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April 7, 2022

Zootechnical interventions mutilate non-human animals to adapt them to husbandry conditions.

Mutilation is a routine part of farm animal husbandry. In technical terms, a mutilation is a zootechnical non-curative intervention. The latter means that they are not necessary from a veterinary point of view (1).

The German Animal Protection Act imposes a ban on amputation, but allows various amputations and operations through exemptions - even without pain treatment (2).

With the help of non-curative interventions, farmers adapt cattle, pigs, sheep, goats, chickens, turkeys, ducks and quails to the housing conditions to keep them in sparse and confined housing systems (3), (4).

The practices facilitate management and increase productivity and thus profitability of animal husbandry (5). Another reason for non-curative operations is product quality: Castration of pigs changes the meat quality and reduces the occurrence of the so-called boar odor (6).

Instead of changing the husbandry conditions and the management in the production facilities - in other words eliminating the causes - non-curative zootechnical interventions target the symptomatic level (7).

If you click [SHOW SENSITIVE CONTENT], you will see a piglet having his_her tail docked.

(1) European Convention for the protection of animals kept for farming purposes. Recommendation concerning domestic fowl (Gallus Gallus) adopted by the Standing Committee on 28 November 1995 at its 30th meeting. Article 21.

(2) § 5 Abs. 1, § 6 Abs. 1 Nr. 3 TierSchG. Tierschutzgesetz in der Fassung der Bekanntmachung vom 18. Mai 2006 (BGBl. I S. 1206, 1313), das zuletzt durch Artikel 105 des Gesetzes vom 10. August 2021 (BGBl. I S. 3436) geändert worden ist.

(3) Sambraus, H. H./Steiger, A. (1997). Das Buch vom Tierschutz. Enke Verlag. Stuttgart. 122, 181, 205.

(4) Wege zu einer gesellschaftlich akzeptierten Nutztierhaltung. Gutachten des Wissenschaftlichen Beirats für Agrarpolitik beim Bundesministerium für Ernährung und Landwirtschaft. 2015. 99, 317.

(5) Jaeger, F. (2010). Zootechnische Maßnahmen bei Nutztieren. Nutztierpraxis Aktuell, 35. 58.

(6) Baumgartner, J. (2010). Tierärztliche Überlegungen zur Ferkelkastration. na. 47.

(7) Wege zu einer gesellschaftlich akzeptierten Nutztierhaltung. Gutachten des Wissenschaftlichen Beirats für Agrarpolitik beim Bundesministerium für Ernährung und Landwirtschaft. 2015. 99.

Why it matters

Mutilation violates the integrity of the animal (8). Body parts are damaged or completely removed and the animal suffers pain (9).

The measures are problematic from the point of view of animal health, behavioral biology, and animal ethics, as well as psychological well-being and emotions. Pain has long been the focus of research (10), but other effects on the emotional state of animals have been rather poorly studied. Nevertheless, new research findings are being added every year.

The following examples illustrate the problems:

● Animal Health: When piglets are castrated, there may be disturbances in wound healing (11).

● Ethology: The missing horns restrict the cattle from grooming themselves (12).

● Ethics: The mutilations violate the dignity and integrity of the animal (13)

● Emotions: One study found that calves experience dehorning negatively. They feel an aversion to the procedure, even when it is performed with sedatives and local anesthesia. Whether they associate only a specific moment of the procedure with negative emotions such as fear (the restraint, administration of the medication, the dehorning itself, or the onset of pain) the study design could not clarify further (14).

(8) Kunzmann, P. & Schmidt, K. (2012): Philosophische Tierethik. In: Grimm H, Otterstedt C (Hrsg.) Das Tier an sich: Disziplinenübergreifende Perspektiven für neue Wege im wissenschaftsbasierten Tierschutz, 37-60.

(9) Hirt, A. / Maisack, C. / Moritz, J. (2016). Tierschutzgesetz. Kommentar, Verlag Franz Vahlen, München, 3. Auflage. 276 ff.

(10) Neave, H. W. (2013). Cognitive bias as a method of pain assessment following hot-iron dehorning of dairy calves (Doctoral dissertation, University of British Columbia).

