Legal Ban on Chaining Dogs
As an organization we have been fighting for years to include the provisions regarding the ban on keeping dogs on chains in the Animal Protection Act. The Ministry of Agriculture declined our suggestion in 2006, when the Animal Protection Act was being written, even though we suggested a more lenient legal provision as an option, proposing that dogs to be tied to an extended wire lead. Since then we have continued to educate our citizens and started a petition on the unacceptability of keeping dogs on chains, launched the campaign "Life on a Chain isn't Life," and continue to urge the Ministry of Agriculture to regulate the keeping of dogs on chains by modifying the Animal Protection Act.
This is the text suggested by Animal Friends: It is forbidden to keep dogs permanently tied to a chain or otherwise tied, unless they are tied to an extended wire lead thus ensuring they have maximum space to move around and only for dogs that need to be tied for their own protection, or for the protection of other animals or people.
Explanation: Dogs on chains are not adequately protected under Article 4 of the Animal Protection Act and other articles that apply to the protection of house pets. Dogs, especially in smaller, rural environments, are often kept on a chain which hinders their movement and forces them to live in deplorable conditions, renders them unable to protect themselves from bad weather, makes them subjects of abuse, forces them to often eat and use the toilet in the same spot, and can cause physical injury as the chains can become embedded into their necks.
Chained dogs are completely neglected, and their natural needs are being ignored. Apart from the fact that keeping dogs on chains causes physical pain and psychological disorders and suffering, it can also cause aggressive behavior.
Furthermore, those dogs are potential dangers when it comes to preserving public health because more often than not they do not have access to veterinary care, are not vaccinated against infectious diseases and rabies, and are not chipped.
By chaining dogs or any other animal permanently, owners are clearly neglecting their animals because they are not giving them what is necessary to have a proper life (as every animal needs to be able to move around). and from such people one cannot expect fulfilment of their obligations regarding animal health protection.
Chained bitches often get pregnant, sometimes a few times per year, and their puppies become either potentially dangerous stray dogs, or they get killed in a most inhumane way - by drowning, taking to uninhabited areas and so on, thus further breaking the Animal protection Act, considering that the owner is responsible for controlling animal reproduction. These puppies, even if they survive, as a rule are not vaccinated or chipped.
Keeping dogs chained is completely banned in Austria, and the same ban is planned for the following cities: Portsmouth and Texas City. In the USA, there is a lot of work being done to ensure dogs are only chained for a certain amount of time, not permanently, which is progress compared to permanent dog chaining.
There is a clear need to regulate dog keeping and to allow inspectors to act when they find a dog that has been permanently kept chained for years even if he has food, water, and roof over his head. It is clear to everyone that this is abuse and the legislature should not allow it.