Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale delle Venezie
Italian health authority and research organization for animal health and food safety
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Farina Luca

Luca Farina Role and Department Veterinarian – SCT1 – Verona and Vicenza
Director – National reference laboratory for animal assisted intervention (pet therapy)
Phone +39 049 8084281

Professional profile

Luca Farina is the Director of the Italian National Reference Centre for Animal Assisted Interventions, established by the Ministry of Health in 2009. He graduated in Veterinary Medicine (Milan, 1983) and studied at the Institute of Tropical Medicine in Antwerp (Belgium), where he was awarded a diploma in Tropical Veterinary Medicine (1986) and a M.Sc. in Tropical Animal Production (1987). In 1996, he specialized in Animal Health, Breeding and Livestock Production at the University of Bologna.

Most of his professional career has been spent abroad. Three years of international aid work in Burundi were followed by three years at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in Togo and at the headquarters in Rome. After returning to Italy in 1990, he began his professional experience with IZSVe, which he joined as a permanent staff member in 1993, becoming involved in environmental hygiene, veterinary epidemiology, serology, training and cooperation. During this period, he was among the founding members, and held the Secretariat of the Italian Society of Tropical Veterinary Medicine and Zootechnics for International Cooperation – Veterinarians without Borders, representing Italy in the Vétérinaires Sans Frontières International network. During this period, he was among the organizers of the first international conference on Pet Therapy, held in Italy (Padua, 1997).

In 1999, he was selected by the European Commission as Principal Administrator at DG SANCO’s Food and Veterinary Office in Dublin, where he remained until 2007. From 2007 to 2013, he was recruited at the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) Surveillance Authority as a senior officer, based in Brussels. He carried out several missions as lead inspector from 1999 to 2013 being in charge of report’s writing. In line with the policy of these two international organizations, these reports were published on the respective websites in anonymous form. This period was consequently marked by a lack of publications, which are otherwise distributed in the period prior to and after his return to IZSVe, in June 2013.

His areas of interest are associated with animal assisted therapy and veterinary aspects of bioethics, animal welfare and animal behaviour. He also liaises with human physicians and international organisations in the training of multidisciplinary team members and in designing animal assisted interventions. His work in the international cooperation field mainly deals with project formulation and consultancy. From 2014 he was appointed by the Italian Ministry of Health as junior project leader of “Projet de junior Jumelage DZ / 13 / ENP / HE / 16, renforcement de la capacité de contrôle des services vétérinaires en vue de les rapprocher des standards internationaux et européens”, with EU funding and in partnership with the Algerian Ministry of Agriculture and the French Ministry of Agriculture.


  • Contalbrigo L., De Santis M., Nava F.A. et Farina L. (2015) L’expérience italienne (Padoue). Thérapie des détenus sous addiction: méthodologie et apport de la médiation canine. Colloque Justice et médiation animale «L’animal, nouvelle aide à la réinsertion», 30 novembre 2015, Université Lyon Lumière 2, Francia, pag. 10-11
  • Farina L., Contalbrigo L. and De Santis M. (2015) Animal Assisted Interventions: the Italian reality and the role of the National reference centre established by the Ministry of Health. Plenary presentation at the 3rd Symposium on Animal-Assisted Activity, Therapy and Education – III SINTAA, Rio de Janeiro 7-9 October 2015
  • Mongillo P.; Pitteri E.; Adamelli S.; Bonichini S.; Farina L.; Marinelli L. (2015) Validation of a selection protocol of dogs involved in Animal Assisted Intervention, Journal of Veterinary Behavior, 10, 103-105
  • Farina L. & Moretti C. (2014) Healthcare and animal assisted interventions: the Italian approach. Plenary presentation at the IAHAIO annual symposium “Bridging Cultural and Disciplinary Boundaries in Human-Animal Interactions, Amsterdam 24-26 July 2014, Acts page 8-9
  • Farina L. (2013) AAT, AAE, AAA standards. Acts of the 1st Animal Assisted Intervention International Conference, Spa (Belgium) page 18
  • Ostanello F., Farina L., Turilli C., Serra P., Cagnolati V., Abdullhai M., Scagliarini A., Prosperi S. (1999). Reliability of results of the Rose Bengal test performer for export control in Northern Somalia. sci. tech. Off. int. Epiz., 1999, 18 (3), 660-666
  • Farina L. (1997) Veterinaria italiana e cooperazione internazionale. Panorama della Sanità, supplemento al n.22, 39-43
  • Piccoli L. e Farina L. (1997). Pet therapy sulla strada. Atti del convegno internazionale “Pet therapy: curarsi con gli animali”, Padova, 2 marzo 1997. Observer, I, 1, settembre 1997: 42-43
  • Farina L., Marangon S., Piccoli L., Scattolin M. (1995). I gatti di Venezia – Primo censimento delle colonie feline. Quaderni di documentazione ambientale, 8. 112 pagine, Comune di Venezia, Assessorato all’Ecologia, Cà Farsetti, 30100 Venezia. Arsenale Editrice – Venezia
  • Farina L. (1991). Le volet caprin du projet de développement du petit élevage dans la Kara (Nord Togo). Capricorne (1991), vol.4, 1, 17-22

© Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale delle Venezie
Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale delle Venezie
Viale dell'Università 10, 35020 Legnaro (PD)
Tel: +39 049 8084211 | Fax: +39 049 8830046
VAT: 00206200289