Home | who we are | Our History

Our History

From 1977 to the present day, discover all the key milestones in our history.

Explore the timeline



LAV was founded in Rome by nine women and men in a room on Via dei Portoghesi 18 in 1977. It was inspired by the publication of a book in 1976 by Swiss writer and medical historian Hans Ruesch, Naked Empress, which called for a popular initiative bill to abolish vivisection. Alberto Pontillo became the first Secretary General of LAV.

First Local Chapters


Between 1978 and 1980, LAV opened its first local offices and deposited the first bills in Parliament for the abolition of vivisection and the protection of animals.

'Let's Free the Guinea Pig'


LAV's first magazine, Liberiamo la cavia (Let's Free the Guinea Pig), was published in 1983. It became the organization's house organ, Impronte (Footprints), in 1990.

Against Hunting


In 1980, 1986, and 1989, LAV supported and co-sponsored national referendums against hunting.

Our 'Animal Liberation'


In 1987, LAV published and distributed the first Italian edition of Peter Singer's book Animal Liberation.

'The Case for Animal Rights'


In 1990, LAV supported the dissemination of Tom Regan's book The Case for Animal Rights. In the same year, LAV national headquarters moved from Via dei Portoghesi 18 to Via Santamaura 72, from two to four small rooms.

Ministry of Health


Since 1995, LAV has been a member of the National Livestock and Slaughterhouse Commission of the Ministry of Health (Law 623/85).

First Municipal Regulation


In 1996, the first municipal regulation for the protection of animals was issued in Florence.

New Headquarters: Via Sommacampagna


In 1997, we moved to the new and larger national headquarters in , 29, Rome.

A Non-Profit Organisation


In 1998  we organised the first 'LAV National Days' dedicated to the European campaign 'Stop Cosmetic Testing on Animals' w

In the same year,  LAV was recognised as a Moral Body by a Decree of the Ministry of the Interior (19.5.1998) and subsequently as a Non-Profit Organisation of Social Utility.

Memorandum of Understanding with the Ministry of Education


Since 1999, LAV has been a signatory of a Memorandum of Understanding with the Ministry of Education with the aim of 'promoting the dissemination and in-depth study of the themes of education on respect for all living beings in schools of all levels'.

Moving Again: Via Piave


In 2006, LAV moved its national headquarters to Via Piave, 7, in Rome.

New Recognitions


LAV is recognised, by Ministry of Health's Decree no. 1/2007/EN.AS.(later renewed by Decree no. 2/2009/EN.AS), first animal welfare organisation, with the aim of protecting the interests harmed by crimes against animals.

LAV is recognised as an environmental protection organisation by the Ministry for the Environment, Land and Sea with a Decree dated 15/2/2007.

Since 2007,  LAV has been an authorised body to issue CME (Continuing Medical Education) credits by the Ministry of Health.

New Headquarters: Viale Regina Margherita


In April 2011, LAV inaugurated its new and current national headquarters in Viale Regina Margherita 177 in Rome.

Memorandum of Understanding with the Carabinieri Corps


In 2017, LAV signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Carabinieri Corps, renewed in 2020.

Memorandum of Understanding with the National Civil Protection Department


In 2018, following the approval of the Italian Civil Protection Code, LAV, along with other organizations, signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the National Department of Civil Protection. This agreement formalizes the collaboration between LAV and the Civil Protection Department to rescue and assist animals affected by natural disasters and to help families with accompanying animals.