Germans Must Walk Their Dogs Twice A Day Under New Law
Dog owners in Germany would soon be required by the law to walk their pets twice a day.
According to the country’s agriculture minister, Julia Klöckner, the new law is being introduced based on evidence that many of the nation’s dogs are not getting the exercise or stimuli they need.
“Dogs are not cuddly toys. They also have their own needs, which need to be taken into account,” Klöckner said in explaining the regulations, according to The Guardian UK.
The law, under Germany’s Dogs Act, will require that owners take their dogs out for at least one hour twice a day, meaning a quick jaunt around the block won’t suffice.
Also, dogs may not be left alone at home all day and the tethering of dogs on a chain or a leash for long periods could also be banned.
Klöckner said the rules were based on new scientific findings that show dogs need a “sufficient measure of activity and contact with environmental stimuli”, including other animals, nature and people.
A draft of the new regulations has already been drawn up and could become law early next year. If passed, it will be up to the German states to enforce it.
There are an estimated 9.4 million pet dogs in the country and Klöckner’s proposed regulations would affect a significant number of Germans. It has raised questions about whether the government will be able to properly enforce such a law.
BBC reports that a spokeswoman for the agriculture ministry said it was very unlikely private dog owners would receive police visits to check whether they had taken their pooch for a walk. She said the emphasis would be on ensuring that dogs kept in kennels were treated well.
“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 two hours a day anyway,” Bärbel Kleid, the owner of a five-year-old Yorkshire terrier called Sam, who lives in Berlin, told The Guardian UK.
Walther Schweiz, who lives in Cologne, added, “They should trust people to get on with their own lives. They’ll be telling cat owners how often they need to change their litter trays next.”