Use of animals in research

The HRB funds research that uses animals where it is legal, ethical and scientifically justified and no viable non-animal alternatives exist. Research involving animals helps to enhance our understanding of human, animal and environmental health and biology. It raises many complex issues for example, ethics, animal welfare, transparency, reproducibility, and translation.

The European Union Directive 2010/63/EU on the protection of animals used for scientific purposes was issued to ensure harmonised standards of animal welfare across the EU, whilst maintaining Europe’s place as a world leader in scientific research. This legislation was transposed into Irish law by SI No 543/2012 and is implemented by the Health Products Regulatory Authority (HPRA), the competent authority in Ireland responsible for the protection of animals used for scientific purposes.

It is important to ensure the principles embedded in the legal text are implemented in practice. In particular, the Directive imposes a clear and explicit obligation on licensed researchers to ensure that the opportunities for replacement, reduction and refinement of animal involvement (See principles of the 3Rs - Replacement, Reduction and Refinement) are intrinsic to their work. 


The HRB Policy on the Use of Animals in Research can be found below: