Animals become part of the Constitution, it is now time for concrete action

Following the definitive approval by the Chamber of Deputies of the bill introducing the protection of the environment and biodiversity as part of the Constitution, we now call for tangible, concrete action regarding this commitment.

Unless such legislation subsequently corresponds to the given principles, there is a risk that it exists only on paper. Such is the case, for example, of the UN declarations on human rights and children’s rights…. Or Article 13 of the Treaty of Lisbon, which came into force in 2009 and recognizes animals as sentient beings, but which has been disregarded in many areas, despite some important progress that has been made.

At Save the Dogs, we believe that the first concrete step in Italy towards implementing this decision would be the revision of Law n° 281/91regarding stray dogs, in addition to the introduction of more severe penalties related to the mistreatment, abuse and killing of animals. Under the current criminal code, the sanctions provided for are far too lenient.

We are also concerned by the treatment of many “animali da reddito” (farm animals bred or kept for the production of food, wool, leather, fur or other agricultural purposes), including pigs, poultry and dairy cows. Millions of these animals are treated as objects and are deprived of fundamental rights.  We believe it is time to intervene on intensive farming and road transport issues, without waiting for the imposition of Europe legislation.

This reform undoubtedly fills a void in our Constitution. We cannot however consider that we have reached the finishing line, but rather the starting point towards obtaining the protection and respect of all animals under Italian law. Save the Dogs will continue to campaign for their protection and respect as we are currently doing, for example, with the #Liberidallecatene (‘Free Them from Their Chains) initiative, in collaboration with Green Impact, Animal Law Italia and FONDAZIONE CAVE CANEM. Our ongoing commitment, alongside other like-minded associations, now undoubtedly has more leverage, enabling us to obtain concrete results that can make a real difference to the existence of all animals.

Sara Turetta

Presidente, Save the Dogs and Other Animals Onlus