Last minute: which country is the best protected for stray animals! Last minute: Here is the balance sheet of Europe

street animals in europe

Stray animals have been on the nation’s agenda after two off-leash Pitbull dogs attacked a little girl in Turkey. While President Erdoğan’s statement on stray animals is attracting attention, the Interior Ministry has also issued a circular on stray animals.

While all this is happening in Turkey, European countries seem to have taken their precautions in this regard. What is the situation of stray animals in Europe? In which countries are animals the most protected?

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), it is estimated that there are more than 200 million stray dogs worldwide.


With the Lisbon Treaty signed in 2007 within the European Union, animals were defined as “sensitive goods” and regulations were established for the protection of farmed animals. But there is no common European law against animal abuse; Each country has its own penal system.


The Dutch Society for the Protection of Animals – the first institution for the protection of animals – was founded in The Hague in 1864. Since then, rules have been introduced in the country, such as the obligation to wear leashes and muzzles for animals. dogs.

With the app coming into force in the country in 2019, the Netherlands became the first country without dogs on its streets. “Are there really no dogs on the Dutch streets? The non-governmental organization Landelijk InformatieCentrum Gezelschapsdieren (LICG), which works for the protection of animal rights in the Netherlands, who we asked, said: “There really are no dogs on the streets .

On the other hand, Lisa Gaster, spokesperson for animal rights of the Dutch Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality, explained how this practice is implemented.

Speaking to, Gaster said;

“There are no stray dogs in the Netherlands because they are spotted right away, they are caught and taken to a shelter. Municipalities are legally responsible for looking after stray dogs (or cats) for at least two weeks After two weeks, responsibility shifts to shelters.

Stray dogs (or cats) are reported by people who notice them and the found animal is taken to the shelter by a specialist.

We have a general ‘animal welfare’ law which lays down rules on how animals should be kept. Also, in 2013, dog owners were forced to carry microchips on their dogs. If the dog with the chip wanders or gets lost, it is quickly found thanks to the chip. But even if he doesn’t have a chip, this problem is solved thanks to the people.”


In the statement made by LICG, it was stated that this application was not adapted quickly. “It took many years to change the way people perceive dogs in the Netherlands. We still have cats on the streets, but it is common to see cats on the street because they can walk around like dogs “, reads the press release.


The institution Save the Dogs, headquartered in Italy, said that a situation similar to the attacks experienced in Turkey had not occurred in Europe.

In the institution’s statement to Habertürk, “In Italy, especially in the South, the kennels are always full and the state has no policy to sterilize and reduce stray dogs. In other countries, like Spain, dogs are exploited for racing and then abandoned. Northern Europe The situation in their countries is much better, indeed, the biggest requests for ownership come from there.

The situation in Eastern Europe is much more dramatic: there are examples similar to those of Romania and Turkey.


It is not possible to see stray dogs in Germany, but not as much as in the Netherlands. According to the legal regulations in force in the country, a person who finds a stray animal in the street must report it to the shelter, the veterinarian or the police.

With the “Animal Welfare Act”, how animals should be treated and how animals should be housed is under protection.

Pet dog owners in Germany must pay a dog tax of between 72 and 186 euros. If the dog is one of the “dangerous” dog breeds, this tax can go even higher.

It is mandatory to wear a muzzle when walking dangerous breeds or fighting dogs outdoors.


In Germany, anyone who kills or inflicts pain on an animal without a “valid” reason faces fines ranging from 5 to 25,000 euros or imprisonment for up to three years.

Owners are not allowed to leave pets on the street.

In France, the law only protects pets. People who abuse a pet face up to three years in prison and a fine of up to 45,000 euros. The penalty for leaving the animal on the street is the same.

According to Dutch law, if a pet owner mistreats an animal, he is liable to a sentence of up to three years in prison and a fine of 16,750 euros.

With the Animal Protection Act in England in 2006, the rules for animal ownership were determined. With the law, the animals were sentenced to up to 6 months in jail and fined £20,000 for violent crimes.

The rules for owning animals in Sweden are strictly defined. If the owner neglects his pet, the animal may be taken away. If you keep a dog at home, you should take it out at least twice a day.

Animal abuse is punishable by up to two years in prison.

Bolivia, on the other hand, became the first country to ban animal abuse and harm animals in circuses.


According to the Animal Rights Index, organized by The Swiftest in 2021, a list of the 67 best and worst countries for animal rights has been created.

Thus, Luxembourg is the country where animals live the most prosperously. England, Austria, the Czech Republic, Belgium, Croatia, Sweden, the Netherlands, Bulgaria and Switzerland follow Luxembourg respectively.

These European countries top the list primarily because they have regulations that prevent cruelty to animals, recognizing that animals can suffer. They also have full and partial bans on raising certain animals for fur.

In contrast, while the United States ranks 40th on the list, Turkey is in 44th place. At the bottom of the list are Azerbaijan, Iran, Vietnam and China.

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