Categories: Animal laws

Cat Animal Cruelty Laws Sweden

Karlson – Swedish cat

Contents — Cat Animal Cruelty Laws Sweden

Penal Code

Civil Code (selected sections)

Penal Code  — Cat Animal Cruelty Laws Sweden

The Swedish Penal Code was adopted in 1962 and entered into
force on 1 January 1965.

Part Two – On Crimes, Chapter 16, Section 13

A person who, with intent or through gross carelessness, by
maltreating, overworking, neglecting or in some other way
unjustifiably exposes an animal to suffering, shall be sentenced for
cruelty to animals to a fine or imprisonment for at most two years.
(Law 1972:629)

Civil Code  — Cat Animal Cruelty Laws Sweden

There are two pieces of legislation: The Animal Welfare Act and The Animal Welfare Ordinance. The latter deals with farm livestock and is not refers to here.

In respect of the welfare of cats, my area of interest, the Animal Welfare Act applies. Only selected sections are referred to. A link to the full Act can be found here.

The Animal Welfare Act as at 2007
unofficial translation

This Act deals makes provision for the care of pets, farm animals and animal testing.

Scope of the Act

Section 1

This Act applies to the care and treatment of domestic animals and laboratory animals. It also applies to other animals if they are kept in captivity.
Act (2005:1226).

Section 1 a

(1) The Act supplements those provisions in EC regulations (EC provisions)
that fall within the scope of the Act. The Government shall promulgate the
basic regulations concerned in the Swedish Code of Statutes.


Basic provisions concerning animal management and

Section 2

(1) Animals shall be treated well and shall be protected from unnecessary
suffering and disease.
(2) Animals used as laboratory animals shall not be deemed to have been
subjected to unnecessary suffering or disease where such use has been approved by an ethical committee on animal experiments. Act (2005:1226).

Section 3

(1) Animals shall be given sufficient food and water and adequate care.
Feeding stuffs and water must be of good quality and appropriate for the
species of animal that is being fed

Section 4

(1) Animals shall be accommodated and handled in an environment that is
appropriate for animals and in such a way as to promote their health and
permit natural behaviour

Obligation to obtain permission to keep animals in certain cases

Section 16

(1) An operating permit is required by any person who, on a professional
basis or on a substantial scale:keeps, breeds, supplies or sells pet animals or receives pet animals for boarding or feeding;

Animal experiments

Section 19

Animal experiments may only take place provided that the purpose of the activity cannot be attained by any other satisfactory method that does not entail the use of animals; as few animals as possible are used; the activity is organized in such a way as not to subject the animals to greater suffering than is absolutely necessary; and no animals other than animals bred for the purpose are used in the activity. Act (2005:1226).

Official control by the control authorities

Section 24

(1) Official control of compliance with this Act, the regulations and decisions issued pursuant to the Act, the EC provisions supplemented by the Act and the decisions adopted pursuant to the EC provisions, is exercised by the county administrative boards, other government agencies and the municipalities, as determined by the Government

Orders, prohibitions and remedies

Section 26

(1) Over and above what follows from the EC provisions supplemented by
the Act or what is specifically stated in section 24 e, a control authority may issue the orders and prohibitions that are needed to ensure compliance with the Act, the regulations and decisions issued pursuant to the Act, the EC provisions supplemented by the Act and the decisions adopted pursuant to the EC provisions.

Assistance from a police authority

Section 27 a

The police authority shall provide the assistance that is needed for exercise
of official control or enforcement of decisions under this Act, the regulations
or decisions issued pursuant to the Act, the EC provisions supplemented
by the Act or the decisions adopted pursuant to the EC provisions.

Prohibition against having animals in care

Section 29

(1) The county administrative board shall prohibit persons to have animals,
or a particular species of animal, in their care if they: fail to comply with a decision taken by a control authority pursuant to section 26 which is of significant relevance to animal welfare; seriously neglect the control or care of an animal; maltreat an animal; have been convicted of cruelty to animals pursuant to chapter 16, section 13, of the Penal Code; or have repeatedly been convicted of offences pursuant to sections 36or 36 a or have repeatedly been the subject of decisions pursuant to section 26

Penalty provisions

Section 36

(1) The penalty for offences committed deliberately or through negligence
in the following cases shall be a fine or imprisonment for not more than
two years:

  • offences under sections 3, 5, 6, 8-11, 13, 14, 16-19a or 21;
  • failure to comply with a rule issued pursuant to this Act; or
  • failure to comply with an order or prohibition referred to in section 29.

(2) The penalty for offences committed deliberately and in breach of an
obligation that is important from the point of view of animal welfare shall
be imprisonment for not more than two years.

(3) No penalties shall be imposed for minor offences.

(4) No penalties shall be imposed pursuant to this Act where the penalty
for the offence provided by the Penal Code is the same or more severe. Act

Links to full text —  Cat Animal Cruelty Laws Sweden

Full Text of Animal Welfare Act in PDF

Full Text of Swedish Penal Code in PDF

Cat Animal Cruelty Laws Sweden – Photo: published under a Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs creative commons License

Cat Animal Cruelty Laws Sweden to Cats and the Law

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Michael Broad

Hi, I'm a 71-year-old retired solicitor (attorney in the US). Before qualifying I worked in many jobs including professional photography. I have a girlfriend, Michelle. I love nature, cats and all animals. I am concerned about their welfare.

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