6 Pieces of Legislation on Pets

Legislation on Pets
6 Pieces of Legislation on Pets

What are the rights of your dog, hamster, or goldfish? You never asked yourself this question? Yet…

Having a pet is a real responsibility: a commitment over time, both emotional and financial, that cannot be taken lightly (but you already knew that, hm?). Therefore, you must observe strict rules… and sanctions are foreseen for the one who would try to avoid them!

This post focuses on what the law has defined for our furry-pawed-feathered-scaled companions!

1. My dog is not a piece of furniture!

It may seem obvious, but no, animals have not always been considered living beings. We can now rejoice: the law no longer considers them “furniture”, and they are recognized as “living beings” endowed with sentience.

This legislative modification answered a strong and relatively unanimous societal demand.

Let us hope that this evolution will have positive and happy consequences on the cases of mistreatment, still too often classified without continuation…

Important: animals do not acquire the legal personality for all that and remain subject to the regime of tangible goods.

2. When the owner becomes a professional…

As the owner of your animal, your status will depend on the activities you develop with it. If you own, for example, breeding females, and you sell more than one litter per year, you are then considered a professional breeder.

The same goes for a trainer or the manager of a pound or a shelter!

In such cases, the law makes it mandatory to hold a professional certification, a knowledge certificate for pets of domestic species to attest to the knowledge of the biological, physiological, and behavioral needs and maintenance of pets.

3. In case of divorce, who keeps Max?

Legislation on Pets

In case of divorce in a couple, Max is no longer systematically shared between the ex-spouses, as if he were an object or a piece of furniture.

Two possibilities:

  • If Max was bought before or during the marriage by spouses united under the separation of goods regime: it returns to the one who paid for it.
  • It gets a little more complicated if he arrived during the marriage, under the community of property regime, and his two “masters” want to keep him… The judge will then decide on (if there are any) the care given to the animal, the spouses’ financial situation, the emotional bonds, and those tied with the children.

4. Renting and pets

The owner of a house cannot prevent the possession of a pet by his tenant. Only certain animals considered dangerous, such as pit bulls, may be prohibited.

On the other hand, the tenant is responsible for any damage or abnormal disturbance of the neighborhood that the animal may cause.

Attention: in the case of a furnished seasonal rental, the landlord may prohibit the possession of any animal.

5. But who are the “new pets”?

“New pets” are currently very trendy worldwide! They correspond to species not subject to the legislation on domestic carnivores (mainly the dog and cat families).

Here are some examples: the ball python, the mygale, the iguana, the chinchilla, or the chameleon.

Their craze has been such that it was necessary to legislate, and now the law precisely defines the quantities and types of species that can be held by individuals or sold in pet shops.

Essential: a certificate of competence is mandatory for sale and sometimes even for the possession of these non-domestic animals.

6. Travel and pets!

Of course, your pet is entitled to vacation too… But it will have to show its credentials to go through customs!

In short, your pet must be identified (tattoo or microchip) and, depending on the destination, vaccination and anti-parasite treatment may be mandatory. The rabies vaccine is unavoidable.

Finally, don’t forget to tell your insurer that you are taking your pet on vacation. This way, your pet will be covered by comprehensive insurance in case it causes damage.

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