The Italian anti-vivisection league, LAV, has published a report which shows an increase in the number of animals, fish, reptiles and birds being kept in Italian homes, 45,5 million in total this year, 1.5 million more than in 2002.

Cats, dogs, fish and caged birds come top of the list and make up almost 43 million pets. Fresh water turtles and snakes remain very popular, says the report, and it estimates that there are from 30,000 to 50,000 iguanas being kept as pets, often brought into the country illegally. The LAV figures include 3,000 lions, tigers and panthers. It is estimated that 5 billion a year is spent on feeding and caring for all these birds and beasts.