(11) Schwennen, C. (2015). Untersuchungen zur Anwendbarkeit der Isoflurannarkose bei der Ferkelkastration sowie deren Auswirkung auf Produktionsparameter in der Ferkelerzeugung unter konventionellen Produktionsbedingungen (Doctoral dissertation, Hannover, Tierärztliche Hochsch., Diss., 2015). 26.

(12) Taschke, A.C. (1995). Ethologische, physiologische und histologische Untersuchungen zur Schmerzbelastung der Rinder bei der Enthornung (behavioural, physiological and histological investigations of pain in cattle during dehorning). Unveröffentlichte Dissertation, Universität Zürich.

(13) Johns, J., Mück, U., Sixt, D., Kremer, H., Poddey, E., Knierim, U. (2019). Werkzeugkasten für die Haltung horntragender Milchkühe im Laufstall. Universität Kassel.

(14) Ede, T., Lecorps, B., von Keyserlingk, M. A., & Weary, D. M. (2019). Calf aversion to hot-iron disbudding. Scientific reports, 9(1), 1-6.

Worth noting

Zootechnical procedures are usually performed on animals that are still young, often during their first days of life. There are two reasons for this. Young animals are less able to defend themselves effectively compared to adult animals. And, the now disproved view was that young animals do not yet have a fully developed sense of pain. Anesthesia was therefore not deemed necessary for young animals (15).

In the debate about non-curative interventions, supposedly conclusive arguments circulate in favor of the painful measures. These include safety for humans and animals, animal health, well-being or hygiene conditions (16). However, the treatments are performed primarily to save labor and time in operations and are intended to prevent additional costs.

A highly relevant problem in the context of zootechnical interventions is also the physical immobilization of animals. One or more persons capture the animals and hold them or immobilize them in racks. This may be for the prior administration of pain medication, induction of anesthesia, or the procedure itself. The animals experience panic, fear and stress due to the severe physical restraint (17). They show defense and flight reactions (18).

(15) Sambraus, H. H./Steiger, A. (1997). Das Buch vom Tierschutz. Enke Verlag. Stuttgart. 122.

(16) German Bundestag (2017). Antwort der Bundesregierung auf die Kleine Anfrage der Abgeordneten Friedrich Ostendorff, Bärbel Höhn, Nicole Maisch, Harald Ebner und der Fraktion BÜNDNIS 90/DIE GRÜNEN (Drucksache 18/11537). Drucksache 18/11818.

(17) Bekoff, M. (Ed.) (2010). Encyclopedia of Animal Rights and Animal Welfare. 2nd Edition. Greenwood Press. 261.

(18) Übel, N. (2011). Untersuchungen zur Schmerzreduktion bei zootechnischen Eingriffen an Saugferkeln (Doctoral dissertation, lmu). 80 f., 84.

State of play

Legal ban on amputation

According to Paragraph 6 of the German Animal Protection Act, it is prohibited to amputate body parts in whole or in part or to remove or destroy organs and tissue in whole or in part. The German Animal Protection Act thus protects the integrity of the animals (19).

Legal exceptions to the ban on amputation

The ban does not apply to a number of common zootechnical interventions, when “the operation in the individual case is essential for the intended use of the animal with respect to its protection or the protection of other animals” (20). The German Animal Protection Act thus formulates an exception that is widely used in agricultural animal husbandry.

The Scientific Advisory Board on Agricultural Policy at the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture describes it as follows: In practice, the amputation ban “is predominantly not taken into serious consideration, because that would mean that first of all, according to available findings, the husbandry conditions would have to be changed in such a way that the interventions would become superfluous" (21).

The following mutilations are common in German animal agriculture:

● Dehorning of cattle, sheep and goats  

● Removal of testicles in cattle, pigs, sheep and goats

● Debeaking of chickens, turkeys and ducks

● Tail docking in cattle, pigs and sheep

● Amputation of toe limbs in breeding roosters

● Grinding of teeth in pigs

In addition to the removal of body parts, other modifications of animal bodies are common. Particularly widespread, because required by law, is the modification of the body for the identification of animals. It is permitted to attach tags to the ears of cattle, pigs, sheep and goats. Pliers are used to pierce the ear and attach the tag. It is also allowed to tattoo the ears (22).

Also allowed is the attachment of so-called wing tags to chickens and other birds (23). For this purpose, a skin area in the wing is pierced with the band. This banding is not common in laying hens and broilers. In breeding animals, it is a form of marking individuals to trace their pedigree (24).

