German Animal Welfare Regulation for the Protection of Dogs

German Animal Welfare Regulation for the Protection of Dogs

The new Animal Protection Dog Ordinance (Tierschutzhundeverodnung) has been in force since 1 January 2022. Among other regulations, it provides for a ban on showing certain dogs:

§ 10 Prohibition of exhibition

It is prohibited to show dogs or to organize exhibitions with dogs,

  1. in which parts of the body, in particular ears or tail, have been completely or partially amputated in a manner contrary to the protection of the animal, or
  2. in which for hereditary reasons

    a) body parts or organs are missing or unsuitable for the proper use of the species or have been altered, resulting in pain, suffering or damage,

    b) behavioural disorders associated with suffering occur,

    c) any species-appropriate contact with conspecifics causes them or a conspecific pain or avoidable suffering or harm; or

    d) the keeping is only possible with pain or avoidable suffering or leads to harm.

The organizer and exhibitor shall be responsible for compliance with the requirements of the Ordinance. The veterinary office will pay particular attention to compliance with the Animal Welfare Dog Ordinance; violations may be punished with fines.

In order to be able to dispense with veterinary entry checks and examinations of the show dogs at the entrance, the VDH has developed the following concept in cooperation with the responsible authorities:

  1. Clinical Examination before participation in a dog exhibition

    Every dog entered for a show must undergo a general veterinary examination to identify any indications of hereditary disease  in advance and the following form must be used to certify that the dog has no visible indications of “Torture Breeding” (Qualzucht).

    Form "Clinical Examination before participation in a dog exhibition"

    The completed form can be uploaded in the exhibitor portal till 20.05.2022 (12 noon).

     
  2. special examination for dogs of certain breeds

    For dogs of the following breeds, in addition to the general veterinary examination for visible indications of hereditary disease, further examinations for hidden indications must be carried out in advance. This must be certified using the following form.
     

    Breeds for separate examinations

    American Cocker Spaniel
    Australian Kelpie
    Basset Hound
    Boston Terrier
    Bouvier des Flandres
    Cao de Agua Portugues
    Cavalier-King Charles Spaniel*
    Chihuahua*
    Chinese Crested Dog
    Chow-Chow
    Coton de Tuléar
    Dandie Dinmont Terrier
    Great Dane
    German Pinscher
    Doberman
    English Bulldog
    English Springer Spaniel
    Entlebucher Mountain Dog
    Flat Coated Retriever
    French Bulldog
    Dutch Shepherd Dog (rough-coated)
    Irish Wolfhound
    Japan-Chin
    Leonberger
    Magyar Viszla
    Miniature Bull Terrier
    Pug
    Pekingese
    Polski Owczarek Podhalanski
    Poodle
    Saarloos Wolfhound
    Samoyed
    Siberian Husky
    Staffordshire Bull Terrier
    Dachshund
    Czechoslovakian Wolfhound
    Welsh Springer Spaniel
    Yorkshire Terrier*
    Miniature Poodle*
    Miniature Schnauzer*


    *In the presence of corresponding clinical symptoms in the general examination.


    Overview of separate examinations

    Form "Special examination"


    The completed form can be uploaded in the exhibitor portal till 20.05.2022 (12 noon).
     

  3. dogs whose vibrissae have been shortened or removed cannot participate in the show.
     
  4. dogs which are found to have indications of “Torture breeding” during the show must leave the ring without being judged.
     
  5. the breed judges will implement the Breed Specific Instructions and pay particular attention to health and functionality in the breeds listed therein. The breeds listed in the BSI have been selected on the basis of the estimated risk of health-endangering exaggeration of breed characteristics and possible misleading interpretation of the standard.

 

Free cancellation possible

If you have already registered a dog, you can cancel the registration free of charge if you do not want to or cannot fulfil the requirements. To do so, send an e-mail to dortmund[@]vdh[.]de by 28.04.2022. 

