Anyone who does not feel at least a little discomfort in seeing this image should perhaps be subjected to shock therapy similar to the Ludovico treatment in the movie A Clockwork Orange, which instead of provoking repulsion for violence, however, generates empathy in the face of the ache. Unfortunately, the photograph was taken these days in Piazzale Cuoco in Milan, where the tigers are kept waiting to perform with the circus.
The animals have been immortalized as they walk the few square meters of their enclosure, and by observing the shot more carefully, in the background, you can see other cages, smaller and extremely cramped, where they are evidently forced at other times, most likely during the long and exhausting journeys they have to face to move from one city to another. But all of this is perfectly legal. Yet this is the point. At European level, countries such as Austria, Belgium, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Greece, Malta, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden and the Netherlands have either completely banned circuses involving animals or introduced very strict rules on the matter.
And in Italy? In 2020, a new regulation on the subject was introduced in Milan, but in reality nothing has changed. Approved last February 3 by the City Council, in fact, the new Animal Regulations said enough to circuses and shows that use wild animals; however, in the absence of a national law, the ban cannot be applied. In the past, some cities had already tried to ban these initiatives, failing promptly because, each time, the circus body presented an appeal to the TAR and systematically won.
The new council, also led by the mayor Beppe Sala, during the first city council on Thursday 21 October also spoke of wanting to give life to an innovative, sustainable city. That’s right. All objectives that are badly reconciled with a cruel spectacle and the son of an anachronistic mentality, which sees in the wild animal a being to be subdued and forged for one’s own delight. If Milan really aims to become an increasingly European metropolis, where attention to the environment is declined in a perspective of fairness and justice, it is no longer possible to authorize this brutal entertainment.
What could possibly be the teaching imparted to the smallest citizens in seeing animals such as tigers confined to a few square meters that in nature – where they are now almost extinct – travel thousands and thousands of kilometers? What on earth could they learn in observing how, only and only for profit, sentient beings are deprived of their freedom, caged, mocked, harassed, trained (very often, with cruel methods) and in any case forced to an existence totally incompatible with the their nature? If it cannot change things by itself, the city projected towards a fair and respectful future of the weakest presses so that no one in Milan, as in the rest of Italy, should see such a sad image anymore. In 2021, is keeping tigers in cages in a suburban city allowed by law? Then the law must change.