New Law Gives License to Abuse in Italian Circuses?

Nobile Risi, the mayor of the Carabinieri in the town of Eboli, told ABC News, "The two girls were utterly unskilled. The younger one, Olga, went through her performance with her eyes closed the whole time in fear, and Giusi had been operated on twice for a tumor on her ear. In spite of being advised by doctors in Bulgaria to avoid very cold and very warm water, she was forced to swim in water just above freezing, so that the piranhas would be kept dormant."

Sandro Ravagnani from the respected Orfei circus in Italy explained in an interview with ABC News, "Circus professionals deal every day with very dangerous performances but their professional expertise is the best protection against any risk. People in the circus nowadays have degrees and study a lot, even at a very young age, to become professional performers. The [Marinom] was an improvised circus, with improvised performers."

Olga's family said she had injuries on her stomach and ankle where the snakes had wound themselves too tightly. The family allege that the Ingrassias refused to take her to the doctor.

The family were rescued but many are wondering whether dodgy and violent circuses will continue to exist in Italy, until the laws governing circuses are tightened.

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