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Research using rodents is fundamental in biomedical sciences and has made major contributions to advance knowledge in many research areas. The development of novel therapies, including vaccines, antibiotics, anesthetics, cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular and many other drugs that are essential to improve the quality of life, have all beneficiated with research carried out in animals. Recent advances in cell and molecular biology, genetics, omics and the development of high throughput screening technologies have reduced the need to use animals in biomedical experiments. However, the use of animals is still required to understand the basic mechanisms of human diseases, to test new medicines and medical devices and determine their safety for humans and other animals. Despite this, we are committed to the implementation of the 3Rs concerning the use of animals in science. Essentially, we encourage the use of alternative methods, to reduce the number of animals used, and the refinement of practices to make meaningful science and to preserve the integrity and wellbeing of animals.


In Portugal, biomedical and medical research involving animals is regulated by the current EU (Directive 2010/63/EC) and national (DL 113/2013) legislation and by the competent authority (Direção-Geral de Alimentação e Veterinária, DGAV, http://www.dgv.min-agricultura.pt). The legislation is implemented by the attending veterinarians, Animal Welfare Bodies, and Ethics Committees of the institutions where laboratory animals are bred, kept and used. Animal experimentation requires licenses, regulated by Portuguese and European laws, which are issued by the DGAV after rigorous inspection of the facilities and working practices by specialized veterinarians. Animal experimentation projects need to be approved by DGAV and by the Animal Welfare Bodies and must be carried out by certified personnel, requires the implementation of animal welfare best practices and is subjected to regular inspection by contracted veterinarians. Recently, was signed a Transparency Agreement in which the institutions where animals are used for scientific purposes agree to provide information, regarding their research with animals, to the public.

The iBiMED animal house hosts rodents (mice and rats). It is equipped with state of the art equipment and has stringent environmental control systems to ensure the best conditions for animal breeding and maintenance. The animal house has several rooms including animal rooms for rats or mice equipped with housing racks with individually ventilated cage (IVC) systems, therefore maximizing the animal welfare, procedures rooms prepared for small procedures and a quarantine room. It also has a dedicated area for ABSL2, using isolated cages in negative pressure (IVC) for bio-containment and creating the possibility of separation of small animal groups. The animal rooms are ventilated and provided with filtered air. Its temperature and relative humidity are controlled remotely through the centralized HVAC, also, a 12:12h dark-light cycle operates in the rooms. The animal facility has flow circuits specially designed for the protection of operators and animals, supplying high quality care for the animals and a functional logistic in compliance with regulations and guidelines. The iBiMED animal house also complies with the national legislation for the use of animals for scientific purposes. Further, we are preparing the documentation for signing the Transparency Agreement.

última atualização a 06-11-2018
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