Animal Research

NMS Position Statements on Animal Research

The NOVA Medical School(NMS) is committed to proving open and transparent information about the research involving animals and the standards of animal care and welfare carried out in the institution. NMS|FCM signed the Transparency Agreement on Animal Research in Portugal, an initiative supported by the Portuguese scientific community in collaboration with the European Animal Research Association (EARA) to promote a more consistent approach to communicating the scientific, ethical and moral justifications for animal research in Portugal.

The scientific work developed in NMS only uses animal models when there is not a validated alternative method. NMS respects the Portuguese (Decreto-Lei no. 113/2013) and European laws (Directive 2010/63/EU) that rule the use of animals in research and follows the principles of the 3Rs - replacement, refinement and reduction – to use methods which avoid or replace the use of animals; to look for methods which minimise any suffering and improve animal welfare; and use methods which minimise the number of animals used per experiments.

“The use of animals has been essential to understand the mechanisms underlying chronic diseases. NOVA Medical School is committed to proving open and transparent information about its research involving animals and the standards of animal care and welfare carried out in the institution. For us signing the Portuguese Transparency Agreement has helped to demonstrate our engagement in a dialogue with the society to improve the level of understanding the reasons why animals are still needed for biomedical research.”

Ana Isabel Moura Santos
Presidente do Orgão Responsável pelo Bem Estar dos Animais da NMS (ORBEA)

At NMS|FCM, when there are no other alternatives, biomedical research of various relevant areas sometimes uses animal models. 

We are strongly committed with animal welfare best practices and follow the highest regulatory standards and humane principles. Our researchers strive to use the minimum number of animals possible and are actively looking at techniques to refine their experiments procedures. Find below some examples of laboratories and research projects with the five animal models we host:

  • Rat: Translational Pharmacology, Neuronal Control of Metabolic Disturbances
  • Mouse: Stem Cells and Development, DYSBRAIND: Dysmetabolism in Brain Diseases
  • Zebra-fish: Tissue Repair and Inflammation, Cilia Regulation and Disease
  • Fruit Fly: Integrative Biomedicine, Proliferation and Fate Regulation of Stem Cells
  • Chicken embryo: Tissue Repair and Inflammation

 

The NOVA Medical School(NMS) is committed to proving open and transparent information about the research involving animals and the standards of animal care and welfare carried out in the institution. NMS|FCM signed the Transparency Agreement on Animal Research in Portugal, an initiative supported by the Portuguese scientific community in collaboration with the European Animal Research Association (EARA) to promote a more consistent approach to communicating the scientific, ethical and moral justifications for animal research in Portugal.

The scientific work developed in NMS only uses animal models when there is not a validated alternative method. NMS respects the Portuguese (Decreto-Lei no. 113/2013) and European laws (Directive 2010/63/EU) that rule the use of animals in research and follows the principles of the 3Rs - replacement, refinement and reduction – to use methods which avoid or replace the use of animals; to look for methods which minimise any suffering and improve animal welfare; and use methods which minimise the number of animals used per experiments.

“The use of animals has been essential to understand the mechanisms underlying chronic diseases. NOVA Medical School is committed to proving open and transparent information about its research involving animals and the standards of animal care and welfare carried out in the institution. For us signing the Portuguese Transparency Agreement has helped to demonstrate our engagement in a dialogue with the society to improve the level of understanding the reasons why animals are still needed for biomedical research.”

Ana Isabel Moura Santos
Presidente do Orgão Responsável pelo Bem Estar dos Animais da NMS (ORBEA)

 

The Transparency Agreement on Animal Research in Portugal is an initiative proposed by the European Animal Research Association (EARA) in close collaboration with the Portuguese scientific community to promote accurate and up-to-date information about the use of animals in basic and biomedical research. 

In June 2018, 16 Portuguese institutions, including Universities and Research Centres, signed a declaration co-ordinated by EARA and the Portuguese Laboratory Animal Sciences Association (SPCAL), on transparency and openness in animal research. Following this declaration, steps were taken to develop it into the current proposal for a Transparency Agreement on Animal Research in Portugal.

The aim of this Agreement is to improve the Portuguese public’s understanding and acceptability of animal research by promoting openness and transparency on this topic. 

This approach is based on the previous examples in Europe as the Concordat on Openness on Animal Research in the UK launched in 2014; the Transparency Agreement on Animal Research in Spain launched at 2016, and the Statement in support of animal research and a transparent approach in Belgium in 2016. 

The Agreement comprises Four Commitments, each underpinned by practical steps that institutions can or may undertake. Exactly how the Commitments are fulfilled will differ between institutions depending on their purpose, their resources and their different legal obligations. The commitments are the following ones: 

  • Commitment 1: We will be clear about when, how and why we use animals in research
  • Commitment 2: We will enhance our communications with the media and the public about our research using animals
  • Commitment 3: We will be proactive in providing opportunities for the public to find out about research using animals.
  • Commitment 4: We will report on progress annually and share our experiences 

The signatories of this Agreement are intended to facilitate access to relevant information about animal research models and contribute to public clarification and, consequently, to a conscious and informed position in this debate of general interest

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The Animal Welfare Body (Órgão Responsável pelo Bem-Estar dos Animais - ORBEA), at NOVA Medical School, is an independent body of a deliberative nature, with the purpose of ensuring and promoting the welfare of animals generated and used in research or teaching, according to the legislation in force, namely under the terms of the regulations Artigo 34.º do Decreto-Lei nº 113/2013, de 7 de agosto.

ORBEA's activity at NOVA Medical School is carried out in accordance with the applicable legal principles, establishing a set of rules on internal procedures and guidelines to be observed when using animals for scientific and educational purposes.

ORBEA members have scientific and technical skills in line with current legislation, and act independently, allowing them to carry out the assigned functions.

NOVA Medical School's ORBEA members are:

  • President: Ana Isabel Moura Santos
  • Responsible for the Rodents Facility: José Belo
  • Responsible for the Fish Facility: Susana Lopes
  • Responsible for Rodents Welfare: Sara Marques
  • Responsible for Fish Welfare: Petra Pintado
  • Veterinary Physician Responsible for Rodents: Dolores Bonaparte
  • Veterinary Physician Responsible for Fish: Nuno Marques Pereira
  • Specialist in Statistics and Experimental Design: Sofia Azeredo Lopes
  • Researchers using Rodents: Gabriela Silva and Sílvia Conde
  • Researchers using Fish: Raquel Lourenço
  • Representative of the Civil Society: Mário Rui Silva
  • Secretariat: Sofia Ramos

Para a submissão online de um projeto de investigação para a ORBEA preencha o formulário.

NMS Case Study for the EU Report