In Gorgona Island the dream lives again: animal-rescue operations are starting

Thanks to an agreement signed last January between LAV and Institutions, the prison-island of Gorgona, in Tuscany, will become theatre of good practice in the human-animal relationship.

After the forced break imposed by the coronavirus emergency, the project finally comes alive: in the next few days LAV will be on the island to gradually start transfering to the mainland the first animals saved from slaughtering. A symbolic "Ark of Freedom" celebrating the rebirth of the" Gorgona model" as the island of human and animal rights.


Gorgona, in the Tuscan Archipelago, is the last Italian prison-island. A place that since the end of the nineteenth century has hosted not only prisoners, but also many animals. Then, for twenty years it was the scene of new forms of relationship between prisoners and animals. At least until 2015 when the exploitation and slaughter of the animals were resumed. But after years of petitions, demonstrations and pressure on the institutions, our dream has finally come true: all 588 animals on the island are safe and none of them will be used for production and never slaughtered again, the killing plant will be dismantled and rehabilitation courses for prisoners will be launched, based on the human-animal relationship.


In order to impement a new model based on respect and non-violence between humans and animals, and due to the overcrowding of the animals on the island (as a result of forced reproduction), some of the animals will remain there and others will be transferred. LAV will adopt some of them directly, finance the rescue activities with a contribution of 45,000 euros over two years and help the administration of the prison find a new home for everyone else (we are looking for suitable and safe places, carefully checking all the requests we receive). But that's not all: with educational interventions, "long distance adoption" campaigns and guided tours of the island, we will make known and enhance the ethical, environmental and educational aspects of this unique initiative.


If we managed to save all the animals of Gorgona it is also thanks to the decision of the Undersecretary of Justice Vittorio Ferraresi and to the agreement we signed with the Municipality of Livorno and the Administration of the Gorgona penitentiary. The animals that will remain on the island will be taken care by the prisoners with a program from the Bicocca University of Milan.


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