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What do animal welfare law and regulations mean and what are the responsibilities of the owners? 

Animal welfare is a multidisciplinary issue and is not exclusively related to veterinarians, owners, or lawmakers, but is also an extremely important social issue

In addition to being a part of a business that is projected to reach $ 13.2 billion in Japan alone in 2022, pets bring pleasure and emotional satisfaction to people. Their safety is in the hands of the owners and is guaranteed by law. 

In many developed countries, awareness of animal welfare and the positive impact on the human psyche, health, and community in general, has been systematically developed for generations. As in Serbia the social framework of obligations and responsibilities is not precisely defined, it is good to emulate other countries’ successful examples.  

Why are these laws important? 

First of all, a set of certain and clear rules make owners, pets, and everyone they come in contact with, happy. Of course, taking responsibilities alone means that the owner respects those rules, but the laws themselves are necessary for the pets to be completely protected. 

In that sense, the European Convention for the Protection of Animals deals both with the moral obligation to respect all living beings and recognize the benefits that animals have on humans, as well as with identifying all possible problems that may arise in human and animal communities. 

According to the same convention, a pet is an animal that lives with people exclusively for fun and socializing and that is never abandoned by the owner

In this regard, it is interesting to note that a pet cannot be a gift for a person under the age of 16, except with the consent of the parents. 

The set of these laws also envisages the education of owners, breeders, coaches, and everyone who can be responsible for the well-being of pets in any way. 

In the UK, any behavior such as intentional injury, or neglect, especially when it comes to pet health, is considered a violation of pet rights, and the owner is held accountable. A special act regulates the prohibition of inhumane surgical interventions, such as ear and tail docking, but also all activities related to dog fights or intentional poisoning. Penalties for violators are severe and range from fines to imprisonment. 

An important part of the law refers to breeders who need a license for this activity, and they are obliged to work with the puppies on socialization and to provide them with toys and physical activity in addition to regular veterinary care. 

When it comes to owners, but also pet sitters, the rules first concern the control over the pet, both in public areas and on private estates. They refer not only to potential injuries and damage that the pet could cause but also to someone’s assessment that the dog could injure him in any way. The penalties for those responsible are high, and for a dog that would actually attack someone, they are ruthless. 

Germany enjoys a reputation as a country that is pet friendly, in which pets are given the royal treatment. At the same time, the laws are very strict. Potential adopters of dogs undergo long restrictive procedures through which their eligibility, conditions for keeping pets, and even annual income are determined. After a positive response, the adoption fee is paid. 

If you are planning a life in Germany or just a visit, it is important to know that the law allows entry with a maximum of five pets, and the list of required documents can be found here:

Except for service and rescued dogs, the law requires an annual tax for keeping pets, and the base increases in relation to the number of pets. 

At the same time, it is possible to provide health insurance for pets, which covers almost all interventions. 

All owners will be pleased to learn that hairy family members are allowed to enter most places, except supermarkets, and that they can use public transportation. 

Unless specified otherwise, in parks they do not have to be on leashes, although some playgrounds have special sections organized exclusively for dogs. It is the owner’s obligation to clean after their pets. 

When responsibilities are clearly defined and when we are aware of the importance of our role in the lives of pets, respect for the law is a natural sequence of events. 

As much as the benefits of pet-friendly places are, so is the importance of guests’ good manners, as well as constant education. 

With Pet Travel Advisor certification, service providers set themselves as examples of good practice in the pet-friendly industry and define clear and controlled standards, and by accepting and obeying them, owners promote the increase of the number of pet-friendly places. 

In case you have any doubts, the Pet Travel Advisor team will give you answers to them. 

Contact us for additional questions at: or join the pet owner community and communicate through a forum or group.  

 Author: Marina Stancevic


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