About us

IZSVe | About Us

The Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale delle Venezie (IZSVe) is an Italian public health institute which conducts control and research activities and provides services in the fields of animal health, food safety and zoonoses. The Institute employs almost 600 people, including veterinarians, biologists, chemists, technicians and administration staff.

The IZSVe was founded on June, 14, 1929 in Padua and today it is part of the Italian National Health Service, together with other nine other similar institutes, each of which covers a specific geographical area of Italy. The IZSVe is responsible for the North East of Italy.

The IZSVe headquarter is located at Legnaro, Padua.

MissionOrganisationHistoryWhere we areContact us


The mission of the IZSVe is the preservation of public health, in terms of food safety and prevention of zoonoses, and animal welfare, in terms of animal health and living conditions.

The IZSVe promotes public health, it guarantees that controls on the food-production chain are performed, and fosters an improved coexistence between human beings and animals. This is achieved by focusing on four main areas:

  • control of foodborne pathogens
  • prevention and control of animal diseases
  • technical and scientific research
  • training and communication.


The IZSVe is organized into three structures:

Strategic structure

The Strategic Structure consists of 3 operating units (O.U.) and 2 services responsible for the management of strategic activities and for support the government of the Institute:

  • General Affairs, Anti-corruption and Transparency Service
  • Information Technologies Service
  • Legal Affairs Service
  • Work Health and Safety Service
  • O.U. Planning, Programming and Control
  • O.U. Secretariat Directorate-General

Health Structure

The Health Structure is divided into Divisions, which are responsible for coordinating the various activities of the IZSVe, Deparments, located at the IZSVe headquarters, and Peripheral Diagnostic Laboratories, distributed throughout North-Eastern Italy.

  • Food Safety
    This Division controls the food/feed production chain in order to monitor health risks associated with consumption; it also schedules and conducts regular controls on the safety, quality, and hygiene of foods/feed.
    Director: Giovanni Farina
  • Experimental Veterinary Science
    This Division coordinates the activities performed by the IZSVe’s facilities who employ laboratory animals. It provides researchers with adequate information in compliance with the provision of the European and Italian law, in relation to the animal welfare and the ethical principles associated to the use of animals for experimental purposes.
    Director: Franco Mutinelli
  • Animal Pathology and Public Health
    This Division provides adequate diagnostic services, surveillance, counseling, assistance and research for the control of animal diseases and for the protection of public health.
    Director: Fabrizio Agnoletti
  • Comparative Biomedical Sciences
    This Division implements the vision of “One Health” for the study, diagnosis, control and prevention of viral diseases of animals and those transmitted to humans directly or indirectly.
    Director: Calogero Terregino
  • Epidemiological Surveillance
    This Division is responsible for ensuring control and monitoring of the territory against infectious diseases transmissible from animals and zoonoses, with reference also to foodborne diseases.
    Director: /
  • SCS0 – Training, Communication and Support Services
    This Department promotes the development of the IZSVe by managing information processes and through technical-cultural renewal, through the planned management of communication, using information tools and organising specialised training in zooprophylaxis provided to the personnel (also at institutes and laboratories in other countries), and the organisation and management of a centralised reception, which represents a fundamental like for the receipt and shipment of samples and outcomes and of interface with users.
    Director: Giandomenico Pozza (ad interim)
  • SCS1 – Microbiology
    This Department provides technical-scientific support for risk analyses and production-line control programs/systems. In particular, it performs epidemiological surveillance for the hygiene of foods of animal origin and experimental studies on the health risks related to the consumption of foods of animal origin.
    Director: Lisa Barco
  • SCS2 – Chemistry
    This Department provides technical-scientific support for food-safety programs, in particular: official food controls, regional monitoring programs, veterinary pharmacovigilance, and the study and testing of technologies and methods for controlling the safety of foods of animal origin and animal feed.
    Director: Roberto Angeletti
  • SCS3 – Diagnostic Services, Histopathology, Parasitology
    This Department provides specialised diagnostic services, in particular: diagnosis of animal diseases and zoonoses, epidemiological surveillance in animal health, development and application of alternatives to the use of animal models in research, experimental veterinary research.
    Director: Franco Mutinelli
  • SCS4 – Epidemiology
    This Department develops and promotes the use of epidemiological methods in public veterinary health. It is the headquarters of the Regional Centre for Veterinary Epidemiology (CREV), which acts as liaison between the veterinary facilities in the area and the IZSVe.
    Director: Grazia Manca
  • SCS5 – Research and Innovation
    This Department is responsible for the creation of knowledge and skills through scientific research and technological innovation, in particular: research on viral zoonoses and emerging and re-emerging pathogens, innovative diagnostic and applied research.
    Director: Calogero Terregino
  • SCS6 – Virology
    This Department aims to respond properly to the needs of animal health and public health in creating a system of specialized diagnostic and experimental research for viral diseases.
    Director: Calogero Terregino (ad interim)
  • SCS8 – Optimization and Control of Food Production
    This Department provides technical-scientific support for food-safety programs, in particular: official food controls (tests/analyses on foods of animal origin); experimental veterinary research in food microbiology; and improving hygiene in food-production.
    Director: Roberto Piro
Peripheral diagnostic laboratories

