Encontros Scientia

ANIMAL RESEARCH IN FCUL - legal and ethical requirements to work with animals in the FCUL community

ANIMAL RESEARCH IN FCUL - legal and ethical requirements to work with animals in the FCUL community

Gabriela Rodrigues

FCUL Animal Welfare Body President

DEM - cE3c; DBA - FCUL

Animal welfare is a main concern to the FCUL community and, since 2013, a legal requirement under the Portuguese law as well. In FCUL, an animal welfare body - ORBEA-FCUL (“Órgão Responsável pelo Bem Estar dos Animais” of FCUL) - formally exists since 2014 and has many objectives and tasks. I am presently in charge of the ORBEA-FCUL.

ORBEA-FCUL is responsible for the production of non-binding evaluations of the projects using animals for scientific or educational purposes in the FCUL community. The managing of the replacement, reduction and refinement (rule of the “3Rs”) of the use of animals in procedures is under the scope of ORBEA-FCUL as well.

Recently, ORBEA-FCUL has become member of EARA (European Animal Research Association), which is a communications and advocacy organisation whose mission is to uphold the interests of biomedical research and healthcare development and to inform, educate and unify audiences in support of research to facilitate an open debate. ORBEA-FCUL was one of the signatories of a transparency agreement promoted by EARA that was launched in 2018 among the Portuguese institutions working with animals for scientific purposes. 

In FCUL, some particularities exist, one of them having to do with the fact that our professors/researchers work with wild animals, and not only lab animals as in most research institutes, that have to be brought to the FCUL animal house facility. Another specificity of the ORBEA-FCUL is having to deal and advise on the teaching activity of our professors/researchers. 

I will therefore present our ORBEA-FCUL to the cE3c community and inform about our main scope of action and about the requirements that researchers need to comply with in order to work legally and responsibly with animals in FCUL. Most people are unaware of these rules, and this is an opportunity to learn and clarify important concepts and procedures. More responsible and educated handling of animals means better science for all!

Thursday, April 11, 2019

FCUL (Building C2), 12h00-13h00, room 2.2.14