What are the dangers for alligators

Legal requirements for operating an alligator farm

VG Giessen

The operator of an alligator farm must ensure more safety on his farm in order to protect visitors from possible dangers from his crocodiles.


About the topic

The operator of an alligator farm had objected to the fact that the nature conservation authority had forbidden him with immediate effect to grant visitors access to areas of the alligator farm in which there was no continuous separation barrier between visitors and crocodiles, the physical contact between visitors and Excludes crocodiles. This should not apply only with the explicit consent of visitors of legal age who have been sufficiently informed about possible dangers to life and limb. The operator should also submit a safety concept with measures and an emergency plan for approval by the authorities.

The operator, who has been running the alligator farm for many years without any incidents with visitors, objected that he was qualified to lead crocodiles and alligators; these were mostly bred by himself and were tame and no danger to the visitors. You could have convinced yourself of this by carrying out a character test on the animals.

Decision of the VG

The 1st chamber of VG Giessen has rejected the operator's application for urgent judicial protection. In the opinion of the VG the nature conservation authority can issue the orders made in accordance with the Federal Nature Conservation Act because the operation approved as a zoo is not operated in accordance with the law and there is an administrative offense. Section 121 of the OWiG prohibits letting a dangerous animal of a wild species roam freely or, as the person responsible for the supervision of such an animal, failing to take the necessary precautionary measures to prevent damage caused by the animal. However, crocodiles and alligators are dangerous animals of a wild species within the meaning of the regulation. Because an animal is dangerous if it belongs to a species of animal that experience has shown can be expected to pose a threat to life, health, property or property. This also applies to crocodiles and alligators, since as predators, according to general experience, they represent a danger to the life and health of humans and other animals. It does not matter whether the individual animal is dangerous for the species, or whether it is tame or can be tamed in individual cases.

Since the animals on the alligator farm moved with the people in the same room, the offense of an administrative offense was fulfilled. The character test presented by the applicant for the alligators, if such a test should be practically feasible at all, as the administrative court notes, does not eliminate the fundamental danger of the animal species, which is all that matters.

VG Giessen, Decision of 10/27/2017 - 1 L 6907 / 17.GI


Press release from VG Giessen v. November 2nd, 2017