Here’s one of those things that may display some absolute genius on the part of government policy makers. It is pretty well established that encouraging walking is good for mental and physical health, sociability and creating connected communities. Walking is good for you.
But we don’t like being told to do stuff that is good for us or good for our pets, as the outcry in Germany proves over the Agriculture Minister Julia Klockner’s new law regarding dogs.
There are 9.4 million dogs in Germany (in a population of 83 million people) and Ms. Klockner is bringing in a law that dogs need to be walked twice a day, because the nation’s dogs are not getting the exercise or stimulation required.
For comparative purposes, there are 5.9 million dogs in Canada in a population of 37.6 million people. But here’s the kicker~Ms. Klockner under the Hunderverordnung (Dog Act) wants those dogs walked for twice a day for a total of one hour.
As reported by The Guardian’s Kate Connelly in Berlin Ms. Klockner said the new walking dog 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. The tethering of dogs on a chain or a lead for long periods also faces an all-out ban.”
Ms. Kockner reminds “Dogs are not cuddly toys. They also have their own needs, which need to be taken into account.”
In Germany 19 percent of households have dogs (Canada has 35 percent of dog owning households) and it appears that it will be up to each of Germany’s sixteen states to enforce the new law.
You can well imagine the chagrin of pet owners being told what to do with their dogs, and sadly the minister did not tie in all that dog walking with the positive impacts walking has on the dog owners’ mental and physical well-being.
The law for dog walking is due to be enacted in early 2021.