The Italian Almanac

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Italian News - October 26

The city of Rome has banned goldfish bowls, which animal rights activists say are cruel, after reports that they can cause fish to go blind. The same new by-law stops fish or other animals being given away as fairground prizes, while the city council has also made regular dog-walks mandatory.

"It's good to do whatever we can for our animals who in exchange for a little love fill our existence with their attention," Monica Cirinna, the councillor behind the by-law, said. The Rome move on animal welfare comes after a national law was passed to allow jail sentences for people who abandon cats or dogs. Animal rights groups estimate that about 150,000 pet dogs and 200,000 cats are abandoned in Italy every year.

The Rome by-law requires owners to regularly exercise their dogs and bans them from docking their pets' tails for aesthetic reasons. It also provides legal recognition for cat lovers who provide food for the colonies of strays that inhabit the Italian capital.