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Switzerland Receives Death Threats Law Plans to Kill Dogs Over Pet Tax

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by hearit

hearit's picture
In The News

The U.S. has its own bizarre laws but none of those laws equals a death penalty over taxes: Switzerland, land of the neutral, argues a pet tax allows officials to kill the owner’s dog over non-payment of the annual charge.
Dogs may be “man’s best friend” – and the Swiss are apparently counting on that theory: a Swiss village requires dog holders to cough up annual taxes for their pet, or threatens to literally take them out through killing the dog.
The United States offers all kinds of absurdities in legal statutes that vary from state to state and some strange laws on its books, including state laws so old that lawmakers -- or even law enforcement -- can be unaware of them.
Drivers, traveling at night through rural parts of the U.S. state of Pennsylvania, are required by law to stop every mile – in order to send up a rocket signal. A skittish team of horses coming toward a Pennsylvania motorist requires that the driver disassemble the car, piece by piece, and hide it under the nearest bushes.
Missouri law dictates that a driver is prohibited from driving down the highway with an uncaged bear in the vehicle. In Farmington, Connecticut, motorists are required by law to share the road with bovine travelers, the statute granting cows the same road rights as traveling motorists. Orlando Florida, law dictates that meters be fed the same amount for parking an elephant as for parking a motor vehicle. Meanwhile, the state of North Dakota seems to take issue with too many simultaneous carbs -- when ordering a beer as a beverage, no pretzels will accompany the order: state law prohibits serving beer and pretzels at the same time.
Of course the United States offers laws specifically concerning pets and canines: in Hartford, Connecticut, dog owners are required to keep a dog's obedience training on the "down-low": it’s entirely against the law to educate dogs in the city of Hartford. Stranger yet, the state of Illinois deems it illegal to give lighted cigars to pets. On par, the city of Normal , Oklahoma, law prohibits teasing dogs through making ugly faces at them.
It’s no surprise that international locales also offer bizarre or outdated laws. What is bizarre is the consequences -- and sudden, planned enforcement of a law that dates back more than 100 years in Swiss village. In the local area of Reconvilier, Switzerland – a locale carrying a population of 2,245 humans plus 280 dogs – the region takes taxes seriously. Specifically, it takes pet taxes seriously.
The dog population in the Swiss village of Reconvilier equals more than 8% of its human counterparts. The annual dog tax: $50. The result for an owner not paying the annual dog tax: death to “man’s best friend.”
While the United States offers many bizarre laws, more than the bulk of those laws were instituted long ago, outdated but somehow still on record and often ignored by even law enforcement and lawmakers. The difference with Switzerland’s dog tax law: it may not be new, but the push to enforce it is, and local official Pierre-Alain Nemitz claims the move to kill the animal whose owner doesn’t pay its annual tax is part of an effort to reclaim hundreds of thousands of dollars in unpaid taxes.
Switzerland’s Nemitz and officials seem to have located a regional law that dates back more than 100 years, instituted in 1904 – that law allows the village to kill, a legal execution, dogs whose owners do not pay the annual canine tax charge.
The Associated Press says Nemitz admitted to the media outlet that local authorities have received death threats since news of the plan -- to enforce the Swiss law – were received by the public. "This isn't about a mass execution of dogs," claims Switzerland’s Nemitz. "It's meant to put pressure on people who don't cooperate."
Well, then, it must be ok: Adolf Hitler thought that kind of idea sounded reasonable enough, after all. Perhaps, with a name like “Nemitz” and its German and Slavic origin, Switzerland’s official should reconsider the decision.


47° 14' 3.948" N, 7° 13' 28.56" E
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