Undercover investigation reveals "out of control" Italian wet markets


Undercover investigation reveals "out of control" Italian wet markets

11 October 2021

Between June and July 2021, LAV's investigative team documented Italy's three main exotic animal fairs, revealing an "out of control" reality for thousands of animals plus a serious public health risk.

LAV’s investigation team shows evidence that Italy’s exotic animal fairs appear to be a huge “grey area” that moves millions of animals, and euros, every year, with improper regulation of the animals sold and disregard for their needs and welfare. Animals that would normally never come into contact are placed in overcrowded conditions inside plastic cases or trays. 

The exotic animals exchanged in the fairs are considered as “collectibles.” The images document stressed and suffering animals, stereotyped behaviours, and in some cases even visibly ill or dying animals. Many travel hundreds of kilometres from countries such as Germany, the Czech Republic, Poland and Hungary. 

We wanted this investigation to shed light on a very serious and mostly ignored phenomenon that affects Italy and Europe. It involves the suffering and death of hundreds of thousands of animals, in addition to unacceptable risks for citizens, especially in the light of the Covid-19 pandemic, and lessons learned about our relationship with nature and animals. In Italy, we are working on the implementation of Delegation Law No. 53, which commits the Government to ban all trade, possession and reproduction of exotic and wild animals by May 2022. This is an issue that can and must be a coordinated and synergistic battle of all Eurogroup for Animals members.
Andrea Casini, Head of Exotic Animals Department, LAV