Pet buyers in France need a certificate before owning a pet

Yvonne O'Halloran

French pet buyers will now need to sign a certificate before they are able to purchase and own a pet, showing that they are aware of the responsibilities that come with pet ownership.

The ‘certificat de connaissance’ is just one of the new measures which will be implemented by the new animal mistreatment bill voted through by the Assemblée nationale last month.

The content of the certificate will be decided by the government as is likely to include information about pet care, nutrition, exercise and health costs.

While the move appears to be a step in the right direction, animal welfare campaigners are calling for greater measures to protect pets, especially when it comes to the education of pet owners.

France has record-high numbers of pet abandonment, the largest European country in fact with over 20,000 domestic animals neglected each year.

Muriel Arnal, president of the animal welfare association One Voice, told news source 20 Minutes: “When people abandon an animal, it is because they have financial problems or they took on the animal reluctantly.”

“We must improve education, and recommend that people leave their pets at a refuge if they feel overwhelmed, rather than abandoning it in the countryside.”

She continues: “We must attack the causes of the problem, rather than the consequences. Once we’re seeing the consequences, it is too late. When someone abandons an animal, they rarely do it happily. It indicates that they have made a mistake, and now realise just how much work it represents.”

“But the real question is how can we ensure that this realisation happens before or at the moment of purchase, and not at the moment of abandonment?”

She concluded: “In France, we still believe the myth of a kitten that is given as a Christmas present, without thinking that we will then need to take care of it for the next 13 years. There is a real lack of education and a lack of understanding of the responsibility that an animal represents.”

Article written by Martha Moody- United Kingdom



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