Austria-Federal Act on the Protection of Animals

An application needs to be made for the keeping of wild animals:

Wild animals….may only be kept in compliance with the prerequisites imposed on basis of a report on the keeping of a wild animal to be made to the authority within two weeks….(Para 22 of Section 2)


The killing of animal is governed by para 6:

§ 6. (1) It is prohibited to kill animals without proper reason. (2) It is prohibited to kill dogs or cats for the purpose of manufacturing food or other products. (this is not the whole para)

I am particularly interested in 6(2). It is not widely known that feral cats euthanised in shelters in the USA are sometimes used to supply pet food manufacturers. This legislation would prevent that if it could be established that killing feral cats could be avoided at shelters which Gary Winograd says should be be case.



I would have thought that para 16 would put the fear of God into some cat breeders as many breeders keep their cats caged outside in relatively small enclosures:

Freedom of movement

§ 16. The freedom of movement of an animal must not be restricted in any way as to inflict any unnecessary pain, suffering or injury or heavy fear. (2) The animal must have such space available adequately corresponding to its physiologic and ethologic needs…….


Indoor/outdoor cats that are common to the UK would seem to fall foul of section/para 19:

§ 19. Animals temporarily or permanently not kept in buildings shall where necessary and possible be given protection from adverse weather conditions, predators and other risks to their well-being

How would this legislation apply to people who let their cats out near roads? It seems to encourage large enclosures when read with section 16 above.


Section/para 22 deals with breeding including of course cat breeding:

Breeding methods

§ 22. (1) Natural or artificial breeding or breeding methods which cause or are likely to negatively affect the well-being of animals for a longer period of time or permanently, must not be practised.

(2) This provision does not exclude the application of procedures causing only slight or temporary negative effect to the animals’ well-being. The Federal Minister for Health and Women is authorized to issue, on basis of the objectives and other provisions of the subject Federal Act as well as of the recognized state of the art of scientific knowledge, a regulation which methods and procedures of breeding animals are definitely prohibited. As far as animals for farm purposes are concerned such regulation requires the assent of the Federal Minister for Agriculture and Forestry, Environment and Water Economy,

The breeding of flat faced Persians would be outlawed under this provision in my opinion – see Persian cat health problems. Siamese would be at risk too: Siamese cat health problems.


Chapter 4 deals with penalties.

Penal and final provisions Penal provisions

§ 38. (1) Persons who

1. contrary to § 5 inflict pain, suffering, injury or heavy fear on an animal or

2. kills an animal contrary to § 6 orent 3. carries out interventions on an animal contrary to § 7 or 4. violates § 8 commits an administrative offence and shall be punished by the authority by being imposed a fine of up-to 7,500 euros, in case of a repeated offence up-to 15,000 euros.

(2) A heavy case of cruelty to animals shall be fined with at least 2,000 euros.

These are considerably lower than those of the UK because imprisonment is not a punishment. The fines are also lower.


See the full text of the Act by clicking on this link.  Page opens in a new window.

From Austria-Federal Act on the Protection of Animals to Cats and Law

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