Animals a few months ago Share Tweet Pin Share Today, modern society has shown a strong and growing concern for the welfare and protection of animals. Not only do we care about our beloved pets who greet us every day after a hard day at work and make us feel loved, but we’re also becoming more aware of endangered animal species which we have to protect in order for them not to become instinct. Countries all over the world are passing laws to protect animals, their rights, and also to raise public awareness. We here at Rare Norm have selected 10 interesting and important laws that protect animals all over the world. We must admit that some of them are hard to believe it’s true! Bonus: Want to stay up to date on our latest Rare Norm news ? So scroll down the page and find out the most interesting of them all! 1. New Zealand has officially recognized that animals are sentient Image credits: jeffreyw New Zealand is considered to be one of the leaders in the field of animal welfare and protection. According to World Animal Protection, the New Zealand Animal Welfare Strategy states that animals are sentient, therefore, all should refer to their pain, distress, and their behavioral needs. As of now, causing animal suffering through cruelty or failure to act is prohibited, as well as studies and experiments on animals. Also, there are requirements to limit or prevent harm caused to particular animals such as marine mammals and game animals. 2. In Turin, a dog owner is fined if he walks the dog less than three times a day Image credits: Mark Stevens It might be no surprise but Italy considers itself to be a very animal-loving country as in many cities, animals are protected by law. However, one city in Italy stands out for its laws on animal welfare. According to Environmental News Network, in Turin, dog owners who walk their pets less than 3 times a day can be fined 500 euros ($650). Hard to believe? Animal lovers are also prohibited from dyeing their pet’s fur or “any form of animal mutilation” as the city doesn’t want Italians to turn their pets into ridiculous fluffy toys! 3. In Alaska, when one wants to divorce their spouse, the judge decides who gets the animal Image credits: Kerri Lee Smith In most U.S. states when a married couple decides to get a divorce, their pets are treated the same way as property no different than TVs or cars even though they’re considered to be family members. However, according to the Washington Post, in 2017, Alaska became the first state to change this matter and its divorce laws. Now, in case of divorce and legal separation, the animals are treated almost the same way as the children: the judge determines who will get custody of the pet taking into consideration what’s best for them. 4. In Germany, the fine for killing a protected animal can vary up to 25,000 euros Image credits: Miles Actually Germany is also considered to be an animal-loving country with its animal protection laws. According to World Animal Protection, the fine for killing a protected animal can vary up to 25,000 euros and that’s a lot of money! Fun fact: wasps are protected in Germany since they don’t do any harm and also help clean the environment. However, you don’t need to worry about killing a single wasp in Germany and then getting a 25,000 euro fine as the fine would usually be imposed only if you got rid of the whole nest. 5. In Oklahoma, the dog owner is fully responsible for any injuries his dog might cause Image credits: andreavallejos Oklahoma has seriously strict laws in regards to dog bites! According to AllLaw, if a person gets bitten or injured by a dog, he has two years to file a lawsuit in the state’s civil court system. And that’s a really long time! The dog owner is responsible for any injuries his dog causes even if the owner didn’t know that his dog might bite another person or simply act this way. However, the good news is that the dog owner might raise a few defenses if the injured person provoked the dog. 6. In Virginia, stealing a dog can be punishable by up to 10 years in jail Image credits: FirstAmerican As we mentioned before, in many U.S. states, dogs are viewed as property by law even though people consider them to be their family members. Therefore when someone steals a dog, in the eyes of the law, it will not be kidnapping and in the majority of the cases, the person can get away with it. Nevertheless, according to Tingen & Williams, it won’t be that easy in Virginia as stealing a dog is a Class 5 felony which is punishable by up to 10 years in jail regardless of the monetary value of the pet. 7. In Poland, anyone who finds an abandoned dog or cat is required to notify an animal shelter, fire authority, or police Image credits: Tjflex2 According to World Animal Protection, if you find an abandoned dog or cat in Poland, you’re required to notify an animal shelter, fire authority, or police. Then the abandoned dog or cat will not have to wander and starve on the streets. Also, commercial breeding of cats and dogs is prohibited. 8. In the Netherlands, people have to pay an annual dog tax Image credits: Robert Y The Netherlands is aiming to become the first country where there are no stray animals. According to Expatica, most cities in the Netherlands have an annual Dog Tax which is calculated depending on the number of dogs in each household and is currently set by the local municipality. All dogs must be registered with the local town hall. The tax was set in order to make people even more responsible when making the decision to get a pet. 9. Russia bans animal cruelty Image credits: [Paturo] This year, Russia is taking a big step in reducing animal cruelty. According to the Moscow Times, the new law bans petting zoos in malls, animal cafes, animal fights, housing animals in bars and restaurants. Also, the killing of stray cats and dogs. This law was originally introduced in 2010, however, it took legislators eight years to finalize the act. Even though the law has been highly criticized for many loopholes, the state will define it at a later date. 10. In the UK, the maximum sentence for animal cruelty will be five years in prison Image credits: vac photography According to Independent, the UK confirmed that the maximum sentence for animal cruelty will increase. The maximum fine will rise from £5,000 to £20,000 and for more serious cases, the maximum sentence will increase from two to five years in prison. This will surely prevent some serious animal cruelty cases.