Purebred dog breeding to get more animal friendly

Pedigree dog breeders have promised that by 2014, no Dutch dogs will suffer due to their appearance. The umbrella organization for pedigree dog breeders, the Board of Directors, provided State Secretary Dijksma with a report on the improvement of health, behavior and welfare of pure bred dogs.

In recent years more and more dogs have been bred specifically for an "ideal appearance", an appearance that owners and dog shows appreciate. This includes, depending on breed, a flatter nose, many wrinkles or droopy eyes. This has caused these animals to suffer from more health problems than mongrels or mutts. These health problems include pneumonia, joint problems in hips, elbows and knees and constant headaches. Too much inbreeding also cause purebred dogs to suffer from heart problems, epilepsy and various forms of cancer.

The government has been trying to make agreements with pedigree dog breeders for some time. In consultation with organizations such as the Wageningen University, the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine in Utrecht, the Royal Dog Protection and various pets organization, they have now come up with the plain Fairfok (Fair breeding). It states that, among other things, independent veterinarians must be on the jury of Dutch dog shows from 2016. In 2018 the label Fairfok must be introduced. This label indicates that at the breeding, attention was paid to the behavior, health and welfare of dogs and their puppies.

Secretary Dijksma called the plan a "major step" toward healthier purebred dogs. "For the welfare of dogs it is of the utmost necessity that significant steps are taken now." said the State Secretary. "There must be an end to the suffering of dogs because their owners think that a flat snout or excessive wrinkles are beautiful."