In case of natural disaster italian civil protection activities will include the rescue and assistance of animals
From now on, Law provides that rescue activities and assistance of animals affected by natural disasters is included in the tasks of the Italian Civil Protection, just as it is for human populations.
The result, with Legislative Decree n.224, published in the Official Gazette "Code of Civil Protection" was obtained thanks to the mobilization in the last year of animal protection NGOs Animalisti Italiani, Enpa, LAV, Lega Nazionale per la Difesa del Cane, Leidaa and Oipa.
"The legislative reference to animals is necessary in order to recognize, strengthen and qualify what is already happening in case of earthquakes, floods, exceptional snowfalls - says Gianluca Felicetti, LAV President - so we can overcome spontaneous actions towards a more systematic contribution of specialized volunteering to the activities of rescue, recovery and assistance of companion animals , as increasingly requested by the populations ".
Animal protection volunteering associations are already the first ones to spontaneously take charge of the numerous reports and help requests for isolated, hungry, buried, lost animals, from which the populations are often forced to separate, due to the inhospitality of some emergency facilities, or to the impossibility of new shelters. When everything is lost, the emotional and social value of one’s animals, as acknoledged by everyone, is incalculable. Their loss annihilates and deletes even the little that has remained. This is why companion animals are irreplaceable for the moral and material reconstruction of the community".
Now we finally have a brand new perspective, and the associations Animalisti Italiani, Enpa, LAV, Lega Nazionale per la Difesa del Cane, Leidaa e Oipa warn: “This Legislative Decree is a first important step, but it is only the first one. From today on we must work closely with Civil Protection Offices and with the Regions so that this Law will become concrete and will not remain on the paper. Specific and shared operational procedures are necessary to ensure that all activities are codified. Operators, both volunteers and officials, will have to be trained. All together we must identify effective tools to achieve this result and our associations play a fundamental role, with our contribution in terms of high level know-how and proven experience in the field. Every disaster, from earthquakes to floods, from snowfalls to fires that isolate entire communities, has taught us in recent years that actions must be diversified according to the territory and the type of event. We are therefore aware that from today on an important mission is awaiting us: giving shape and substance to the provisions of the new law.
Article 1 (Definition and purpose of the National Civil Protection Service)
1. The National Civil Protection Service, hereinafter referred to as National Service, defined of public utility, is the system that performs the civil protection function consisting in skills and activities aimed at protecting life, physical integrity, goods, settlements, animals and the environment from damages or danger of damages resulting from natural disasters or caused by human activity.
Article 2 (Civil protection activities)
6. Emergency management consists in integrated and coordinated measures and operations aimed at ensuring rescue and assistance to populations and animals affected by disasters as well as reduction of their impact, also through the implementation of undeferrable and urgent operations, the use of simplified procedures, and the related activity of information to the population.