Italian woman granted sick pay to look after ill dog

But she won the case, with help from lawyers of the Italian Anti-Vivisection League, after a judge ruled the absence counted as 'serious or family personal reasons'.

Looking after a sick pet constitutes "serious personal grounds" for time off work, an Italian court has ruled.

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.

The woman, who was only identified as Anna, asked for two days' leave because the ill animal needed constant medical supervision before it could be taken into surgery.

The argument also hinged on a law which calls for a £9,000 fine or a year in jail for those who abandon an animal to "grave suffering". The court agreed with its arguments and made a decision to pay the holiday for family or personal reasons.

Animal rights group, the Italian Anti-Vivisection League (LAV), are hailing the win as a victory for animal rights around Europe.

"I'm very pleased", the woman told Corriere della Sera after the ruling.

LAV president Gianluca Felicetti says in a statement anyone who obtains a veterinarian's certificate should enjoy the same benefit, citing Cucciola's case as precedent.

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