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Italy Bans Fur Farming, Shuts Down All Mink Farms

Italy has passed a new law that will shut down mink farms and outlaw all furs. Credit: Nettverk, CC BY-NC-SA 3.0

The Italian Senate voted to ban all fur farms and shut down mink farms on Wednesday.

The Budget Committee of the Italian Senate decided in favor of shutting down every last one of the country’s 10 mink fur farms, as well as banning the fur farming of foxes and chinchillas.

Animal rights group Humane Society International (HSI), conceived of the ban following Covid-19 outbreaks in mink farms throughout Europe, citing the farms as a “public health risk.”

The country’s plan to shut down its fur farms is projected to be in force by June 2022. The ban on breeding animals for fur farming will be effective immediately.

Martina Pluda, Director of HSI in Italy, stated “This is a historic victory for animal protection in Italy, and HSI/Europe is immensely proud that our fur farm conversion strategy has played a central role in dismantling this cruel and dangerous industry in our country.

“There are very clear economic, environmental, public health and of course animal welfare reasons to close and ban fur farms.”

President of the Parliamentary Intergroup for Animal Rights in Italy, Hon. Michela Vittoria Brambilla agreed, noting that: “In thirty years of animal rights battle this is the best victory.

“Finally, a parliamentary vote sanctions the end of unspeakable suffering inflicted on animals only in the name of profit and vanity.”

Animal rights in Greece

The issue of the rights of animals in Greece is serious, and it came to the forefront after a series of shocking and brutal crimes against animals occurred in Greece in 2020.

The Greek Parliament approved a new law on pet ownership in September, which PM Kyriakos Mitsotakis said will create rules so that no animal “will be abandoned, or abused.

“Greece is changing and is finally adopting a modern legal framework for the protection of pets,” Mitsotakis tweeted before the vote in Parliament.

The new law stipulates that pet abuse will carry stricter fines and will now include acts such as abandonment, shooting, intentional injury and poisoning.

Other provisions include:

  • Records of people who have been sentenced for torturing animals will be entered into a database managed by the Athens prosecutor’s office and be cross-referenced with the Pet Registry so that they may not register as pet owners in the future.
  • A pet DNA analysis and storage bank is also being set up, so that if an animal is abandoned the owner can be easily located and be penalized accordingly.
  • The leading change brought along by the new bill is the new digital health book for all pets, which will include a full medical history and will be accessible by both owners and veterinarians.
  • Banning cat and dog sales at pet shops, together with a ban on mating advertorials: the fine for publishing a mating ad will be more than tripled when not referencing the pet’s unique ID microchip number and the new reproduction license.
  • The sale of pets will only be allowed by approved breeders and owners. Pet adoption fees will be forbidden, except for transportation and medical treatment costs.
  • New rules are introduced for breeding as well: owners will be licensed for one litter per pet, while prospective owners of offspring will have to be officially registered.
  • Neutering will become mandatory for all owners, with some medical exceptions. Approved licensed breeders will be fined 2,000 euros if they mate a single animal more than six times. Amateur (so-called ‘back yard’) breeders will also be subjected to several new restrictive rules.
  • Neutering should be done within six months of the pet’s acquisition if the animal is more than one year old. In case of acquisition of an animal less than one year old, neutering takes place within the first six months after the completion of the first year. This deadline may vary depending on the breed of the animal and other specific characteristics, after a thorough veterinarian opinion.
  • Neutering is not mandatory for animals for which a sample of their genetic material (DNA) has been sent to the Laboratory for Conservation and Analysis of Pet Material Genetic Material.
  • In case the animal owner does not sterilize his pet or does not send in a DNA sample, a fine of 1,000 euros will be imposed and the owner will be given a three-month period to sterilize or send a sample of the animal’s genetic material. In the event that this deadline also passes without action, the fine will be imposed again.
  • Finally, a new National Pet Registry will be introduced, where all pets, either owned or stray, will have to be registered, including pets put up for adoption. Animal welfare associations, vets, breeders and animal shelters will all have to register too.

In order to encourage owners to take better care of their pets, the bill introduces incentives by municipalities, such as a reduction in city taxes by up to 10 percent.

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