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Trinity College used over 100,000 live animals for biomedical research in five years

Dublin Live - 21st August 2017

“TCD is supposed to be Ireland’s leading academic centre but its behaviour towards animals is stuck in the dark ages”,

More than 100,000 live animals have been used for biomedical research by Trinity College Dublin in five years, it has been revealed. Last year 24,990 were bought by the university for use in experiments at a cost of €310,000, with a further €10,000 spent disposing of the carcasses.

Irish Anti-Vivisection Society chair Yvonne Smalley called for stricter regulation of practices. She said: “The IAVS is extremely disappointed the number of animals procured by TCD for painful animal experiments almost quadrupled to 24,990 in 2016. This is disturbing evidence this institution has a gung-ho approach to its infliction of animal suffering. “TCD is supposed to be Ireland’s leading academic centre but its behaviour towards animals is stuck in the dark ages.”

Rats, mice, pigs and rabbits have been used in biomedical research at Trinity since 2012. Documents released under the Freedom Of Information Act show 109,531 live animals were purchased by TCD between 2012 and 2016 for use in biomedical research.

A Trinity spokesman said the use of animals “is in keeping with the practice of all Irish universities and leading universities worldwide”. Researchers are required to show there are no alternatives to animal-based experiments before an ethical review committee will approve the procedures. Projects for which animals have been used include studies of human conditions such as Alzheimer’s, arthritis, multiple sclerosis and inflammatory bowel disease.

- Darragh McDonagh

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