On April 1, 2019, a new animal protection law will enter into force in Sweden. While the new Animal Welfare Act comes into force, the new animal welfare regulation also begins to be implemented.
One of the biggest changes in the new law is the so-called Lex Maja – which will make the alarm easier when the animals get bad.
The backdrop to Lex Maja comes from the tragic event of 2016 when the cat Maja was left alone at home for eleven days without food and water when her owner fell ill and was taken to the hospital.
The owner of Maja had a domestic help desk, but with reference to the Secret Act, the home care service chose not to inform the county board that the cat existed because it had violated the duty of secrecy.
When Södertälje katthem discovered that Maja was in the apartment, they tried to get help from the house help to enter the apartment, but stopped. When they finally arrived, thanks to the involvement of the police, it was too late for Maja, who was found in such precarious conditions that she was forced to be killed.
From April, it will now be easier for health staff, but also for social services to breach confidentiality and report on animal neglect.
The health and welfare team may send animal information to county administrative councils and the police about animals exposed to neglect. At the same time it is stated in the government bill that if an animal does not have access to food or supervision for a few days, it may be sufficient for it to be classified as negligence.
In addition to extended protection for Pets mean the new law, among other things, an explicit requirement of competence for all who care for animals, as well as stronger protection for animals that compete and participate in the tests.
It will also be illegal to abandon domestic animals, according to the new law. Something that has not previously been explicitly illegal.