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Sweden regulates pet ownership

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Sweden's Board of Agriculture has issued an extensive set of new guidelines regulating how pet owners treat their dogs and cats.
Among other things, the 15 pages of new guidelines set specifications for how often dogs and cats receive food and exercise, the size and design of their living quarters, as well as the quality of the air Swedish pets breathe.
http://www.thelocal.se/10716/20080326/

Cats have a right to "social contact" (petting) at least twice a day, as well as opportunity to climb, hide, and sharpen their claws. Dogs have to be taken for walks every six hours, even if you have a yard, and may not be tied up inside at all, or chained outside for extended periods.

No pet is to be left for more than eight hours or confined to a crate other than for transport or shows, i.e., no crate training allowed.

German newspaper article
Blog discussing German article in English

Is this too much regulation, IYO? How are they going to enforce the guidelines?
post #2 of 28
Well, unless they have also been given the rights to invade people's homes at any given time and have unlimited personnell, they won't enforce them very well.

IMO this goes too far.... This would prevent most people that work full-time from owning a dog....i.e. if you work an 8 hour day and travel 30 min to and from work each day. Doesn't the law also specify the care of other pets...i.e. fish, guinea pigs, paraketes, etc.?

Art
post #3 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by artgecko View Post
Well, unless they have also been given the rights to invade people's homes at any given time and have unlimited personnell, they won't enforce them very well.

IMO this goes too far.... This would prevent most people that work full-time from owning a dog....i.e. if you work an 8 hour day and travel 30 min to and from work each day. Doesn't the law also specify the care of other pets...i.e. fish, guinea pigs, paraketes, etc.?

Art
I haven't found any articles discussing pets other than dogs and cats. My husband and I don't have a dog now because we both work full time, and I do have some understanding as far as that regulation is concerned. When we had our last dog, my husband worked a five-minute drive away from home, and had a 90-minute lunch break. (I work much farther away, and have a daily two-hour+ commute.) Since our then-cat was an indoor-outdoor cat, we could simply leave the back door open in a pinch, so that the dog and cat could go outside [fenced-in yard] whenever they wanted. He now works farther away, and only gets a 25-minute lunch break, and we have a cat who can't be allowed outside on his own, as he's very aggressive towards other cats (I walk him on a leash every day). Thus: no dog till one of us retires.
post #4 of 28
I like the principle of the laws... Ie I see lots of folks with full time two working families that have small kids getting puppies and then returning them cause " NO TIME" ... I would like to know how they would enforce it ... I think 6 hours is a bit out of it unless they have short works days
post #5 of 28
I am all for animals having rights but this seems a little too much and not really enforceable. How will they tell if the cat gets attention.

It seems that there is the potential for abuse with people having animals taken away from people out of spite if they are working and out for 7 hours despite being great pet parents.
post #6 of 28
Those people in Sweden making those laws are nuts. And people complain about "big brother"
in the U.S. It is ludicrous
post #7 of 28
Perhaps this isn't so much an enforceable thing as much as a guideline to help people properly care for their pets. Some people don't get it.
Watch Animal Cops and you see people do the dumbest things and think it is alright.
post #8 of 28
I can't watch it anymore. I start wanting to bash people's face in.
post #9 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by ckblv View Post
I can't watch it anymore. I start wanting to bash people's face in.
I know. The things people do boggles me. One episode where some kids took a cat out of a window and tortured the cat and killed it had me seeing red.

Maybe it is a way to punish similar idiots with stiffer sentences. Not so much directed at the everyday responsible pet owners.
post #10 of 28
Well, I think the part about dogs with yards to romp and play in all day, must also have a walk is too much. They are getting their outdoor time, potty time and exercise, already. If you have a nice yard for them to play in, why would you want to take them for walks, where they can pick up germs?
post #11 of 28
It's pretty ridiculous regulating it that closely. That makes no allowances for individual differences in pets, owners, and circumstances.
post #12 of 28
What constitutes a "walk"? I only went to one article, so maybe it was in one of the others. Could I just put a leash on the dog, walk out the front door, turn around, and go back inside?

