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Italian woman wins right to sick pay to care for dog

The pet was an English Setter

AN ITALIAN academic has won a legal battle for sick pay for the time she took off work to look after her ailing dog.

The woman, who works at Rome's La Sapienza University, won the case, supported by Italy's Anti-Vivisection League (LAV), which provided legal aid,

The ruling is the first of its kind in an Italian court.

The academic, who has remained anonymous, took two days off to care for Cucciola, a 12-year-old English Setter, after the canine underwent surgery.

Her lawyers pointed to a provision in Italian law which says people who abandon an animal to "grave suffering" can be jailed for a year and fined up to €10,000 (£9,000).

They argued that the refusal to care for animals is seen as cruelty and provided a certificate of need for surgery for the dog.

The judge accepted their case that her university should count her two days off under an allowance for absences related to "serious or family personal reasons".

Gianluca Felicetti, president of LAV, said it was "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" .

"Now, those in the same situation will be able to cite this important precedent," he said.

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