Animal Protection > Worldwide Actions > Italy
ALF strikes lab in Lombardy, Italy

A state-funded regional research centre in Brescia, a city in the region of Lombardy in northern Italy, has been the target of an ALF raid, according to a recently posted communiqué.

During the night of 10th October, ALF activists raided a building belonging to The Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale della Lombardia e dell´┐ŻEmilia Romagna. This facility is the main headquarters for the nation-wide Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale, or IZS. It conducts animal research for various farming industries and breeds and sells animals to other regional IZS locations as well as universities and private research companies. According to sources, the facility is the nation's official Avian Flu (H5N1) research lab, but also conducts research into other diseases that are common within the intensive conditions of factory farms.

The building raided by ALF activists actually belongs to IZO, a private vaccines manufacturing company that works within the IZS complex and is mostly owned by the IZS itself. The animals in this building are being used to test vaccines for various farming industries. However, spokespersons for IZS told newspaper reporters that animals in this building were 'not involved in vivisection'. However, activists documented evidence to the contrary regarding the facility's animals and operations.

According to the communiqué, which was sent to various media sources and animal rights magazine La Nemesi along with a USB device containing video footage and photographs of the raid, 2 rabbits, 13 duck, 2 rats, 10 mice, 9 chickens, and 200 chicks were liberated. Examples of some of the horrific experiments taking place at the lab include chickens being infected with Gumboro disease (IBVD) which can cause, among other things haemorrhaging, lesioning of major glands and organs, and severe dehydration, leading to death. Rabbits were found infected with MEV virus, which causes haemorrhaging. Once the rabbits die from the disease, their organs are harvested to produce MEVAX, a vaccine patented by IZS of Brescia. According to documents, some rabbits have died while blood samples were taken directly from the heart. Mice were also infected with a flu virus, but despite the 'warnings' by authorities, they are not dangerous or even contagious to humans.

"If there is anyone putting at risk human health it is scientists, reckless ones who play with viruses, and farmers, owners of concentration camps where diseases spread easily due to the intensive farming conditions," activists stated in the communiqué.

Apart from rescuing animals, activists also took valuable film footage showing flithy, crowded conditions where the animals were kept and freezers full of harvested organs. Papers documenting experiments were seized, and cages and lab equipment destroyed. Messages were also spray painted on walls and sinks were clogged to cause flooding in some of the rooms.

Activists state they had been observing the lab for weeks, entering and filming conditions before striking. They say many of the animals they had seen at the beginning of their campaign were no longer there on the night of the raid, and that they dedicated the liberation of the survivors "to them, and to all those we could not reach..."

No arrests have been made thus far.

A video release of the raid is pending, but photos can be found at

Fair Use Notice and Disclaimer
Send questions or comments about this web site to Ann Berlin,