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From the Bureau of Goldfish Zoning and Canine Regulation

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Reuters reports Rome’s latest laws: Fish can’t be put in fish bowls and dogs must follow a mandatory exercise schedule.

“It’s good to do whatever we can for our animals who in exchange for a little love fill our existence with their attention,” said Monica Cirinna, the councilor behind the by-law.

“The civilization of a city can also be measured by this,” she told Rome daily Il Messaggero. (see article)

The civilization of a city can be measured by this—I think Signora Cirinna is right. These laws are a sign of the decline of Rome’s civilization. With the amount of debt brought about by socialist policies in Italy, whether dogs are getting a good exercise or not should be at the bottom of Rome’s “To Worry About” list.

As one living in Rome, I can say, however, that there is a dog problem and it is not the dog’s lack of improper exercise. They are getting it. There is evidence of it along every street in Rome. And therein lies the problem. The owners do not pick up the filth of their attentive canine friends.

The civilization of a city can be measured by the level of freedom and virtues by which its people live. Proper stewardship of the environment and animals can not be imposed by policy and law. But it can be encourage by laws and policy which support the freedom to do so—laws and policy that are able to be executed. How do you enforce a law banning peoples use of fish bowls? Investigate homes? How do you make sure a dog is getting a proper exercise (a relative issue dependent on the species of the animal)?

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John Couretas is Editor-at-Large for the Acton Institute.