ITALY adopts a legislation prescribing the phase out of animals in circuses and travelling exhibitions

the Italian Parliament adopted a legislation prescribing the phase out of circuses and travelling exhibitions with animals following a 2016 draft bill of the Government.

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 a half of EU States.

The promoter of such a reform  is the Minister of Culture, Dario Franceschini who 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, moreover, LAV has organised  a  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.

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.

LAV continues working on ensuring  that  the implementing measures will be adopted shortly and that  a final ban on the use of animals in circuses  and travelling exhibitions  will be put  in place in  a 2 – 3 year time.