The Foreign Office has recently released a pretty comprehensive list of crimes in other countries that are completely weird and can get you arrested if you’re caught carrying them out in said country. The list was written in response to new statistics that revealed that a third of people visiting the British consulates abroad are doing so because they’ve been banged up abroad on their holidays. Lads.
Even in supposedly ‘normal’ Westernised countries like Germany and Italy you would be surprised at some of the ridiculous laws that are in place that can send you straight to the slammer. In fairness it was probably a good idea on the part of the Foreign Office to release this list because some of these laws pertain to such innocuous activities you would never even think for half a second that you might end up in jail next to a hardened murderer for partaking in them.
Check out a list of our favourites below and on the following pages:
1. ITALY – IT IS ILLEGAL TO FEED THE PIGEONS IN ST MARK’S SQUARE
Pigeons are pretty much synonymous with St Mark’s Square in Venice, Italy and it was a great tradition to feed them when you were over there visiting the canals of the great city (although it’s a well know fact that Birmingham actually has more canals than Venice – big up Birmingham). Until 2008 that is.
Venice was particularly worried about its burgeoning pigeon population – apparently they’re a danger to human health and totally screw up the buildings by pecking away at them and making nests in them. The city originally decided to outlaw feeding pigeons in 1997 but left St Mark’s Square exempt due to the tradition and the tourism that it attracted.
However, when the tourist trade rocketed to around 20 million a year in the 00’s – and all of them would be feeding pigeons in St Mark’s Square – all of the pigeons rocketed there and decided to set up shop, causing a massive growth in the pigeon population and the accompanying decay of the area.
They had to go. Birdseed sellers lost their jobs and now little kids cry when they visit the area because they can’t feed the little pigeons for fear of spending a night banged up next to some freaky Italian guy.
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