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The HPRA is the competent authority in Ireland responsible for the implementation of EU legislation (Directive 2010/63/EU) for the protection of animals used for scientific purposes. We are committed to ensuring that the care and use of animals for scientific purposes is in line with the 3R principles (replacement, reduction and refinement). 

We are an independent government agency. We are not responsible for national policy decisions in respect of animals being used for scientific purposes nor do we have any role in making or amending legislation. The activities of the scientific animal protection section are required to be self-funding and accordingly a range of fees have been put in place to cover the costs involved in providing our services.  

In respect of scientific animal protection, our primary functions are:

  1. The authorisation of establishments where animals are kept, bred or used for scientific purposes.

  2. The authorisation of projects and individuals to carry out research using animals.

  3. Ensuring compliance with the requirements of Directive 2010/63/EU and the 3R principles (replacement, refinement and reduction) by carrying out regular inspections. For further information please see the Monitoring section.

  4. Monitoring the adequacy of record keeping at establishments in line with the requirements of the Directive and reporting on specified statistical parameters to the EU Commission.

  5. Investigating and following up in respect of any issues of concern discovered during the course of inspection or otherwise brought to our attention. Where necessary, depending on the seriousness of the situation, we may suspend or revoke relevant authorisations or possibly instigate prosecutions.

  6. Liaising with the competent authorities under Directive 2010/63/EU from other EU Member States regarding the sharing of information and best practices relating to the 3Rs.