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Italy votes to ban animals in circuses
Italy has one of the world’s largest circus industries, with around 100 circuses and 2,000 animals. (Stock photo)
Lobbyists call the move a ‘major breakthrough’

Italy is set to phase out the use of all animals in circuses and travelling shows, after a vote in the Assembly of the Parliament.

The country has one of the world’s largest circus industries, with around 100 circuses and 2,000 animals, according to campaign group Animal Defenders International (ADI).

It is the 41st country to pass a national law banning animals in circuses.

Rules for implementation of the new legislation will be set our within a year, ADI revealed, calling the move a ‘major breakthrough’.

ADI has conducted undercover investigations within animal circuses in the UK, Europe, USA and South America. The group said its exposure of animal abuse behind the scenes has led to bans in countries such as Greece, Singapore, Costa Rica, Taiwan and Colombia.

It also carried out major enforcement operations in Bolivia and Peru, where all circuses were tracked down and 200 animals were rescued and relocated.

ADI urged countries including the UK and USA to follow Italy’s lead.

So far, Scotland has introduced a bill to ban wild animals in circuses, which is currently at stage two for further scrutiny. The Welsh Government recently consulted on mobile animal exhibits and asked whether wild animals should be banned from circuses.

Ireland is also set to debate a private members bill to ban wild animals in circuses later this month.

In England, the government has committed to a ban but there is no indication as to when the legislation - which was drafted and scrutinised in 2013 - will be introduced.


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Sale of microbeads now banned

News Story 1
 The sale of products containing microbeads is now banned across England and Scotland, Defra has confirmed.

As part of government efforts to prevent these plastics ending up in the marine environment, retailers can no longer sell rinse-off cosmetics and personal care products containing microbeads. These tiny plastics were often added to products including face scrubs, soaps, toothpaste and shower gels.

Just a single shower is thought to send 100,000 of these beads down the drain and into the ocean, where it can cause serious harm to marine life. A ban on manufacturing products containing microbeads previously came into force in January this year. 

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News Shorts
George Eustice announces funding for Bovine Viral Diarrhoea

Farming minister George Eustice has announced a £5.7million funding package to help farmers tackle Bovine Viral Diarrhoea (BVD).

The funding will be available in England for three years through the Rural Development Programme and farmers will be able to apply for one-to-one farm advisory visits by a veterinary practitioner.

The project will recruit local vets who will then work with keepers of breeding cattle to tackle BVD on their farms.