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August 14, 2023

Download the short summary of the white paper on tethering of cattle now. It provides strong arguments for banning any form of tethering of cattle!

English Summary of the White Paper on Tethering

We are publishing our first white paper, "Breaking the Chains: A Comprehensive Report on the Tethering of Cattle.". Our examination is based on scientific evidence, legal developments and ethical considerations. The white paper is in German, so we have made a short summary available. It contains the most important key points in English for international animal advocacy.

Tethering is associated with considerable suffering for the animals living in it. Nevertheless, around two million cattle, mainly "dairy cows", still have to live in tie-stalls in German-speaking countries. The agricultural industry still vehemently chains itself to the tethering of cattle.

Organizations and activists have persuaded politicians to ban year-round tethering in the future. This success is an important partial step. But due to the incomplete ban, there will still be cattle kept in seasonal tethering. Therefore, pressure must be exerted to make all tethering a thing of the past!

Recently, the German dairy industry coined the term "combination husbandry". A euphemistic neologism. As with seasonal tethering, this refers to keeping cattle in a tie-stall but allowing for time periods without fixation at the neck. In these limited time periods they have access to a pasture, run or pen. Combination housing is not yet regulated by law.

It is time for policymakers to live up to their responsibility and take action to ban the tethering of cattle with no exceptions!

Our work provides strong arguments for the animal movements to get a ban on any form of tethering. Download the short summary for free! You can find the link at the bottom of the page.

What is tethering?

In tethering, the animal is fixed in the tie-stall by means of chains, straps or frames at the neck. Since the entire life of the animal takes place in one place, all functions coincide. However, eating, drinking, lying, defecating and urinating in one place runs counter to the cattle's behavior.

Tethering is considered a traditional form of keeping so-called dairy cows. Nowadays, it is particularly common on small farms in the Alpine regions. Neither Germany, Austria nor Switzerland have yet completely banned tethering.

How long will tethering still be allowed?

Currently, the draft bill for the new German Animal Welfare Act stipulates that year long tethering will be banned in Germany until 2028 (as of May 2023). However, there are to be exceptions for smaller farms with a maximum of 50 cattle.

In Austria, permanent tethering is already banned, but with many exceptions. Only from 2030, the ban on tethering all year round is to be enforced without exception. In Switzerland, permanent tethering is banned, but not seasonal tethering. Cattle must be allowed to go outdoors for at least 90 days a year.

About the white paper

The long version of the white paper is currently only available in German. But we translated the following three chapters into English:

Effects of tethering on the animals and their physical health, behavior and emotions.

Overview of the current legal situation in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

Three chronologies on Germany, Austria and Switzerland trace the developments around tethering to date.

If you are interested in the other chapters on animal ethical assessments of tethering, the viewpoints and arguments of German animal protection organizations and the extended fact check where we debunk eight common arguments for tethering, please reach out to us via

Information with great value

Expertise for Animals produces reports, analyses and articles based on scientific knowledge. This knowledge acts as a multiplier, making the actions of animal movements even more effective.

We are committed to a world without exploitation and oppression of non-human animals. Your donation will allow us to continue publishing expert information to achieve this vision together with you.


Expertise for Animals (2023). Summary Tethering of Cattle.


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