The IZSVe serves peripheral diagnostic laboratories in northeast Italy. They provide services for meeting the needs of local veterinary personnel and are a part of the epidemiological surveillance network. The peripheral diagnostic laboratories are:

  • SCT1 – Verona and Vicenza
    This area includes three laboratories which perform clinical diagnoses, official food controls, molecular biology analyses, serology, and clinical bacteriology analyses.
    Director: Salvatore Catania
  • SCT2 – Treviso, Belluno and Venezia
    This area includes laboratories which perform clinical diagnoses, official food controls, molecular biology analyses, and serology.
    Director: Luca Bano
  • SCT3 – Padova and Rovigo. Diagnostics in animal health
    This area includes four laboratories which perform clinical diagnoses, molecular biology analyses, and serology.
    Director: Alda Natale
  • SCT4 – Friuli Venezia Giulia
    This area includes two laboratories which perform clinical diagnoses, official food controls, molecular biology analyses, and serology.
    Director: Fabrizio Agnoletti
  • SCT5 – Trento
    This area includes three laboratories which conduct diagnoses, official food controls, serology, and microbiological and chemical self-control activities.
    Director: Farina Giovanni
  • SCT6 – Bolzano
    This area includes three laboratories which perform clinical diagnoses, official food controls, serology, and molecular biology analyses.
    Director: Alexander Tavella
Other offices
  • Aquatic Animal Health and Seafood Safety Centre
    The Aquatic animal health and seafood safety centre functionally coordinates the activities of the various laboratories dealing with aquatic animal health, performing the functions of National reference laboratory for fish, crustacean and mollusc diseases. The office coordinates the laboratories and operational units that directly and indirectly refer to the CRN, ensuring correct performance of both specific CRN functions and diagnostic and technical/ scientific support activities for community-based services and the productive sector.
    Director: Giuseppe Arcangeli
  • International Cooperation
    The office for international cooperation plans and manages international cooperation projects which have research and development components through collaboration with the other IZSVe departments and Reference Laboratories / collaborating centres.

Administrative Structure

The Administrative Structure disposes of all administrative procedures required to support the institutional and research activities provided by the IZSVe. This structure consists of four Departments:

  • SCA1 – Human Resources Management
  • SCA2 – Supplies and Logistics Management
  • SCA3 – Economic and Financial Management
  • SCST – Technical Service

Functional Bodies

IZSVe Animal Welfare Body

The Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale delle Venezie (IZSVe) has established an Animal Welfare Body, to transpose Directive 2010/63/EU (Decision of the Director General no. DDG 218 of 5 May, 2014) in accordance with art. 25 of Legislative Decree DLGS no. 26 dated 4 March, 2014.

The Animal Welfare Body has three members:

  • the head of animal care and welfare;
  • a veterinary physician (selected in accordance with art. 24 of Italian Legislative Decree DLGS no. 26/2914;
  • a scientific expert from the Institute.

The Animal Welfare Body serves as an interface with researchers, from whom it receives study projects involving the use of animals. The Animal Welfare Body liaises with the Ethics Committee of IZSVe to evaluate these projects and provide the opinions needed to apply for authorization from the Ministry of Health. The Body has the task of interfacing with the Ministry and then with the researchers in relation to project approval.


