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Italian woman granted sick pay to look after her dog

The Independent logo The Independent 5 days ago Lucy Pasha-Robinson

Animal rights groups said the ruling was a significant step forward  © Provided by Independent Print Limited Animal rights groups said the ruling was a significant step forward  An Italian woman has been granted sick pay after taking time off to care for her ill dog.

The unnamed academic, from Rome's La Sapienza University, brought her fight to the courts arguing she deserved to be compensated for the two days she had taken to care for her pet.

Her lawyers cited Italy's strict animal protection laws, which say people who abandon an animal to "grave suffering" should be jailed for a year and fined up to €10,000 (£9,000), according to La Pressa.

A judge accepted the lawyers' case, and ordered the university to count her two days off under an employee allowance for absences related to "serious or family personal reasons".

The Italian Anti-Vivisection League (LAV), one of the biggest animal rights groups in Europe, mounted the woman's case for her.

President Gianluca Felicetti said the ruling paved the way for pets to be recognised as "members of the family".

"It is a significant step forward that recognised that animals that are not kept for financial gain or their working ability are effectively members of the family," he said.

"Now, with the necessary veterinary certification, those in the same situation will be able to cite this important precedent."

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