April 20, 2022
We round up some of the weirdest laws around the world, from not allowing your chicken to cross the road or preventing your donkey from sleeping in the bath to never refusing a stranger the use of your bathroom and more.

1. It’s illegal to hold salmon under suspicious circumstances

Section 32 of the Salmon Act 1986 stipulates that it’s an offence to handle salmon under suspicious circumstances.  

This section creates an offence in England and Wales for any person who receives or disposes of any salmon in circumstances where they believe or could reasonably believe that the salmon has been illegally fished. The maximum penalty is two years imprisonment.

2. It’s illegal to let your chickens cross the road in Quitman, Georgia

Simply put, the law wants owners to have their chickens under control at all times. 

Georgia likes to ensure the safety and sacredness of their chicken because in Gainesville Georgia, you eat fried chicken with your bare hands. Keep your forks away from them. The law describes chicken as a “culinary delicacy sacred to its municipality.” Perhaps this is why chicken deserves a specific transport safety law.

3. It was illegal to change a light bulb unless you’re a licensed electrician in Victoria, Australia

Under Victorian law, changing a light bulb without a valid license was against the law. Taking your light into your own hands brought a fine of 10 Australian dollars.  

However, a revision to the 1998 Electricity Safety Act updated this law. A spokeswoman for Energy Safe Victoria said that, “While the Electricity Safety Act makes it illegal to do your own electrical work if you are not licensed, changing a light bulb and removing a plug from a socket were specifically exempted from this requirement under Order in Council G17.”

4. It’s a legal requirement to smile at all times except at funerals or hospitals in Milan, Italy

What’s with the long face? In Milan, the law compels you to smile. It’s prescribed by a city regulation from Austro-Hungarian times that was never repealed.

Exemptions included funeral goers, hospital workers or those at the bedside of an ill family member. For everybody else there is no excuse for being glum, the alternative being a fine. 


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5. It’s illegal to pass wind in a public place after 6pm on Thursdays in Florida

One weird law, that’s since been long-forgotten, is that it’s illegal to pass wind in Florida after 6pm on a Thursday.

It’s never really been enforced in Florida but it was probably written in the 1800’s. It’s not clear why this ever became a law, or a rumoured law in the first place.

6. It’s against the law to have a sleeping donkey in your bathtub after 7 pm in Arizona, USA

In Arizona, a law was brought into effect after a public menace case in 1924. A merchant used to allow his donkey to sleep in a bathtub and when the town flooded, the donkey was washed a mile down the valley. The donkey survived, but locals spent a lot of time and manpower to save the animal. This law was passed shortly after.

7. It’s illegal not to walk your dog at least three times a day in Turin, Italy

Dog owners in Turin, Italy will be fined up to €500 if they don’t walk their pets at least three times a day, under a new law from the city’s council. Italy considers itself an animal-loving nation and in many cities stray cats and protected by law.

To enforce the law, Turin police would rely largely on the help of tipsters spotting cruel treatment by neighbours. Turin has the most stringent animal protection rules in the country. They even ban fairgrounds from giving away goldfish in bags.

8. You must let anyone use your toilet if they ask in Scotland

If you need the toilet you can knock on someone’s door and ask to use their bathroom in Scotland – and by law, they cannot deny you. 

9. In Samoa, it’s illegal to forget your wife’s birthday

You will get more than the silent treatment from your wife if you forget her birthday in Samoa. It is unclear how long your sentence would be, but maybe some time apart for you to think about how to make it up to her wouldn’t be too bad.

10. It’s a legal requirement to own a burial plot before you die in Sarpourenx, France

The mayor of Sarpourenx issued an edict forbidding people from dying within the city limits unless they had previously purchased a plot in a local cemetery. People who broke this by dying without a plot would be severely punished. What kind of punishment you give the dead however is as of yet unclear.

Looking For More Weird Laws?

Take a look at unbelievable laws that still exist in America, the strangest English laws – or try our quiz of strange laws from around the world below:

Quiz: More Weird Laws Around The World

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