Pursuant to art. 26 of legislative decree DLGS no. 26/2014, formalized in the Decision of the Director General DDG no. 218, dated 5 May, 2014, the Animal Welfare Body (OPBA) performs the following duties:

  • advises staff dealing with animals used for scientific purposes on matters relating to welfare, acquisition, care, accommodation and use;
  • advises staff authorized to use animals according to the 3R principle, informing them of any technical and scientific developments and promoting professional update training;
  • defines and revises internal monitoring, communication and control procedures relating to the welfare of animals accommodated or used in the establishment;
  • delivers reasoned opinions on research projects and any subsequent amendments, notifying the heads of projects accordingly;
  • forwards applications for research project authorizations to the Ministry of Health by certified electronic mail, in accordance with the provisions of art. 31 of Italian legislative decree DLGS no. 26/2014, notifying the heads of projects accordingly;
  • follows the development and outcome of research projects, taking into account the effects on the animals used and giving advice on aspects that contribute to the 3R principles;
  • gives advice on reintegration programmes, including adequate socialization of the animals to be reintegrated;
  • guarantees the filing of consultancy work and the related decisions for a period of at least 6 years, making the documents available on the request of the pertinent authorities.


The Animal Welfare Body of IZSVe is formed by:

  • Franco Mutinelli
    Head of Animal Welfare
    Director of the Division of Experimental Veterinary Sciences, IZSVe, Legnaro (Padova)
  • Massimo Boldrin
    Designated veterinarian, specialist in laboratory animal science and medicine
  • Fabrizio Agnoletti
    Director SCT2 – Diagnostic department, IZSVe, Treviso


Maria Augusta Bozza
Secretariat of the Animal Welfare Body of IZSVe
Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale delle Venezie
viale dell’Università 10, 35020 Legnaro (PD)
Tel.: +39 049 8084259 | Fax: +39 049 8084258
E-mail: organismopba@izsvenezie.it | PEC: izsvenezie@legalmail.it

IZSVe Ethics Committee

The IZSVe has had its own Ethics Committee since October 2007. Its goal is to appropriately implement the organization’s mission by responding to the need to guarantee animal welfare within an ethical and regulatory framework.

IZSVe’s Ethics Committee is an independent interdisciplinary body whose objective is to ethically assess study protocols and production procedures involving the use of animals for experimental purposes. The body also provides an advisory service to other requesting organizations on ethical matters in which the Institute has expertise. The Ethics Committee has the task of evaluating the methodology and implementation of studies or activities proposed by researchers in relation to the values of the Istituto Zooprofilattico delle Venezie, focusing specifically on criteria able to combine the specific needs of scientific research with the protection of animal welfare.

Other objectives pursued by the Ethics Committee include promoting ethics applied to sciences that use animals for experimental purposes, partly in collaboration with other research centres and institutions, and training research staff to acquire the necessary skills and professional qualifications, in accordance with the 3-R ethical approach (replacement, reduction, refinement).


In accordance with IZSVe Ethics Committee (EC) Regulations, the Committee has the following institutional duties:

  • to give reasoned opinions and/or recommendations on all research projects and protocols to be carried out by IZSVe which envisage the use of animals for experimental purposes and in production procedures;
  • to promote the adoption of and compliance with ethical principles related to the correct breeding, maintenance and treatment of the animals used;
  • to provide advice and deliver opinions and recommendations on problems relating to the use, handling, treatment and welfare of animals;
  • to make sure that each study includes the minimum number of experiments needed to achieve useful results;
  • to promote research staff training and the development of skills and professional qualifications in sciences involving animals for experimental purposes and in production procedures.


