Sfattoria Degli Ultimi, an Italian pig sanctuary, is desperately trying to prevent its family of hogs and pigs from being killed after an African swine flu outbreak was detected in its region.
The shelter, which homes pigs rescued from abuse and urban boars at risk of being shot, has launched an urgent petition on change.org.
If the petition gains 150,000 signatures, it will be presented to the local health authority the ASL in support of the sanctuary’s case to keep its pigs alive.
Based in Rome, Sfattoria Degli Ultimi is home to more than one hundred animals, across a 5,000 square meter site. Each pig and boar is free to roam and run wherever they please, with two large stables provided for shelter.
Why are the pigs being targeted?
Following an outbreak of swine plague at the start of the year, Italy implemented “red zones” throughout the country to identify affected regions. The northern area of the capital was included, putting Sfattoria Degli Ultimi’s animals at risk.
However, the shelter claims that there is no lawful basis for the slaughter of its residents. This is due to the fact that animals not intended for food production are categorically exempt from preventative killing.
All pigs and boars housed at the sanctuary are registered with the ASL and microchipped. The chips clearly identify the animals as NON-DPA, this means they are not intended for food.
Despite this, the ASL is attempting to bring about the deaths of more than 100 healthy animals.
The case is a pertinent reminder that sanctuary operators can find themselves targeted by law enforcement.
What can be done to save the pigs?
Sfattoria Degli Ultimi is asking for support in the form of signatures on its petition and financial donations. The shelter has a lawyer in place to fight for its pigs’ survival.
“When I think about how much you fought between death and life. When I think about the pain I saw you guys felt over losing your newborn mom. In a moment I die, and I am reborn, aware that I have nothing else to lose in this battle but you. I will keep you safe,” the sanctuary wrote in an Instagram post.
The appeal continues.