Italy’s Mafia bosses eat roasted dormice at mob summits


CALABRIA, ITALY-NEWS AND COMMENT: Italian police swooped on a farmhouse in Delianuova, Calabria, in the toe of Italy, to seize 730 illegal marijuana plants. This part of Italy is the home of the powerful Ndrangheta Mafia. While in the farmhouse they stumbled upon bags of frozen dormice in a large freezer. They also saw dozens of live mice in a cage where apparently they were being fattened up.


Dormouse. Photo: Pixabay.

Dormice are protected under the law in Italy. It is illegal to capture and hunt them. The law has not stopped mobsters serving them up as meals, either roasted or with source, when negotiating a deal at a summit.

Ciro Troiano, an expert with the Italian animal protection Society ‘Lav’, said that they were common at Ndrangheta banquets “and are put on the table when agreements must be reached, or peace pacts between clans must be made”.

Apparently, dormice are thought to be a sign of respect for guests and that agreements reached at a meal should be honoured. You have to pretend to like them. Troiano said that you need a good stomach. He said that the smell is heavy. The story is reported by La Repubblica via The Times newspaper (hard copy).

The BBC tells me that poachers trap dormice illegally at night in the woods of the Aspromonte hills and sell them to the Mafia and restaurants.

Three people at the site of the seizure of the cannabis, and I presume the mice, were arrested. I’m told that edible dormice were a delicacy in ancient Rome. They were stuffed with pork mince, ground pine nuts and garlic and then baked. Perhaps the Mafia got the idea from ancient Rome.


Grey parrot from Ghana

UK law on keeping wild animals needs to be overhauled

Exotic pets are popular in the UK. The word "exotic" means wild animal in this context. Under the Dangerous Wild ...
Read More
Pet goat

This is like someone asking you to kill your cat or dog

TEWSKBURY, MASSACHUSETTS, USA - NEWS AND COMMENT: The words in the title are those of Vilmaria Maldonado who treats three ...
Read More
Tethered pig

Florida is set to ban pet tethering despite objections by the NRA

NEWS AND VIEWS: Florida's lawmakers are set to ban the tethering of pets and leaving them unsupervised. A bill is ...
Read More
Out of control dog attacks seal

What is the UK law on dogs attacking animals?

I'm prompted to write this article because of a well publicised story in The Times newspaper today about a QC's ...
Read More
Pet passport

Nasty EU Commissioners make pet travel between Britain and EU unnecessarily difficult

The Kennel Club, who run the world-famous Crufts dog show, have criticised the government and the new rules regarding travelling ...
Read More

10 most pet-friendly states in the USA

It is always useful to know the most pet-friendly states in the USA. This chart relates to 2020. produced ...
Read More

Is it legal to own a raccoon in Texas?

It is perfectly legal to own or have custody of a raccoon in Texas. There is no law preventing a ...
Read More

Is it legal to own a hyena in Texas?

Is it legal to own a hyena in Texas? The answer depends upon who you are and whether you are ...
Read More