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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 Health Products Regulatory Authority (HPRA) 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 HPRA 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 alternative research and testing methods by Irish scientists. Our research fund will support projects directly related to finding or validating replacement techniques. Examples of alternative research and testing methods include:
Cell culture

In vitro methods that use and grow human cells and tissue within a laboratory setting, which might include tissue donated by patients, lab-cultured tissue, or stem cells. In vitro tests using cells with human DNA can detect DNA damage much more readily than animal tests.


A type of in vitro technique that can use a range of human cells in small microfluidic chips to enable the study of a whole organ, or to study a whole system by using many chips together. These systems can replicate the flow and diffusion of nutrients, waste products and drug metabolites, to give more detailed and realistic models of a human response.

In silico

Methods that use computers, mathematical models and simulations to predict, for example, human responses to a compound, or to model the progression of disease and treatments within the human population.

Human volunteers

This includes techniques such as micro-dosing, for example, where people are given very small amounts of a chemical to find out how it is metabolised prior to large-scale human trials or to study skin sensitivity. Volunteers can also provide human tissue needed for in vitro research.

Human patient studies

Where studies are carried out on patients suffering from a particular condition or disease. Data is obtained, collated and studied or treatments given with permission. There is a concerning trend over recent decades to try and recreate human conditions in animals using genetic modification. Where it is possible to obtain information directly from patients themselves, research is going to provide more relevant insights than mimicking the disease in an animal. 

If you are interested in applying for a research grant from the IAVS, please contact us by email at [email protected]