IN a wonderfully pertinent move recently the Italian Senate has passed a bill to jail for a year and fine 10,000 Euros (over $11,000 NZ) any person found guilty of abandoning a dog or cat. Italians have a particularly bad record in this area, especially in the summer, and about 150,000 dogs and 200,000 cats are abandoned each year. More than 80 percent of them are killed on the highways, or die of thirst or hunger.
One senator said, "From now on if vacationers leave their dogs on the highway they could find themselves in jail instead of on the beach."
One northern region is making sure it will be able to run to earth those who break the law - it has decided that all dogs and cats in Northern Piedmont will be required by law to be microchipped. So if an animal is found dead on the highway or abandoned in any other areas the name of the owner will be obvious and the law will not be lenient.
The same penalty applies to anyone found guilty of injuring or mistreating their pet, using it for fighting, killing it or using its fur for commercial gain.
Italy can be applauded for taking that strong stance. In countries where the group intelligence is obviously lacking logic, commitment and feeling, there is no other way to make a lasting impression than to hit the culprit where it will be felt most ... in the wallet, and in the restriction of freedom. Such people have already shown that they are not intelligent enough to handle their own freedom without hurting others, so the jail term should give them time to think about their attitude problems. Congratulations Italy.