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