Italy is an adequate performer (“C”) under the VACI. Although its consumption of animal products remains high, the country’s animal production levels are moderate, and its overall animal welfare laws are adequate.
Italy slaughters around 9.8 land-based animals per person per year, only marginally lower than the global average of 10.1. This is an improvement from the 2014 level of 12.4 – mostly the result of a sharp decline in the number of rabbits farmed and slaughtered. The country’s dependence on farmed animals is around 3.4 farmed animals per person, compared to the global average of 4.1. While factory farming is prominent, Italy has banned barren battery cages for egg-laying hens and restricted the use of sow stalls within pig farming.
The Italian diet contains a high proportion of animal products with around 50% of the average person’s diet made up of land-based animal protein, versus a global average of 35.2%. This equates to each person consuming around 49g of land-based animal protein per day, compared with a global average of 27.2g. As at 2019, 7.3% of the population was vegetarian or vegan.
Italy is rated as an adequate performer (“C”) under the Animal Protection Index (API), and its farmed animal protection legislation achieved a marginal performance (“D”) rating under the same index. Although Italy seeks to comply with EU animal protection laws, it is reluctant to adopt tighter restrictions. Learn more about the quality of Italy’s legislative protections on the API here.