Giulia Mascarello
SCS0 – Training, Communication and Support Services
Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale delle Venezie
Viale dell’Università 10 – 35020 Legnaro (PD)
Tel.: +39 049 8084265-1504
E-mail: comitatoetico@izsvenezie.it


The Ethics Committee of IZSVe is composed of the following members:

  • Vittorio Canova
    Freelancer – Coroner
  • Gioia Capelli
    Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale delle Venezie – Director of Science
  • Laura Contalbrigo
    Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale delle Venezie – Expert in Animal Assisted Interventions
  • Giulia De Benedictis
    University of Padova – Expert in anesthesiological/surgical procedures
  • Barbara De Mori
    University of Padova – Expert in moral philosophy
  • Francesco Grigoletto
    Expert in biostatistics
  • Matteo Mascia
    Lanza Foundation – Expert in ethics and environmental policies
  • Franco Mutinelli
    Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale delle Venezie – Expert in animal experimentation
  • Renzo Pegoraro
    Expert in bioethics
  • Alberto Petrocelli
    Freelancer – Expert in animal welfare of animals used in experimentation
  • Giulia Mascarello
    Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale delle Venezie – Expert in training and communication

Organisational Plans & Policies


Histyory - IZSVe Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale delle VenezieOn June 15, 1929, the IZSVe was inaugurated in Padova, as the result of an initiative of provinces in the Triveneto area, whose objective was to establish a scientific-experimental centre that would provide zootechnical support to stakeholders in the area.

The history of the IZSVe has involved a group of individuals, including directors, presidents, and health, technical and administrative personnel, who have remained dedicated to their work throughout the 20th and 21st centuries, from the difficult war years to the post-war recovery, from the economic boom of the 1960s to the birth of the research activities in the 1970s, and from the beginnings of Europe’s free market to the new challenges posed by globalisation.

Eighty years later, the promotion of public health and animal health continue to represent the main objectives of the IZSVe, which has succeeded in meeting its objectives thanks to a team of individuals whose extraordinary commitment has allowed the IZSVe to build a future characterised by innovation, quality, knowledge, and scientific expertise, allowing it to make a true difference at the global level.

The early years


On June 15th, the the Stazione Sperimentale delle Tre Venezie was created on the outskirts of Padova by the provinces of Belluno, Bolzano, Fiume, Padova, Pola, Rovigo, Trento, Treviso and Vicenza, with other provinces adhering to the initiative in later years: Verona in 1929, Trieste and Venezia in 1931, Udine in 1932, Gorizia in 1937, and Ferrara in 1950. The first activities of this Institute included the diagnosis of livestock diseases, experimental research, teaching activities, and the dissemination of technical-scientific information, with the objective of responding to the needs of stakeholders in the area.


In 1941, the Institute began to produce a vaccine for epidemics of foot and mouth disease in the bovine population; vaccine production continued until 1991, when it was suspended following the issuing of EC legislation on disease control. The Institute also began activities in food bacteriology, which over the years would become fundamental for food safety.



In 1950, the Tori Centre for the artificial fecundation of cattle was created with the objective of treating and preventing infectious sterility. In the post-war period, the areas of avian pathologies, virology, and serology were among the first specialised areas to be developed.


In 1958, new virology laboratories were constructed for the purposes of tissue cultivation and vaccine production.


In this period, peripheral diagnostic facilities were built in Udine (1950), Verona (1950), Belluno (1955), San Donà di Piave (1955), Vicenza (1956), Adria (1956), Treviso (1956), Bolzano (1957), Trento (1960), and Pordenone (1967). In addition to the Institute’s increasing focus on peripheral areas, there emerged new interest in minor species, such as rabbits, and in wild fauna, as well as specialised activities, such as beekeeping, rabies and illegal treatments given to cattle used for meat production.


In an overall context of technological and productive development, the Institute developed major technological and methodological innovations, especially in the areas of virological research and the control and prevention of infectious animal diseases.

Towards today's IZSVe


In 1970, the passing of legislation on the reorganization of the IZSVe determined the new direction that the Institute would take, which are now part of the National Public Health. In this period, major developments were made in the agro-industrial system, with a simultaneous increase in scientific knowledge. The IZSVe launches an intense phase of redevelopment of its activities with chemical, bacteriological, and virological laboratories.


As a result of the consolidation of the laboratories of the IZSVe, in 1980 the research activities begin to.


In 1990, the Veneto Region established CREV (Regional Centre of Veterinary Epidemiology) at the IZSVe.


IN 1993, legislation on the reorganization of the IZSVe redefined its structure, responsibilities and functions. This legislation acknowledged two fundamental elements of the reform of the National Health System, in particular, the decentralisation of responsibilities, with a shift towards the regional level, and the process of privatisation of public health facilities.

