Our mission is to fund research that could lead to the development of treatments for genetic diseases. However, we also oppose any form of cruelty to animals. Thanks to scientific progress, researchers have many methods for testing the efficacy of experimental therapies (e.g. cells, tissues), so that nowadays only some of the projects we fund entail tests on animals. Where such tests are required, Telethon requests that researchers use as few animals as possible and that they adhere to a rigid code of conduct so that suffering is reduced to a minimum.
We oversee their work to ensure compliance with current laws in this regard (in Italy, clinical trials on animals are regulated by Legislative Decree No. 26 of 4 March 2014 of the Ministry of Health, implementing European Directive 2010/63/EU) and we also make sure the researchers have received authorisation from the ethics committees of their institutes. Animal testing is conducted in accordance with current laws and regulations. Such tests cannot be described in any way as cruelty to animals, to which Telethon, too, is firmly opposed.
Why are animal trials necessary?
Do animal trials respect the universal value of life?
Do animal trials serve no purpose and are anti-scientific because animals are too different from human beings?
Is there a method that can be adopted as alternative to animal trials? Is anybody interested in developing or using it?
Scientists want to save money, so they use animals because the alternatives are costly?
Does new legislation allow indiscriminate use of stray animals in laboratories?
Is use of primates unethical because they are too similar to us?
Do trials cause pointless suffering for the animals involved?