A law proposal, consisting of 17 articles, designed to safeguard shepherds, herding and livestock guarding dogs and the territory, was presented by three Italian organisations DifesAttiva, Io non ho paura del lupo and Eliante in a webinar on November 18, 2021. The promoters: “Now we need to sit down at the table with all the interested parties to review the draft of the proposal”.
The need for a law to protect shepherds
All over Europe laws to protect shepherds and their dogs are already discussed and, in some cases, even added to the countries’ agenda. However, this hasn’t been properly discussed 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 in Italy “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.
In LIFEstockProtect, the project team also works towards harmonization of conditions for the use of LGDs across the project countries Italy, Austria and Germany.
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, consisting of 17 well-structured articles covering several aspects, was discussed during the webinar where all the interested parties were invited.
This is just the first step which must surely be followed by the creation of a discussion table to review the draft of the law and finalise this bill meant to acknowledge the value of LGDs and that does not limit those who have decided to live in nature with their livestock.
Have you missed out on the webinar (and you speak Italian)?
That’s not a problem! If you did not manage to attend the webinar but are still 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.