Is It Legal To Eat Your Pet?

Andernach cat grill scandal | Which animal am I allowed in
NOT eat Germany?

Grilling cats is illegal in Germany. That seems natural, but a native Vietnamese from Andernach (Rhineland-Palatinate) caught a neighbor's cat and grilled the animal over a Bunsen burner.

His justification to the police: He did not know that this was forbidden in Germany.

In fact, cats and dogs are eaten in several Asian countries, rather than farm animals. For us Germans a taboo break ...

But which animals are NOT allowed to be eaten in this country?

“Grilling and eating a cat is punishable under Section 17 of the Animal Welfare Act. It is also a criminal offense to kill a dog and cook it into a dish. This applies to all races and close relatives of the respective species - this includes, for example, lynxes and foxes.

According to §22, this also applies to monkeys and the import of monkey meat. Anyone who violates this can be punished with a fine or imprisonment for up to three years, ”says criminal law expert Frank Razeng.

Eating cats, dogs and monkeys is clearly prohibited in Germany, what about the other animal species?

“All other animal species are in a legal gray area. This means that everything that is not specifically mentioned in the Animal Welfare Act falls under other legal provisions, such as the Food Act or the Consumer Goods Act, "says Dr. Gerlinde von Dehn from the Veterinary Association for Animal Welfare e.V.

In Germany, a distinction is made between domestic and farm animals

Birgitt Thiesmann: “Farm animals are and were bred and domesticated because humans believed they would be useful. Either the work of the animals was used (e.g. horses or cows as draft animals) or their meat, their milk, their feathers, etc.
Pet animals also have a benefit for people (e.g. cats as mouse catchers, guide dogs), but the fact that they were domesticated and bred was primarily for the enjoyment of people. "

Cat, dog and guinea pig as a delicacy?

► Applies to South China, Peru and North Vietnam Cat meat as normal food, especially the stomach and intestines, are often served in the form of meatballs.

► Applies to Vietnam, Korea and South China Dog meat as a delicacy. It is also eaten in Cameroon, Ghana, Nigeria, Indonesia, Laos, Manymar, Malaysia and the Philippines.

►Also in the Swiss The cantons of Appenzell and St. Gallen are allowed to eat dog and cat meat, but not to sell it commercially.

Guinea pig have been eaten in Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador and Colombia for over 7000 years, in Peru alone there are around 65 million guinea pigs annually! They are bred for this on special farms. The meat is particularly popular with children, and the rodents are particularly fond of stuffing herbs and then cooking them in the oven. Rodents are also on the menu in some French restaurants.

► In Cambodia, grilled ones are considered Rats as a delicacy, they are also often used as a meat filler in soups. They are usually grilled, but are also popular as soup meat. It is said to taste like eel.

Why are cats, dogs and monkeys protected by law, but hamsters and co. Not?

“That is ethically justified. Apes are very close to us in terms of development and are therefore under legal protection. Dogs and cats, on the other hand, are emotionally close to us, ”says Dr. Gerlinde von Dehn.

“Dogs and cats have established themselves as pets in Germany, chickens, pigs and cows are classified as farm animals. This means that they are (by law) far less emotionally close to humans than domestic animals. Of course, there are more and more people who keep a domestic pig or a few chickens in the garden, for example. Perhaps that will one day lead to livestock being given a higher ethical status, ”says Birgitt Thiesmann from the animal welfare association Vier Pfoten in Hamburg.

What is the criminal liability? Kill or eat?

“Killing is the offense! In Germany, no animal may deliberately be killed improperly - the killing MUST be carried out by a specialist (e.g. a butcher, a hunter or a veterinarian). Because in this country, expertise is the prerequisite for killing an animal. If experts on the other hand do not kill according to the regulations (i.e. without anesthesia and bleeding incision), they are of course also liable to prosecution, ”says Gerlinde von Dehn.

Will I be liable to prosecution if I accidentally eat a dog or cat?

"No, you are not liable to prosecution if, for example, you get dog meat in a restaurant - the restaurant owner, on the other hand, does if he deliberately put the meat into circulation," says Dr. Gerlinde von Dehn.

“As long as I am NOT involved in the killing and preparation of these animals, there is no punishment. If something was hyped on me and I find out, I can claim compensation, ”says criminal law expert and lawyer Frank Razeng.

Are there laws in this country for ethical reasons?

“In different countries there are different cultures, for example cows are sacred to the Hindus. The Islamic and Jewish religions forbid eating pigs. In countries where there is no strong emotional bond between humans and animals, a lot more different animals are eaten than in countries where it is common to surround oneself with pets in the cities, ”says Birgitt Thiesmann from Vier Pfoten.