INTRODUCTION AND OBJECTIVES. Coinciding with the recent implementation in Italy of the "Directive 2010/63/EU, regarding the protection of animals used for scientific purposes", the Authors would like to analyse the topic of the introduction of ethical committees for animal experimentation in Italy. This paper furthermore aims to underline some critical aspects concerning the actions taken by Italian institutions to comply with the provisions of EU. RESULTS AND DISCUSSION. The implementation of the recent Italian law (Decreto Legislativo n. 26 on 4 March 2014 Implementation of the Directive 2010/63/EU on the protection of animals used for scientific purposes) leans towards a restrictive interpretation of the European provisions about composition and responsibilities of "Ethical Committee for Animal Experimentation". In the composition of the bodies mentioned, we note a tendency to restrict the composition to few professional figures contemplated by Italian law, without guaranteeing the independence of each committee; also, an absence of hierarchical relationship between a research institution and his committee is apparent. Moreover, a critical aspect is the lack of decision-making powers of these new organisms in terms of ethical evaluation of protocols and research projects. CONCLUSIONS. What EU legislation imposes on the member states is to set up an animal-welfare body (art. 26). This represents a strong incentive for Italy to follow the steps of many other European Countries, where ad hoc ethical committees have been working for a long time. The proper functioning of these bodies may contribute to guarantee the safety and welfare of the animals inside the laboratories, and to balance the protection of animal life and the interests of research.