Animal Welfare Organisation


Legislative Decree no. 26/2014 requires each entity to institute an Animal Welfare Organisation (“OPBA”) whose tasks (enumerated in detail in the legislative decree) are briefly outlined below:

  • advise staff on animal-welfare-related issues
  • advise staff in applying the “Principle of the 3Rs”
  • issue an opinion on research projects
  • set and review internal operating procedures relating to animal-welfare-related monitoring, disclosures, and verification procedures
  • monitor research-project development and results, identifying and providing consultancy on elements that provide further support to the Principle of the 3Rs
  • provide consultancy regarding animal-release programmes

In addition to those tasks contemplated under Legislative Decree no. 26/2014, the University’s OPBA is also charged with issuing an opinion on the ethical aspects of non-experimental scientific activities which involve animals alone, and the biological materials derived from the same, as well as opinions (if requested) for purposes of publication in scientific journals.

Principle of the 3Rs

The Entity tasked with overseeing animal welfare, in carrying out its assigned tasks, must pay special attention to the Principle of the 3Rs: Replacement; Reduction; Refinement

According to the Principle of the 3Rs, a researcher must:

  • use his/her best efforts to replace a model which uses an animal with an alternative model - Replacement;
  • reduce the number of animals used in a given experiment - Reduction;
  • take action to improve the techniques used to raise, house, care for, and utilise animals - Refinement.