Italy bans ‘puppy yoga’ following cruelty allegations

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By Creative Media News

  • Italy prohibits “puppy yoga” due to animal welfare concerns
  • Animal rights groups support ban amid allegations of mistreatment
  • Global trend sees puppies in yoga studios for relaxation, companionship

Dedicated practitioners of yoga have elevated the downward dog in studios that offer “puppy yoga” courses in Italy. 

To safeguard the health and welfare of the animals, the health ministry has prohibited the use of puppies, thereby restraining the expanding trend. 

The ministry made an official declaration restricting “animal assisted” wellness activities, such as yoga, to mature dogs exclusively. The ministry stated that organizations that “directly contact dog breeders” to temporarily use canines for yoga sessions had come to its attention. 

Animal rights organizations had demanded a prohibition following allegations of maltreatment of the puppies in Italian media. 

The president of LNDC Animal Protection, Piera Rosati, stated that the canines were utilized for commercial gain. 

“Theoretically, yoga ought to encompass not only physical exercise but also a spiritual quest for harmony with the cosmos,” she explained. “However, this harmony and well-being are not bestowed upon puppies that are utilized as mere commodities for commercial purposes.” 

Giusy D’Angelo, a dog expert with the Italian National Board for animal protection, stated that individuals who were in such proximity to canines might become so overcome with emotion that they would be tempted to adopt one rashly. She stated, “It may cause them to make a decision without thoroughly considering the repercussions.” 

Globally, puppy yoga also referred to as “doga,” has grown in popularity, with proponents claiming that the inclusion of animals heightens the tranquilizing effects associated with the activity. Although the canines are not performing yoga moves, they are present to provide affection as they run amok throughout the studios. 

“Puppies engage in puppy yoga for a variety of reasons,” according to Francesco Di Turi, manager of Puppy Yoga Official, an organization that organizes puppy yoga in studios and gyms throughout Italy.

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“Some individuals may desire animal companionship because they are unable to keep one at home, whereas others who are afflicted with illnesses discover that an hour of practice significantly aids in their relaxation.” 

As per the organization’s official website, every class it conducted before the implementation of the moratorium on April 29th was completely booked. 

“This measure is illogical,” Di Turi stated. “No one has ever arrived to observe what takes place in a classroom. 

“It will affect a large number of people; more than eighty members of our staff have been on strike since April 29.” “Achieving this with adult dogs is considerably more difficult.” 

Still, not every yogi enjoys working with canines. The proprietor of the Zem yoga studio in Rome, Amity Neumeister, hosted canines for one session. “Everything was far too chaotic,” she remarked. “A great deal of time was spent pursuing them and cleaning up their urine and feces.” 

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