New regulations for England prohibit the breeding of dogs with inherited health problems which exist because of the breeding process. However, there is no mention of extreme cat breeding in these regulations which is disappointing as the Persian has been selectively bred to extreme for years causing breathing problems. The regulations are very welcome but there has been an omission with respect to cats.
The wording at Schedule 6, section 5 of the The Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018 states:
…”No dog may be kept for breeding if it can reasonably be expected, on the basis of its genotype, phenotype or state of health that breeding from it could have a detrimental effect on its health or welfare or the health or welfare of its offspring”.
The target of this regulation is quite clear: dog breeds that are extreme in appearance. French bulldogs and King Charles spaniels come immediately to mind.
There has been a surge in popularity of short-faced dogs such as the French bulldog. This follows the same interest in cats bred to extreme: the flat-faced Persian is the classic example. The Persian in Britain appears to be slightly less extreme than the American counterpart but nonetheless it is still extreme and its phenotype (appearance) causes breathing issues and tear duct overflow. Why could not the legislators have referred to ‘companion animals’ rather than ‘dogs’.
The editor of Dogs Today, Beverly Cuddy, said:
“In future anyone knowingly breeding dogs that need major surgery just to be able to breath or eat will be seen as a criminal.”
There is a need to introduce such regulations in America and in England for cats.
Take Effect Oct 2018
The regulations are in draft and come into effect in October 2018. Michael Gove instigated the process of creation of these regulations. They make breeding healthy dogs mandatory in England. It is long overdue. Thank you Michael Gove.
The government expect prosecutions because they expect the law to be flouted. The fear is that England will still import inherently defective puppies from irresponsible breeders in EU countries where the laws are slacker. This proves that the EU is failing because there should be uniformity of companion animal breeding across all EU countries.
Link to these regulations: