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Walking your dog could be worth $625

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Walking your dog could be worth $625

Postby RugbyD » Mon Nov 14, 2005 10:15 am

That's only if you're unlucky enough to be a dog owner in Rome. I'll be the first to criticize someone for pet neglect, but this is just draconian, to put it lightly:

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/n ... ets09.html

Law to help fishy, four-footed friends in Rome
By Tracy Wilkinson

Los Angeles Times

ROME — In the greater animal kingdom, the plight of the little goldfish is especially harsh. The tiny creatures are scooped into plastic bags and awarded at carnivals and fairs. They are confined to bowls where they can do nothing but swim around and around. Some (it has been claimed) go blind.

No more. The municipal government of Rome has entered waters where few city halls dare tread. Under a new law, the city's goldfish are entitled to a proper, full-sized aquarium, and they can no longer be given out as contest prizes.

The rules were drafted by the city of Rome's Office for Animal Rights. The 59-point statute ordering better treatment for all pets, from cats and dogs to birds and lizards, was approved by the City Council last month and will go into effect today.

The unusually strict measure is winning plaudits from animal-rights activists, snarls from pet-shop owners and puzzlement from all quarters about whether the law can actually be enforced. City officials, though, said it was time to take a stand.

"We needed to send a strong message: Pets are not objects," said Cristina Bedini, an 11-year veteran of the animal-rights office. "We are saying that owning a pet is a joy, but it is also a duty. Responsible ownership is the only way to fight cruelty."

The fish-bowl rule may earn for Rome a humanitarian award from the Fish Empathy Project of PETA, the international animal-rights group, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.

"Rome has gone above and beyond anything we've seen anywhere else," spokeswoman Karin Robertson said.

For all animals, Rome's new law is more restrictive than anything in the United States, PETA said in a statement.

In addition to protection for fish, the law requires dog owners to walk their canines daily or face a $625 fine. It bans the display of pets-for-sale in store windows, and gives legal recognition to "gattare," the "cat ladies" who feed an army of strays.

Also banned: choke and electrical collars and, for dogs and cats, declawing and the clipping of tails and ears for cosmetic reasons.

Bedini and city officials met with police to discuss the law and how to see that it is obeyed, and a team of street cops will undergo specialized training to better understand the needs of animals. Even police officers, Bedini said, must better understand what constitutes mistreatment.

But Italy is a land of many laws and its own form of lawlessness.

"We have the most beautiful laws in the world, and nobody enforces them," said Silvia Viviani, a retired opera soprano who co-founded the Torre Argentina cat sanctuary, a home for 250 strays ensconced in ancient ruins at the site where Julius Caesar was assassinated. It is one of an estimated 800 cat "colonies" in Rome that the new law will help by forbidding construction projects from displacing their feline residents.

Despite her reservations about enforcement, Viviani praised the new law. She only wished it went further, to include mandatory sterilization of cats and dogs — something, she says, that is still resisted in Italy because of "machismo."

Bedini said enforcement will rely more on education than police action. To catch fish-bowl violators, for example, "I don't think police will be going door to door."
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Postby Coppermine » Mon Nov 14, 2005 10:35 am

Italy is notorious for having some crazy laws that aren't enforced... I'm not sure this will be any different. It's hard to imagine cops standing outside your house every day until you bring the dog out for a trot.

I can understand some of it though, especially the laws against the "cat ladies." But goldfish? Don't they have a memory span of 3 seconds? I find it silly to make harsh laws that govern something that is typically used as bait.

But I digress... the Italians do love their animals. Anyone watch the Sopranos? Tony would spend the day beating up hookers and wacking mobsters, but at the end of the day, the ducks in his pool would make him cry.
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Postby RugbyD » Mon Nov 14, 2005 10:42 am

Coppermine wrote:I can understand some of it though, especially the laws against the "cat ladies.


Maybe i read it wrong, but it sounded like they were almost giving the cat ladies special status, esp considering the provision that favored limiting or stopping new building projects where strays congregate. :-?

I also can't help thinking about the cat lady from the Simpsons now. She has quite an arm. :-b
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Postby logan » Mon Nov 14, 2005 11:05 am

i'd gladly buy my goldfish i huge aquarium for the chance to live in italy.
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Postby chadlincoln » Mon Nov 14, 2005 11:10 am

That's crap.
7/26 - Cafe goes down:

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Postby Coppermine » Mon Nov 14, 2005 11:26 am

RugbyD wrote:
Coppermine wrote:Maybe i read it wrong, but it sounded like they were almost giving the cat ladies special status, esp considering the provision that favored limiting or stopping new building projects where strays congregate.


Holy crap, you're right! I don't know what's going on in Italy, but someone slipped something into their Tiramasu.
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Postby Pedantic » Mon Nov 14, 2005 4:51 pm

I find it somewhat ironic how they emphasize special care for animals, but the second-to-last quote of the story is how the erstwhile opera singer wants the law to make it mandatory to mutilate their genitalia.
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Postby Coppermine » Mon Nov 14, 2005 4:54 pm

Pedantic wrote:I find it somewhat ironic how they emphasize special care for animals, then the second-to-last quote of the story is how the erstwhile opera singer wants the law to make it mandatory to mutilate their genitalia.


I think the procedure is pretty humane nowadays. It's also chock full of common sense. I think if you were actually in any way a part of the "pet industry" you'd know that pets are continually overbreeding and that is why so many dogs and cats must be put to sleep every day.

Owners should be responsible enough to have their pets spayed or neutered. I don't think it's very mutilating.
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Postby Madison » Mon Nov 14, 2005 5:48 pm

It bans the display of pets-for-sale in store windows


8-o

So no more pet stores? :-?

Doesn't make much sense to me. I understand about having to walk your dog, keep your goldfish in a reasonable environment, etc, but not being able to put up a sign to sell pets in stores? Seems odd to me. :-?
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Postby Coppermine » Mon Nov 14, 2005 5:54 pm

Madison wrote:
It bans the display of pets-for-sale in store windows


8-o

So no more pet stores? :-?

Doesn't make much sense to me. I understand about having to walk your dog, keep your goldfish in a reasonable environment, etc, but not being able to put up a sign to sell pets in stores? Seems odd to me. :-?


No, i think it's banning the practice of putting live, actual pets in the store windows. I think this is banned here in the US already... in Europe they put dogs and cats in tiny cages right next to the window so that people passing by can oogle at them enough to go in and get it.

There are now laws in place that dictate exactly what kind of condition pets-for-sale have to be living in... a certain size cage, access to food and water, visibility from the staff and probably out of direct sunlight (pets have been cooked in store windows before).
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