9 pet laws you probably didn’t know existed

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  • The UK is a pet loving nation, with an estimated 51 million pets in our households, but did you know of the crazy and unusual laws we have to abide by? If not, you could be in potential danger of being fined up to £5000 or even having a criminal record.

    According to research conducted by pet food brand, Webbox, many owners are unaware of such laws and therefore have revealed them to the public, to raise recognition and save their money. Pet owners, it’s vital that you listen in to the below:

    1) Not having spare poo bags on walks

    As a dog owner, it’s your responsibility to carry poo bags on every walk or dog run and pick up after your pet, but do you always carry spares? If you’ve been spotted after throwing away your dog’s mess, but don’t have a spare bag at hand, you could actually be fined.

    2) Drinking alcohol and riding horse or cattle

    We all know it’s illegal to drink and drive, but did you know it’s actually illegal to ride horse or cattle while under the influence? It’s illegal to be ‘drunk while in charge on any highway or other public place of any carriage, horse, cattle…’. So, if you find yourself planning a night out, you’re best off leaving your horse or cattle at home, as well as your car!

    3) Encouraging your dog to bark

    You could land yourself in trouble if you happen to encourage your dog to bark on the Lancashire Coast, where it’s illegal to incite your dog to bark unless instructed to do so by a police officer.

    4) Burying your pet in the wrong place

    To lose a pet and bury it is such a difficult task for owners. But beware, the law states that it’s illegal to bury your pet anywhere other than the grounds of the home it lived in, but you must own that home, not rent, and your deceased pet must not be a classed as being hazardous to human health.

    5) Letting your dog mate with the Royal’s dogs without permission

    The likelihood of stumbling upon Her Majesty the Queen’s corgis whilst on a walk with your pooch is probably quite low, however it’s an offence for your pet to mate with a pet from the royal house without asking permission first. This law once resulted in executions before the death penalty was abolished, although thankfully you’re now more likely to just land a fine.

    Dog wearing a seat belt

    Alamy Stock Photo

    6) Failing to buckle up your pet

    Without buckling up your pet properly, owners could be fined up to £5,000, and have their car insurance invalidated. As well as being a distraction when driving, unrestrained pets are just as susceptible to the effects of a car accident as humans. All pets are to be suitably restrained where possible by feeding the seat belt around cages and pet carriers. Alternatively, you can purchase pet-friendly seat belts which attach to your regular seat belts.

    7) Running cows through the streets during the day

    If you happen to keep cows, you’d best keep them off the street in the daytime. The Metropolitan Streets Act of 1867 states that ‘no cows may be driven down the roadway’ between the hours of 10am and 7pm. There are exceptions though, and you can have your cows on the streets if you receive prior approval from the Commissioner of the Police.

    8) Having a pigsty at the front of your house

    According to the Town Police Clauses Act 1847, it’s a criminal offence to have a pigsty in the front of your house, unless appropriately hidden. So, if you’re the owner of a pet pig, make sure their pigsty is in your rear garden, or out of sight.

    9) Not microchipping your pooch

    It’s not a weird law, but it’s one soon-to-be pet owners may forget. The Microchipping of Dogs (England) Regulations 2015, makes it mandatory for all dogs to be microchipped and you could be issued with a fine, or even prosecuted, if you fail to do so.