Cem Özdemir wants to prevent animal suffering by prohibiting cruel breeding. The law is vague and strict when it comes to dogs, and too lax when it comes to farm animals.

A long-haired dachshund runs against the wind.

An emotional topic for his friends: the dachshund Photo: D. Maehrmann/imago

The poor dachshunds. If nothing changes in the draft law of the Federal Minister of Agriculture, Cem Özdemir (Greens), on so-called breeding under torture, they risk being banned. And this despite the fact that the Ministry of Agriculture does not want to ban any specific breed. He only wants to exclude from breeding those animals that may inherit distressing traits. First of all, a good idea. Unfortunately, the implementation misses the mark.

Vague formulations could mean that it is not the dachshund's back pain that becomes the exclusion criterion for breeding, but rather its small size.

For “anomalies of the skeletal system” to lead to an animal being excluded from reproduction, there needs to be a “normality” from which animals deviate. For dogs, for evolutionary reasons, this is the wolf. The fear of many dog ​​owners is that the dachshund has so little to do with the wolf that the entire breed will be seen as an anomaly.

Man's best friend is an emotional topic for his friends. However, before all breeds are banned, the Ministry of Agriculture is expected to review the bill. Because not only are the regulations on breeding under torture too vague, but also the beloved livestock are not sufficiently protected.

Good intentions, but not good implementations

Just because farm animals prefer to be eaten while dogs are more likely to be petted, they still deserve adequate protection for a decent life.

On the average livestock farm, cows will likely continue to live in tethered quarters, pigs will continue to have their tails docked, and long-distance transportation of animals will likely remain legal.

Just because these animals prefer to be eaten while dogs prefer to be petted, they deserve adequate protection to live a dignified life. After all, more than 200 million farm animals live in Germany. On the other hand, there are “only” a little more than 34 million pets.

The bill aims to reduce suffering. But if implemented, the law would cause confusion and legitimize avoidable suffering. The Ministry of Agriculture would do well to take criticism from animal rights activists seriously and review the project. Then good intentions could also be achieved through good implementation.

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