The 18 Weirdest Laws About Animals Throughout the World

Weird Animal Laws
© gorodenkoff from Getty Images and Elles Rijsdijk/ via

Written by Nina Phillips

Published: May 24, 2024

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Many laws are a product of their time, and even though they’re on the books, they’re actually rarely enforced. That’s sometimes the case for the weirdest laws about animals as well. They might have been for a specific scenario that doesn’t matter anymore, but not all of them. Some of them are relevant and still enforced to this day.

Some are weird, but help to make lives better for animals, and others help protect people from noisy pests or aggressive animals. There are even laws to help protect animals that may or may not exist and that definitely isn’t in the area where the law was established.

Curious about what 18 of the strangest animal laws are? Continue reading below to find out some of the quirkiest rules in various countries. Some make sense once you understand the reasoning behind them, but some are just so out there, that they’ll leave you confounded.

1. Limits on Dog Sizes

Small dogs

only in parts of China

©Happy monkey/

In China, specifically in Beijing and Shanghai, there are limits so that a household can only have one dog. Additionally, the dog isn’t allowed to be taller than 14 inches in Beijing.

2. Don’t Wake a Sleeping Bear

If a bear is sleeping, leave it alone

©Millie Bond - Copyright A-Z Animals

To protect hibernating bears, Alaska, United States has enacted a law saying it’s illegal to wake bears for a photo. However, it’s still alright to hunt them.

3. Social Animals

Social animals should always be bought with a buddy,

©Charles Bergman/

In Switzerland, social animals like rabbits, parakeets, rats, and guinea pigs, are not allowed to be owned alone. All of them need at least one companion.

4. No Goldfish

Goldfish deserve rights too.

©LUIS PADILLA-Fotografia/

In 2005, Rome passed a law that made it illegal to give away goldfish as prizes or to keep them in bowls, as it is considered cruel.

5. Ferret Hunting Companions

Ferrets can’t be hunting companions in West Virginia.


In West Virginia, United States using a ferret to hunt wild birds is a misdemeanor. It doesn’t specify about using them to hunt other animals.

6. No Drunk Riding

Like with cars, you need to be sober before riding or controlling any animal.

©PK Studio/

In the UK, it’s illegal to ride or be in charge of horses, cattle, and other animals while intoxicated. Probably smart.

7. Dog Rights

Sweden has many laws for protecting dogs, including regular walks.

©a katz/

In Sweden, dogs have a lot of rights. They must be taken on a walk at least every six hours, and if they’re inside, they need access to a window that has sunlight coming through.

8. Dog Walks

Dogs need at least three walks a day.

©Oleg Elkov/

In a similar vein, dog owners in Turin, Italy must walk their dogs at least three times a day or face a hefty fine.

9. Sheep Distractions

Sheep can cause some problems.

©Eric Clark/ via Getty Images

In Montana, it’s illegal to have a sheep in your truck cab without a chaperone to prevent the driver from getting distracted.

10. Don’t Be Annoying

Excessive barking or annoying behaviors can get your pets in trouble.


In Scotland, if your pet is out in public, they can’t annoy any other people in said public space, so be careful with your energetic and loud pets.

11. Control Your Pet’s Urges

Your dog better be on its best behavior around the royal family.


In the UK, there’s a law saying that you and your dog can be in a lot of trouble if they mate with a royal canine.

12. No Neutering

Surgically sterilizing a cat

It’s considered a cruel surgery.


In Norway, it’s prohibited to spay or neuter your dog unless there’s a medical condition.

13. No Funny Faces

Owner plays with his dog, making him smiling

Your dog can make faces, but you can’t.

©DeRepente/iStock via Getty Images

In Oklahoma, United States, you can get into trouble for making ugly faces at a dog as it could annoy the dog enough to bite you.

14. Pigsty Problems

Pigs can be very loud animals.


As part of the Town Police Clauses Act in 1847, it’s illegal in the UK to have a pigsty in the front of your home as it’s considered a nuisance.

15. Moose Flights

moose standing in field of sagebrush in Idaho

Be nice to moose in airplanes.

©Justin Crook Photography/

In Alaska, there’s a law that prevents people from pushing moose out of airplanes.

16. Dyed Ducks

Blue rubber bath duck isolated on the blue background

This law was to help stop selling ducks for entertainment purposes.

©Audrius Merfeldas/

In Kentucky, you cannot dye ducklings blue with the intent to sell them.

17. Whale Fishing

No whale fishing in Ohio, law or not.

©Paul S. Wolf/

In one state, it’s illegal to whale on Sundays. What’s weird about this law? It’s in Ohio, a state not connected to the ocean.

18. Save Sasquatch

sasquatch silohuette

Bigfoot has protections in Washington.

©Jean Faucett/

In Skamania County in Washington, it’s illegal to hunt, harm, or harass the creature(s) known as Bigfoot and Sasquatch

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About the Author

Nina is a writer at A-Z Animals, FIDIS Travel, and Giant Freakin Robot. Her focus is on wildlife, national parks, and the environment. She has been writing about animals for over three years. Nina holds a Bachelor's in Conservation Biology, which she uses when talking about animals and their natural habitats. In her free time, Nina also enjoys working on writing her novels and short stories. As a resident of Colorado, Nina enjoys getting out in nature, traveling, and watching snow hit the mountains from her enclosed porch.

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