A study by the European
Animal Research Association (EARA), of websites of biomedical research bodies
in Italy, assessing how they discuss research using animals, has found that the
sector is still some way from an acceptable level of openness and transparency
in animal research.
a total of 64 institutional websites in Italy during 2018, both public and
private bodies, such as universities and pharmaceutical companies, and a rating
system was developed to analyse the data. The main findings were that:
- Around two in five (39%) of the institutions
conducting animal research carry a recognisable statement on their websites
explaining the use of animals in research/animal welfare.
- However, more than two thirds of websites assessed
(66%) meet the criterion for providing ‘more information’, for instance by
including the kind of animals used.
- Fewer than one in five (17%) of the websites
can be considered to have prominent mentions of animal research – such as
recognisable statements within three clicks of the homepage.
Three Italian animal rights activists convicted of raiding the University of Milan animal labs have received a harsher sentence from the judge following their claim that they were acting on behalf of a ‘higher justice’ for animals.
Judge Vincenzina Greco gave the trio an 18-month sentences for the raid in 2013 (also English translation).
Commenting on the verdict, Giuliano Grignaschi, secretary-general of Research4Life, said: ‘Those who oppose research on animals don’t have the widespread social support they claim.’
Grignaschi and colleagues hope to bring Italian legislation closer in line with public support for biomedical research, by pushing for what he calls ‘a gradual approach’, starting with the publication of at least one webpage with information on the rationale and goals of the research on animals in each institution, the results obtained, and the numbers of animals used.
The European Commission has announced the start of an infringement procedure against Italy, whose animal research law it calls ‘too restrictive’. The Commission has sent a letter of formal notice to the Italian government, as the first step in the infringement procedure. Earlier this year, EARA’s partner organisation Research4Life asked the European Commission on behalf of 37 public and private Italian research institutions for the law to be reassessed. Continue reading
On Tuesday, the Brescia Court of Appeals affirmed the initial ruling against three staff members of the Green Hill breeding facility in Italy. They were originally charged with cruelty to animals in their care, and with unjustifiably putting down some of the dogs, resulting in jail sentences between 12 and 18 months. The Court will release their motivation three months from now. Continue reading
London, UK – 8th February 2016
Over 37 private and publicly funded Italian organisations, coordinated by EARA’s Italian partner Research4life, have addressed the European Commission in a letter last Friday requesting it to reassess the Italian law on the protection of animals used for scientific purposes.
The Italian legislative decree No. 26 of 4th March 2014 transposes to the Italian law the European Directive No. 63 of 22nd September 2010. The legislative decree 26/2014 introduced unprecedented provisions regarding to 1) the use of animals for xenotransplantation and substances of abuse research (Art. 5, part 2. letter d. and e) 2) the use of animals for training and education in universities (Art. 5, part 2. letter f), 3) breeding cats, dogs and non-human primates (Art. 10, part 5). Continue reading
London, 25 March 2015
- Green Hill facility in Montichiari (Italy) persecuted for breeding dogs for scientific research
- Case re-opened without new evidence despite not-guilty verdict in 2013
- Italian legislators threaten biomedical progress in Europe by backing animal rights groups in a politically-motivated campaign against Green Hill
In an appalling politically-motivated campaign, with collateral implications for the UK and the rest of Europe, an Italian judge announced yesterday the reasoning behind his verdict against Green Hill managers, found guilty of the mistreatment and killing of dogs in January 2015. Continue reading
The World Health Organisation (WHO) calls on European policymakers, health care workers and parents to increase vaccination efforts against measles and warns of growing numbers of parents refusing to vaccinate their children. With the now infamous measles outbreak at Disneyland California, it is now clear a growing chorus of parents are questioning the safety and necessity of vaccines. Continue reading
There is a new effort to ban animal research in Europe. The Stop Vivisection European Citizens’ Initiative, and its 1.2 million signatures, has been submitted to the European Commission and the organisers have now been invited to discuss their petition.
Riccardo Avvisati is a PhD student at Sapienza University of Rome, studying the influences of the environment on drug of abuse in a rodent model. He is currently a visiting research student at the University of Sussex.
There is no doubt that animal rights organisations are gaining support and momentum from the public and policy makers in Italy. In recent days, we are seeing quite a big change as the government recently implemented the transposition of the European Directive 2010/63/EU but with the following major restrictions: