Problems related to the use of animals for therapeutic and care purposes. The Document of the National Committee for Bioethics

Ann Ist Super Sanita. 2011;47(4):349-52. doi: 10.4415/ANN_11_04_05.


The Italian Ministry of Health, in 2002, instructed the National Committee for Bioethics to carefully review and ultimately provide evidence for future legislative bills in various aspects. One such matter was that of the subject of "Pet Therapy", generically viewed as a "man-animal" relationship, with the purpose of proving beneficiary to both human health and welfare. The necessity of a bioethical approach was deemed important in establishing the concrete benefits for mankind (and the research required to demonstrate this) whilst also considering any possible malaise inflicted on those animals participating. The final recommendations decided upon, took into consideration effectiveness, cost, suitable alternatives, discussion of the intervention with the patient.

Publication types

  • Guideline

MeSH terms

  • Animal Assisted Therapy / ethics*
  • Animals
  • Bioethics*
  • Ethics Committees
  • Guidelines as Topic
  • Humans
  • Italy
  • Patients