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Portuguese Transparency Agreement - annual report 2023

Portuguese institutions that are signatories of the Transparency Agreement on Animal Research have demonstrated substantial improvement in their openness in public discussion of the use of animals in research, in a report published today.

The fourth evaluation report of the Transparency Agreement, which includes 27 signatories from both the public and private research sectors, showed that in 2023, organisations have continued to be proactive in communicating with the public about animal research.

This annual report coincides with Open Week in Portugal, an initiative fostered by the Transparency Agreement signatories, during which the organisations will give an insight into their research using animals, including open days in their animal facilities and seminars dedicated to animal research. To mark its release, the Portuguese X Account (@EARA_PT) will be posting infographics highlighting the achievements and progress made under the Portuguese Transparency Agreement.

The majority of signatory institutions have engaged with the public by communicating regularly about how animal research is conducted in their facilities or about the results of biomedical studies that required the use of animals. Most institutions also report that they used their social media channels for this purpose. The most notable achievements of improved openness and transparency in 2023 were:

  • Every signatory that completed the survey (25) reported engaging in proactive communication with the public about animal experimentation, primarily through news (72%), hosting events (64%), courses/workshops (64%), lectures (60%), photographs of animal models (60%), among others.

  • Twelve out of the 23 signatories using animals in research (60%) shared photographs of the facilities where the animals are housed, and seven of these signatories (30%) shared videos of the animal experimentation facilities.

  • Twenty-four of the signatories (92%) have a position statement on animal experimentation available on their website.

  • However, at the moment, only six of the signatory institutions include non-technical summaries of their authorised projects on their websites, which is an important step to transparency.

The implementation of the Agreement, co-ordinated by the European Animal Research Association (EARA) is based on four commitments, the first three of which refer to the promotion and improvement of internal and external communications by the signatory institutions, and the last which refers to the sharing of experiences and results in an annual report.

Some examples of openness:

  • Media presence

    • iMM and Champalimaud Foundation were featured in a newspaper article about animal research in Portugal.

    • ICVS was featured in an online article highlighting an important study on Machado-Joseph Disease with specific mentioning of mice being used.

  • Several organisations have shared informative videos about animal research they conduct (iCBR, ICVS, Champalimaud Foundation, CNC-UC)

More examples can be found on the report.

The transparency agreement in Portugal, which includes mainly universities and research centres is one of eight agreements in Europe (Belgium, France, Germany, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland, UK). In 2023, the Portuguese transparency agreement has had new signatories from the pharmaceutical industry, scientific societies, and the first Portuguese patient association signed the agreement.

To increase scientific knowledge and improve human and veterinary medical therapies, and better protect humans, animals, and the environment, high-quality research, including testing for vaccines, such as Covid-19, requires an approach that includes animal models. Scientists must always use alternative non-animal models if these are available, but a complete replacement for animal research is not yet foreseeable.

For further information contact the transparency agreement co-ordinator, Inês Serrenho (phone number +351 925834274 or Nuno Goncalves (



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