On November 10, the Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care International (AAALAC) visited IDIBELL to supervise the correct execution of the program for the care and use of animals, essential for maintaining its accreditation. This certification ensures the institution’s commitment to animal welfare (in the models used in the research lines), maintaining the highest levels of rigor and quality.
AAALC is a private, non-profit organization that advances the humane treatment of animals in science through voluntary accreditation programs and evaluation by expert members. The participating institutions, apart from ensuring animal welfare in all its facets, are committed to complying with local, state, and federal laws that regulate animal research, as well as following the 3R principle (replacement, reduction, and refinement). In some way, AAALAC is a meeting point between science and the responsible use of animal models.
During their visit, the members of the AAALAC had the opportunity to visit the IDIBELL facilities with the designated veterinarian Rosa Bonavia and review the necessary documentation to renew the accreditation. They also had the opportunity to speak directly with all the personnel involved (staff from the animal facility, CEEA members, researchers from the internal animal committee, labor prevention personnel, and general services). Previously, the director of IDIBELL, Dr. Gabriel Capellá, welcomed them to the institution, and Dr. Mercè Martí, head of the scientific-technical services, made a brief mention of the current situation of the facility.
After evaluating all the information provided by IDIBELL, AAALAC made a single mandatory requirement that is easy to comply with (already in process), and various improvement suggestions that will be implemented soon. The final verdict will be issued in January, which is expected to be positive, since AAALAC’s general assessment of how the center follows the program was “with enthusiasm, commitment and transparency”, which encourages us to continue with our task.
The Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute (IDIBELL) is a biomedical research center created in 2004. It is participated by the Bellvitge University Hospital and the Viladecans Hospital of the Catalan Institute of Health, the Catalan Institute of Oncology, the University of Barcelona and the City Council of L’Hospitalet de Llobregat.
IDIBELL is a member of the Campus of International Excellence of the University of Barcelona HUBc and is part of the CERCA institution of the Generalitat de Catalunya. In 2009 it became one of the first five Spanish research centers accredited as a health research institute by the Carlos III Health Institute. In addition, it is part of the “HR Excellence in Research” program of the European Union and is a member of EATRIS and REGIC. Since 2018, IDIBELL has been an Accredited Center of the AECC Scientific Foundation (FCAECC).