importance of pet breeding
The keeping and breeding of pets (dogs, cats, rabbits and rodents, poultry, etc.)
birds and ornamental fish) are very popular in large parts of the world. population. Often practiced with infinite idealism and commitment, they have created over the years time an enormous diversity of races and shades of color, some of which are already classified today as a cultural asset worth preserving. however, reality shows that in some areas of pet breeding, lines have been established, which in the opinion of the animal welfare are open to criticism. We are talking here about extreme breeding and breeding based on defect selection (sometimes also called overbred breeding).
in practice, these are breeds or shades of color that carry genetic diseases; animals are deprived of body parts necessary for the typical use of their species or parts of their bodies have been so disfigured that they can no longer fill correctly their function and cause pain and suffering to animals.
domestication and breeding:the breeding of domestic animals is a historical process whose beginning is marked by domestication, i.e. the transformation of wild animals into domestic animals. The ancestors of all domestic animals today come from species living in the wild; the domestic cat goes back to the African wild cat, for example, the canary to the canary serine. the domestication of an animal species does not occur spontaneously, but it is a process influenced by human beings and extends over an infinite number of generations. after having randomly collected from animals in a wild population, humans try to conserve and multiply them, which already gives rise here to the first processes of selection. humans intervene by eliminating particularly aggressive or agitated animals as well as sterile specimens. on the other hand, there is also a natural selection due to conditions of detention imposed on animals, food, and climate.
early on, selection based on different characteristics was introduced by humans:
increased milk production increased fertility with earlier sexual maturity or behavioral changes, such as a less pronounced tendency to escape than the wild ancestors of these animals. Similarly, the size and shape of the body, as well as the fur and plumage, have changed.
For millennia, the selection of livestock has been based primarily on the results of the experiment. The various discoveries of experimental sciences and developments in genetics (Mendel's rules, Hardy-Weinberg's law) have made it possible to throw in the 19th and 20th centuries at the beginning of the 20th century the foundations of modern livestock farming with scientific foundations. at that time, the first breeders' organizations and breeding programs from which the many animal breeds originated emerged.
Problematic trends in livestock farming, unfortunately, during the 21st century, the increasing weight of external appearance and criteria (in the case of livestock) has gradually taken precedence over the health of animals. if animals with close relatives are bred (in order to obtain as much as possible of animals expressing the desired characteristics in a few generations as possible), adverse effects can the latter is manifested by an increased morbidity rate and a lack of vitality as well as by the increase in congenital anomalies. some characteristics that are considered attractive may turn into a direct constraint for the carrier animal; here are the mutations which cause the absence of hair (present in dogs, cats, guinea pigs).
The mutations are in a way "accidents they are therefore not "wanted by nature", as some breeders like to trivialize them. moreover, these animals would not survive in the wild or at least would not reproduce by conserving the species. sometimes, a character does not become a constraint that when the selection of the farm expresses it more and more strongly; examples are the hair is longer, thicker and more supple (cats Persians), ears of excessive length (English ram rabbit), considerably elongated fins (goldfish with a tail of veil) or an extremely shortened face (breeds brachycephalic canines and felines).
in some cases, the desired character in itself does is not a constraint, but it is coupled with painful side effects for the animal or with genetic diseases. As a matter of fact, for example, the spotted fur of domestic rabbits. Because the disposition to the dress is transmitted by a dominant incomplete gene, the coat of the offspring displays various types of patterns. In other words, it does not result not only from the animals in the drawing
"in accordance with the standard", but also completely colored or insufficiently spotted rabbits also called "blanches". the latter have serious malformations in the digestive system ("megacolon syndrome"), lack vigor and often die too early. in the same vein, there are cats with white fur, which is often associated with deafness, or "grey collar syndrome or Grey Collie Syndrom" in grey collars, which affects their system immune. similarly, consider animals that do not meet the standard as "worthless".
and dispose of them when they are healthy and would be perfectly suitable as an animal is not in compliance with animal protection. these cases include the spotted dress and rabbit hair mixing (which can also produce animals completely or too strongly colored).
the legal situation in switzerland as part of the total revision of the animal Protection Act and ordinance, more detailed provisions on animal husbandry have been incorporated into the ordinance by 2008. in accordance with article 25 of the ordinance on animal protection (opan), breeding must aim to obtain healthy animals without properties or characters that violate their dignity. a little further on, the option specifies that it is prohibited to raise animals if there is a risk that they will be deprived of parties of the body or organs or so much altered that it causes pain, suffering or damage to animals.
