Italy phases out the use of animals in circuses and travelling exhibitions
With over 70 % of citizens (2016, EURISPES) wanting to see a ban on the use of animals in circuses, Italy is about to make a milestone change towards securing more animal welfare and rights.
The legislation delegates to a subsequent Ministerial decree the elaboration of the timeline and specific measures to be undertaken to implement the law. The decree is due to be published within the next 12 months. This is a U-turn compared to the Italian 1968 circus and travelling exhibition law authorising the use of animals for entertainment – which lasted unchanged for 48 years.
The new path follows what already achieved in more than 50 States in the world in all continents, including more than half of EU States. The Minister of Culture, Dario Franceschini is the promoter of such a reform and hopefully will set the path for its implementing rules being adopted as soon as possible.
LAV has campaigned for this achievement for over 30 years and during the last 3 years has contributed actively to the policy debate. Among other initiatives, LAV commissioned out to the Research Institute CENSIS an economic and employment status Report of the of Circus Sector in Italy which unveiled the serious crisis facing the sector and its workers.
It has also technical workshop at the Senate inviting Prof. Stephen Harris, a leading ethologist and author of several publications on the circuses’ failure to meet the basic ethological needs of animals.
Lately also FNOVI ( Italian Federation of Veterinarians’ Chambers) issued a public statement on the need to phase out circuses with animals on both ethical and scientific grounds.
LAV continues working on ensuring that the implementing measures will be adopted shortly and a final ban on the use of animals in circuses and travelling exhibitions will be in place in a 2 – 3 year time.