Maybe a small step, but it seems highly significant to me: the Republic of San Marino, an independent state lying entirely in north-east Italy, has abolished all experiments on animals.
This tiny country on the Adriatic Coast, which already has the record of being the oldest republic in the world, now can be proud of another record in the history of civilization: to be the first country on the globe to totally forbid animal experimentation.
In February of this year the Associazione Sammarinese Protezione Animali (A.P.A.S.) presented a law proposal supported by citizens’ signatures to ban vivisection, which on the 20th September 2007 has been approved by the General Council, San Marino’s legislative body.
Now San Marino can call itself a “cruelty-free country”, at least as far as animal experimentation is concerned.
"We are very happy of this result, so good and quick" say Marina Berati from NoVivisezione.org and Massimo Tettamanti, Europe manager for I-CARE (Centro Internazionale per le Alternative nella Ricerca e nella Didattica), who, along with Stefano Cagno from Rome’s Lega Anti-Vivisezione, have been helping to achieve this outcome, "and A.P.A.S. volunteers have been extremely determined and successful. From now on San Marino will be off-limits for chemical and pharmaceutical companies carrying out animal tests and for all research institutions, both public and private, often funded by unaware members of the public, which base their research on vivisection".
A.P.A.S. Press Office says that thanks to this new law, which heavily punishes animal experimenters, San Marino Republic will represent a pole of attraction for companies using methods alternative to vivisection, which are better, more reliable and cheaper too.
I don’t know how many animal tests were conducted in San Marino before the introduction of this law. But I don’t think that the number of animals saved is the only issue here. I believe that this is a breakthrough anyway, because it establishes a precedent and has great historical significance, morally and politically.