Zurich“Dyeing a dog undermines the animal’s dignity”
In Zurich, a reader recently came across a dog with a colored tail and ears. Rare in Switzerland, this practice raises questions about respect for the dignity of animals.
A reader was walking in Zurich recently when she came across a dog with ears and tail colored blue, turquoise and purple. Indignant, she believes that “it is cruelty to animals”. Dyeing the fur of your four-legged friend would remain a rare phenomenon in Switzerland, and most grooming salons are against this practice.
Two Zurich salon owners say they are against dyes. “It’s not part of taking care of a dog. In addition, it can be harmful and cause allergies in animals,” said one of them. “We do not receive such requests”, emphasizes his colleague, of the same opinion.
Unpopular in Switzerland, dog hair colors have long been fashionable in other countries. “In Thailand and the United States, coloring dogs’ fur has been a trend for twenty years. In Germany too, there are more and more salons offering this treatment,” explains the owner of a Bernese grooming salon. It should be noted that here the treatment is carried out mainly with food coloring or chalk.
The health risks for dogs are also of concern to Swiss animal protection. “Dying your pet can expose it to massive health risks. Most dyes are not designed for use on animals and can cause acid burns to the skin and eyes,” said spokesman Simon Hubacher. The dog is also at risk of poisoning if it licks the dyed part .
Simon Hubacher also considers such treatments to be ethically questionable. “Dyeing a dog violates the animal’s dignity and is therefore, in our opinion, against the law on the protection of animals,” he explains.
Lawyer Diana Follpracht confirms that dyeing fur, depending on the interpretation, can be perceived as a violation of the Animal Protection Act as a violation of the animals’ dignity. But in practice, she finds that convictions are quite rare. “The law is formulated very openly with regard to the animal’s dignity. It is up to the judge to decide whether dyeing the fur in a specific case constitutes a “deep attack on the animal’s appearance” and thus undermines its dignity. The judge therefore has a wide margin of discretion,” she sums up.
Not just dogs
In 2016, a Saint-Galls farmer had seen his cows are dyed by friends on the occasion of his marriage. In February 2018, a pink dove had entangled the Veveysans. The wildlife manager for the Lausanne-Vevey region had said it might be a bad idea for Valentine’s Day.
And even internationally: In 2012, an artist from Vaud flew colored pigeons in the sky of Venice during the 13th Architecture Biennale.