The Strong Paw of the Law

There are many strange laws in the world, many of which were created hundreds of years ago and have yet to be repealed. It’s still illegal to eat mince pies on Christmas Day, but most of us think nothing of committing this crime each and every year.

Try as we might, we can’t control our pets, yet there are many laws that seem to expect animals to conform to our rules. How do you tell bees that they are not allowed to fly over a village, or tell your cat it is illegal to chase a dog up a lamppost?

We’ve compiled a list of some of our favourite animal related laws from around the world that made us smile.

1. In the UK it is illegal to drive a cow while drunk

Under the Licensing Act of 1872 no-one may operate a horse, cow or steam engine while intoxicated. Anyone found doing so could be imprisoned or fined £200.

2. In Zion, Illinois, it is illegal for anyone to give lighted cigars to cats and dogs

No mention is made of lighted cigarettes, nor if the pet in question has to be of age (in human years presumably) to smoke them.

3. In France it is illegal to name a pig Napoleon

In George Orwell’s Animal Farm, the pig Napoleon was named after Napoleon Bonaparte, but based on Joseph Stalin. However, because of this law, he was renamed Cesar in the French version.

4. In Colorado a loose pet cat must have a tail light

This law also applies to dogs and horses, but most cats would give you a very scathing look if you tried to explain to them that they needed to wear a light on their tail.

5. In the UK King Charles Spaniels are allowed anywhere

Charles II was so fond of his spaniels (which he renamed King Charles Spaniels) that he passed a law allowing his beloved dogs to move freely in any public place, including the Houses of Parliament, without restrictions.

6. In Oklahoma, more than three dogs are not allowed to meet up

If four or more dogs wish to congregate on private property, then they must have a permit signed by the mayor.

7. In the UK it is illegal to touch a pelican

Section 23 of the London, Royal and Other Parks & Gardens Regulations of 1977 states that it is forbidden to touch a pelican without prior written permission… presumably not from the pelican.

8. In Milwaukee, Wisconsin, pet elephants must be kept on a lead

Before this law, all those pet elephants must have been causing havoc as they rampaged around unsupervised.

9. In Norfolk, Virginia ,it is illegal for hens to lay eggs before 8am and after 4pm

It’s often difficult enough to get our hens to lay each day, let alone restricting the times that they may produce our breakfast.

10. In Juneau, Alaska, no pet may enter a beauty store

Clearly in Alaska, hundreds of vain animals were demanding manicures and perms left, right and centre, forcing the humans to wait.

John Lewis Pet Insurance:

If your cat or dog refuses to obey the human laws that have been laid down then John Lewis Pet Insurance could save you from some hefty legal bulls. Our Pet Insurance includes up to £2 million liability if your pet causes an accident or damages property and offers financial protection from the age of eight weeks.

Visit for further information and a quote.

Unfortunately John Lewis Pet Insurance is unable to provide cover for pet elephants.