New Animal Protection Law in Sweden

On April 1st the new Animal Welfare Law came into force in Sweden. The new Law was voted in the Swedish parliament last summer, replacing the existing one from 1988: from now on it will be illegal to abandon animals in Sweden without legal consequences.

The Law, besides the prohibition to abandon cats and other domestic animals  includes other important issues concerning companion animals responsible ownership and the mandatory training of professionals working with animals.


The new law puts more focus on homeless and feral cats with the abandonment prohibition act. the "summer cat" phenomenon will be tackled.

“Summer cat” is an expression Swedish people use when someone has had a cat over the summer, and abandon her when the holidays are over. Tragically, this still happens quite often and is the source of thousands of homeless cats in Sweden.

TNR cat management

Lex Maja

Another important news is the “Lex Maja” which also comes into force on April 1, 2019. The new law was promoted after the cat Majas died in 2016. Maja was left alone in a locked apartment. After eleven days without food and water, the police entered the apartment, but it was too late. Lex Maja will prevent it from happening again.

Now healthcare personnel, but also the social services, must break the secrecy and report when they are aware of neglected animal. Employees in health and social care must submit information to county administrative boards and police about animals exposed to neglect – without violating the secrecy law.

Article in English: EurogroupforAnimals

Article in Swedish: