Dogs, cats, rabbits, birds or fish… Belgians love their pets. So much so that some do not hesitate to adopt several even when they live in a small space. For the socialist deputy Maxime Hardy, this accumulation can prove problematic. He therefore suggested to the Walloon Minister of Animal Welfare Céline Tellier (Ecolo) to work on rules aimed at limiting the number of dogs and cats that can be kept.
“I have been told of testimonies about people who exaggerate with the number of pets they accumulate in their homes. In Wallonia, we are lucky to have an Animal Welfare Code which is very well done but which does not mention indicators as to the number of animals that an individual can keep in a given space, unlike shelters and breeders who have strict rules to respect”, explains Maxime Hardy. For the Socialist MP, limiting the number of animals per household would be a step forward for the well-being of animals, their owners and for public health. “All animals do not have the same physiological needs. Some need more space than others and it seems important to me to take this into account. It seems obvious to me that a Malinois shepherd does not have his place in a 30 square meter apartment. However, these are cases that we encounter. The Charleroi SPA also told me about people who accumulate a lot of animals that they cannot take care of. In the In the most extreme cases, we speak of a Noah’s syndrome. We also know that in periods of high heat, the available space will be crucial to ensure cohabitation between the different animals.”
The MEP suggests proposing indicative limitations as a first step to make owners more aware of these issues.