Last week residents in an Italian town had had enough of stray cats seeking a home between two walls of their apartment block. Persons unknown sealed the cats inside the cavity with reinforced concrete and left the animals to die slowly from starvation.
Local animal rescuer Valeria Converso was made aware of what had happened by her mother. According to reports Converso’s mother could hear muted meowing from within the walls.
Wasting no time, Converso instilled the help of the fire brigade, but officers at the scene could not dismantle the concrete without permission to do so.
Faced with the certain loss of the cats, Converso took it upon herself to attempt the rescue. Using anything she could find to break down the barricade, Converso was able to at last free the cats. She has now adopted them and will rehome them when they are well enough.
Actions pursuant to cruelty
The deliberate act of cruelty - sealing in the cats and leaving them to die - has shocked the local community and the wider public. Prosecutions will not be forthcoming since there are no grounds under Italian law to do so.
The madness of the situation has prompted Italian activist group Alleanza Popolare Ecologista to lobby parliament for a change to the law.
Rinaldo Sidoli, spokesman for the Alliance, said in a Facebook post [translated]: “A serious fact since these beings could have died in atrocious suffering. We are tired of denouncing such acts.
“We will go all the way and we expect the authorities to do as much in their power to prevent similar violence. We urge parliament to urgently approve the ddl s. 1078 by Senator Gianluca Perilli (M5s) to guarantee justice to animals, and to recognize them as being sentient.
“It's time for politics to listen to the growing sensitivity to respect for biodiversity by translating promises into facts.”