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Germany’s kennel club has raised concerns about proposed changes to an animal protection law that could have a significant impact on the breeding of dachshunds and other popular dog breeds. The draft bill aims to address “torture breeding” and regulate the online trade of animals, but the requirements outlined in the bill could potentially lead to a ban on breeding certain dogs with characteristics that may cause suffering. The bill lists various disease characteristics, such as anomalies of the skeletal system, that would be outlawed and could interpret a ban on breeding animals with size deviations from the “original wolf type.”

The V.D.H., Germany’s kennel club, has expressed concerns that the legislation is too vague and undefined, potentially leading to a ban on popular and healthy dog breeds if implemented in its current form. The chief executive of the V.D.H. emphasized the need for a clear and scientific catalog of disease characteristics to provide legal certainty and effectively combat torture breeding. The Ministry of Agriculture and Food has stated that the draft bill is in an early stage and likely to be modified by the German parliament to focus on averting breeding endeavors involving traits that may cause distress or anguish in animals.

The proposed changes have sparked particular concern for Germany’s cherished dachshund breed, known for its distinctive long body and short legs. Dachshunds have a long history in Germany, dating back several hundred years when they were bred for hunting badgers. They are valued for their sharp teeth, claws, cleverness, and tough attitudes. Breeders and enthusiasts, such as Sandra Karthäuser, who has been breeding rough-haired dachshunds for 13 years, find it incomprehensible that the breed is now facing regulation due to concerns about potential health issues.

Despite acknowledging that certain breed lines may be predisposed to conditions like herniated discs, breeders like Karthäuser believe that banning the entire breed is unjustified. She argues that dachshunds have adapted to their environment and functional requirements through generations of breeding. Karthäuser questions the logic of banning a breed entirely based on the potential for specific health issues, suggesting that if dachshunds were to be banned, other breeds with known health concerns would also have to be considered for restrictions.

The bill’s spokesman emphasized that the focus is on preventing breeding for deformity and ensuring the general welfare of animals, rather than targeting specific dog breeds for blanket prohibitions. The proposed legislation aims to complement existing regulations on breeding for deformity by including a list of potential symptoms indicating breeding for deformity, such as blindness, deafness, and dental abnormalities. The debate surrounding the proposed changes highlights the tension between animal welfare concerns and the preservation of beloved dog breeds with long-standing cultural significance in Germany.

In conclusion, the debate over the proposed changes to Germany’s animal protection law highlights the delicate balance between preventing torture breeding and preserving popular dog breeds like the dachshund. While concerns about breeding for deformity and potential health issues are valid, there is also a need to consider the cultural and historical significance of certain breeds. Moving forward, it will be essential for lawmakers to strike a balance that ensures the welfare of animals while also respecting the traditions and preferences of dog breeders and enthusiasts in Germany.

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