The most pet-friendly country in the world

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No strays, no euthanasia, no over-reproduction of pet animals on sale. There are the police, ambulances and legislations to protect animals. All of these in the Netherlands, and more to help restore your faith in humanity.

You can easily see dogs enjoying well-deserved freedom, hanging around on beaches and in parks, relaxing inside restaurants and bars. Dogs of any size are allowed on the public transportation system including trams, metro, buses and trains. All free of charge, except for trains which incur a 3-euro day ticket charge, still it’s very cheap, making it easy for dogs and their owners, regardless of rich or poor, to get around the country. If these policies don’t excite you enough, read on.

This country has the first ever political party whose core purpose is to improve animal welfare in its Parliament. One of the few in the world.

It’s founded in 2002, called The Party for the Animals (PvdD). From no seat in national parliament at the beginning to 5 seats out of the 150 in 2017. And with the involvement of many animal welfare groups, there is ever-growing lobbying power to get policies and legislations of animal interests discussed and passed.

When you see a stray animal? Simply make a call and you will see it safely accommodated in no-kill shelter and respectfully taken care of. When the animal is unfortunately hurt, call an “animal ambulance”. When you see a pet seems lost? Make a report via a centralised well-documented database. When you want to spay or neuter your pet? The service is free for citizens, thanks to a country-mandated legislation.

On the other hand, we cannot make a country truly animal-loving without some sort of penalties to deter undesirable behaviours, right? Therefore, there is law in place for a very high tax on transactions where puppies are bought, rather than adopted from one of the 200 dog shelters in the Netherlands. Cruelty to animals, including physical abuse or failure to take care of an animal properly such as starving it, is a crime which is regulated and enforced by the police and the Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority (NVWA) with one of whose missions is to safeguard the health of animals.

This, the Animals Act 2011, along with all other pet-friendly policies and legislations, symbolise the wide recognition of the right to animals who should be seen as a part of the community and live with dignity. All of these wouldn’t have happened if the people didn’t go behind it.

Let us continue to speak for animals!

Related reading: Where can I adopt a dog in Hong Kong?



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