A Milan court on Wednesday sentenced public school anatomy teacher Carlo Rando to eight months in prison for the killing of two rabbits in a classroom.
Italian animal rights association LAV filed a complaint after students reported that during a dissection lesson Rando, upon seeing that two of the four rabbits delivered to the school were still alive, "brutally killed the animals himself" in front of the class.
According to reports from LAV, the teacher "first tried to strangle them, then repeatedly punched the animals, and then after prolonged violence, smashed the rabbits' heads with a hammer - all in front of a room full of children". "The conviction sets an important legal precedent in the educational field and is a move to guarantee pedagogical ethics," said Michela Kuan, a biologist with LAV.
"Such uncivilized methods are not only ethically unacceptable, but totally unnecessary. Anatomy is no longer taught through dissecting animals, but through the widespread availability of models, videos and interactive three-dimensional reconstructions, which moreover simulate and explain the organization of many species, not just one," Kuan said.