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27-08-2007, 16:13

leading animal rights group ( estimated that 60,000 black cats are killed every year by Italians who believe that they bring bad luck. The Italian Association for the Protection of Animals and the Environment claims that some are also killed as part of black magic rituals. While black cats are seen as being lucky in the UK, many people in Italy believe that if a black cat crosses their path it indicates the devil is present. The association calculated its figure from observations of the stray cat population and from monitoring of animal ownership registers. The group said it had evidence that thousands of black cats vanished or were found dead each year.