Please try to ignore the Sensationalist title.Pedigree Dogs Exposed claims that some pedigree dogs are so inbred that they're suffering from genetic diseases and health problems that can cause them pain and discomfort, and the number of these genetic problems is increasing at a frightening pace.
Basically, the genetic and mutation-based deformities are being increased at an exponential rate due to mother-son and sibling breeding for nothing other than cosmetic purposes.
No one is hitting the dogs with a stick, they are highly pampered, but the breeding program leaves them with such things as dysplasia, crippling arthritis, epilepsy, etc; frankly, these diseases hurt perhaps as much as being beaten with a stick.
The Kennel owners are claiming the genetic science is faulty and there is nothing wrong with the dogs. But others are claiming this is widespread, unchecked animal cruelty.
Just to give you an idea of the cosmetic changes:
I think the physical problems with breathing and movement are obvious.
Just as a side note, I own a CKC registered Newfoundlander, pure black class. But she wasn't showable due to some Landseer popping up (slightly droopier eyes and about 2 dozen white hairs sprinkled throughout her coat). When we bought her, we had to sign an agreement that we would never breed her. No problem, I just wanted pet.
Now out vet says she is the perfect, healthy specimen of a Newfie. Good hips, strong legs, her back isn't disproportionately long. The breeders have just ensured good healthy stock has been removed from their pool. Just for an example, as the Newfies aren't in nearly as much trouble as some other breeds.
The documentary last night claims that the show pool for pugs in Britain is so shallow that despite 5000 show dogs, genetically it's as though there is only 50 which should place them on the endangered species list.
And to be fair to the other side, the British KC have issued new standards which should help eventually - if it isn't too late. Check for your dog here.
Should inbreeding be considered animal cruelty?
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View Poll Results: Does intentional animal inbreeding qualify as animal cruelty?
- 8. This poll is closed
Yes. It is very mean.
No. It is very thoughtful.
I have no opinion whatsoever and/or I like bacon.
Results 1 to 10 of 16
29-06-2009, 17:09 #1
Does Animal Inbreeding constitute Animal Cruelty?
Last edited by Rune Splendor; 30-06-2009 at 17:06.
29-06-2009, 17:19 #2
The ethical question in these cases is always the same: is any life better than no life at all? Remember that the alternative is not dogs (or whatever) without these issues, it is different dogs without these issues. The current crop of dogs would not exist. I am, for sake of argument, agreeing that such a thing as animal rights exists.
29-06-2009, 17:46 #3
Meh. You've had the same problem with various royal families of Europe for hundreds of years and no one complains.
29-06-2009, 18:43 #4
I've seen that documentary on the telly.
I grew up with dogs in the house, so it's rough stuff; particularly the Boxer with epilepsy.
A German Shepherd appears on the show as well. Its hips are so bent out of shape it can hardly walk, with too short hindlegs stretched backwards at a ridiculous angle. Actually looks and walks like they're broken or something.
And the judges call that pedigree... Wtf.
We had one when I was a kidling, she was a tireless runabout with no hip problems whatsoever. Never would have known -or suspected- that broken hindlegs are a requirement for being called a "pure breed"...
Originally Posted by David Holtzman
29-06-2009, 20:04 #5
- Tarnished Coast
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29-06-2009, 20:35 #6
Yes, in my opinion it is animal cruelty.
By the way, why didn't you make a poll?mv
29-06-2009, 21:44 #7
Now, I'd agree that deliberately breeding dogs you know will have the genetic problems that many purebreds end up with is animal cruelty, as is deliberate inbreeding that you know *might* (with some unspecified degree of certainty) result in these. But I don't see anything wrong with closely managed animal breeding for purity as long as pains are taken to avoid that kind of issue.
Perhaps the rules regarding acceptable levels of inbreeding need looking at, but 50 animals can avoid the genetic issues of incest as long as their lineages are carefully tracked and all babies are "planned." And I have to say I don't have a problem with the idea of a purebred in general, though I agree the absolute rigidity of the "show" standards is stupidly counterproductive. They seem designed to have the population as a whole approach the genetic diversity of an individual, and genetic issues along the way seems impossible to avoid.
But... say two dogs are identical in every respect, but one has a few white hairs. Which one wins? Current show standards have specific criteria you can point to and say "white hairs are not allowed in the coat." Anything that allowed a reasonable amount of genetic diversity would basically mean it was entirely an opinion call by the judge, which I suspect nobody who likes the "sport" (which completely fails to include me) wants.
Last edited by Drec Sutal; 29-06-2009 at 21:47.
29-06-2009, 22:04 #8
Friends of the familiy breed Irish Red Setters and I know they don't try to "produce" as many as possible and take every precaution to keep the "inbreeding" as small as possible. It is a necessary evil however if you want to keep the breed intact.
A few years ago I met somebody who works with police dogs and he told me the German police uses less purebred German Shepards each year, because they have such big problems with their hips.
PS: Their fist dog was 17 years old when she died and a true "old lady" without much health problems throughout her life. Perhaps a good sign of their efforts.
29-06-2009, 23:01 #9
BTW, CMEPTb, those cows are super freaky. Their legs don't look strong enough to hold them up. I haven't had time to watch the whole article yet, but they're blechy.
My issue with the inbreeding is two-fold. One, it's purely for cosmetics based on ridiculous, unworkable, impairing designs. Many dogs have serious health problems, and all purebred breeds seem to have some degree of difficulty because breeders (not all, but many) aren't being careful enough. This is the portion that can be repaired through the amended show qualifications and the stricter KC registration requirements.
The second issue is the one that I feel is the more serious one, and not so quickly repaired. There are breeders who are cruelly, wantonly and blatantly disregarding the dogs suffering and breeding animals that they already know to be ill. A Cavalier King Charles spaniel suffering from syringomyelia, a condition which occurs when a dog's skull is too small for its brain, was bred some 20-odd times AFTER diagnosed. Call it an average of 3 puppies per litter, and that's 60 dogs guaranteed to suffer. That same dog WON a number of prizes, again, after diagnosis.
That says "Beauty is everything, never mind how the dog suffers". Don't we have enough of that in Hollywood?
30-06-2009, 00:41 #10
This reminds me of the recent "British Bulldog" story in the news.
That is, the major dog breeders in the UK in uproar because the popular breed of the British Bulldog is inbred, and has serious health defects, and has been effectively made illegal. The kennels are trying to force breeders to return to the "real traditional" British Bulldog (which has longer legs and neck than the popular breed).
Personally, I do think vanity inbreeding should be counted as animal cruelty, but that does redefine the meaning of that term.
But the defects of inbreeding can be remedied to some degree, by reintroducing genes by breeding with another breed of dog, but breeders don't do with because it makes the breeds "impure".
We can't label all inbreeding as animal cruelty because we've literally been at it for thousands of years.