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Daily walks with your dog will soon become law in Germany

Agriculture Minister Julia Klöckner introduced the new laws based on evidence that suggests dogs need more activity with stimuli than they currently receive.

Daily walks with your dog will soon become law in Germany
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Cover image used for representational purpose only

In Germany, dog owners will soon be mandated by law to take their pets on two walks a day for a total of one hour. The new law comes with a host of additional rules, such as a ban on keeping dogs chained for long periods of time, the BBC reports. The rules, devised in collaboration with experts, are based on information that many of the nation’s 9.4 million dogs are, at present, not getting the exercise or stimuli they need. In addition to this, a plan to crack down on "puppy farms" is also being launched.



 

 

The country’s Agriculture Minister Julia Klöckner stated that the new laws under Hundeverordnung, or Dogs Act, were drafted after surveying scientific findings that show dogs need a "sufficient measure of activity and contact with environmental stimuli." This includes other animals, nature, and people. Among several other laws within the legislation, owners will be expected to take care of their dogs "several times a day." "Dogs are not cuddly toys," the Minister affirmed. "They also have their own needs, which need to be taken into account." Authorities in each of Germany’s 16 states will be responsible for enforcing the law, but questions about how feasible it is to conduct "check-ups" on the 19 percent of households in Germany that own dogs have cropped up.



 

 

This is one of the main contentions of the newly-introduced Dogs Act. From within Klöckner’s own party, the Christian Democratic Union, Member of Parliament Saskia Ludwig tweeted sarcastically, "VOLUNTARY DISCLOSURE: I will not be taking my Rhodesian Ridgeback for two rounds of walks in 32 degrees heat, rather we will jump in the river for a refreshing cool down instead." Citizens, too, have had complaints. Berlin resident Bärbel Kleid, who owns a five-year-old Yorkshire terrier called Sam, stated, "I find it patronizing to be told how long I should take my dog out for. And who is going to check up on me? Will the neighbor call the police if they suspect me of not taking Sam for long enough walks? He wouldn’t manage [an] hour a day anyway."



 

 

"They should trust people to get on with their own lives," added Walther Schweiz, whose 14-year-old Alsatian Blu has cancer and cannot do more than short walks around their home in Cologne. "They’ll be telling cat owners how often they need to change their litter trays next." While individual pet owners may feel restricted by the new policy, there is some evidence to suggest that it will curb the prevalence of puppy farms where breeders are prone to committing animal abuse. Klöckner also stated that the emphasis would be on kennels to ensure that dogs in boarding or those under the care of shelters are treated well. There are also some new rules with regard to cattle and how they should be transported.



 

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