Monday, 14 December 2009
I found this on a Swiss website specifically intended for foreign nationals wanting to bring dogs into Switzerland. I have reproduced the text verbatim and have added the specifications for the canton of Geneva because I found some additional sensible requirements. I was very interested to read that every dog owner has to complete a training program with his dog. Here goes:
“A recently passed Swiss Federal Ordinance advises of regulations for the humane treatment and care required for all dogs contained within Swiss borders in order to lessen incidences of animal neglect. Articles 22 and 68 of the Ordinance state that:
• Dogs must have access to human interaction (and interaction with other dogs, if possible) daily.
• Dogs kept in an enclosed space with limited play area must be released and permitted to expel energy daily, in accordance with their unique activity requirements.
• Choker chains are prohibited when tying dogs.
• When tying dogs, enough lead and accessible area must be supplied so that the dog can access a minimum of 20 square meters (24 square yards).
• Outdoor dogs must have access to adequate shelter and a constant water supply.
• The dog must be contained in a way that prevents injury to, or endangerment of, humans and other animals.
• The use of spike collars is forbidden.
• Harsh physical punishment and warning gunshots for the purpose of disciplining dogs are prohibited.
However each Swiss canton (region) has its own specific dog ownership requirements. And for the canton of Geneva:
• All dog owners in Geneva must complete a dog instructional program, designed to ensure that dog owners are aware of the unique needs and behavior of dogs, along with the legislation that they are subjected to. This training is made available by a certified instructor or Geneva veterinarian.
• A policy must be purchased from a private insurance provider to cover the dog under civil-liability insurance.
• Pets’ rabies vaccinations must be updated every 3 years.
• Attention should be paid to signs at park entrances. Some public Geneva parks require that dogs be leashed, and others disallow all dogs.
• Geneva’s veterinary office considers 15 different dog breeds to have the potential to pose threats to humans or other animals. The veterinary office can list these breeds for you and supply you with information needed to request official permission to own one of these marked breeds, along with special training obligations.
• Any of the 15 potentially dangerous dog breeds need to be muzzled when in the public’s access. “
Without wishing to enter into a political discussion, perhaps we should hope for a European directive on this.