Trinity College has been criticised for its animal testing

Writer John Banville has been highly critical of Trinity College for its participation in animal testing. It's been claimed that nearly 110,000 animals have been used for biomedical research between 2012 and 2015.

Is animal testing really necessary, or is it just cruelty?

Tom Holder, spokesperson for Understanding Animal Research, describes animal testing as "vitally important" for the future health of both humans and animals.

"Animal testing makes sure treatments are safe. At Trinity, it's about trying to understand how diseases affect us and how we can develop new treatments."

Tom says that around 90% of these animals in Ireland are mice, rats and fish, but can also include rabbits and cattle. The crucial question is, do they suffer?

"Animals can and do suffer, but by law the researchers must do all they can to prevent and reduce suffering."

John Carmody, founder of the Animal Rights Network, says that "we've all got reasons to be concerned" about animal testing.

"We're all desperate to get to the bottom of these diseases, but we're using hundreds of millions of animals around the world. I wish we were able to get cameras in, because animal testing has led us down many dark alleys."

"What haven't we learned last year that we need to repeat this year? I just think it's lazy science."