What does responsible pet ownership mean and where are animal welfare laws most successfully enforced?
In addition to accommodation, nutrition and veterinary care, responsible pet ownership includes physical activities, socialization and interaction of pets with other people and animals. Before getting a pet, it is necessary to know everything that needs to be done to make the new family member feel safe, healthy, and happy. Initial responsibility means providing a home for a pet that, with its tendencies and predispositions, best fits into the family’s habits.
Although they are different in each country, the goal of all animal welfare laws is the same and is based not only on penalties for non-compliance, but above all, on better animal treatment, social responsibility, but also education.
Their implementation has been going on in Europe for more than four decades, and these norms initially concerned the conditions under which animals were kept on farms and in laboratories, under which they were treated, transported, etc. The improvement of the law was worked on continuously, in accordance with the changes in life circumstances, so the area to which they refer was extended to pets.
When it comes to rules, informing starts even before staying at a destination. To enter any country of the European Union, prepare all the necessary documentation. You can see the list here
If you are traveling to Germany, the good news is that dogs are more than welcome in this country, and close relationships between humans and dogs are deeply culturally rooted. After all, it is estimated that about 20 of the most famous breeds originate from this country, also very popular in Serbia, from Dachshunds to German Shepherds. At the same time, Germany is considered a pioneer in training service dogs for the blind and visually impaired. You will recognize all working dogs, helpers and assistants by their brightly colored uniforms. On the other hand, be careful when it comes to breeds that are considered dangerous according to German law and are not allowed to enter the country, such as bull terriers and their mixed breeds. These rules are somewhat milder for tourist visits and allow a stay of up to three weeks.
When it comes to animal welfare, Germany gives priority to the time that the pet spends alone and which should not be longer than five hours. While e.g. in America, most owners leave their dogs in transporters or boxes, and even on balconies, in Germany this approach is considered abuse. The law itself is one of the strictest and the fines reach 25,000 euros!
You can read more information about the laws of this country in our previous blog.
Another interesting fact comes from America when it comes to intentional cruelty to animals, where it has been treated as a federal crime since 2019, and the same law already prohibits any promotion of cruelty and torture.
As for animal welfare, Switzerland has gone a step further. The country’s constitution contains a specially established article dealing with protection against violence as well as rules concerning the treatment of animals.
A specific set of laws guarantees all animals a certain quality of life, prohibits inflicting pain and injury, but also any act that would endanger the dignity of the animal. This term makes it unique in the world.
Therefore, since as many as 43% of households in Switzerland have a pet, although they are exempt from the tax on keeping pets, cat owners are obliged to provide them with human company, or visual contact with other cats, as well as enough space to play.
This country has also developed complex rules when it comes to the welfare of dogs, and it includes a guaranteed time for walking and running, as well as a ban on leaving the pet alone for more than four hours.
The increase in the number of pets, recorded especially during the pandemic, requires a more precise description of the norms related to the welfare of pets, especially the time that owners spend outside the home. So more and more companies are adopting pet-friendly business regulations, and thus are directly affecting the spread of awareness of the importance of responsible pet ownership.
Responsibility does not begin and end with meals and regular vaccinations, but continues with interaction with pets, socialization, recognition of their needs and awareness that they depend on the owner at all times.
Finally, the notion of responsible pet ownership implies respecting social norms, especially when it comes to public areas. With PTA certification all service providers clearly define their own with which guests get acquainted even before arrival.
Established and accurate frameworks are the basis of pet-friendly services will give you the answers to them. Contact us for additional questions at: firstname.lastname@example.org or join the pet owner community https://pettravelbook.com/ and communicate through a forum or group https://www.facebook.com/groups/PetTravelAdvisor.
Author: Marina Stančević