Unusual pet laws you’ve probably never heard of

It’s no secret that the UK is a nation of animal lovers. In fact, 41% of British households have pets, whether that’s dogs, cats, rats or pigeons. Looking after animals is an important issue in Britain. The Animal Welfare Act of 2007 ensures that our pets and other animals are treated well. But there are also a number of slightly more bizarre laws that you might not be aware of. And some of them carry a hefty fine.

1. Building your pigsty in the wrong place

This is probably one of the most unusual pet laws going. If you happen to have a pet pig you’ll need to make sure that your pigsty is out of sight. Building a pigsty in front of your house is against the law according to the Town Police Clauses Act 1847. So you’ll either need to hide your pigsty well, or keep it located in the back garden.

2. Riding a horse or cow under the influence

Another slightly strange one here. We all know that we shouldn’t drive a car when we’ve had a drink. But did you know that this applies to “any carriage, horse, cattle…”. So unless you want to be charged under the Licensing Act 1872, it’s probably best if you left your horse or cow at home next time you go to the pub!

dog in grass

3. Carrying spare dog waste bags

If you live in an area that falls under Daventry Council, Northamptonshire, make sure you’re not caught short by always having plenty of poo bags. This offence carries a fine of up to £100 so make sure you stick some spares in your pocket next time you head out!

4.  Walking your cows down the street in the daytime

According to the Metropolitan Streets Act of 1867 “no cows may be driven down the roadway” after 10am and before 7pm. However, if you do need to walk your cows down the street in between these hours you can request permission from the Police Commissioner. 

5. Encouraging your dog to bark

If you happen to find yourself on the Lancashire Coast, don’t let the police catch you encouraging your dog to make noise. It’s illegal to incite your dog to bark here and it could land you in big trouble.

6. Not correctly restraining your pet in the car

This law comes with a maximum fine of £5,000 and could mean that your insurance is invalid. If you don’t restrain your pet properly when driving they could become a distraction. They are also liable to get hurt in the event of an accident, just like humans. Seat belts should be wrapped around any carry cases or cages to stop them from sliding around and you can buy pet-friendly seat belts to help restrain your dog.

Fri Feb 12 2021