Vivisection is experimentation on living animals

Rats, mice, frogs, cats, dogs, monkeys and many others are used for vivisection. Some animals are bred especially for laboratories, others are trapped in the wild. In some countries stolen pets and strays are used. As well as its use in 'pure' research, vivisection is used in developing new surgical procedures, testing new drugs, conducting psychological experiments, and in toxicity testing of innumerable household, cosmetic, agricultural and other products. Live animals are also used in testing weapons, in space research, in vehicle safety testing and for many other purposes.

Often vivisection is very painful, both physically and mentally.


Animals are locked away, often alone, in cages awaiting their turn to be poisoned, burned, blinded, injured, mutilated, starved, force-fed, sent mad, irradiated, given cancer, infected with diseases, turned into drug addicts and subjected to all kinds of painful procedures, often ending in death. Every hour over 20,000 animals die in the world's laboratories.

In Ireland, experiments, including painful ones, are allowed under the Cruelty to Animals Act, 1876, administered by the Department of Health. Most animal experiments are done without anaesthetic. In Ireland and some other countries, the law requires that, in experiments involving surgery the animal must be anaesthetised but in most of these cases the animal is allowed to recover for observation, and there can be severe suffering at this stage. In Ireland, the UK and some other countries the law imposes some minimal restrictions on animal experiments but these can be easily circumvented. Experiments still cause appalling suffering and distress. In many countries there are no restrictions whatever, and anyone can do anything at all to animals in a laboratory.

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