Instead of tattooing animals or putting tags in their bodies, they may be implanted with electronic transponders (25). However, this is uncommon in agricultural animal husbandry. Only in the case of horses is identification with a microchip mandatory (26).

Pigs that are to be slaughtered must be marked with a number additionally to their ear tag. For the marking, it has been agreed nationwide to proceed with a marking stamp (27). Prongs in the form of numbers are attached to a metal rod. The farmers hit the pigs on both sides of their bodies with these spikes in order to engrave the numbers into their skin.

Legal exceptions to the stunning requirement

Although the German Animal Protection Act generally requires effective anesthesia for painful procedures, it contains many exceptions. Analgesia is not necessary for the following procedures:

● Dehorning of calves under six weeks old

● Castration of male calves, lambs and kid goats under four weeks old

● Tail docking of piglets less than four days old and lambs less than eight days old

● Removal of the claw-bearing last phalanx from broiler chicks to be used as breeding roosters during the first day of life

● Grinding off the teeth of piglets less than eight days old

If you click [SHOW SENSITIVE CONTENT], you will see a piglet having her_his teeth grinded off.

(19) § 6 TierSchG. Tierschutzgesetz in der Fassung der Bekanntmachung vom 18. Mai 2006 (BGBl. I S. 1206, 1313), das zuletzt durch Artikel 105 des Gesetzes vom 10. August 2021 (BGBl. I S. 3436) geändert worden ist.

(20) § 6 TierSchG. Tierschutzgesetz in der Fassung der Bekanntmachung vom 18. Mai 2006 (BGBl. I S. 1206, 1313), das zuletzt durch Artikel 105 des Gesetzes vom 10. August 2021 (BGBl. I S. 3436) geändert worden ist.

(21) Wissenschaftlicher Beirat für Agrarpolitik (2015). Wege zu einer gesellschaftlich akzeptierten Nutztierhaltung. Gutachten des Wissenschaftlichen Beirats für Agrarpolitik beim Bundesministerium für Ernährung und Landwirtschaft. 99 (Quote translated by the author).

(22) § 5 TierSchG. Tierschutzgesetz in der Fassung der Bekanntmachung vom 18. Mai 2006 (BGBl. I S. 1206, 1313), das zuletzt durch Artikel 105 des Gesetzes vom 10. August 2021 (BGBl. I S. 3436) geändert worden ist.

(23) § 5 TierSchG. Tierschutzgesetz in der Fassung der Bekanntmachung vom 18. Mai 2006 (BGBl. I S. 1206, 1313), das zuletzt durch Artikel 105 des Gesetzes vom 10. August 2021 (BGBl. I S. 3436) geändert worden ist.

(24) Hörning, B., Schmelzer, E., Kaiser, A., Günther, I., Böttcher, F., Rapp, F., ... & Keppler, C. (2020). Konzeption einer Ökologischen Hühnerzucht-mit besonderer Beachtung einer möglichen Zweinutzung (Verbundvorhaben). 9.

(25) § 5 TierSchG. Tierschutzgesetz in der Fassung der Bekanntmachung vom 18. Mai 2006 (BGBl. I S. 1206, 1313), das zuletzt durch Artikel 105 des Gesetzes vom 10. August 2021 (BGBl. I S. 3436) geändert worden ist.

(26) Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2015/262 of February 2015 laying down rules pursuant to Council Directives 90/427/EEC and 2009/156/EC as regards the methods for the identification of equidae (Equine Passport Regulation).

(27) Landkreis Haßberge (Ohne Datum). Merkblatt Schlagstempel-Kennzeichnung für Schlachtschweine (Vorgaben für eine bundesweite Rückverfolgbarkeit).

For the routinely performed piglet castration, the legal obligation of anesthesia applies since 2021 – after a transition period of seven years in total (28). The procedure must now be performed under complete analgesia. In the past, only veterinarians were allowed to perform anesthesia, but the piglet anesthesia ordinance introduced at the beginning of January 2020 has lifted this reservation: Farmers are now allowed to perform anesthesia with the anesthetic gas isoflurane themselves (29).

