Public Notice – Transposition of EU Directive on the protection of animals used for scientific purposes

The Department held a public consultation in July 2009 to inform Ireland’s position on a proposed EU Directive on the protection of animals used for scientific purposes. The Directive (2010/63/EU) was adopted at EU level and came into force on 9 November 2010. The provisions of the Directive must be transposed into Irish law by 10 November 2012.

The Directive is available online at:

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.

The Department of Health is now seeking the views of the public and interested parties in advance of the transposition of the Directive. In addition to general observations and comments on the new Directive the Department would welcome input from the public and interested parties with regard to the following:-

  • Subject matter and scope.
  • Stricter national measures.
  • Provisions on the use of certain animals in experiments.
  • Procedures – including choice of methods, anaesthesia and severity of procedures.
  • Project evaluation and authorisation.
  • Requirements for breeders, suppliers and users.
  • Standards for care and accommodation.
  • Inspections of breeders, supplier and users.
  • Avoidance of duplication and alternative approaches.
  • Any other provisions of the Directive.

Submissions should be forwarded by post to Environmental Health Unit, Department of Health, Hawkins House, Hawkins Street, Dublin 2 or by e-mail to by close of business on Tuesday, 1st November 2011.

Please note the following:

  • Written submissions will be subject to the provisions of the Freedom of Information Acts and may be subject to release. If a person making a submission considers that any element in it is sensitive, those elements should be clearly identified and the reasons for the sensitivity should be specified. The Department will, where possible, consult with the person about any information which he/she has identified as sensitive information before making a decision in response to a request for release under the Freedom of Information Acts.
  • Submissions may also be made available on this website after the deadline for receiving the submissions has passed. Commercially sensitive or personally sensitive material should therefore not be included in your submission. If you do include such material you should clearly highlight it so that reasonable steps may be taken to avoid releasing it into the public domain. Although every effort will be taken not to release such material publicly a guarantee cannot be given. It is important to be aware that unless you clearly identify any commercially or personally sensitive information, you are making a submission on the basis that you consent to it being made available in full on the website. Efforts will be made not to place on the website any material that is potentially libellous.