The Netherlands wants to ban the keeping of “hypertyped” animals

Keeping “hypertyped” dogs or cats, whose morphology affects health, should soon be banned in the Netherlands. Lala fought for several years in the kingdom. The movement was observed elsewhere. These animals suffer from their man-made physical characteristics, but their trade is booming. sets the terms of the debate.

Dutch Agriculture Minister Piet Adema announced on January 20, 2023 that pets with genetic mutations that make them “cute” but affect their health will be banned. It has not yet been determined which mutations or physiological traits are targeted, a list will be published later. However, the minister cited cat breeds with “folded ears” (Scottish Fold and Highland Fold) as well as dogs with very short muzzles (pogues, bulldogs, etc.) as examples.

For several years now, the Netherlands has been fighting against the tendency to adopt animals based solely on their physical characteristics without considering their health and welfare. Since 2014, breeding of dogs whose physical appearance affects health has been prohibited there. In 2019, a clarification was added to this ban: dogs whose muzzles are less than half the size of the skull cannot be bred. Therefore, it is conceivable that the ownership ban would also apply to breeds with these characteristics.

Born animals disabled

These breeds are very fashionable due to their physical characteristics. But” vsThey are “hypertyped” animals, meaning that their morphology affects their health: they are born with defects. “Heavy Dr. Laëtita Barlerin, veterinarian, joined He describes the French Bulldog as: museum of pathology »: soft palate too long, mouth too short, narrowed larynx, skin problems, herniated discs… too much to bear the effort, heat and stress! Cats with folded ears can develop particularly debilitating and painful osteoarthritis, which is predisposed to the disease by the gene that allows the ear to fold.

Because it was fashionable, breeders wanted to develop certain traits more and more, which led to the current hypertype.”

Dr. Laëtitia Barlerin.

However, these breeds, especially pugs and French bulldogs, are becoming increasingly popular among buyers who are generally unaware of these pathologies. Dr. Barlerin analyzes that this craze is partly explained by “their ubiquity in advertising, movies, TV series and, of course, social media.” And ” Because it was fashionable, breeders wanted to develop more specific characters, such as a shorter muzzle or more wrinkled skin, which led to the current hypertype. “, the practitioner grumbles.

However, the specialist, who is wary of the “boomerang” effect, criticizes the radical approach of the Dutch government and prefers consultations: ” It is necessary to start by persuading the representatives of livestock farmers to change the standards, and then carry out sensitization and information measures that affect the adoption behavior of individuals, such as the cultural sphere. »

And in France?

The Netherlands is not the only country that wants to legislate on the subject: for example, Flanders (Belgium) has banned the breeding, marketing and keeping of Scottish Fold and Highlander cats. In Great Britain, the equivalent of the central dog breed changed the standard of the French bulldog, imposing more virtuous practices on breeders (so no legislation was needed). In France, if nothing is planned for the moment, it should be noted that the Ministry of Agriculture is the central control body of the canine society (which has the power to manage the standards of dog breeds) and the Federation of Dog Management. The Official Book of Cat Pedigree (the authority on cats). These two associations manage the standards only with the delegation of the ministry, so they can make complete changes in the direction of animal welfare.

Whether it’s going through a regulatory registry or being aware of the actors, the 30 Million Friends Foundation is a reminder that animal welfare is important.

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