Data released to the College Tribune using the Freedom of Information Act shows that 16,994 laboratory animals have been euthanised in the university for medical and scientific research since 2020.
In 2020, UCD spent €27,633.02 on 242 rats, 211 mice, and 40 guinea pigs with the aim of using them for medical and scientific research. By the end of that year, 295 rats had been euthanised, along with over 4,000 mice and 40 guinea pigs.
In 2021, UCD spent €60,426.93 on 284 rats, 606 mice, and 32 guinea pigs for laboratory research and testing. By the end of 2021, 250 rats, 5,494 mice, and 32 guinea pigs had been euthanised in university research units.
In 2022, UCD spent € 44,257.48 on 286 rats, 434 mice, and 32 guinea pigs with the aim of using them for medical and scientific research. By the end of that year, 436 rats, 6347 mice, and 32 guinea pigs had all been euthanised in university laboratories.
It is unclear from the document what research was being carried out on these animals and why they had to be killed.
A disclaimer notice at the end of the FOI document stated that “all work in UCD laboratories are carried out to the highest legal and ethical standards”.
According to the document, all studies need to undergo a “rigorous examination by the University’s Animal Research Ethics Committee” before they are approved.
The procedures must then go through two more ethical review processes which are designed to “ensure that the use of animals is essential and that the minimum number of animals are used”.
Furthermore, the document states that the research units are subject to regular audits by the Health Products Regulatory Agency (HPRA) and that UCD promotes “a culture of care for the animals under its care”.
Hugh Dooley & Emma Hanrahan – Co-Editors