“It will be a great step forward”: You will now need a permit to be able to buy a pet

It will be a small revolution in Wallonia. From the first of July, you will need a “permit” to be able to buy a pet. Shelters, merchants and pet stores will need to check if the person in front of them is authorized to own one. The goal is twofold: to avoid mistreatment and impulse purchases.

The document will become mandatory from July 1. A document that all future masters will have to request from their municipality. In shelters or pet shops, individuals will have to prove that there are no convictions for abuse or disqualification in progress if they want to acquire a pet. Franck Goffaux is the director of the Royal Society for the Protection of Animals of Charleroi: “We will be certain that the person in front of us is fit and authorized to adopt and keep a pet. This was not the case before, it will be a great step forward.”

Concerned by this change: dogs, cats, hamsters, snakes or even birds. Whether adopted, purchased or received.

Bad timing?

The arrival of this permit comes at a bad time for the shelters, because the holidays are a critical period. “We are really afraid that this new constraint will do us a lot of harm at the beginning and that we will no longer have any (animal) outings. The fear is that we will always have many entries and more exits and that we will find ourselves in saturation”, adds Franck Goffaux.

Heavy fines

The role of the shelters will now be to check that everything is in order, keep a register and keep the data for five years. Beware of anyone who circumvents the system. Nicolas Yernaux, spokesman for the public service of Wallonia, informs: “Someone who has been sentenced cannot prevent his wife from buying an animal, but if it is subsequently realized that the lady, for example, is helping her husband who has been sentenced to acquire an animal, not only her husband will be sentenced for recidivism and she will be sentenced for association. The fines for the buyer can be up to 100,000 euros and the seller up to 1 million euros.”

In Wallonia, 37 citizens have lost their right to detention. People who do not live in the Region will also have to comply with the new rules and contact the Service public Wallonie for their certificate.

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