"24 years have passed since we submitted the first Constitutional Draft-Law for the inclusion of animals in the Italian Constitution, paving the way for the great achievement of today, with the recognition of animals and the environment in our fundamental State Law", stated Gianluca Felicetti, President of LAV. The Chamber of Deputies has eventually and definitively approved, by slight a majority of two thirds (468 votes in favour, 1 against and 6 abstaining), the Constitutional Bill, strongly supported in particular by the MPs De Petris, Maiorino, Perilli, Corneli, Giammanco, Brambilla, Sarli, Muroni, Nugnes.
" After five legislatures since our proposal was submitted for the first time, we finally obtained an importart result, product of our commitment and of many battles conducted by different Parties across the political spectrum", added Felicetti.
Thanks to this Reform, animals have now been granted full rights by the Consitution, being mentioned four times in articles 9 and 41: as animals, as environment, as biodiversity, and as ecosystems, within the section dedicated to the Republic’s fundamental principles.
The inclusion of animals in the Constitution takes note and reflects a widespread sensitivity that has been developed by Italian people over the last decades (Italy is the fifth country in the world to do so) and it represents also a milestone and a concrete tool towards an effective protection of animals at a legislative and jurisdictional level.
"We certainly would have liked to go further but, given the current unstable political conditions, we think we can consider the result a miracle because the new provisions do not only apply to cats and dogs, as the Lega requested, but also to all animals, in full compliance with the anti-specist principle that has always driven our commitment. This Reform fills an unacceptable gap in the Italian Constitution - concludes Felicetti - however, it should not be considered as a point of arrival but a jumping-off place, a coming back to a new square one with more fervour and strength. So that animals will more easily obtain protection and respect, in the forthcoming Laws and in future court rulings. Thanks to this Reform, Italian citizens, associations and volunteers, will have more resources and opportunities to promote and protect animal rights".