The TOBALIE Animal Welfare Seal

Species-appropriate, transparent & animal welfare compliant.

This awards TOBALIE-tested services & products:

As an independent and central contact point for animal owners, TOBALIE establishes for the first time a transnational seal for the identification of species-appropriate and animal welfare compliant products and services in Austria and Germany that are appropriate to the species and conform to animal welfare requirements. This enables consumers to recognise them immediately and to make use of them without worries.

General guidelines & sector-specific criteria

The seal is based on new scientific findings and the Austrian Federal Animal Welfare Act (TSchG) and creates complete transparency for animal owners and service providers. These are checked by TOBALIE for the following general as well as sector-specific guidelines and, if they successfully pass the subject-specific test, are accepted into the TOBALIE network. TOBALIE carries out continuous, unannounced quality controls in addition to subject-specific tests. If during the test procedure or during a quality control there is a contradiction with the general or branch-specific guidelines of TOBALIE, the animal welfare seal must be removed from services and products.

Thus, the seal is only awarded to tested experts and products that fully meet the following general criteria as well as those within their industry.

General guidelines

TOBALIE sets the following guidelines across all sectors:

Professional qualification & legal guidelines

  • A sound education in the respective field of work is required, as well as voluntary regular further education and training. A trade licence in the respective field of activity is also required.
  • The activity carried out serves the welfare of the animals, a species-appropriate and animal welfare compliant working method is assumed.
  • Basic knowledge about the organism and the anatomy of the animal as well as about reading and interpreting the expressive behaviour of the animals is assumed as well as the possession and observance of breed knowledge.

Sense of responsibility & serious appearance

  • Special emphasis is placed on a respectful, responsible and sensitive treatment of people and animals, which guarantees that nobody is endangered by negligence or intent.
  • If the animal owner cannot be helped sufficiently within his/her own area of responsibility, he/she will be referred to a certified expert.
  • If a medical concern is suspected, a veterinary surgeon must be consulted so that any medical causes are always treated in consultation with a trained specialist.
  • If there is an injury to the animal or if a medical connection is suspected, the animal owners are informed immediately and the animal is treated by a veterinarian.
  • Care is taken to avoid unnecessary stress situations for the animal.

Personal, individual advice

  • The animal owner is informed at all times about what is currently happening, the methods used and the associated limits, alternatives are explained and the further procedure is jointly agreed.
  • No healing promises may be made regarding the expected effects of the consultations or treatments; this would be dubious.
  • At no time will the nervous strain on the pet owners be used for personal purposes.

Exclusion criterion under the general directives:

  • Methods or aids are used which unjustifiably inflict pain, suffering or injury on the animal or cause it severe distress.
  • Animals are regarded as a thing and considered subordinate and inferior to humans.
  • Exploiting animals for personal enrichment.

Industry-specific guidelines

Based on the general guidelines, TOBALIE establishes the following, profession-specific guidelines for the respective industry:

Animal trainers

The industry-specific guidelines for animal trainers are based on the general guidelines of the TOBALIE Animal Welfare Seal and must be equally fulfilled.

  • Work without violence, based on reward and with positive reinforcement.
  • Strictly reject any form of aversive training methods.
  • Knowledge of the learning theories as well as of the different forms of training.
  • Training individually, adapted to the respective animal and the pet owner.
  • The level of training and the experience of the respective animal are taken into account with regard to the further training plan.
  • To create the training plans, the respective phase of life, the associated energy metabolism, the physical appearance and the individual needs of the animal are taken into account.

Animal caretakers

The sector-specific guidelines for animal caretakers are based on the general guidelines of the TOBALIE Animal Welfare Seal and must be equally fulfilled.

  • Possess experience in dealing with the species to be cared for.
  • Possess a valid liability insurance.
  • Maintain a loving, non-violent relationship with people and animals.
  • Are characterized by reliability and trustworthiness.
  • Ensure cleanliness with the use of cleaning agents suitable for animals, during the entire care period (e.g. cleaning of eating and drinking containers as well as bedrooms and recreation rooms).
  • When caring for several animals, care is taken to ensure that only animals which are compatible and healthy are cared for together.
  • If more than five animals are cared for at the same time, a second animal caregiver must be present.

Pet hairdressers

The sector-specific guidelines for animal nutrition consultants are based on the general guidelines of the TOBALIE Animal Welfare Seal and must be equally fulfilled.

  • Reject the use of gallows and hairdryer box.
  • Know the differences of the different fur types.
  • Can cut the coat according to the breed standard of the FCI.
  • Tactile hair is not shortened. (Exception: neglected animals where there is no other possibility)

Animal nutritionists

The sector-specific guidelines for animal nutrition consultants are based on the general guidelines of the TOBALIE Animal Welfare Seal and must be equally fulfilled.

  • They have in-depth knowledge of each type of feeding and can determine which type of feeding is necessary and health-promoting in which composition, adapted to the individual nutrient requirements of the animal.
  • Have the necessary knowledge of the exact declaration as well as the individual ingredients and analytical components of pet food.
  • Pay attention in their advice to the connection between nutrition, diseases or behaviour in the animal and consult a veterinarian if necessary.
  • When putting together a diet or drawing up a feeding plan, the respective phase of life and the associated energy metabolism, the physical appearance and the individual needs of the animal are taken into account.

Animal energists

The sector-specific guidelines for animal energetics are based on the general guidelines of the TOBALIE Animal Welfare Seal and must be equally fulfilled.

  • Respectful work with people and animals.
  • The animals are not forced or pushed to do anything, their needs are taken into account at all times.
  • Energetic orders are accepted exclusively by the pet owner of the respective animal.
  • All information obtained during the interview is subject to confidentiality and will not be disclosed to third parties.
  • A common solution is worked out which is satisfactory for both humans and animals.

Animal masseurs

The industry-specific guidelines for animal masseurs, physiotherapists & chiropractors are based on the general guidelines of the TOBALIE Animal Welfare Seal and must be equally fulfilled.

  • Knowledge of the physiology and locomotor system of the animal is required.
  • Work without violence, based on reward and with positive reinforcement.
  • Reject any form of aversive training methods.
  • Training individually, adapted to the respective animal and the pet owner.
  • The respective phase of life, the physical appearance and the individual needs of the animal are considered.

Veterinarians, Physiotherapists & Chiropractors

Veterinarians are qualified for the medical care and treatment of animals through a state-approved, university education. Further guidelines are therefore not necessary and enable the use of the TOBALIE Partner Seal.

Animal undertakers

  • Sensitive advice.
  • Dignified treatment of the animal carcasses.
  • In the case of an individual cremation, the undertaker guarantees pure ashes from the respective animal.

Pet shops

  • Sell species-appropriate food and accessories
  • Attention to quality
  • Individual consultation

Artists

  • Loving interaction with people and animals
  • Attention is paid to the welfare of the animal (taking breaks, etc.)

Animal homes, shelters, graveyards

  • Advice on the adoption of an animal
  • Loving interaction with humans and animals
  • Attention is paid to the welfare of the animals
  • Authorisation under the Animal Welfare Act (Austria § 31 (1))

holiday accommodation

  • Attention is paid to hygiene and cleanliness
  • Loving interaction with humans and animals
  • Attention is paid to the welfare of the animals
  • Dogs are welcome guests

Revocation of the TOBALIE animal welfare seal

In the following cases, the seal is withdrawn and may no longer be used.

  • Violation or non-compliance with one or more of the guidelines.
  • Retirement as a TOBALIE network partner.
  • Failure or refusal to pass or refuse a quality control.