Prague wants to ban the homeless and street performers from using animals

The city's Deputy Mayor Jiří Pospíšil says that keeping pets on the street is bad for their wellbeing and also dangerous to passers-by.

Thomas Smith

Written by Thomas Smith Published on 12.06.2024 10:07:00 (updated on 12.06.2024) Reading time: 2 minutes

Prague is preparing new laws that would ban the use of animals for begging or street performances. 

According to Prague Deputy Mayor Jiří Pospíšil, the reasoning behind these changes is to prevent any potential danger to both animals and passers-by. According to the reports, animals can become unpredictable in certain situations and may cause harm to themselves or others. 

Bad for both animals and humans

Pospíšil believes the proposed ban on the use of animals in street productions may ultimately have a positive impact on animal protection – benefiting both civilians and animal wellbeing.

Pospíšil told journalists: "Last year, I promised to look into the legal options for preventing beggars and street performers from exploiting dogs for emotional manipulation and monetary gain." 

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It bothers the deputy mayor that some artists play in the city center for long hours and abuse animals to "make their activities more efficient,” he told Czech media outlet Seznam Zprávy last year. He adds that, according to current law, the dogs are pets and are not being abused, making any form of punishment particularly hard.

Restriction on wild animals already in place

The city is already taking action against those who use wild animals (owls and snakes, for example) for photo ops with tourists. The municipality ruled last year that the practice was illegal, harmful to animals, and exploited tourists for financial gain. 


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However, the ban on photos did not extend to dogs. According to the city's animal protection laws, dogs that are not actively forced into any activity or contact with people are not considered wild animals and, therefore, do not fall under these stricter rules.

The proposed amendments are currently in the comment stage, after which the city will review any suggestions before the council votes on them. If passed, those who violate the ordinances could face fines and even have their animals impounded.

The City of Prague adds that the potential impact of these amendments is not limited to protecting animals. These new draft laws may also discourage begging and money collecting, reducing the presence of beggars and street performers in the city.

Prague city councilors will now have until July 3 to discuss the changes – they will vote on the laws thereafter.

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