On the 21st of January 2020, twenty-five pigs have been found abandoned in an illegal landfill in the Lombardia region (Cadegliano Viconago).

According to investigators, it is not excluded that they were raised and then slaughtered illegally: The area, completely invisible from any
outside viewpoint, would have fit the purpose and might have already signed the fate of other pigs before the discovery of the landfill.

“Guardian companion” (or “partner in crime”) of this family of 25 pigs and their final destiny, is the magistrate from Varese Lorenzo Dalla Palma – together with the animal protection agency and auxiliary judicial police – who decided to strengthen the legal procedures in the protection of these pigs and to grant them a life without the risk of being euthanized (as is still praxis throughout Europe in case of confiscation of farm-animals), both lawfully necessary for the public health indications, but more in particular to guarantee them a life by giving them their right as sentient beings.

As a matter of fact, referring to the ongoing evolution within the law and legislation on the protection of animals, the PM (public minister) decided to embrace
in particular the legislations that enabled the pigs to be considered outside the limiting definition of livestock, to prevent them from
any other possible form of usage and as an act to create awareness within society itself, giving the family of pigs the compensation for any
possible endured mistreatment.

The magistrate has decided to turn the tables, using this legal situation to fully embrace the article 13 of the Lisbon Treaty (signed December 13th 2007) and ratified by law in Italy in August the 2nd 2008, defining “the recognition that animals are sentient beings and that their wellbeing will be taken into account as such” together with the European Convention for the Protection of Pet Animals (signed November 13th 1987) and ratified by law in Italy (Movember 4th 2010) in which “a companionship animal is defined as any animal kept or intended to be kept by man in particular in his household for companionship.”

Exchanges with anti-speciesist ethologist Dr. Francesco De Giorgio have further defined the need for a socio-cultural awareness to ensure
beside the ethological needs, that the 14 adults and 11 young ones will be seen as subjects (instead of as objects), in line of the desire of the PM – not to have them end up as part of any kind of further usage.

José De Giorgio-Schoorl (cofounder of Learning Animals)

** Learning Animals is an institute for knowledge activism and activism in daily coexistence with other animals, founded by  José De Giorgio-Schoorl and her husband, Dr. Francesco De Giorgio who is known for the direction he developed within the study of (cognitive) ethology against any kind of animal objectification and against speciesism in general.

As Learning Animals, they have been involved in this adoption and legal process to make it possible for the magistrate to emphasise that the pigs will be able to became owners of their own life and adventures, and that they will be adopted in family-groups where that is possible.

They will become caregivers of 5 sisters among these 25 pigs, in a way that these sisters will stay together as 1 group. They will go and live on the hill of Learning Animals, where they will join the 8 horses, 7 goats, 3 dogs and the cat who live with them.

Francesco wrote a scientific-philosophic relation for the magistrate, to explain what will be taken into account for the five sisters, which helped the magistrate to further decide to move on with his juridical procedure in creating more visibility for colleagues as well.

A phrase from that text: “.. their inclusion within the animal dimension of Learning Animals will be progressive, not only by respecting ethological criteria, but also by looking at individual subjectivities and individual desires, including their own pace and ways, ensuring -always- the right path, sustainable for each animal, who will be valued as a subject-of-a-life and not an object to be consumed, as a proud animal and not a stereotyped image. An active protagonist of experiences and not a mere passive receiver of cuddles..”.