancer in animals, restraint in a metabolic cage for up to 5 days and acute poisoning tests that stop just short of death. In other words, “moderate” severity tests can be highly painful and distressing.

IAVS leads animal protection at Brussels
March 2017 Read More

Earlier this year, at the end of March 2017, the IAVS was invited to a critical meeting in Brussels where the European Commission met with stakeholders as part of their consultation and review of the 2010 EU Directive on animal experiments. The IAVS had already submitted a hard-hitting response to the Commission highlighting the failure of the new law to achieve promised improvements in animal welfare.

IAVS calls for openness on animal experiment inspections
December 2016 Read More

The IAVS has criticised government animal testing inspectors for seeking to conceal their reports on research establishments.

According to a Sunday Times investigation, the Health Products Regulatory Authority (HPRA) is refusing to comply with a ruling by the Office of the Information Commissioner (OIC), despite it agreeing that the reports should be anonymised. The OIC have also pointed out that the inspection reports do not contain any intellectual property or commercially confidential information.

IAVS slams continuing official indifference to
cruelty in animal experiments
December 2016 Read More

The IAVS has strongly criticised the European Commission and Irish Government for ignoring its legal obligations to tackle the suffering of animals in experimentation.

The Directive, which came into force in Ireland in 2012, is yet another example of how vague references to animal welfare are used to fool the public into thinking that action is being taken, when in reality animals are still being systematically abused with no serious thought about their wellbeing or whether the experiments will actually produce useful results.

Ireland agrees dedicated funding for research into
alternatives to live animal testing in an historic
first anti-vivisection step
July 2016 Read More

There is now a very real hope that thousands of animals in Ireland will be spared from painful laboratory testing thanks to new funding from the Government for alternative scientific research.

A new fund dedicated to researching alternatives to animal testing has been secured thanks to years of lobbying from the Irish Anti-Vivisection Society (IAVS) and is the final outcome of a meeting last year with between the Society and Science Foundation Ireland's Director General Professor Mark Ferguson. The SFI has agreed that the funding will be spent specifically on researching replacement methods other than testing and painful experimentation on animals.

Irish Government breaching European law by
withholding critical details of animal tests
July 2016 Read More

The HPRA’s publication of Ireland’s 2015 animal testing figures reveals that the Government continues to breach European Union legislation on their format. The Irish Anti-Vivisection Society (IAVS) has discovered that the Government has failed to implement new rules passed in 2012 that were intended to inform the public and help coordinate efforts to develop new non-animal alternative tests.

Irish Government springs ‘nasty surprise’ with
2015 increase in animal testing
July 2016 Read More

The Irish Government’s Heath Products Regulatory Authority (HPRA), which also enforces animal experimentation regulations, has just issued annual statistics for animal experiments in Ireland for 2015.
The Irish Anti-Vivisection Society (IAVS) expresses its outrage and frustration that the Irish Government is failing to honour its commitment to reducing animal experimentation, with the number of animals used actually increasing by about 1% (2,144) since 2014 to 226,393.

IAVS prompts historic new funding to replace
animals in painful testing
July 2016 Read More

The Irish Anti-Vivisection Society (IAVS) is delighted to announce that the Irish Government is, for the first time, explicitly providing funding for scientific research to replace the harmful use of animals in experimentation and testing.
The historic development follows years of lobbying from the IAVS and a meeting with Science Foundation Ireland’s Director General Professor Mark Ferguson last year.

September 2015 Read More

Figures recently published by the Government’s Health Products Regulatory Authority (HPRA) reveal that it authorised 226,684 animal experiments in Ireland during 2014. The Irish Anti-Vivisection Society is pleased to see a decrease of 52,695 (18.9%) experiments on animals in Irish laboratories compared with 2013. However, a staggering 90,072 procedures were classified as causing 'severe' pain and distress to the individual animal. This is completely unacceptable.

December 2014 Read more

The IAVS has scored a significant victory after the Department of Health agreed to correct a false statement claiming that 157,924 lethal dose animal poisoning tests were for medical purposes. In fact, the tests, representing over two-thirds of Irish animal experiments in 2012, were largely for the sake of cosmetic ‘Botox’-type products.

December 2014 Read More

Almost 300,000 animals were used in Ireland last year to test the safety, quality, and potency of medicines. A report from the Health Products Regulatory Authority, formerly the Irish Medicines Board, reveals that 277,559 animals were used in procedures for the first time.

232,000 animals used in Irish lab experiments in 2012
March 2014 Read More

More than 230,000 animals were used for experimentation in Irish laboratories in 2012 — more than six times the number used in 2005. Figures released by the Department of Health show 232,285 animals were used for experimentation in 2012 — a fall of 32,679 compared with 2011. However, the figure is still substantially higher than previous years. Just 38,000 were used in live experiments in 2005, rising to 64,378 in 2007.

October 2013 Read More

Animals are used all the time for research in Ireland but scientists are split about whether or not to talk openly about it.

June 2013 Read More

A Government pledge to check that cosmetics being sold in Ireland comply with an international animal testing ban has been welcomed by animal rights groups.

Fury at animal killing law
March 2013 Read More

Animal rights campaigners have expressed fury that the Government has ignored calls for a ban on the killing of newborn animals by “concussion or blow to the head”.

TCD spent €368,000 on animals for medical tests
November 2012 Read More

LIVE animals are increasingly being experimented on by Irish scientists, despite controversy over the practice. Figures obtained by the Irish Independent show researchers in Trinity College spent more than €368,000 on live animals in only 12 months to use in tests aimed at treating disease in humans.

Animal test suffering loophole criticised
November 2012 Read More

Animal welfare groups have hit out at Government plans to implement a loophole clause allowing Ireland to carry out experiments that inflict severe pain on animals in spite of an EU directive. The issue involves Ireland’s transposition of an EU directive aimed at reducing animal pain and suffering and promoting non-animal research methods.

Animal-testing reforms need to be debated
October 2012 Read More

New regulations governing animal experimentation are due before the Dáil. The regulations relate to a complex new EU directive allowing countries wide discretion in enforcement. Although these will be the most significant reforms since 1876, the Irish Anti-Vivisection Society is concerned that these historic regulations have not been subject to adequate consultation and might not be debated before being enshrined in law.

Animal test to continue despite alternative!
September 2012 Read More

A new method of testing Botox has been licensed here but the controversial animal poison test it will replace may not be phased out. This is despite EU regulations which say an experiment shall not be performed on animals if a non-animal alternative “is reasonably and practically available”. Pharmaceutical and medical device giant Allergan has been licensed by the Irish Medicines Board (IMB) for its new non-animal cellbased method for the testing of Botox. The test will replace the standard animal based LD50 method of testing botulinum neurotoxins.