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Do the Swiss cut out the vocal cord of unruly dogs? (No)

    Meglisalp Dog

    Photo: A dog that sat and watched us eat at Meglisalp (AI).

    Another of the strange ‘things you sometimes see on social media’ is the claim that badly behaved dogs have their vocal cords removed (‘devocalization’ to be fancy, or often just called debarking), I have even seen some people claim it is a punishment for just barking once after 10pm. Presumably this idea stems from the well known Swiss love of quiet and the need to be quiet at night and on Sundays.

    This preconception isn’t all that common (I can’t actually find an example to quote now that I look), but I have seen it enough that I wanted to have an answer to hand.

    This is one of the easiest myths to debunk: it is quite simply forbidden by law.

    Clause C of Article 22 of the Animal Protection Law explicitly forbids the destruction of the vocal organs of dogs, and devices that automatically punish dogs for barking are also banned. Just for some more positive legislation it is also illegal to cut the ears or tail of dogs, or trade/gift such dogs.


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