Agriculture Minister Julia Klöckner introduced the new laws based on evidence that suggests dogs need more activity with stimuli than they currently receive.
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.
I'm ready to move to Germany:— Stephen Smith (@AStayAtHomeRad) August 20, 2020
Starting a Universal Income program.
Law requiring dog owners must walk their dogs twice a day.
And, ironically, there's fewer wannabe Nazis.
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.
The answer to this @Telegraph quiz is both.— Adrian Hilton (@Adrian_Hilton) August 19, 2020
Amazingly, in England, you can be fined *up to* £1,000 for walking your dog during quarantine. In Germany, however, they have just made it illegal not to walk your dog for at least half-an-hour twice a day: https://t.co/b5FlO5ZNrt pic.twitter.com/jhlVYl3j2C
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."
Germany wants to make people walk their dogs for 1 hour a day — but not everyone can.— As It Happens (@cbcasithappens) August 19, 2020
"15 minutes, and then he's done," says columnist Titus Arnu of his elderly pooch Bruno. https://t.co/CB6RmEY2Ov pic.twitter.com/vfWXzF41uA
"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.
Nonplussed to hear about the introduction of compulsory dog walking in Germany. This is the look I get from Brian these days when I suggest a walk. Not uncommon for him to scarper when he sees me holding his lead. Think he's been done in by me working from home #overwalked pic.twitter.com/YcbHXcnNHA— Dan Charlton (@Dan_Charlton1) August 20, 2020