Toys for pets can be harmful

23rd September 2004, Comments 0 comments

27 September 2004 , FRANKFURT - Germany's animal rights organisations have lashed out at toys for pets saying that some of the items could be harm to animals.

27 September 2004

FRANKFURT - Germany's animal rights organisations have lashed out at toys for pets saying that some of the items could be harm to animals.

The problem is that there are basically no legal criteria for products suitable for pets and that any product can be thrown onto the market, says Herbert Bollhoefer of the German union of pet shops (WFZ).

On top of the list of dangerous items are plastic tunnels for the pet hamster or mouse. The animal could get stuck in such a pipe and not get enough air, or else eat part of the plastic.

Owners should also avoid buying so-called hamster balls or cars, because pets could get stuck in them and panic.

Several products on offer for birds are not very meaningful. "Many owners still put small mirrors into the cage," says Astrid Behr. "The bird is preoccupied with its own reflected image and it literally drives it insane," she explains.

Just as bad are seating rods in the cage wrapped in sandpaper. These cause sores on the claws of the animal. But rods offering too little grip are also not recommended. Best are natural products but these should be replaced regularly, Behr says.

Well meant but harmful are hanging mats for iguanas. The reptiles like to hang themselves from tree branches when in the wild.

The problem is that these mats are mostly woven and that the claws of the animals could get stuck between the threads, causing the fracture of limbs, says Bollhoefer.

Toys for cats and dogs should be of good quality. A toy mouse for a cat with plastic eyes that could easily come loose cannot be recommended.

"Cats are intelligent enough not to swallow the material, but could get the parts inside their throats while playing," says Marion Steinbach of the German Animal Protection Organisation in Bonn.

Toys for dogs should be manufactured out of solid material. "Generally items made completely out of rubber and that cannot be chewed by the dog are in order," says Astrid Behr.


Subject: German news

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