Italy: A Terrible Tragedy – 2 Activists Killed Helping Animals

I am a member of LIPU  which is a registered British charity helping birds in Italy.

Today I received their summer newsletter and read that Paola Quartini, LIPU activist from Genoa and Elvio Fichera, volunteer of the Association for Abandoned Animals, both animal welfare workers, went to the home of Renzo Castagnola accompanied by two police officers.  They went to serve a warrant on Castagnola for cruelty to animals.  He kept several dogs, belonging to others, in terrible conditions.  He had been visited before.  The dogs were to be confiscated.

After an inspection, Castagnola made an excuse to go into his house to find a pen and when he reappeared he was armed.  Castagnola fired several shots at Paola and then at Elvio, killing them outright.  He then injured his wife before turning the gun on himself taking his own life.  The victims had no chance to defend themselves, escape or for the police to intervene.

The two animal welfare volunteers had spent years dedicating their lives to helping animals and wildlife.  They had a wealth of experience in animal and environmental issues in the area. 

Paola was 54, was most active and was very knowledgeable on many matters, including the law.  She was very animal-focused.

The wildlife and animals have lost two caring and devoted people.  They lost their lives for an ideal they cherished.  They will be missed by many.


EU: SAV Presents Concerns Regarding Existing EU and EU Accession State(s) Stray Animal Welfare Issues. We Need A Voice Across Europe For Stray Animals !



SAV has today (23/06/10) submitted a written response to ‘EUPAW’ – the Evaluation of the EU Policy on Animal Welfare.

EUPAW – what is it ?


Within the last 30 years the EU has adopted a series of legislation concerning the protection of animals. The scope of this legislation includes the protection of animals kept for farming purposes, during transport and at the time of killing. It also includes the protection of animals used for scientific purposes. Furthermore the welfare of wild animals is part of EU legislation through a directive on zoo animals as well as initiatives prohibiting the trade in seal products from commercial seal hunts and establishing trapping standards. The EU has also banned the importation and intra-community trade of cat and dog fur.

The EU adheres to the principle that, beyond specific objectives, people have an ethical duty of taking care of animals which are under their responsibility. EU legislation in those fields reflects the increasing importance given by the public on the ethical dimension of economic activities dealing with animals. The intervention of the proper care of animals is sufficiently significant as to affect the functioning of the internal market.

In 2006, the Commission adopted the first EU Action Plan on the Protection and Welfare of Animals 2006-2010 (later called ‘Action Plan’) where strategic lines and future actions were described. The Action Plan was the first document grouping in a single text the different aspects of the EU policy on animal welfare.

These terms of reference now envisages an evaluation as to establish a follow-up programming beyond 2010.

EUPAW – Introduction

GHK Consulting Ltd and ADAS UK Ltd have been commissioned by the European Commission, Directorate General Health and Consumers (DG SANCO), to evaluate the EU Policy on Animal Welfare (EUPAW) with reference to farm animals, experimental animals, pet animals and wild animals which are kept in captivity or submitted to a treatment which is controlled by humans.

The evaluation covers four types of EU action (legislation, research, communication and international activities) and is concerned with EU animal welfare actions over the 2000-2008 period only.  An overview of EU animal welfare policy is available at:

As part of the evaluation we are keen to hear the views of stakeholders and are therefore requesting stakeholders to complete this on-line survey to assist us with the evaluation.

The survey is short and easy and can be completed in 15 minutes but allows you to spend longer and give more detailed explanations if you wish. When processing the results to the survey, all responses will be treated as confidential and not attributed to individuals or organisations.

The survey will remain open and online until Friday 31st July 2010.

For further information about the evaluation please visit the project website


Whilst we at SAV are aware that primarily, EUPAW evaluation (through the on line questionnaire) covers four types of EU action, we consider that this is an ideal opportunity to once again present information to the EU regarding our concerns for:

  • Stray animal welfare in the Balkans states
  • Stray animal welfare within the EU
  • EU accession criteria and responsibilities for nations wishing to gain membership of the EU, including implementation of the rule of law; something we do not see at all from within Serbia; even though the (Serbian) Veterinary Law of October 2005 says otherwise.  This has been backed by recent actions at the Serbian Constitutional Court.

And so today, 23/06/10, SAV has submitted lots of data and evidence to EUPAW, asking that the current illegal killing policy undertaken by many Serbian authorities be seriously considered for future EU membership by Serbia.

Serbia is not enforcing its own ‘rule of law’ with regard animal welfare for stray animals – enforcement of the law which must be shown to be implemented by Serbia if it requires EU membership.

A copy of the SAV letter to the EUPAW dated 17/06/10 can be viewed by clicking on the following link:

EUPAW data submission 17 June 2010

As you can see, within this letter we have included many links to the SAV site which show animal suffering through illegal activities within Serbia.  We have also included many links to the situation in Skopje, Macedonia, as well as links covering stray animal abuses in Turkey, Greece and Romania.

As Greece and Romania are already existing EU member states, we feel that the time is due for the EU to introduce an EU wide policy / legislation relating to the treatment of stray animals.  It is hoped that our letter of today makes this clear to the EU authorities.

We are well aware through our many EU contacts that there are many organisations / NGO’s throughout the EU who are also making representations to EUPAW about the situation for stray animals both within EU member states and EU accession states.  We hope that by presenting a combined front of evidence to the EU on the treatment of stray animals in all parts of Europe, the EU has no choice but to consider this issues further.

The general animal welfare survey is open to both EU and non EU citizens and can be completed by visiting the following link:

The survey is short and easy and can be completed in 15 minutes but allows you to spend longer and give more detailed explanations if you wish. When processing the results to the survey, all responses will be treated as confidential and not attributed to individuals or organisations.

The end of the survey allows contributors to give further details of issues which are of concern to them regarding animal welfare.  We hope that all contributors will make special comment here regarding the lack of EU legislation FOR STRAY ANIMALS both within the EU and in nations seeking EU membership.

We hope that our response letter (see the link above) will give contributors an overview of what we would like contributors to say.

The survey will remain open and online until Friday 31st July 2010.

If you are an EU citizen, this is an ideal opportunity to be a real voice for future actions for stray animals right across Europe, both in existing EU and non EU member states.

If you can do nothing else, please complete the survey.  We have a huge opportunity here to be a voice for animals and we must not let it pass us by.

Thank you – SAV.

Important Note – the survey can also be completed by NON EU participants.

For anyone who wishes to provide additional evidence and / or reports to the EUPAW evaluation team, please email them directly via the following link:

Again, we ask that if you do mail, you please demand that the EU produces legislation for the protection of all stray and roaming animals throughout the European Union.  Please also comment that you are disgusted by the reports which are being given to you of stray animal cruelty in the Balkans states.  If an accession  nation requires membership of the EU, such as a balkans state, then it must comply with its own national legislation – the rule of law; which is NOT being done regarding animals in Serbia.  In addition, the EU is failing stray animals who have no legislation to protect them; therfore the EU needs to act, and act now !!

We have included one of the pdf files detailed in our written submission in the following link.  For security reasons we do not provide all.

To Hutchinson