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What's in a name? Rover's OK, but not Roger

Posted: Sunday, November 07, 2004

BRASILIA, Brazil (AP) A Brazilian legislator wants to make it illegal to give pets names that are common among people.

Federal congressman Reinaldo Santos e Silva proposed the law after psychologists suggested that some children may get depressed when they learn they share their first name with someone's pet, Damarias Alves, a spokesperson for Silva, said last week.

''Names have importance,'' said Alves. The congressman ''wants to challenge people's assumptions that it's acceptable to give animals human names,'' she said.

If the law is passed, pet stores and veterinary clinics would be required to display a sign noting the prohibition of human first names for pets.

Brazilians who break the law would be subject to fines or community service.

Alves admitted the law's chances of passage were slim but said Silva hoped the bill would call attention to his other efforts to protect animals.

''He's proposed many laws to protect wildlife in Brazil, but this is the only one that has ever gotten any attention,'' Alves said.



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