New Swiss Law Sets High Standards for Animal Care

 |  Jul 6th 2008  |   5 Contributions


An interesting article appeared in the June, 2008 issue of Veterinary Economics.

Swiss law orders pet buddy system
Guinea pigs need friends, dog owners need classes.

A new law in Switzerland taking effect Sept. 1 widens animal rights laws in revolutionary ways. Consider the law's fine print:
>Animals classified as "social species"--such as guinea pigs and parrots--will be considered victims of abuse if they don't live or interact regularly with others of their species.
>Dog owners will need to pay for and take a class. The first section of the class focuses on dogs' needs and wishes, according to The Times of London. The second section explains how owners should walk their dogs and deal with different behavioral situations.

The article goes on to describe new regulations that will take effect to promote humane fishing and farming. The law also sets standards for responsible care of fish kept in home aquariums.

The article ends with a note about enforcement and a strange exception to the new regulations.

Authorities promise they won't be going door to door to check up on pet owners. They expect public opinion and mandatory training classes to do most of the work for them.

On a side note, it's not all roses for cats in Switzerland. The Times reports that it's still legal in Switzerland to skin cats and sell their pelts for domestic and foreign markets. Some people believe that touching cat fur can lessen the pain associated with rheumatism.

It appears that even ultra-progressive cultures such as Switzerland are not free of superstition! To people who believe that touching cat fur lessens the pain from rheumatism, I suggest the following: try petting a real, live cat.

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