According to the latest figures from the Health Products Regulatory Authority (HPRA), more than 90,000 non-human animals were used for testing in Irish laboratories in 2022. Mice were the most commonly used species for tests (72%), followed by white rats, pigs, and even sheeps.

Of all the 92,939 animals tested in labs, 67,320 were mice, 13,082 rats, and 741 guinea pigs. Other animals used for medical research included 1,012 rabbits, 113 dogs, 2,460 pigs, 2,427 cows, and 32 cats. Also, 82,417 of the animals used were born in the EU with a registered breeder. In 2021, the statistics showed 91,497 mice and 17,050 rats tested, and a total of 121,558 animals, which means that there has been a reduction in the number of animals victims of vivisection in the Republic of Ireland.  

In a statement, the HPRA said, “The number of animals used in Ireland during 2022 was 23% less than in 2021. Since 2017 there has been a reduction of more than 50% in animal use.”

Dr Dan Lyons, policy consultant with the Irish Anti-Vivisection Society, said to the Irish Examiner the following about safety testing for botox products, one of the most common in Ireland: “These tests categorised as batch potency testing have comprised the majority of Irish animal tests for over a decade now. Botulinum toxin is one of the most powerful biological toxins known. For each test, the mice are divided into three or four groups, each receiving different strengths of the botox. Those in the highest-strength group start showing signs of poisoning within hours, with paralysis of the lower body, leading them to stagger or be unable to walk. High-dose botox tests are among the cruelest procedures that are inflicted on animals in labs and explain why Ireland has one of the EU’s highest rates of ‘severe’ category tests. Several years ago, companies such as Allergan developed modern cell-based tests for botox potency which normally don’t use animals”.

Jordi Casamitjana
“Originally from Catalonia, but resident in the UK for several decades, Jordi is a vegan zoologist and author, who has been involved in different aspects of animal protection for many years. In addition to scientific research, he has worked mostly as an undercover investigator, animal welfare consultant, and animal protection campaigner. He has been an ethical vegan since 2002, and in 2020 he secured the legal protection of all ethical vegans in Great Britain from discrimination in a landmark employment tribunal case that was discussed all over the world. He is also the author of the book, ‘Ethical Vegan: a personal and political journey to change the world’.