The IZSVe today


In this period, the epidemics of avian influenza in the western part of the Veneto Region, in particular in the province of Verona, led to intensive research activity and resulted in the IZSVe gaining international attention, with diverse recognitions of excellence.


In 2006, following a restructuring, the services and research activities of the IZSVe began to be increasingly focused on health issues of international importance. In the same year, the Global Initiative for Sharing All Influenza Data (GISAID) was created, a public database for the transparency of data and the free exchange of genetic information with the international scientific community.


New diseases and the safeguarding of public health: the IZSVe faces the challenges of the major health issues of globalisation. Relations are strengthened with stakeholders in the area (e.g., institutions, production categories, consumers), so that the IZSVe can act as a leader at the national and international level, allowing it to adequately safeguard public health and satisfy emerging needs.

Where we are

The headquarters of the Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale delle Venezie are located in Legnaro (Padua), in the North-East of Italy (Venice area). The complete refrences is:

Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale delle Venezie
Viale dell’Università 10
35020 Legnaro (PD)
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Tel.: + 39 049 8084211
E-mail: comunicazione@izsvenezie.it

How to reach the headquarters in Legnaro

By public transportation from Venice’s airport

Venice’s “Marco Polo” International Airport is approximately 30 km from Padova. There is a public bus service from the airport to Padova, which takes approximately 1 hour. The bus stop is on your right as you exit the airport from the arrivals hall. Buses are marked “SITA” and tickets (which cost approximately €4) can be either purchased in the airport (at the ATVO agency in the arrivals hall) or on the bus itself. Get off the bus at the end of the line in Padova’s main bus station (Piazzale Boschetti). To reach the IZSVe, you must take another SITA bus from Piazzale Boschetti to Agripolis (approximately 30 minutes).

By train

There is only one railway station in Padova which is served regularly by trains from most major Italian cities (e.g., Milan, Verona, Bologna, Rome). www.trenitalia.com. Information (7.00 am – 9.00 pm) – Telephone: (+39) 049 8224456. To reach the IZSVe from Padova’s train station, you must take a SITA bus to Agripolis (approximately 30 minutes). The bus stop is directly outside the train station. Tickets (approximately €3) can be bought in the ticket office in the train station’s arrivals hall or on the bus itself. When buying tickets, please specify Agripolis as your destination. Ask the driver to let you off at IZSVe or, when you get to Agripolis, which is the final stop, walk back about 100 metres to the previous stop, which is directly outside the IZSVe.

By taxi

You will find taxi stands at Padova’s train station and in the city centre. The cost of a ride from the train station to the IZSVe should be between €20 and €25, depending on traffic. If you need a taxi you, can call the Cooperativa Radio Taxi Padova – Telephone: +39 049 651333.

By car

  • Torino-Trieste Expressway (Autostrada Torino-Trieste A4)
    Exit “Padova Est”. Once you have taken the exit, you will enter a roundabout; follow signs for Ravenna/Chioggia/Adria; continue on this road for approximately 5 km (tangenziale Corso Argentina). Take the fourth exit, following signs for Chioggia; at the traffic light, turn left. Once you have passed the developed area Roncaglia and the bridge of the developed area of Ponte San Nicolò, continue in the direction of Legnaro/Piove di Sacco. Once you have gone over the overpass over expressway A13, at the first traffic light turn right and follow signs for the Istituto Zooprofilattico, which is approximately 1 km from the traffic light.
  • Bologna-Padova Expressway (Autostrada Bologna-Padova A13)
    Exit “Padova interporto”. At the roundabout, after the exist, turn left. At the first traffic light (which is approximately 500 meters away), turn left in the direction of Ponte San Nicolò; after approximately 1.5 km, at the overpass of the waterway, turn left in the direction of Legnaro. Keep to the right, along the water way for about 500 meters. Turn right before crossing the underpass of Expressway. Continue for approximately 1.5 km and at the junction take the exit for Legnaro. At the first traffic light, turn right and follow signs for the Istituto Zooprofilattico, which is approximately 1 km from the traffic light.

Contact us

Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale delle Venezie
Viale dell’Università 10
35020 Legnaro (PD)
Tel.: + 39 049 8084211 | +39 049 8030380
Fax: +39 049 8830046
E-mail: comunicazione@izsvenezie.it

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