For animal lovers, traveling with pets makes the whole experience a lot more memorable, but because of the usual extensive paperwork and other hassling forms needed to be filled out before traveling everywhere with your beloved pet, it's best to just let them stay at home. Although some parts of the world are not that strict in terms of animal travel, some popular destinations are.
Iceland is one country that is extra vigilant when it comes to foreign animals. On Monday, a Swiss woman traveling by ferry from Denmark to Iceland was caught by police in Höfn, South East Iceland, trying to smuggle her cat in an RV, according to Travel and Leisure. Because of the illegal entry of her cat, it was taken away from the woman and was put down at a local vet office.
It might seem harsh to everyone, as what kind of risk an innocent cat can do that it needs to be put down? But actually, strong protective measures are enforced in Iceland pertaining to animal travel, as the country is trying to protect its delicate ecosystem. Several animal diseases, such as rabies, are not yet detected in the country, therefore the extra—if somewhat—harsh vigilance enforced by police.
Iceland Magazine reported that this is actually not the first time a cat was put down for being smuggled in the country. In August 2003, a French couple was also caught hiding their cat in their RV onboard the ferry Norrona, as such, it was confiscated by the local police and was put down at the vet.
It actually became quite the issue as a violent altercation ensued between the local authorities and the French couple when they learned what's going to happen to their beloved pet. In the end, they were fined extensively because of their crimes and the French guy suffered a broken rib in the process.
The Swiss woman was clearly devastated, but again, Icelandic authorities warn their tourists about the consequences of illegally smuggling pets in their country. She was also fined extensively by the police.