Animal rights activists, Italian state broadcaster RAI and the minister for the environment, Alfonso Pecoraro Scanio, have presented a new charter that will prevent animals from being exploited on television. The guidelines forbid programmers from using animals in a way that goes against their nature, including making them perform tricks or putting them in situations that can be seen as offending their dignity. Gianluca Felicetti, president of the Italian Anti-Vivisection League (LAV), said the charter was necessary following an increased exploitation of animals in television programmes. He cited the use of a kangaroo in the RAI programme Carramba che Sorpresa as an example. In addition to setting out guidelines for the use of animals on television, the charter also recommends the establishment of a special commission made up of animal experts and vets who can evaluate plans for the presence of animals in transmissions and ensure they are in line with the philosophy of the charter. All other television channels are also asked to sign up to the guidelines. For the full text of the charter, see www.sas.rai.it.
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