According to Paragraph 5 of the German Animal Protection Act, anesthetization is mandatory for trimming the beaks of chicken, turkey and duck chicks. However, several small inquiries at the state level revealed that the hatcheries do not use any anesthetics (30). There is no information at the federal level on whether narcotics are used (31).

It is not considered a zootechnical procedure to cut or trim the claws of birds as long as you do not interfere with the biological or ethological (behavioral) functions of the body parts (32). However, since the measures are usually performed under time pressure, accidental amputation of the toe limbs may occur. Then it is quite a painful amputation, which is prohibited under the German Animal Protection Act (33).

The number of animals affected

It is not possible to specify the exact number of animals affected. The zootechnical interventions do not have to be statistically collected. We go into more detail about estimates in the articles on procedures.

Learn more about piglet castration and dehorning procedures.

Mutilation in organic animal husbandry

The German Animal Protection Act also applies to organic animal husbandry. In addition, the new EU organic regulation states that tail docking in sheep, beak trimming in birds and dehorning in cattle, sheep and goats is permitted under certain conditions (34).

(28) § 21 Nr. 1 TierSchG. Tierschutzgesetz in der Fassung der Bekanntmachung vom 18. Mai 2006 (BGBl. I S. 1206, 1313), das zuletzt durch Artikel 105 des Gesetzes vom 10. August 2021 (BGBl. I S. 3436) geändert worden ist.

(29) Ferkelbetäubungssachkundeverordnung. Verordnung zur Durchführung der Betäubung mit Isofluran bei der Ferkelkastration durch sachkundige Personen (Ferkelbetäubungssachkundeverordnung1,2 - FerkBetSachkV).

(30) State parliament of Landtag von Baden-Wuerttemberg (2019). Kleine Anfrage der Abg. Thekla Walker, Beate Böhlen, Martina Braun, Martin Hahn, Reinhold Pix und Alexander Schoch GRÜNE und Antwort des Ministeriums für Ländlichen Raum und Verbraucherschutz Schnabelamputationen in der Geflügelhaltung in Baden-Württemberg; State parliament of North Rhine-Westphalia (2019). Antwort der Landesregierung auf die Kleine Anfrage 2267 vom 9. April 2019 des Abgeordneten Norwich Rüße BÜNDNIS 90/DIE GRÜNEN Drucksache 17/5715. Wie wird das Kupieren von Schnäbeln in der Geflügelhaltung in NRW praktiziert?; State parliament of Lower Saxony (2019). Kleine Anfrage zur schriftlichen Beantwortung gemäß § 46 Abs. 1 GO LT  mit Antwort der Landesregierung auf die Anfrage der Abgeordneten Miriam Staudte (GRÜNE). Werden niedersächsische Enten, Puten, Gänse und Hühner sachgerecht beim Schnabelkürzen betäubt?

(31) German Bundestag (2019). Antwort auf Schriftliche Frage Nr. 108: Einsatz von Schmerz- und Betäubungsmitteln bei der Schnabelteilamputation von Geflügel.

(32) Hirt, A. / Maisack, C. / Moritz, J. (2016). Tierschutzgesetz. Kommentar, Verlag Franz Vahlen, München, 3. Auflage. 276 ff.

(33) Knierim, U. et al. (2005). Mindestanforderungen an die Haltung von Moschusenten (Cairina moschata dom.). Schlussbericht des Forschungsauftrags 01HS039. 118.

(34) REGULATION (EU) 2018/848 OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL of 30 May 2018 on organic production and labelling of organic products and repealing Council Regulation (EC) No 834/2007.

Developments at the political level

For some years now, the debate on animal welfare policy has revolved around questions concerning the further development and future viability of “livestock” farming. In this context, zootechnical interventions are also on the agenda. Some legislative changes and voluntary agreements have been implemented. However, the political commitment remains within the framework of changes in animal husbandry, which do not necessarily involve a phase-out of zootechnical interventions.

Recent changes in legislation

Back in 2012, the then governing parties Christian Democratic Union of Germany (CDU) and Christian Social Union of Bavaria (CSU) together with the Free Democratic Party (FDP) presented an amendment to the Animal Protection Act to phase out anesthetic-free piglet castration (35).

In 2018, however, and thus shortly before the end of the multi-year deadline, the government factions at the time, CDU/CSU and Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD) pushed through a bill for an extension of the deadline (36). Farmers were thus allowed to cut out the testicles of piglets for two more years without effective analgesia.

