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Animal Experimentation

Dáil Éireann Debate, Tuesday - 3 July 2012

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Questions (617)

Patrick Nulty


633 Deputy Patrick Nulty asked the Minister for Health the advice he and or his officials have received from the Department of Health bioethics unit regarding meeting Ireland’s ethical obligations when transposing Directive 2010/63/EU relating to animal experimentation, and any other animal experimentation policy issues; if will he publish such advice; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32167/12]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for Health)

The Bioethics Unit advises on a number of issues across various policy areas in my Department, including the protection of animals for scientific purposes. The Bioethics Unit has engaged with and will continue to engage with officials in my Department who have been assigned the task of transposing Directive 2010/63/EU on the protection of such animals. Directive 2010/63/EU will be transposed into Irish law by the end of the year and the improved protections for animals set out in the Directive will take effect from 1 January 2013.

It should be noted that many of the provisions set out in Directive 2010/63/EU are Mandatory. The Directive strongly promotes the principles of the three Rs (replacement of the use of animals to the greatest extent possible with alternative testing methods, refinement of scientific procedures to improve animal welfare and reduction in numbers of animals used). The provisions of the new Directive also strengthen the protection of animals still needed for research and safety testing. Significant changes in this regard are requirements to perform ethical evaluations prior to authorisation of projects using animals and higher standards of care and accommodation.