Green party moves to ban certain pets in Germany

Some from Germany’s Green party have called for extreme restrictions on keeping cats and dogs as pets in the past

editor: REMIX NEWS
author: John Cody

The Green party is moving to ban certain pets from Germany, with the party working to create a list that clarifies which animals are allowed to be kept in households.

German Agriculture Minister Cem Özdemir (Greens) announced he is moving forward with a ban on certain pets, saying, “Why does someone need exotic animals that are difficult to keep, such as snakes or a chameleon, at home? I never understood that.”

The Green party has been active in calling for a ban or restrictions on pets in the past. For example, the Green party branch in the city of Bremen called for restrictions on the number of cats and dogs an individual pet owner could have in his or her house. At the same time, the party also wanted to impose regulations that made it difficult to purchase cats and dogs in shops, with the politician saying that the animals should no longer be freely available.

“Animals are not things and should therefore not be traded like them,” said Philipp Bruck, the Greens spokesman for animal policy in 2021. The Bremen Greens also demanded that people obtain a license to own a pet.

There are 14.7 million cat owners and 10.1 million dog owners in Germany; however, there are also 5.2 million people who own “small animals.” It is unclear how many of those in the “small animal” category will fall under the ban on exotic animals being proposed by the federal government.

In the past, some representatives of the Greens have called for a ban on all pets, including cats and dogs; however, such a proposal has not yet been entertained by any Green politicians in the federal government. Those opposed to cats have also labeled them “bird killers” that should only be kept in closed apartments and no longer be allowed to access outdoor areas.

The Green minister, Özdemir, wants to draw up a “positive list,” with only animal species on the list permitted to be kept as pets.

“Some people get animals that I don’t think have any place in private households,” the minister said.

The 57-year-old minister said that there is a serious crisis in animal shelters, many of which are being confronted with a large number of exotic animals that people have abandoned. Such animals often have high costs associated with their upkeep, and it can be time- and labor-intensive to ensure proper care.

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