Minister calls for an end to animals that suffer from appearance and suggests banning some pets | Policy

with videoThe government intends to ban animals that seriously suffer from their “cute” appearance. Posting pictures of these animals on social media is also prohibited. This concerns, for example, dogs with a very short muzzle or cats with folded ears.

Tom van der Meer

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The breeding ban does apply, for example, to dogs who have proven to have trouble breathing, but the rules need to be expanded significantly. The animals are now mostly chosen for their “cute” appearance, says the Department of Agriculture, but they are permanently affected. For example, a dog may be breathing badly and have to constantly gasp for breath. Cats with folded ears suffer from an accompanying cartilage defect.

The Ministry does not want to ban specific breeds, but rather certain characteristics that are certain to be harmful to the animal. The intention is to start with a small list of characteristics, which will be supplemented in the future based on research. By banning animal husbandry, there is also an automatic ban on trade.

Pugs often suffer from a short muzzle. © Getty Images

Ban on social media

Minister Pete Adema wants a broader “display ban” of animals with characteristics that could be harmful to the animal in general. That includes dogs’ short noses, so maybe pugs too. This means that they can no longer be seen in advertisements and may not be shared on social media. We make life miserable for innocent animals, just because we think they are “beautiful” and “cute.” This touches me and I know many Dutch people feel the same way.

This does not mean that the owners should immediately abandon their cat with folded ears. An animal can stay until it dies, but after that no new one can come. The ministry predicts that it will take many years for these animals to completely disappear in the Netherlands.

“firm words”

Frederic Schotten of the Animal and Law Working Group, which has been campaigning for stricter regulations for years, called the Cabinet’s plans “very good news”. “Now the Minister has stated in firm words that he believes that possession of these animals is not possible. Every owner will soon be infringed.”

The WG likes to think carefully about what types of animals or characteristics would be on the off-limits list. Schotten also mentions, among other things, short-nosed Persian cats and Chihuahuas who suffer from constant headaches because of their very small skull. And depending on the severity of the bans, she says, German Shepherds, who sometimes sit so low they can’t stand on their feet properly, can also be considered.

A British study last year showed that pugs suffer throughout their lives. They often have difficulty breathing, and many cannot even blink. “Pugs simply do not possess the basic functions expected of a dog,” said the professor who led the study. It also reminds the French bulldog. This animal has a very short lifespan due to its physique.

Also on the list: Chihuahuas who always have a headache thanks to their small skull.
Also on the list: Chihuahuas who always have a headache thanks to their small skull. © ANP / ANP

Cat cutting

This is the ministry’s second strict measure on pets in a short time. The Minister announced yesterday that all domestic cats must be microchipped in the fight against stray cats.

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