Ethics Laboratory for Veterinary Medicine, Conservation, and Animal Welfare

Thank you for visiting Padua University Ethics Laboratory for Veterinary Medicine, Conservation, and Animal Welfare

The mission of Padua University Laboratory for Ethics for Veterinary Medicine, Conservation, and Animal Welfare is to promote a deeper understanding and  awareness related to the ethical management and treatment of non-human animals in any field, from farming and agriculture to scientific experimentation, from companionship and assisted intervention to biodiversity conservation.

In particular we explore ethical relevant issues concerning: Veterinary Medicine research and practice, In-situ and ex-situ biodiversity conservation research and management, Applied ethology and animal welfare research, management, and regulations.

The Laboratory collaborates with the following institutions:

Colorado State University (U.S.A.) National Zoological Gardens (South Africa) Istituto Italiano di Bioetica (Italy) Parco Natura Viva (Italy) Aquario di Genova (Italy)


The staff of the Laboratory include the Director (Barbara de Mori), the Scientific Advisor (Simona Normando), and Associates both from Padua University and from other institutions.

Scientific board

  • Barbara de Mori
  • Simona Normando
  • Bernard Rollin


  • Linda Ferrante, naturalist, environmental walking guide, teacher at MIUR
  • Daniela Florio, veterinarian, specialist in aquariology
  • Greg Vogt, conservationist, specialist in elephant's welfare


Padua University Laboratory for Ethics for Veterinary Medicine, Conservation, and Animal Welfare offers services of consultancy on ethical issues regarding the management and treatment of non-human animals to both private and public institutions. Our affiliates also offer talks and seminars on various thematic issue pertaining animal ethics. In particular, we offer consultancy on the ethical relevant issues of fields such as:

Agriculture and Farming: to provide efficient guide-lines for every member of the production line, in order to comply with animal welfare, human health, and the new societal concerns regarding non-human animals.

Veterinary Medicine: to offer to veterinary medicine practitioners effective tools for identifying animal interest and disentangling complex ethical hard choices.

Ex-situ and in-situ Conservation Practices: to promote the protection and conservation of environment and biodiversity through the sensitization of public opinion and the ethical training of operators.

Pet Therapy: to harmonize the construction of the human-animal relationship through a path that pays attention to their well-being, and through the training of the ethical competences of operators.

Communication: to promote awareness on ethical issues concerning non-human animals, and on the sensitive aspects linked with communication.

  Education and Training

Staff based in the Ethical Laboratory provide postgraduate teaching. The following courses are organized periodically. If you want to have information on the next editions, write to

Course of Veterinary Bioethics
This course is mainly aimed at veterinarians. The goal of this course is to analyze the basic ethical issues concerning veterinary medicine and to equip the participant with an ethical competence of skills and tools useful for facing hard choices with a professional, coherent, and open attitude.


Course of Animal Welfare Ethics
This course is aimed to professionals involved with all kind of animal uses: agriculture, research and experimentation, veterinary medicine, conservation, natural and zoological parks, pet therapy, etc. The aim of the course is to develop ethical competences regarding the various aspects of the relationship between humans and animals and to explore the different meaning of the concept of animal welfare.


Course of Conservation Education 
This course is aimed at people that would like to increase their knowledge and skills on conservation, conservation education, sustainability and communication in conservation projects. This course is a multidisciplinary effort concerning the promotion and the communication of conservation practices. The issue of conservation is analyzed from the different perspectives of its economical, sociological, and educational aspects.