All Pets Allowed! Italian Proposal Would Outlaw Pet Housing Restrictions

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A Pekingese dog attends the Mass in the church of St. Eusebius in Rome on Jan. 16, 2011. Soon, Italian landlords may not be able to ban dogs and other family pets from residential buildings

This post is in partnership with Worldcrunch, a new global-news site that translates stories of note in foreign languages into English. The article below was originally published in La Stampa.

ROME — No pets not allowed! That is the spirit of a new bill put forth by a member of the Italian Parliament that would erase all building regulations that forbid tenants from keeping pets at home.

The bill was drafted by Gabriella Giammanco, an ally of Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, and it has now made its way to Parliament's Justice Committee. "The new law will not allow keeping all animals at home, but just the 'family's animals,' owned to provide company, not for feeding purposes," Giammanco says.

Italian families own some 45 million pets, including 7 million dogs, 8 million cats, 16 million fish and 12 million small-bird species and snakes. Currently, building regulations can clearly state that pets are not allowed. The bill aims to erase this option for landlords.

And what would happen if the owner of a pet has health problems? If approved, Giammanco's bill will also allow everyone to take their animal friends with them to hospitals and nursing homes.

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