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Italy discovers the 'Consciousness of Animals'

Italy discovers the 'Consciousness of Animals'

1 July 2010

Last May an important and encouraging first step has been done towards the
respect of animal life and freedom: nine Italian stars of politics, culture
and science have pledged, during an official presentation at Palazzo Reale
in Milan, to become "Warrantors" of the manifesto "La coscienza degli
animali" (consciousness of animals), introduced by the Italian Minister of
Tourism, Hon. Michela Vittoria Brambilla.

The campaign was initiated by Minister Brambilla the and the eminent
Professor Umberto Veronesi, former Italian Health Minister and renown
oncologist, and endorsed by many VIPs, i.e. the Swiss lawyer for animals
Antoine Goetschel, writer Susanna Tamaro and the famous director Franco

Minister Brambilla said that she hopes the manifesto will be supported by
all who believe "that animals have the right to life. .We are going to be
the conscience of animals and our voice will be loud and clear."

Professor Veronesi added: "The moment has come for a great collective

Hunting abolition, no to vivisection, stop to "inhuman" detention in cages
of zoos and circuses - these are only some points of the manifesto for the
protection of animals.

A very useful website (in Italian) offers much more information about this
pioneering initiative.

Minister Brambilla has launched a direct and very powerful attack against
hunting and a strongly worded "possible and necessary" proposal to abolish
hunting, which she evaluates as being an "animal massacre during the hunting
season". She strongly criticizes the "arrogance of killing defenseless
animals" by a minority of hunters, while the Italian majority feels offended
by such acts.

At the same time Professor Veronesi, founder of the European Institute of
Oncology (where laboratory animals don't exist), said loudly NO to
vivisection, "except for exceptional cases".

Minister Brambilla also created a Committee for the creation of an 'Animal
Friendly Italy', with the objective of improving the international image of
the country and promoting tourism. According to Minister Brambilla, there
are not enough hotels and public places accepting pets, thus making it
travel with animals difficult in Italy.

In order to address the situation, a brochure was published, which contains
a list of bars, restaurants, pizza and fast food parlors, hotels,
apartments, camping sites, country resorts, holiday villages and beaches
ready to receive animals. This initiative will make it easier to find the
right accommodation for animal friends. After all, one Italian family out of
three owns a pet and needs to organise the summer holidays adequately.

At the beginning of June a nation-wide publicity campaign , TV spots
included, addressed the drama of abandoned pets and declared war against the
shameful situation. Even though abandoning animals is a crime in Italy,
punishable with up to one year imprisonment, there are still 750,000 pets
being thrown out on the streets each year.

As a first work step, the Commission, where national animal rights
associations are represented, is going to compile and analyze all existing
animal rights material. Rules for municipalities, where a beach or a green
space for animals is offered, are to follow.

-- EVANA thanks Stefano Forgione for this article --

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