These new laws will be impossible to enforce. It's not the laws that need to change, but people's values and education. Perhaps they should have spent all that effort figuring out how to reach the "lowest common denominator" and effectively educating them about basic common sense animal care.
post #13 of 28
Uh oh, I'd lose my dogs if I was in Sweden! I don't take my dogs for walks every 6 hours, but once or twice a week. Otherwise we play fetch in the yard, & then walk around the property for awhile "patroling".
post #14 of 28
Though I'm not familiar with the Swedish situation, I believe these regulations won't be enforced (like chasing people who don't walk their dogs every 6 hrs). They are there merely to send a message that pet ownership means certain responsibilities. Just my guess.
post #15 of 28
I think they are going a bit too far but the regulations are really not enforceable. Anything can be taken too far but I see nothing wrong with using a crate to train a puppy. Many puppies after they have been housebroken and learned their manners will continue to go to the crate to sleep or when they are feeling anxious so it can't be all bad. Many people believe that walking a dog is still necessary even with access to a secure yard to play in. They believe it satisfies a primal need to walk going back to the pack looking for food but every 6 hours is, I believe, an excessive requirement.
post #16 of 28
This reminds me of laws that have been passed in a few states here in the US requiring that cats be spayed/neutered. The intentions are good.....but I don't know how it could ever be enforced....
post #17 of 28
My guess is that these laws are like a lot of laws and ordinances in the US. They are probably not intended to prevent anything. There are there so that when people are caught abusing animals, the law has something to put them away for awhile instead of charging them with misdemeanors and banning them from owning animals like other places.
post #18 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by HopeHacker View Post
Well, I think the part about dogs with yards to romp and play in all day, must also have a walk is too much. They are getting their outdoor time, potty time and exercise, already. If you have a nice yard for them to play in, why would you want to take them for walks, where they can pick up germs?
Dogs need new stimuli, especially new smells. My mom has a large yard - the backyard is about half an acre, and the three dogs can romp around together, but the two Labs still love walks, preferably different routes every day. The mutt doesn't like to go outside, period, but seeing as he spent ten years of his life chained up outside, it's understandable.

Our Boxer had a yard to romp in, but we still took him for at least an hour-long walk every day, and it was the highlight of his day. Most of the shelters around here will demand at least that much if you're adopting, more if you don't have a fair-sized yard.
post #19 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skippymjp View Post
My guess is that these laws are like a lot of laws and ordinances in the US. They are probably not intended to prevent anything. There are there so that when people are caught abusing animals, the law has something to put them away for awhile instead of charging them with misdemeanors and banning them from owning animals like other places.
That is my interpretation too. Our animal abuse laws are too weak and it ties the hands of the justice system. There should be stiffer consequences to animal neglect.
post #20 of 28
I don't think those are "laws". I believe they are only guidelines put in place to promote responsible pet ownership. I think it's meant more as a way to show people that owning a pet is not just picking one out and giving it food and water; that there is a large level of responsibility involved in owning a pet and that it's on going for the duration of the pet's life.
post #21 of 28
They are regulations/laws and are, as one person mentioned, mostly more to file against people that are already making other mistakes. People who are only slightly slipping up would probably just get warnings...
I can't see much punishment for the laws either way, not when people can get out of prison after only 4-6 years when they've committed very violent crimes (such as murder).
post #22 of 28
Walks every six hours? What about sleep? It doesn't sound realistic at all, but the 6 hours bit is only the blog, and references "The Local" which is already linked here and mentions no such thing.

Even if it's more reasonable than as described in the blog (and "contact" twice a day is more reasonable than walks every 6 hours), the very idea is misguided. I totally agree that norms of behavior should be established by education, not legislation. However, it does sound much more reasonable in "The Local" where it sounds like clear guidelines for animal officers to identify abuse instead of strict specific rules for exact treatment.
post #23 of 28
Thread Starter 
The German article mentions the six- hour interval, which applies to adult dogs; elderly dogs and puppies are to be walked more often. I assume it's applicable during the day only.
post #24 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skippymjp View Post
My guess is that these laws are like a lot of laws and ordinances in the US. They are probably not intended to prevent anything. There are there so that when people are caught abusing animals, the law has something to put them away for awhile instead of charging them with misdemeanors and banning them from owning animals like other places.
I agree, and I think it's a great idea.
post #25 of 28
I was in Sweden when this was being discussed. I didn't hear anything about it there.

Oddly enough, I didn't see a single cat anywhere in Sweden. That's the first European country where I can say that.
post #26 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrblanche View Post
Oddly enough, I didn't see a single cat anywhere in Sweden. That's the first European country where I can say that.
City kitties are usually kept indoors in Scandinavia. In Finland it's in theory illegal to keep a cat loose in a place where it can reach childrens' sand boxes etc. It could be the same in Sweden.
post #27 of 28
^ I was just about to post to say that city cats are usually kept inside (asked a Swedish friend just a moment ago ).
post #28 of 28
Going for a walk "every six hours" with my dog could kill him. He's a flat-faced brachycephalic breed, and in the summer months, exercise has to be limited to early morning and late evening. When it's really hot and humid, we just hang out in the shade in the back yard, or play fetch (ok, more like "keep-away," since he doesn't quite grasp that "fetch" means "bring the toy back to me") in air conditioned comfort inside.

He doesn't seem psychologically damaged by this.
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