(L-R) Marc Spautz, Mayor of Schifflange; Martine Hansen, Luxembourg's Minister of Agriculture, Food and Viticulture; Sacha André, President of the Association pour la Protection des Animaux Schifflange (APAS); Credit: MA

 On Tuesday 28 May 2024, Luxembourg’s Minister of Agriculture, Food and Viticulture, Martine Hansen, presented the new help@deier.lu contact point dedicated to questions relating to animal welfare.

This service aims to simplify the process for citizens to report violations of the Animal Protection Act to trained staff. The creation of this contact point was part of the new government's measures, retained in the coalition agreement, to guarantee animal welfare, the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Viticulture stressed.

The ministry stressed that animal welfare features are among its key priorities. Luxembourg's animal protection law is based on the legal recognition of the dignity of animals, which must be respected by the people who care for them. The law includes a catalogue of sanctions intended to guarantee the dignity, well-being and safety of animals.

Martine Hansen explained that the creation of this new contact point aims to make the reporting of offences more accessible: “Although it has always been possible to file a complaint with our colleagues at ALVA [Luxembourg Veterinary and Food Administration], we wanted to create a simple and easy-to-remember address. This new point of contact is also the ideal opportunity to reiterate that we do not tolerate any form of mistreatment or neglect of our animals.

The minister said that the number of complaints regarding violations of the Animal Protection law has increased in recent years. In 2023, 143 complaints were recorded, compared to 92 in 2022 and 98 in 2021. The most frequent reports concern dogs (48), cattle (25), equines (eighteen), cats (seventeen) and sheep (fourteen). Each complaint is analysed by ALVA veterinary inspectors, who go on-site to verify the facts.

Citizens can report offences by mail: help@deier.lu or by calling tel.:247-82539. Complaints must include full contact details of the plaintiff as well as a precise description of the situation. Anonymous complaints are not accepted. For emergencies, it is recommended to contact the veterinarians' on-call service (information on 112 or on www.collegeveterinaire.lu), the animal rescue group (by calling 112) or the police (113).

Examples of valid complaints

  • Permanently tethered dogs or horses;
  • dogs kept in cages that are too small;
  • lack of food or water;
  • hygiene issues.

Non-compliant situations for a complaint

  • Dogs that bark too much;
  • dog droppings not collected by owners;
  • situations involving wild animals (to report to the Nature and Forest Agency);
  • handling complaints.

After receiving a complaint, the information received is verified, the degree of urgency and the potential impact on animal welfare are assessed and the necessary measures are implemented. ALVA collaborates with the police, the public prosecutor's office, municipalities and animal protection associations to ensure an effective response, the ministry added.

In the event of non-compliance noted, a deadline is imposed on the owner to comply. If no action is taken, legal action will be taken.

During her visit to the Schifflange animal shelter, Martine Hansen highlighted the “exemplary work” of volunteers within animal protection associations who are regularly confronted with animals that have been mistreated. Animal shelters play an important role in providing shelter for these animals and helping them find new homes.