Rules on how Italy will implement phasing out all animals used in circuses will be set out within one year by a Ministerial decree.
There are 100 circuses in Italy and an average of 2,000 animals forced to perform in shows across the mediterranean nation.
Animal Defenders International (ADI), a leading non-profit animal welfare organisation, has hailed the decision as a major breakthrough.
Jan Creamer, ADI President, said: “Travelling from place to place, week after week, using temporary collapsible cages and pens, circuses simply cannot provide for the needs of the animals. 
“Through ADI’s undercover investigations we have shown the violence and abuse that is used to force these animals to obey and perform tricks. We applaud Italy and urge countries like the UK and the USA to follow this example and end this cruelty.”
In England, the Government has stated that it remains committed to a ban but has given no indication as to …