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TCD denies 'painful' tests on animals

SCIENTISTS have denied they are carrying out unnecessary experiments on animals at a new multi-million-euro medical-research centre at Trinity College Dublin.

The €130m Biomedical Sciences Institute, which opened last month, is home to more than 700 scientists working in areas such as cancer and Alzheimer's research.

However, Animal Rights Action Network spokesman John Carmody criticised the use of animals in "painful" experiments allegedly undertaken at the college.

"Trinity College has been using dogs, pigs and other animals in medical experiments and we want to encourage them to adopt modern, sophisticated research methods that do not involve animals," he said.

He urged TCD students to act as "whistleblowers" and to publish photographs and video footage of animal experimentation at the new institute.

In the past, TCD has admitted its researchers have used thousands of mice as well as some rats, dogs, rabbits and pigs.

However a spokesperson stressed that, in the past three years, more than 99pc of animals used were mice and rats.

She added that animal studies were undertaken only when it was clear such work would positively contribute to improvements in the health and welfare of patients.

"Wherever possible, viable alternatives to using live animals are employed," she said.

Irish Independent