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A Five-Year Effort Comes to Fruition: Italy Enshrines Animal Protection in Constitution

On Feb. 9, the Italian Parliament voted to include the protection of animals in the nation's constitution,

On Feb. 9, the Italian Parliament voted to include the protection of animals in the nation’s constitution, marking another milestone for the Lega Italiana Difesa Animali e Ambiente (Leidaa) and the World Dog Alliance (WDA).


The amended Constitution states that the protection of the environment and animals is a “founding value” of the nation “in the interest of future generations.”


A cradle of European culture, Italy is widely recognized as a country of animal lovers. Since 2015, the World Dog Alliance has been working with Lega Italiana Difesa Animali e Ambiente (Leidaa), a leading animal protection group in Italy, to make Italy a model country of animal protection for Europe and the world to learn from.


The founder of the World Dog Alliance, Genlin, and the founder of Leidaa, Michela Brambilla, former Italian Minister of Culture and Tourism and current Member of Parliament, are like-minded and close allies. The two have joined forces in the Italian Parliament, introducing a number of bills to ban the eating of dogs and cats, to increase the punishment for dog theft, and to include animal protection in the Constitution. They have also hold multiple press conferences in the Parliament to raise awareness of the animal welfare issue in Italy.


In June 2017, Andrea Bocelli, a world-renowned tenor, was invited by Councillor Brambilla to film a public service announcement for Leidaa and the World Dog Alliance, calling on the world to ban the eating of dogs and cats.


In 2019, Councillor Brambilla invited Genlin to Milan, and presented him with the “International Dog Lover Award” on behalf of the Italian Parliamentary Group for Animal Rights (Intergruppo Parlamentare per i Diritti degli Animali) in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the development of animal protection worldwide.


Italy’s largest newspaper Corriere della Sera also published an in-depth interview to cover Genlin’s achievements in the realm of animal protection, which have received critical acclaim from the general public.


The inclusion of animal protection in the constitution has been a long-cherished wish of Genlin. He describes the amendment as historic, and that he is deeply inspired by the success of the five-year lobbying effort in the Italian Parliament. Genlin has expressed his wish to continue working closely with Councillor Michaela Brambilla to promote the inclusion of environmental protection and animal protection in the education curriculum in Italy, as well as the enactment of a comprehensive Animal Protection Act.


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