Rome Bans Goldfish Bowls

Chalk this up in the did not know column – Round bowls cause fish to go blind.

The city of Rome has banned goldfish bowls, which animal rights activists say are cruel, and has made regular dog-walks mandatory in the Italian capital, the town’s council said on Tuesday. The classic spherical fish bowls are banned under a new by-law which also stops fish or other animals being given away as fairground prizes. It comes after a national law was passed to allow jail sentences for people who abandon cats or dogs.

“It’s good to do whatever we can for our animals who in exchange for a little love fill our existence with their attention,” said Monica Cirinna, the councillor behind the by-law. “The civilisation of a city can also be measured by this,” she told Rome daily Il Messaggero.

The newspaper reported that round bowls caused fish to go blind. No one at Rome council was available to confirm this was why they were banned. Many fish experts say round bowls provide insufficient oxygen for fish.

In July 2004, parliament passed a law setting big fines and jail terms for people who abandon pets and since then local governments have added their own animal welfare rules many of which will be difficult to police. The northern city of Turin passed a law in April to fine pet owners up to 500 euros (339 pounds) if they do not walk their dogs at least three times a day. The new Rome by-law requires owners to regularly exercise their dogs, and bans them from docking their pets’ tails for aesthetic reasons.

Expect house to house searches over the next 769 years to make sure this law is enforced.

Rome bans goldfish bowls seen as cruel [Reuters]

Tags: Pets