Voluntary agreements

In addition to the legislative changes, politicians and stakeholders in agriculture also reached voluntary agreements. In fall 2014, the Ministry of Agriculture launched the initiative „Eine Frage der Haltung – Neue Wege für mehr Tierwohl“ ("A Question of Husbandry - New Ways for More Animal Welfare").

Among other things, it aims to end non-curative interventions in farm animals. The initiative focuses on three zootechnical interventions:

● trimming of beaks in laying hens and turkeys

● tail docking in piglets

● dehorning of cattle

Instead of binding legal requirements for these interventions, policymakers are relying on voluntary agreements. In 2015, the German government justified this decision as follows: "In ending non-curative interventions, the federal government relies on agreements with industry to effectively implement the legal regulations already in place" (38).

Two years later, the Ministry of Agriculture positions itself only slightly more decisively. The livestock strategy states "Where industry engagement does not lead to the necessary improvements, however, a change in the legal framework may be necessary" (39).

Beak trimming in laying hens and turkeys

In 2015, the German Federal Ministry of Agriculture reached an agreement with the poultry industry to voluntarily end beak trimming. Since August 2016, hen chicks of laying lines that are to lay eggs in Germany no longer have their beaks trimmed. However, the waiver leaves out chicks for export (40).

The agreement also applies in principle to turkeys. To date the phase-out of beak trimming for turkeys has not yet been implemented (41).

Portrait of a hen with shortened beak. The background is blurred. However, more chickens can be seen.
©Stefano Belacchi / Essere Animali / We Animals Media

Tail docking in piglets

Also in 2015, the then Minister of Agriculture Christian Schmidt announced a voluntary agreement to abandon tail docking in piglets (42). No such agreement has yet been reached at the federal level.

In 2018, an audit by the European Directorate General for Health and Food Safety found that 95 percent of pigs in Germany have their tails docked (43). This procedure is contrary to the European Directive on the protection of pigs. Accordingly, routine tail docking has been prohibited since 1994 (44).

The planned agreement with the pig industry has moved into the background. In its place, the National Action Plan for the Elimination of Tail Docking came into force in 2019. However, it is not yet possible to say to what extent the number of docked pigs has fallen as a result of the nationwide action plan. It is still allowed to cut off pigs’ tails under certain conditions. The evaluation of the action plan has not yet been completed. It is also unclear whether figures on docked animals will even be published at all.

Dehorning of cattle

The initiative "A question of husbandry - New ways for more animal welfare" also targets dehorning of calves. While it’s stated aim is to end non-curative interventions, the initiative does not act stringently. In the view of the initiative, the main problem with cattle dehorning is that it is carried out without stunning. A voluntary agreement is to ensure anesthesia during the procedure (45).

In spring 2015, the ministers of agriculture decided at their conference that sedation and painkillers should be obligatory when dehorning cattle (46). Instead of allowing cattle to be horned, it is still permissible to burn out the horn buds of calves.

The Ministry of Agriculture stated in 2016 that a draft had been largely agreed with the associations concerned (47). Three years later, the Ministry of Agriculture announced in its livestock strategy a draft agreement to improve animal welfare in cattle, especially dehorning calves (48). The current status is currently unclear.

The German government only envisions an actual phase-out of the practice of dehorning for cattle that are bred to be hornless – animals that do not develop horns at all from birth. However, breeding for hornlessness also interferes with the physical integrity of the animals.

You can read more about this in our article on dehorning cattle.

Through the gap in a wall, a black and white cow with sawed-off horns and a suckling ring can be seen.
©Andrew Skowron

(35) German Bundestag (2012). Gesetzesentwurf der Bundesregierung. Entwurf eines Dritten Gesetzes zur Änderung des Tierschutzgesetzes. Drucksache 17/105703.

(36) Federal Council (2018). Beschluss des Deutschen Bundestages. Viertes Gesetz zur Änderung des Tierschutzgesetzes. Drucksache 598/18.

(37) German Bundestag (2015). Antwort auf Schriftliche Frage Nr. 7: Bewertung der verschiedenen Methoden zur Kastration männlicher Lämmer unter Gesichtspunkten des Tierschutzes und der Praktikabilität.

