ince its very beginnings, the Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale (Experimental Zooprophylaxis Institute) was involved in producing and marketing of biological products for the protection of livestock health, quickly becoming a point of reference for farmers and earning recognition and appreciation well beyond its provincial and regional borders.
The great success of these activities attracted a huge influx of financial resources that were used to pursue the Institute’s aims. However, despite a largely positive scenario, there remained a not insignificant operational shortcoming.
With production and commercial needs bringing increasing pressures to bear, the Institute was unable to completely fulfil one of its aims, namely to assist farmers by way of delivering technical expertise for enhancing the performance of their livestock and training for veterinarians. So, soon after the end of WW2, the Institute’s administrators put in place a plan to create a legally independent body to pursue these objectives.
During the war, the Institute had already set up a Fund for Zooprophylaxis and Zootechnical Initiatives in the Province of Brescia, for scientific and educational purposes, into which flowed the revenues from production activities that exceeded the Institute’s needs. Capital was thus available to allocate to research, professional training and the establishment of scholarships.
The proposal to set up a foundation devoted to agricultural and zootechnical issues was warmly welcomed by local businesses in Brescia, including the Banca Credito Agrario Bresciano, Banca San Paolo di Brescia and the Pastori, Dandolo, Chiodi and Conter bequests (Istituzioni Agrarie Riunite or Joint Agrarian Institutions)
The Fondazione Iniziative Zooprofilattiche e Zootecniche (Foundation for Zooprophylaxis and Zootechnical Initiatives) was established by the Zooprophylaxis Institute and the above-mentioned partners on 27 January 1955. Presidential Decree no. 462 of 17 January 1956 classified it as a non-profit organisation and recognised its legal status.
In its first fifteen years, the Foundation supported and championed initiatives undertaken by the Zooprophylaxis Institute, including the provision of funding to expand the Institute and run research programmes, and the creation of provincial chapters in Lombardy and Emilia Romagna (Bergamo, Cremona, Pavia, Reggio Emilia, Modena, Ferrara and Ravenna).
As regards education and training, numerous agreements were signed between the Foundation and top notch universities to offer new courses at their faculties of veterinary medicine. Around this time the first vocational training courses were set up and scholarships awarded to graduates to intern at the Institute’s laboratories.
The dimension of the financial outlays allocated over the first fifteen years – totalling approx. one billion Italian Lire at the time – provide clear evidence of the volume and significance of the projects funded by the Institute.