Odd British Laws about CarpetYou are breaking a human rights law if you beat a person. Meanwhile, you are facing an animal welfare law offence if you hurt a dog. And if you beat or shake a carpet or rug out on the street, you are also committing a violation.

The Magna Carta or ‘The Great Charter’ remains the cornerstone of the British constitution. Several of their old legislations are changed and deleted, while some continue to be in effect. While mostly reasonable, a few may be considered ridiculous. Here are some of them.

Why is it illegal to beat a carpet?

It is illegal to beat or shake any carpet, rug, or mat on the street after 8am, according to Section 60 of Metropolitan Police Act 1839. This is because people cannot throw any dirt or rubbish that could fall into the sewers or a drain that will cause inconvenience in the neighbourhood.

Try cleaning your carpets and rugs inside your house, but also be wary of the health risks. Cleaning specialists from Carpet Bright UK suggest sending it to professional cleaners instead to save you the trouble. You will both be watching out for your health and avoiding breaking the law.

What are the other odd British Laws to look out for?

  • Under the same Metropolitan Police Act about carpet-beating, it is an offence to carry planks, ladders, poles, etc., on a pavement, as this can prevent people from moving freely.
  • Section 12 of the 1872 Licensing Act states that, “any person found drunk… on any licensed premises, shall be liable to a penalty.”
  • You cannot handle salmon in suspicious circumstances, says the 1986 Salmon Act, to ban poaching or stealing.  
  • It is illegal to keep a pigsty in front of your house, unless duly hidden, as initiated by Town Police Clauses Act 1847 Section 28.
  • Under the same clause, it is illegal to create a washing line across any street. This is to avoid obstructions in the neighbourhood.

Some legislation may seem strange, but they promote discipline and order. The Law Commission has provided answers for other odd laws and the truth behind them. Look closely into your daily activities – you may be breaking a law without knowing it.