Animal Aid

New rules for pet owners

Posted 1 May 2008

From September 2008, pet owners in Switzerland will be forced to think twice before purchasing a companion animal. Under new legislation designed to protect animals, dog owners will have to take courses and pass tests, while social animals such as guinea pigs and budgies will have to be kept in groups of two or more. The new law will also target the farming industry and require farmers who keep more than three pigs, five horses, 10 sheep, 150 egg-laying hens or 200 chicks to follow a course.

Animal Aid welcomes this news and hopes that the UK government will be encouraged to improve conditions for animals in the UK, especially following a recent report by the RSPCA that states, 'the number of pets being abandoned has grown by almost 25 per cent, raising concerns that animals are the latest victims of a throwaway society'.

Is Britain really a nation of animal lovers when we can so easily abandon animals who rely on us for food, shelter and care? Many people find the time, cost and commitment of looking after an animal too much, but it is exactly these issues that need to be thought through before deciding to offer a home to an animal. Rescue shelters are full to capacity and some animals are never found new homes. Thousands are killed simply because there are too many to look after. So why do breeders deliberately create more? The problem of unwanted pets is not only caused by commercial enterprises and the latest ‘must-have’ fad. Individual owners allow their cats, dogs and other pets to produce offspring, which only adds to the number of animals needing homes.

Animal Aid urges anyone who has the time, space and commitment necessary to properly look after an animal, to adopt from a rescue centre rather than buy from a breeder or pet shop. And to make sure your animals are spayed or neutered to prevent pregnancies.

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