Trinity used 26,738 animals in biomedical experiments in 2012, 23,993 in 2013 and 26,839 in 2014. Over the three years, 63,887 mice were used, as well as rats, a number of rabbits, 150 zebra fish and 47 pigs.
Speaking to the Irish Examiner, a spokesperson for the college said: “Animal studies are conducted only when they will contribute to the advancement of knowledge that is likely to lead to the improvement of the health and welfare of animals and human beings.”
They also said that all ethical standards were met, with animals under the supervision of a veterinary surgeon and trained technical staff, adding that the use of animal testing was constantly under review and the number of animals used was kept at a minimum.
They stated that animal testing in Trinity includes research into Alzeihmers disease, genetics and immunological studies.
In total, nearly 122,000 animals were used in tests at six of Ireland’s universities over the three-year period. The institutions featured in the Irish Examiner’s report are Trinity, University College Cork (UCC), National University of Ireland Galway (NUIG), University College Dublin (UCD), Dublin City University (DCU) and National University of Ireland Maynooth (NUIM).
Trinity was the highest purchaser of animals for testing purposes, with UCC being the next highest user with 17,857 animals.
A UCC spokesperson said that all testing is compliant with regulations and overseen by an animal welfare body. They said: “The use of animals in state-funded scientific research has produced beneficial results to human health that could not otherwise have been achieved.”