Keeping of pets and wild animals

The Swiss Animal Welfare Act (AniWA) and Animal Protection Ordinance (AniPO) regulate the keeping and breeding of pets and wild animals, as well as the training requirements for their owners and keepers. They also specify prohibited actions in relation to animals.


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Animals are not gifts

07.12.2021: Animals should not be given as gifts at Christmas or on any other occasion. They are not goods that can simply be exchanged. A pet takes a lot of time, work and money. So it should not be acquired lightly, but only after careful consideration.

Before an animal joins a household as a new member, there are several points to clarify:

  • Does the animal suit its future owner and immediate surroundings?
  • Is the new keeper aware of the duties that will probably have to be carried out over a long period of time?
  • Who will look after the animal during the holidays?

The financial expenditure also needs to be taken into account. And if the person keeping the animal is a child, remember that a child cannot bear sole responsibility for an animal. It is always the child’s legal guardians who are responsible for the animal’s welfare.

So it makes sense to take your time when deciding to buy and choosing an animal. The hectic Christmas season is not the right moment for that. Wait for a quiet time to pick the right animal.

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Pets are animals which are kept in the household out of interest in the animal or as companions: they include dogs, cats, ferrets, rodents, rabbits and many other species.

Ornamental birds and fish, snakes, turtles and parrots are also included, as are birds of prey, pigeons and quails. However, it should not be forgotten that these creatures are wild animals, even if they are kept in captivity.

Fisheries and hunting fall primarily within the responsibility of the Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN).

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Last modification 07.12.2021

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