On 21st December 2022, Italian parliamentarians approved a plan to extend hunting to urban areas, in an effort to control the wild boar population in cities. Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni’s far-right Brothers of Italy party put forward an amendment to allow the killing of wild animals for reasons of road safety in protected areas and cities, and the budget committee of the Chamber of Deputies approved it. The new regulation will allow people to eat the wild boas hunted if they pass the necessary sanitary tests.

Animal protection organisations have strongly opposed the measure, saying it could put at risk EU-protected species such as wolves. Massimo Vitturi, from the LAV animal rights campaign group, said, “the scandalous approval of the wild hunting amendment ushers in a new season of massacres.”  

It is estimated that there are more than two million wild boars in Italy. Those supporting the measure claim wild boars grazing in public spaces are dangerous to citizens and vehicles, and these animals can also spread swine flu. In May 2022, Italy planned to selectively kill wild boars around Rome because an African swine fever outbreak threatened the local industry that kills domestic pigs so people can eat their flesh. As only pigs killed by people are allowed to be eaten, those who profit from the pig’s death were losing money with the spread of this re-emerging epidemic. Even the pigs of the vegan animal sanctuary  Sfattoria degli Ultimi were threatened to be killed, but on 10th October 2022, the Regional Administrative Tribunal of the Lazio area in Italy accepted the appeal against the killing of over 100 pigs and wild boars from the sanctuary — which was a relief to the many who campaigned to protect them.  

Jordi Casamitjana
“Originally from Catalonia, but resident in the UK for several decades, Jordi is a vegan zoologist and author, who has been involved in different aspects of animal protection for many years. In addition to scientific research, he has worked mostly as an undercover investigator, animal welfare consultant, and animal protection campaigner. He has been an ethical vegan since 2002, and in 2020 he secured the legal protection of all ethical vegans in Great Britain from discrimination in a landmark employment tribunal case that was discussed all over the world. He is also the author of the book, ‘Ethical Vegan: a personal and political journey to change the world’.