Service dogs may no longer be banned from public places in Wallonia following a decree that authorises their presence.
Some 150 to 200 dogs currently assist persons in Wallonia. While they have enjoyed increasing public acceptance, they were still not allowed in some public places such as hospitals, medical consultancies and restaurants.
The new decree, unanimously approved on Thursday by Wallonia’s parliament, authorises their presence in all places accessible to the public, including care establishments.
At the same time, a Service Dog Passport, which certifies the identity of persons with such dogs, has been created. Nine associations officially certified to train service animals will be tasked with issuing the passport.
Meanwhile, the public allowance for training the dogs has also been raised. It will now amount to €7,500 per animal, up from €3,000 for assistance dogs and €5,000 for guide dogs.