Scotland To Effectively 'Outlaw' Breeding Of 'Designer' Cats, Dogs And Rabbits
Scotland is to introduce new regulations that effectively ban the breeding of so-called 'designer' breeds of cat, dog and rabbit.
The new legislation is aimed at stopping animals being bred in squalid conditions, as well as putting an end to the trend of breeding animals specifically to make certain genetic conditions continue.
Some animals that are currently very popular thanks to particular features suffer greatly either in later life, or throughout their whole life.
Some cats and dogs can currently be bred to have short noses, long ears, or other physical features. This means that they are actively bred to keep these traits which can lead to health problems for the offspring.
As well as being unfair on the poor creatures, it also leaves the future owner likely to face large veterinary bills down the line.
Animals that are currently bred in this way include Scottish fold cats, King Charles spaniels, pugs and bulldogs.
A spokesperson for the charity Dog's Trust said that they welcome these regulations as they protect young animals from the genetic problems of their parents.
The spokesperson said: "This includes brachycephalic issues, the result of a shortened skull that impacts certain breeds of dogs.
"With the explosion in demand for breeds such as Pugs, French and English Bulldogs, we are seeing more dogs with physical characteristics such as narrower nostrils, which impact their ability to breathe and subsequently their quality of life."
Mike Flynn, of the Scottish SPCA, said: "The Scottish SPCA believes that all animals should be bred to enjoy a normal life and be able to freely express normal behaviours, which includes being free from pain."
It's hard to disagree with that.
Part of the reason that such animals have become so popular is because of their popularity among celebrities.
The Scottish fold cat, for example, is owned by several high-profile celebrities such as Taylor Swift - who owns two - and Ed Sheeran.
Scottish fold cats have a genetic defect that prevents them from forming cartilage. As a result of this, they often suffer with arthritis as they age.
Other breeds include the munchkin cat, which has legs that are too short, and bulldogs and pugs that often develop breathing difficulties as a result of their smaller and narrower nostrils.
While there is not a concrete date for the new legislation to come into effect, Mairi Gougeon, the Minister for Rural Affairs, wants to get it introduced as soon as possible.
Featured Image Credit: PA