Animal Rights: Are They Respected In Italy?

As anyone who has made a commitment to keep a pet in their home knows, having their dog’s or cat’s health at heart requires organisation, attention and the choice of a good vet. Not only that: we also have the obligation to enforce the universal rights of our 4-legged friends. There is in fact a shared declaration of the duties of individuals, bodies and institutions designed to ensure respect for the rights of animals and to offer them an optimal quality of life. Where does Italy stand? Let’s find out together.

Animal Rights: The Universal Declaration

Deposited in 1978 in Paris at the headquarters of UNESCO, this declaration takes its cue from the crimes against nature and other sentient life forms of which man has often been guilty. The stated objective was essentially to sanction that:

  • all animals have the same right to exist;
  • man is obliged to recognize this right and to commit himself to living with animals in a civilized way;
  • human consideration and care is an inalienable right of every animal.

The direct consequence of these statements is that every cruel act perpetrated against an animal represents a violation, punishable under the law of each State. In particular, the Universal Declaration states that

  • no animal may be mistreated;
  • “If the killing of an animal is necessary, it must be instantaneous, without pain or distress” (Art.3, paragraph b).

What Does It Mean To Contravene These Rules?

A universal and supranational document such as this declaration certainly enjoys a widely shared official status, but has a number of intrinsic limitations.

Specifically, we see that the penalties reserved for those who violate animal rights are not clearly specified, in fact it only states that:

  1. Any experimentation involving physical or mental suffering of an animal is incompatible with its rights.
  2. The dignity of animals is violated by exhibitions and shows that use them for mere playful purposes.
  3. Every killing of an animal without necessity represents a real biocide, or a crime against life.

The existence of a document of similar protection is certainly a fundamental step; however, in the event that animal rights are violated, it is necessary to consult the national legislator to verify the content of the protections and responsibilities (civil and criminal). Let us therefore analyse the orientation of the law in our country.

Animal Rights Laws In Italy

From a regulatory point of view, Italy is in line with Article 14 of the Paris Universal Declaration, which obliges the States of the world to grant government representation to animal protection and safeguard associations. Think, for example, of Enpa (Ente Nazionale Protezione Animali) or Lav (Lega anti-vivisezione), both active at the institutional level.

Even with regard to mistreatment, the Italian legislation is quite clear: currently Article 544 ter. of the Criminal Code punishes and prosecutes abuse of animals through a process similar to that reserved for human victims. As far as animal welfare is concerned, the civil code is mainly concerned with abuses and uncontrolled vivisection, while it is necessary to refer to the agreements in some regional regulations in order to find a dictation on the improvement of the conditions of pets.

These Agreements, generally concluded between the Minister of Health and regional authorities, give first of all a valuable value to pets, as they are sentient and have access to a series of inalienable rights; at the same time, however, they also establish a series of duties for keepers, who have a civil obligation to feed, clean, protect and ensure a dignified existence for animals.

Clinical Support For Pet Owners: What Options?

On the pages of InSalute, we have repeatedly reminded you of the importance of valuing the right to health of pets, which we have chosen as our life companions. The reason is simple: we know that their well-being is one of the prerogatives of ours, and that seeing them happy not only reassures us, but is also a constant source of joy.

From this point of view, it is essential to know the rights of animals and the duties of us owners, but above all it is useful to entrust a professional with the clinical process of our dogs and cats, to ensure their welfare and the right care at all times, as regards:

  • the status of vaccinations;
  • chip-related practices;
  • the notes on the diet;
  • the type of drugs administered and the allergic reactions.

For those who have a 4-legged friend but find it hard to find a veterinarian available and close to home, but also for those who would like to take a dog (or a cat) but are afraid of having to invest too much money in its care, UniSalute has developed a special insurance option that protects our faithful pets from the risks of injury and provides them with comprehensive health coverage throughout the period of activation.

It’s DoctorPet: for a fixed annual cost, this policy offers a real veterinary advice on the phone 24 hours a day, as well as a free annual visit and advantageous rates for consultations with many veterinarians.

Simplifying our lives and ensuring the health of our 4-legged friends makes it even easier!

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