Swiss Government Enacts Strict Pet Laws

UPDATE: Looks like the fount of wisdom that is The Time's Online lost a thing or two in the translation. Lucky for us, informed Zooillogix reader and sometimes D&D player, Dragon's Sorrow End, has set the record straight.

The government of Switzerland has passed the most comprehensive laws in the history of pet ownership to protect the well being of social animals. In hopes of creating an "informed population," the laws cover everything from guinea pigs to rhinoceroses. Here are some of the more interesting regulations:

- Dog owners are required to become qualified in a two-part course before legally owning their pets
- Professional fishermen must attend classes in compassion
- Aquariums cannot be transparent on all sides and natural light cycles of day and night must be maintained.

i-78f3af2c5535a51e2cc977cdef2b0df2-Goldfish Toilet.jpg
Traditional euthanization methods will no longer be tolerated.

(More below the fold...)

- Special chemicals will be issued for putting goldfish to death (no more execution by flushing)
- Social animals must cohabit or at least have contact with their own kind
- Horses, goats and sheep can only be tethered for a certain length of time
- Pigs, cows and other hoofed mammals cannot be kept in spaces with hard floors

"The aim is not only to ensure treatment of animals appropriate to each species, but also to decrease the risk of attacks by dangerous dogs. Inappropriate treatment could lead to behavioural disorders," said Hans Wyss, head of the Swiss Federal Veterinary Office.

A note on the government's official website explains, "Guinea-pigs are very sensitive social animals. They are interesting to look at, but not at all appropriate to be cuddled or carried around by children." But they make such a funny noise when you squeeze them!

i-b2d942ad4c80e36c63aeab951396a769-girl with guinea pig.jpg
20 to life...

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I guess the intent of the post is so we can ridicule this, but honestly, a lot of the requirements are only rational.

It does psychologically harm a social animal when they're kept separated from others of their species. (That's why we humans consider solitary confinement a punishment.)

It does hurt a cow's or pig's legs if they're forced to stand on a hard floor all day - they're not biologically adapted for it (hello, biology anyone?)

As for rules about keeping rhinos, I assume they have zoos and circuses in Switzerland, albeit probably absurdly humane ones.

I wish our government here took humane treatment of animals as seriously.

Zy. It is not that we don't take animals' happiness very seriously. The problem is that it is impossible for us to take anything seriously! You see, our parents were actually brother and sister.

I guess that this means that Islamic rule of Europe has become a desirable necessity. It is desirable because under Sharia Europe will become a better, freer, more human (not humane) place for people to live in. It is a necessity because European culture and civilization is dead and rotting, stinking up the place.

Horses, goats and sheep can no longer be tethered

Wrong, of course. They can be tethered, but just not for ever.

Not kidding, special rules for keeping rhinoceroses have been issued

As has been said, the law is also meant for zoos. More interesting though, is that the law regulates yaks, lamas and alpacas too. (Them not meant for zoos, even.)

Also especially mentioned are Cetacea (whales). You could keep an Orca (both whale and blogger) if you give them (keep them in pairs, social animals, mkay?)a pool of at least 2000m2 area and 10m deep. (Saltwater, filter capacity to clear the basin in 4 hours, also a separate pool with independent water supply needed.)

We have very specific laws. ;)

Fisherman must attend classes in compassion

Of course, not. Though you need formal training if you breed fish/fish for fish professionally.

Special chemicals will be issued for putting goldfish to death (no more execution by flushing)

Of course not. You can kill fish by hitting their head with a blunt object, breaking their neck, electricity or destroying their brain mechanically.

But you can't kill lobster by boiling.

--------------------

Some more funny bits from the new law:

- Agencies can order doping tests on animals used in contests and those have to be payed by the host.

- It's forbidden to hunt tame animals. Sorry Dick Cheney.

- If you keep rats heavier then half a kilogram, they need 1.5m2 of free place at least. Or a place similar to the New York sewers, alternatively.

For more info (in German, French and Italian), see here: http://www.bvet.admin.ch/tsp/index.html?lang=de

By student_b (not verified) on 28 Apr 2008 #permalink

I despise excessive government intervention, but then I'd also like to strangle my next-door neighbors for neglecting their dog. He's got food, water, and shelter, but no attention as far as I can tell. He sneaks out of his own back yard and into mine because he knows, if I'm around, I'll pet on him. And I'm allergic to dogs! But I hate seeing him be so lonely.

Here's why the Swiss are really legislating kindness to animals:

1. So they have another excuse to tut-tut and report on their neighbours.

2. So they can feel really good about themselves while they abuse foreigners, women, people from the neighbouring village, etc.

What a load of crap.

Anyone who's lived there knows what I'm talking about.

By yeahright (not verified) on 28 Apr 2008 #permalink

I was just having a discussion with my dad about a similar issue. I wish that here in Australia people had to had to attend classes and essentially have a lisence to keep any kind of pet - cats, dogs, budgies, rabbits... The amount of animal cruelty that goes on just because people know they can get away with it is disgusting. I was loosing my faith in humanity again, but this has given me a little spark of hope. Thankyou :)

(the fisherman's compassion classes also made me laugh :) )

But what does the legislation say about ugly dog sweaters? Or worse yet, ugly guinea pig sweaters?

Jay: " I wish that here in Australia people had to had to attend classes and essentially have a lisence to keep any kind of pet - cats, dogs, budgies, rabbits... "

What other sorts of compulsory re-education would you favor?

very interesting