Animal welfare; notification of an administrative offense

Administrative offenses under the Animal Welfare Act will be prosecuted and punished.


A misdemeanor is an unlawful and reproachable act, which realizes the facts of a law, which allows the punishment with a fine.

Administrative offenses, i.e. descriptions of certain illegal acts that are punishable by a fine, can also be found in Section 18 of the German Animal Welfare Act (TierSchG). According to this, it is an offence, for example, for anyone who intentionally or negligently

  • causes considerable pain, suffering or damage to a vertebrate animal which he keeps, looks after or has to look after without reasonable cause,
  • kills a vertebrate animal contrary to § 4 para. 1 TierSchG,
  • slaughters a warm-blooded animal in contravention of Section 4a (1) TierSchG,
  • carries out experiments on vertebrates without the necessary permit in accordance with Section 8 (1) of the Animal Welfare Act,
  • imports a vertebrate animal without a permit in accordance with Section 11a (4) sentence 1 TierSchG,
  • breeds vertebrates in contravention of Section 11b (1) of the Animal Welfare Act or modifies them by biotechnical means, or
  • supplies a vertebrate animal to children or adolescents up to the age of 16 in contravention of Section 11c TierSchG.


Administrative offenses can be reported by the police, an organizational unit of the district administration authority, another authority, a municipality or by a citizen's notification to the (central) fine office of the district administration authority.

The district administration authority examines the facts and the legal situation to determine whether there is reasonable suspicion of an administrative offense and whether fine proceedings should be initiated or continued. If necessary, further investigations (e.g. hearing of the persons concerned, questioning of witnesses) will be initiated. If an offence is proven and it is to be punished according to its significance, the district administrative authority issues a fine notice to the person concerned and sets the fine and the costs of the proceedings in it.

The administrative offense may be punished by a fine of up to 25,000 euros.

Special notes

Criminal offense

The Animal Protection Act distinguishes between administrative offenses and criminal offenses. The criminal offense of cruelty to animals and the corresponding penalty are defined in Section 17 of the Animal Welfare Act. A prison sentence of up to three years or a fine is imposed on anyone who

  • kills a vertebrate animal without reasonable cause or
  • a vertebrate
    • out of crudeness significant pain or suffering or
    • inflicts prolonged or repetitive significant pain or suffering.


Administrative court proceedings; information

administrative claim


Responsible for editing:Bayerisches Staatsministerium für Umwelt und Verbraucherschutz

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