FAQs on the Animal Welfare Dog Ordinance

According to the Animal Welfare Dog Ordinance, the organiser of the show must ensure that no dog is exhibited that

which parts of the body, in particular ears or tail, have been completely or partially amputated in a manner contrary to animal welfare regulations, or in which for hereditary reasons

a) body parts or organs are missing or unsuitable for the proper use of the species or have been altered, resulting in pain, suffering or damage,

b) behavioural disorders associated with suffering occur,

(c) any species-appropriate contact with conspecifics causes them or a conspecific pain or avoidable suffering or harm; or

d) the keeping is only possible with pain or avoidable suffering or leads to harm.

This should be ensured by official requirements originally through veterinary entry inspections. The corresponding examination would take about 10 minutes per dog. This would not be logistically feasible. In addition, dogs that would fall under the exhibition ban during the examination would be turned away at the entrance and would not be able to participate.

By examining the dog in advance, the dog's participation is ensured and no entrance checks have to be carried out. Your veterinarian knows your dog best, so the general examination can be done without much hassle.

For most dogs, the general examination will not reveal any relevant characteristics and participation will be straightforward.

The competent authorities have drawn up breed lists which have been reduced after consultation with the VDH, the Scientific Advisory Board and the veterinary societies. The concept is preliminary and will be further processed and agreed with the authorities after the exhibition.

Dogs used for breeding have already undergone many of the special examinations. In these cases, other veterinary certificates are also accepted, as long as they are within the prescribed period.

We currently assume that the general examination is valid for at least one year, i.e. it can also be used for the Bundessieger Show. The responsible authorities have been asked about this.

The validity periods and frequencies of examinations are noted in the special examinations. If the dog is younger than the age required for the special examination, it can participate without the special examination. Example: A one-year-old Doberman does not need a 24-hour ECG, this is only required from the age of 3 years.

The concept is preliminary and will be further processed and agreed with the authorities after the show.

Yes, for dogs participating in the sports competitions, the requirements of the Animal Welfare Dog Ordinance apply and the examinations must be presented in the same way as for the show dogs.

No, visiting dogs do not have to prove any further examinations apart from a valid anti-rabies vaccination.

Yes, the dogs may be transported in closed boxes and may also withdraw and rest in the box during the show. It must be ensured that this is only possible for a limited period of time and that the dogs are given sufficient exercise. Staying in the box without the exhibitor's supervision is not permitted.

If more than two teeth other than P1 are missing, the exhibitor must prove that the absence is not congenital, but that the tooth had to be removed, e.g. because of a disease (veterinary certificate). Then the dog can be exhibited.

Merle dogs may be exhibited if they do not show any pain, damage or suffering (General Veterinary Examination Form).

If the pedigree of a dog shows it as 'free by birth' or 'clear by birth' with regard to primary lens luxation, no further genetic testing of the dog is necessary. In this case, only a pedigree copy of the dog must be uploaded.

No, the examinations can also be carried out and certified by foreign veterinarians.

It was not permissible to shear off the vibrissae (amputation ban) even before the amendment of the Animal Welfare Dog Ordinance. For the May show it would be accepted if the vibrissae had at least already grown back clearly, for the autumn show only complete vibrissae would be accepted.

If the dog is younger than the required age for the special examination, it can participate without the special examination. Example: A one-year-old Doberman does not need a 24-hour ECG, this is only required from the age of 3 years.

The Veterinary Office Dortmund would accept for this show, if the tail of the breeds concerned, covers the anal region completely. However, in the opinion of the Veterinary Office of the City of Dortmund, this problem must be examined more comprehensively and, if possible, a uniform solution found throughout the country.

If the dog has glaucoma, it may only be issued if there is a veterinary certificate that the cause of the glaucoma is not congenital.

Yes, if the general examination shows no evidence of suffering, pain or damage.

In addition to a genetic test proving that the dog is an NBT, it must also be confirmed that the dog's tail has not been surgically shortened and the tail must be able to cover at least the anal region.

Yes, if the general examination reveals suffering, pain or damage, especially otitis externa, inflammation of the ear margins and similar changes.

For Dortmund and Lingen you can use the VDH forms deposited on this page as well as the form of the Erfurt show.

Erfurt has been given its own form by the official veterinarian.

As the certificates are uploaded in advance, there will be no separate entrance checks. The veterinary office reserves the right to carry out random checks during the event.

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