Unfortunately, these provisions leave too much room for interpretation, which is why they have not been applied in practice by the authorities responsible for their enforcement. following repeated requests from the swiss animal Protection service (PSA), the Federal Office for Food Safety and veterinary affairs (FVO) issued an automatic ordinance in 2014 (in force since 1 January 2015) which is to regulate animal protection inbreeding in more detail.
The order imposes more responsibility on producers by recommending the following procedures in animal husbandry. It requires that all breeders must be aware of the constraints that their breeding evokes in animals.
Constraints are classified into four categories (0-3). The first two (0-1, none or light constraint) are allowed in principle inbreeding. animals in the constraint category (2) are only allowed to reproduce when the offspring are under stress lower than that of the parent animals. Finally, it is prohibited to breed animals of constraint category 3 (severe). If there is a risk that breeding may result in a constraint
medium or severe, an expert must be consulted to assess the degree of constraint. In addition, the ordinance expressly prohibits certain mutant forms of the disabling phenotype (kangaroo cat, dancing mouse, anoscope fish, etc.).
The promulgation of this ordinance represents a major step towards animal breeding. in harmony with animal protection. The future will tell us if and in what way the farmers apply it and the competent offices monitor it.
Pet breeders are not always aware of the enormous responsibility they have in their business. by selecting breeding animals, they set the stage for the future direction of livestock farming, thus making a commitment to ensure the well-being of future generations of these animals. in addition to an attitude that takes into account the specific needs of the species of the animals they raise, they must have the health and well-being of the breeders at heart and of their descendants. their primary concern must be to avoid diseases and defects genetic; using for breeding only healthy animals that behave in accordance with their species and are free from suffering, pain, and disability must be the objective essential. Knowing that this is precisely what has not received enough attention In the past, the Ordinance has focused specifically on animal protection in livestock farming.
But pet buyers also have their share of responsibility; when choosing of an animal, the welfare and health of the animal will be privileged without being distracted by exclusive properties of a breed at the time of its acquisition.
in addition, practicing veterinarians play a key role among animal keepers and breeders, providing advice and information to avoid over- or over-breeding. on defect selection. finally, the cantonal veterinary offices are called upon to control the implementation of the ordinance at the cantonal level, thus ensuring the application of its provisions. requirements for a pet farm compliant with animal protection.
- Demonstrate a sense of self-criticism by reviewing breeding objectives, proceed to changes in the breed standard towards "animal-friendly" properties: a complete shift must be made towards breeding that accepts limits organic and that focuses on animal health and welfare rather than on breeding for exclusively purely visual characteristics.
- To judge animals objectively in exhibitions: the animals presented in the competitions must be judged on the basis of precisely formulated breeding objectives (and respectful of animals); arbitrary decisions and judges' personal tastes must not influence judgment.
- Highlight and take into account the links between morbidity and frequency diseases and, on the other hand, breeding objectives: indeed, too often, breeders deny the existence of relationships between certain properties favored by livestock farming and losses for genetic reasons. they attribute these losses to "natural" selection, while studies scientific evidence shows the existence of these links. when an unknown variety up to now is presented, it is, therefore, imperative to carry out a test on the inheritance of your characteristics before declaring a new form of breeding as a breeding objective. it is undeniable that intensive care for pets and pets is very important. precious, because it gives rise to a sense of responsibility towards them. in addition, the contact with the animal that results in a true partnership between the animal and the human being also has a positive influence on the human being.
But this relationship does not depend on the creation of races whose appearance is based on genetic dispositions that have a negative impact on health and animal welfare. under no circumstances should malformations become breeding objectives, nor the health and welfare of animals be subject to obscure "aesthetic" or "aesthetic" representations deviant standards.
the watchword is to leave these bad paths and follow the direction of breeding in accordance with animal protection. this is a prerequisite for leaving future generations with sustainable and healthy breeds of pets.