Sunday, April 27, 2008

Swiss dog owners must now pass exam


The move is part of a wider law on the protection of animals. Among the more unusual provisions is a requirement that guinea pigs and budgies be bought in groups of two or more, because they cannot bear solitude.

The law also requires farmers who keep more than three pigs, five horses, 10 sheep, 150 egg-laying hens and 200 chicks to take a course.

Agricultural groups say this will add more costs to their industry.

Private dog-training companies and vets, who have welcomed this measure since it was mooted in 2005, will be authorised to provide the exams.

But Germaine Disières, a Yorkshire Terrier breeder, said: "To have to hold a permit to keep a very small dog, that is going too far. Education is necessary but to completely regulate is not the solution."