Today’s Wikipedia Hauptseite has a sentence I’d like help understanding.

Wie alle anderen durch Influ­enza-Viren verur­sach­ten Geflügel­krank­heiten ist die Vogel­grippe bei in Gefangen­schaft gehalte­nen Vögeln eine anzeige­pflich­tige Tier­seuche und bei Wild­vögeln eine melde­pflichtige Tier­krank­heit.

I do not understand why they had to call out anzeige­pflich­tige Tier­seuche and melde­pflichtige Tier­krank­heit separately. Do they have subtly different meanings? Both look like reportable animal illness to me.

  • It seems this is not up to date anymore: de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vogelgrippe_H5N1# – infinitezero Oct 24 '19 at 19:02
  • @infinitezero Thanks for checking. I am looking at Artikel des Tages for today. I don't know how it works, and if it shows the same thing for all users. de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Hauptseite - this will work only today, I suppose. – Sassa NF Oct 24 '19 at 19:12
  • In my opinion not a question for this forum. These are obviously legal terms, and the definition is to be found in dictionaries of legal terms. - It is a similar problem as with terms like Aufenthaltsgenehmigung, Aufenthalserlaubnis, Aufenthaltsgestattung which are semantically identical but legally rather different. – Christian Geiselmann Oct 25 '19 at 9:11

You are correct, they both mean subjected to registration. Although the wording in the wikipedia article is now different, DQHA explains the difference. In essence:


Die Anzeigepflicht trifft den Tierbesitzer oder dessen Vertreter (auch bei nur zeitweiliger Aufsicht) und auch diejenigen, die berufsmäßig mit den Tieren umgehen (z.B. Tierärzte, Besamungstechniker oder Hifschmiede(sic!)).

My translation: The Anzeigepflicht concerns animal owners (including temporary ownership, such as sitting) and those who work with animals (vets, inseminators, horseshoers)


Die Meldepflicht gilt für Tierkrankheiten (nicht Seuchen), die zwar beobachtet aber nicht bekämpft werden müssen.

My translation: The Meldepflicht concerns all animal diseases (not epidemics), that have to be observed but not intervened in.

Examples of the animal diseases can be found on the web page of the DQHA (linked above).

The wikipedia article now states (at least for me)

Wie alle anderen durch Influenza-Viren verursachten Geflügelkrankheiten ist die Vogelgrippe bei in Gefangenschaft gehaltenen Vögeln und auch bei Wildvögeln eine anzeigepflichtige Tierseuche, [...]

Which makes more sense to me, since its a serious disease, which - as seen in the past - requires intervention.

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  • Thanks for this answer. I haven't thought of looking for Seuche specifically. Now the difference is clear. – Sassa NF Oct 24 '19 at 19:27

In general, the first thing many people will think of when hearing Anzeige with respect to officials is pressing charges at a police station. (Anzeige can also mean display or ad but neither of these can be -pflichtig; a legal requirement meaning some official of some kind is part of the process.) In this respect, Anzeige and Meldung are essentially very similar in meaning but Meldung is a broader word while Anzeige typically only applies to reporting a crime that has happened to you. Thus, there is very little contained in the everyday meanings of these two words that distinguishes them.

The DHQA-link of the other answer highlights that anzeigepflichtig and meldepflichtig in the context of animal diseases are two different legal requirements that apply to different groups of people at different times. It is likely that the relevant law(s) already use the terms Anzeige and Meldung distinctly in this context and that therefore these two have adopted a slightly different meaning in a bureaucratic context.

The principal difference seems to be that Anzeigepflicht applies to both owners and professionals and results in state responses to tackle the disease while Meldepflicht applies to veterinary personel and similar professions only and primarily has statistical reasons.

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  • Thanks, this is extremely helpful. – Sassa NF Oct 25 '19 at 15:01

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