Information

Austria – Home of pets

At least 5 million pets are kept in Austria. Animals are kept in almost 50% of all Austrian households.

Austrian pet owners care for about 2 million cats, 1 million dogs, 520,000 small animals (rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, etc.), 400,000 birds, 125,000 reptiles, 420,000 aquariums and ponds.

More than 1000 pet shops with several thousand employees – together with thousands of animal caretakers and veterinarians – support these pet owners through their expertise with the mission of optimal pet care.

Value added by the pet sector: several billion euros annually.

The interests of the Austrian pet trade are represented by the Austrian Chamber of Commerce [WKO] through its chairman, Andreas Popper, and the pet trade committee based there.

Pet Trade – Living Responsibility

For thousands of years, we have kept pets and domestic animals and engaged in relevant trade. The pet trade takes responsibility for these animals and ensures their welfare. The employees in the pet shop impart knowledge and know-how to the pet owners and provide the animals with appropriate food and suitable accessories. In order to obtain this competence, the animal trader must provide evidence of relevant training and successful completion (legally recognized examination).

The aim is to promote animal husbandry in our society to provide knowledge about animal welfare, conservation and ecology.

We see it as our duty to awaken and deepen the understanding of the public and especially of young people for animal protection, in order to ensure the protection of the life and well-being of animals from the special responsibility of man for the animal as a fellow creature.

Animal Protection Law

The Austrian pet trade has to comply with the strictest legal framework conditions. The standards of the Austrian Animal Welfare Act are exemplary worldwide.

Nature and species conservation

Thousands of animal species worldwide are threatened in their continued existence. The pet trade and pet owners are actively involved in the conservation of biodiversity.

Through their breeding efforts, they help create necessary backup populations and support scientifically managed breeding programs. Breeding of endangered animals is the last reserve in case of extinction of wild populations.

Insights into and knowledge of animal lifestyles are key to understanding ecosystems and implementing effective conservation and species protection measures.

Local supply

The Austrian pet trade guarantees the basic security and general strengthening of the necessary local supply of our animals, mainly animals in social use (see also below).

Special product segments are essential for life support, for the health and welfare of the entrusted creatures.

There must be a constant supply of: Food, water, sanitary articles, medical and therapeutic aids, emergency products, hygiene and cleaning articles, safety products.

System relevance

The Austrian pet shop has to guarantee the local supply for the entrusted animals at any time and it has to take care of a nationwide presence and a permanent availability of the necessary goods in order to comply with the social requirements and the obligations imposed by the Animal Welfare Act.

ALWAYS – even in times of wars, diseases, epidemics and other social crises.

Against illegality

Of course, the ownership of and trade in animals has been an integral part of human societies for millennia. Es ist nicht davon auszugehen, dass ein Verbot die Nachfrage verschwinden lassen w├╝rde. It cannot be assumed that a ban would cause demand to disappear. It cannot be assumed that a ban would cause demand to disappear.

Together with other organizations, the Austrian pet trade is fighting the illegal pet trade.

Social outreach

Our pets are permanently in social use: they are friends, companions, partners and therapists.

The positive health and psychosocial effects of pet ownership on humans are very well documented scientifically. Animals give single people purpose in life and provide joy and meaning in life after the loss of a partner.

Children learn empathy, which is the key to social competence. Animals make children more confident, psychologically stable, considerate and promote basic trust through non-verbal conversation – which increases their self-esteem.

Through their animal husbandry, young people learn to relate to nature, they recognize their responsibility towards living creatures, they understand the ecological connections and become animal and nature protectors.
We take responsibility for a living being, that fulfills our existence.

Pets strengthen the immune system, lower stress levels, decrease blood pressure, reduce the risk of heart attacks and overall prolong life.

In addition, the many activities that animals perform for humans are well known, such as dogs for the blind, the disabled, in police, customs and military service, for avalanche search, and in earthquakes and other disasters.

Animal love

Pet shops, employees, all those working in the animal professions, as well as pet owners, are generally animal-loving people who provide their pets with the best possible nutrition and care.

We encourage and support this.

Andreas Popper
Chairman of the Austrian Pet Trade

Federal body of mail order, internet and general trade
Austrian Economic Chambers
Wiedner Hauptstra├če 63 | 1045 Vienna
T +43 (0)5 90 900-3003
F +43 (0)5 90 900-290
E h18@wko.at
W www.zoofachhandel.at