Animal Welfare legislation

Finding your way through the maze of paragraphs

What can I do if my neighbor is mistreating his dog? Often, animals and living with animals gives rise to questions concerning obligations, rights and prohibitions. This not only applies to observations of animals being tortured but also to animals seeking shelter in your home or having run away, to acquiring animals, to animal keepers divorcing or to conflicts with veterinaries, landlords or neighbors.


Obligations, rights and prohibitions

The Swiss Animal Welfare Act as well as the Swiss Animal Welfare Ordinance comprise numerous obligations, rights and prohibitions. Both works of law are in force in their revised versions since September 1, 2008 and contain many new stipulations to be implemented in practice. Amongst others, the new training obligation for dog owners. Depending on the situation and the issue at hand, further laws apply, i.e. the Swiss Civil or Penal Codes or the Swiss Code of Obligations. It is far from easy for amateurs to find their way through this maze of paragraphs.


Necessary information easily available

On the Zurich Animal Protection Association offers specific information on animal law (in german only ).


Please refer to where the TIR Foundation (Stiftung für das Tier im Recht) has published information on legal topics. You will also find a virtual library comprising over 9,500 publications as well as a database with information on more than 8,500 animal protection penal cases. The sample contracts and advertisements are particularly interesting.


The Swiss Federal Veterinary Office regularly informs the population on animal protection and legally significant issues. You can subscribe to various electronic newsletters here (in german only).




Find Answers here

© Stiftung für das Tier im Recht

Tier im Recht Transparent 

Bolliger, Goetschel, Richner, Spring,

Schulthess Verlag 2008

560 pages, brochure-form, CHF 49.-,

(German only)


This illustrated guide answers all important everyday questions on dealing with domestic animals in a clear and simple manner.


Additional information

  • Legal consultants of the Zurich Animal Protection Association provide legal advice on personal questions (here).
  • The foundation for animal law (Stiftung für das Tier im Recht) also provides information (here).