May 18, 2024

Legally speaking, buying an animal is similar to buying a television or a car. Therefore, it usually comes with a 2 year warranty from the date of purchase. Animal rights lawyer Andreas Ackenheil points out this in the magazine Test (issue 5, 2024). Only private sellers can exclude the statutory warranty. This is binding on breeders or commercial sellers.

What does that mean? The buyer has the right to purchase an animal that is “free from defects.” As a rule, this means a healthy animal. However, for animals used for sporting or breeding purposes, there may be more. Animals must also be able to play their role here. For example, horses that have not undergone any other training may not be sold as dressage horses.

Seller can repair defects

What happens if there are deficiencies? According to Mr. Ackenheil, the seller must be given the opportunity to correct the defects. He gives an example here. If a recently purchased dog has parasites, the seller must pay for the parasite treatment. You may also return any animal found to be defective and request a new one for two years.

Who has the burden of proof? For the first six months after purchase, the seller must prove that the animal was free of defects at the time of sale. From then on, the purchaser must prove that the defects encountered were not caused by improper posture.

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