(38) German Bundestag (2015). Antwort der Bundesregierung auf die Kleine Anfrage der Abgeordneten Friedrich Ostendorff, Nicole Maisch, Harald Ebner, Matthias Gastel und der Fraktion BÜNDNIS 90/DIE GRÜNEN Umsetzung von Tierschutzankündigungen innerhalb der 18. Wahlperiode im Bereich der landwirtschaftlichen Nutztierhaltung – Drucksache 18/6458 – (Drucksache 18/6619). (Quote translated by the author).

(39)  Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (2019). Nutztierstrategie. Zukunftsfähige Tierhaltung in Deutschland. (Quote translated by the author)

(40) Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (2015). Vereinbarung zur Verbesserung des Tierwohls, insbesondere zum Verzicht auf das Schnabelkürzen in der Haltung von Legehennen und Mastputen.

(41) German Bundestag. Wissenschaftliche Dienste (2020). Sachstand Nutztiere und Tierschutz-Nutztierhaltung. 12.

(42) German Bundestag (2015). Antwort der Bundesregierung auf die Kleine Anfrage der Abgeordneten Friedrich Ostendorff, Nicole Maisch, Harald Ebner, Matthias Gastel und der Fraktion BÜNDNIS 90/DIE GRÜNEN. Umsetzung von Tierschutzankündigungen innerhalb der 18. Wahlperiode im Bereich der landwirtschaftlichen Nutztierhaltung – Drucksache 18/6458 – (Drucksache 18/6619).

(43) European Commission. GD Sante (2018). Bericht über ein Audit in Deutschland. 12. bis 21. Februar 2018. Bewertung der Maßnahmen der Mitgliedstaaten zur Verhütung von Schwanzbeißen und zur Vermeidung des routinemäßigen Kupierens von Schwänzen bei Schweinen.

(44) Council Directive 2008/120/EC of 18 December 2008 laying down minimum standards for the protection of pigs.

(45) German Bundestag (2015). Antwort der Bundesregoerung auf die Kleine Anfrage der Abgeordneten Friedrich Ostendorff, Nicole Maisch, Harald Ebner, Matthias Gastel und der Fraktion BÜNDNIS 90/DIE GRÜNEN. Umsetzung von Tierschutzankündigungen innerhalb der 18. Wahlperiode im Bereich der landwirtschaftlichen Nutztierhaltung – Drucksache 18/6458 – (Drucksache 18/6619).

(46) Conference of Agricultural Ministers (2015). Ergebnisprotokoll der Agrarministerkonferenz am 20. März 2015 in Bad Homburg; KTBL (2017). Zukunft der deutschen Nutztierhaltung. S. 136.

(47) German Bundestag (2016). Antwort der Bundesregierung auf die Kleine Anfrage der Abgeordneten Friedrich Ostendorff, Nicole Maisch, Harald Ebner, Matthias Gastel und der Fraktion BÜNDNIS 90/DIE GRÜNEN – Drucksache 18/9906 – Ankündigungen des Bundesministers für Ernährung und Landwirtschaft Christian Schmidt zum Tierschutz bei Nutztieren und Stand der Umsetzung.

(48) Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (2019). Nutztierstrategie. Zukunftsfähige Tierhaltung in Deutschland.

The bottom line

Farmers use zootechnical interventions to adapt animals to poor housing conditions and to combat problems resulting from husbandry methods. As such, the practice is largely tolerated by the government.

The interventions are an indicator that there are animal welfare-related problems in agricultural livestock production. Minimizing pain during interventions or banning interventions for some animals through voluntary agreements are indeed steps in the right direction. Yet these are mere symptomatic treatments and leave the fundamental problem unaddressed: The interventions violate the integrity of the animals. This contradicts the idea of the Animal Protection Act, according to which the integrity of the animals must be protected.

In animal advocacy, the focus must therefore always be directed to the phasing out of zootechnical interventions. Exceptions for routinely performed, non-curative measures must not invalidate the legal ban on amputation.

New findings on the subjective experience of animals strengthen this demand. This is because, in addition to the violation of physical integrity, the psychological effects on the animals are also important. They can be woven into the ethical understanding of animal welfare in the German Animal Protection Act. According to the law, it is forbidden to inflict suffering on an animal without reasonable cause. In weighing the reasonable cause, animal emotions must absolutely be taken into account.

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