Draft policy bans breeding of cold climate dogs, places restrictions on ‘in-breeding’

The draft Tamil Nadu Dog Breeding Policy has strictly prohibited the breeding of at least nine cold climate dog breeds, which it says cannot withstand the weather in the country.

It has said that female dogs “shall not be mated after the age of eight”. Though it allows ‘out-breeding and line-breeding’, the policy restricts ‘in-breeding’.

The breeding of Basset Hound, French Bulldog, Alaskan Malamute, Keeshond, Newfoundland, Norwegian Elkhound, Tibetan Mastiff, Siberian Husky and Saint Bernard has been prohibited.

As there were many “unethical practices” directly violating the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960, the High Court has ordered the evolving of a breeding policy for dogs, the policy said.

According to the policy, “the effects of in-breeding accumulate within closed populations and negative consequences can result from breeding parents, who are too genetically similar. Inbred animals are more likely to have genetic defects and inherited diseases, which can be extremely detrimental to their health and welfare.”

‘Ensure well-being’

“All breeders must adhere to responsible breeding practices to ensure that the physical and mental well-being of dogs are not disturbed and intimate the genetic defects, if any, in the offsprings and such of the male should be neutered…,” it further said.

According to the draft policy, the Tamil Nadu Animal Welfare Board (TNAWB) would issue a certificate for the health of the breeding animals, and breeders should register with the Board the specific breed to be bred. “All dogs used for breeding must be registered with the Tamil Nadu Animal Welfare Board. The details of pet-owners must be updated with the TNAWB.”

“Dogs shall not be euthanised just because they can no longer breed or cannot be sold and not commercially viable. All euthanasia of mortally wounded or injured animals, or incurably sick or terminally ill ones, shall be accomplished by a registered veterinary practitioner,” the policy added.

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