A New Bill To Protect Herding And Livestock Guarding Dogs In Italy

Three Italian organisations DifesAttiva, Io non ho paura del lupo and Eliante presented a law proposal in a webinar on November 18, 2021. This bill, consisting of 17 articles, was designed to safeguard shepherds, herding and livestock guarding dogs and the territory. For the promoters: “Now we need to sit down at the table with all interested parties to review the draft”.

The need for a law to protect shepherds

All over Europe, many countries are already discussing laws to protect shepherds and their dogs. In some cases, they have even added them to their agenda. However, this is not the case in Italy yet. Known for being a country with a strong pastoralism vocation, advanced experiences with livestock guarding dog training and other historical practices such as transhumance, such a law is perceived as a must. This legislation is needed “to safeguard shepherds and allow them to find a social balance in the territory” said the organisers of the event during the webinar dedicated to livestock guarding dogs (LGDs).

The necessity for a standard addressing LGDs stems from two main themes: first, the increase in numbers of this type of dog on the national territory, following the constant and natural expansion of large carnivores. And second, the need to find a social balance among shepherds who rely on these dogs and their coexistence with those who live in the area.

Also in the other project countries of LIFEstockProtect, Austria and Germany, the adaption of the law towards a more practical inclusion of LGDs in the daily pastoralism practices is needed.

The new bill

The idea of a new law was born right after a hearing on November 17, 2020, when the damage caused by wildlife was discussed. On that occasion, a member of DifesAttiva intervened as a shepherd representative. A first bill had already been presented in December 2020 to the Agriculture Committee of the Italian Senate, but nothing happened after that. The proposal, which consists of 17 well-structured articles covering several aspects, was discussed during the webinar where all the interested parties were invited.

Have you missed out on the webinar (and you speak Italian)?

That’s not a problem! If you are interested in listening to all the reasons that brought to the development of this proposal, you can watch the recording in Italian following the link here.

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