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Gites ban on pets illegal

Ferrets, rats and snakes could soon be joining families on holiday

FERRETS, rats and snakes could soon be joining families on holiday after the Cour de Cassation (appeal court) ruled that it was illegal to ban pets from gites and holiday homes.

The decision to uphold a 1970 law, which will upset people sensitive or allergic to pets, came after a case launched by the Isère branch of consumer group UFC/Que Choisir.

Gites de France, the biggest holiday homes group, said it was looking at how owners would be hit and was speaking to its lawyers to see what could be done, perhaps through a surcharge for cleaning up.

Rival group Clévacances said it had removed pet restrictions in 2002.

It had been thought that the 1970 law applied only to longterm rentals, but the court ruled that the phrase “locaux d’habitation” applied to seasonal rentals as well.

The court did not rule on what counted as an animal familier, although a law dating from 1999 prohibits chiens d’attaques (attack dogs).

However, the judges did say holiday-makers would be responsible for damage caused by pets.

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