Born in Rome on 15 November 1966 and resident in London since 2004, Adolfo Sansolini has been active in animal welfare since he was a teenager. He is now a highly respected leader in this field and an expert advisor. He has successfully led campaigns at the national and international level, managed high-profile conferences on global trade and animal welfare, and coordinated international coalitions.
He also has more than twenty years’ journalistic experience, contributing to a variety of publications and appearing on Vatican Radio and the BBC among others. He has been a member of the Ordine dei Giornalisti (Italian Journalists Guild) since 1999. He has been invited to speak at conferences, workshops and events in over 25 countries, has chaired international meetings and conferences, and has spoken in press conferences and given media interviews around the world.
Having worked for major national and international animal welfare organisations, in 2003 Adolfo received the RSPCA’s Michael Kay Award, “in recognition of services to European animal welfare”. In July 2004 Adolfo moved to London to become the first ever non-UK-born CEO of the BUAV, and Chairman of the European Coalition to End Animal Experiments. He had previously helped to set up the Italian office of IFAW and been President of LAV, Italy’s leading animal welfare NGO. He has represented international animal welfare organisations at the United Nations in New York, and at the WTO in Geneva – where he organised a session on Farm Animal Welfare Standards at the 2008 WTO Public Forum.
Among other activities, he led the Italian side of the international campaign to ban battery cages for laying hens in Europe, which led to the approval of Directive 1999/74/EC. In 1999, in anticipation of a negative vote of the Italian representatives in Brussels on the phase-out of the battery cages, Adolfo undertook a hunger and thirst strike to urge the Italian government to keep its commitment to support this historic change. This action led to a change of position on the part of the Italian government, which was then followed by other Southern European countries which had hitherto been reluctant to support the end of conventional cages for laying hens. You can read more about this in Hattie Ellis’ book Planet Chicken (Sceptre): the publisher has kindly allowed us to reproduce the relevant section on this website
In his professional career, Adolfo has succeeded in having references to animal welfare regularly included in Sustainability Impact Assessments (SIAs) of Free Trade Agreements negotiated by the European Commission. He has cooperated with farmers and farmers’ organisations to advance animal welfare practices and standards, and has facilitated contacts among different stakeholders to transform animal welfare into business opportunities.
As an invited speaker in English, Spanish and Italian, Adolfo has given presentations in various contexts such as FAO meetings, the Brazilian Poultry Congress, the WTO Public Forum and conferences around the world. In 2003 he was part of the Italian delegation – NGO component – at the WTO ministerial meeting in Cancun, Mexico. At the Expert Meeting on Capacity building to implement good animal welfare practices organised by the FAO in Rome , he was engaged as a Resource Person for the whole week and contributed to the formulation of the final report.
Adolfo Sansolini is presently working as an independent consultant, with a special focus on – but not limited to – the impact of trade rules on animal welfare.