A short note to illustrate Germany’s attitude to the creation of cat breeds which they consider to be inherently unhealthy. They call it torture breeding or “Qualzucht”.
The Associated Press very recently reported the case of a German court ordering a cat breeder to castrate (neuter) her cat because he doesn’t have whiskers. It sounds odd but it fits in with the principles of Qualzucht because the cat, Willi, is a Sphynx, the well-known almost hairless breed.
Sphynx cats have broken whiskers. All cat lovers know that a cat’s whiskers are amazing. They are incredibly sensitive and an important part of the cat’s anatomy. They enhance the cat’s sense of touch – you can read more on cat whiskers on this page.
The Sphynx cat breeder had appealed a decision by local veterinary authorities (implying that vets can enforce this aspect of German law). The Appeal court in Berlin rejected the breeder’s appeal and decided that the breeding of a cat without whiskers was cruel.
The court left the door open for a further appeal so watch this space!
Personally, I love the concept of Qualzucht. I believe it should be incorporated into the legal systems of all countries. If it was it would have a monumental impact in countries such as the USA and the UK. It would be a very positive impact as it would force humans to better respect the companion animal. It would help alter the relationship between domestic animal and human caretaker. Many dog breeds would fall within the ambit of the concept and probably end up being banned at the end of the day. As for cats, it would weed out the unhealthy ones such as the flat-faced Persian.