Germans in particular should have some reasonable doubts when their officials claim to “know better,” and some are offended about new rules in the country being aimed at … dog owners.
Under legislation being introduced by Agriculture Minister Julia Klöckner, dog owners will be required by law to take their pets on two hourlong walks per day.
Perhaps Klöckner was merely making a play for the elusive canine vote, but her “Dogs Act” is meant to make sure that people take dogs for substantial walks rather than quick strolls in the neighborhood. She said the law is based on evidence that many dogs in Germany do not get enough daily exercise, according to the Guardian.
“Dogs are not cuddly toys,” Klöckner scolded ignorant dog owners. “They also have their own needs, which need to be taken into account.”
Under the new law, it will also no longer be legal for German dogs to be left alone at home for long periods. Keeping dogs tethered for significant amounts of time could also be banned.
The announcement of the legislation this week prompted immediate questions how the rules could be enforced, and claims that the rule is patronizing. Christian Democratic Union MP Saskia Ludwig argued that recent high temperatures make it impossible for dogs to be outside for long periods.
The Agricultural Ministry says local authorities in each German state will be responsible for enforcement of the legislation, which will come into effect next year.