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FAMILY

New laws: What you need to know about owning a dog in Norway 

Norway’s parliament has agreed on a proposal which will put more responsibility on dog owners. Here’s what else you need to know about owning a pooch in the Scandinavian country.

Pictured is a dog atop Preikestolen.
Here's what you should know about owning a pooch in Norway. Pictured is a dog atop Preikestolen. Photo by Angel Luciano on Unsplash

On Wednesday, Norway’s parliament agreed on several proposed law changes to Norway’s Dog Act which owners will need to be aware of. 

The tightening of the act will see more responsibility put on owners. Under the changes to the act, owners will be responsible for ensuring that dogs are prevented from being put into situations where they could harm people, other animals, property, or things. 

Owners will also be required to have the necessary competence and knowledge of the dog’s needs, breed and natural instincts and ensure the dog is adequately trained. 

The decision to destroy dogs that attack people or other animals will still lie with the police. The responsibility for paying kennel fees if the dog is seized will remain with the owner, something the Norwegian Kennel Club is critical of, public broadcaster NRK writes

However, the kennel club did welcome the changes, which it believes will see dogs better cared for by owners than before. 

This isn’t the only law pet owners need to be aware of though 

Bringing a dog to Norway 

You can bring a dog to Norway from another country, but there are several entry requirements. Dogs needing to have a microchip, rabies vaccinations and tapeworm treatments are among the main ones. The rules will differ whether the pet comes from inside or outside the EU. 

Typically, hounds from outside the EU will need a health certificate, whereas animals from inside the EU will require a pet passport. Pets brought to Norway from other countries need to be at least three-months-old. 

For a complete overview of the rules that apply to you, you should check in with the Norwegian Food Safety Authority

Certain breeds are banned

It is against the law to own certain breeds that the Norwegian Food Safety Authority considers dangerous. These are: 

  • The Pit Bull Terrier 
  • The American Staffordshire Terrier 
  • The Fila Brasileiro 
  • The Tonso Inu 
  • The Dogo Argentino 
  • The Czechoslovakian Wolfdog 

Wolf-dog hybrids and dogs bred and trained specifically for protection are also banned. The police will either deport dogs it deems dangerous or destroy them. 

In a recent ruling, the Oslo district court banned the breeding of Cavalier King Charles Spaniels and English Bulldogs over concerns that the distinctive features they are known for causes them suffering. 

READ MORE: Norway bans breeding of bulldogs and cavaliers

Leash laws

Also in the Dog Act is the “leash law”. This sets out when dogs should be on a lead and where. From the beginning of April until August 20th, dogs must be kept leashed unless in a dog park. 

The rule is to protect local wildlife during the birthing, nesting and mating seasons. 

Some municipalities have rules about keeping dogs on a lead in housing areas, and others have regulations about animals being leashed while cross country skiing in areas with prepped tracks. 

The most likely rule for being caught breaking the leash law will be a reminder to keep your dog on a lead or a fine.

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HEALTH

Norwegian government proposes increased financial support for kids’ glasses

Parents will be able to claim more financial support when purchasing childrens' glasses in Norway under a recently announced government proposal.

Norwegian government proposes increased financial support for kids' glasses

Norway’s government has announced a proposal that will see parents offered more financial support when they purchase prescription glasses for children. 

“The glasses support scheme will give children and families who need it help to get good glasses,” Minister of Labour and Social Inclusion, Marte Mjøs Persen, said in an announcement.

The previous support scheme was rolled back by the last government in 2020. However, the current government pledged to introduce a new support scheme when it was elected last year. 

Up to 140,000 children could benefit from the revised scheme, the government has said. 

Under the scheme, families could be reimbursed up to 75 percent of the cost of a pair of prescription lenses for a child. There will be five different rates, with the support depending on the strength of the glasses bought. 

Those who apply for the support will have the money then paid into their account to help pay for the costs before purchase or as a reimbursement after the spectacles have been bought. Parents will need to apply to NAV for support. 

Once the scheme leaves consultation, the government hopes to have it in place by the beginning of August. 

Kids under 18 will be eligible. However, those who just need reading glasses will be excluded from the scheme. 

The bill is expected to pass through parliament as even though the current government is a minority one, it will have support from the Socialist Left Party (SV) for the scheme. 

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