Germany to introduce landmark dog-walking law

Germany to introduce landmark dog-walking law

Citizens will be obligated to exercise their pets at least twice a day

The German Federal Ministry of Agriculture has announced its plans to introduce a new law aimed at ensuring that all dogs in the country are treated properly and get the exercise they need. The proposal has led to many questions and ridicule directed towards authorities, who have, however, remained steadfast in their approach to forging a society that treats its pets in a better and more wholesome manner.

A question of competences and responsibility

The announcement of the new law made by Agriculture Minister Julia Klöckner was quickly picked apart by those critical of the proposals. The main point of the draft, which drew the ire of many citizens, is the stipulation that dog-owners (who amount to around 19% of all households in Germany) must exercise their pets at least 2 times per day for a minimum of 1 hour.

The immediate questions that arose from such a mandate were related to who will be responsible for making sure that it is being followed and what the word “exercise” actually means. In theory, it will be up to Germany’s regions to make sure that dog-owners take proper care of their pets but specifics will have to be decided by their own governments and at their own pace after the law is adopted on the federal level sometime next year. “Exercise”, meanwhile, equates to time spent outside and out of a cage, somewhere where the animal is free to roam.

Some of the other proposals put forward by the Ministry, however, have been met with a far more positive reaction. Among them is a tightening of rules and regulations on the breeding of dogs as well as ideas for the discouragement of the breeding of animals with deformities that cause them pain. The law also further limits how long live animals can be transported within the country to 4 and a half hours.

On the subject of the new law, Agriculture Minister Julia Klöckner stated that "Pets are not cuddly toys - their needs must be taken into account. It is important to ensure that dogs are kept in a species-appropriate manner. For example, that they get enough exercise and are not left alone for too long. The requirements we are now adopting are according to the recommendations of experts. In this way, we ensure an improvement in animal wellbeing and welfare. "



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