Monday 19 April 2010

Cat Breeders Should Warn of Genetic Diseases

Senator Larcenia Bullard in Florida has introduced a bill (a draft law - actually, I think it is a proposed amendment to an existing law) that breeders of cats and dogs should provide a sort of 'health warning' to buyers. The proposed written warning notifies buyers of purebred cats and/or dogs of the potential of a genetic disease being present but not apparent and recommends that the buyer has the companion animal screened.

This is of course being opposed by breeders. They like to fight for their rights. And I agree that it sounds a bit insulting as decent breeders will monitor genetic diseases themselves and minimise the risk of the disease occuring. Indeed sometimes cat associations stipulate breeding practices that are intended to eradicate or minimise unwanted deliterious conditions that are manisfest through the transmission of mutant recessive genes.

But and this is always the case, there are breeders who go a bit too far in their desire to create the perfect cat that is exactly to type and more. That requires inbreeding and the recessive genes can show in physical characteristics under these conditions.

This is because there is an overemphasis, it is said, on a cats appearance. This drives breeders to breed for appearance sometimes to the detriment of health or at least risking health issues arising.

So the bill is intended to sharpen up the cat breeding business. What is wrong with that? It will help the cats. There are many instances of regulations that govern the freedom to contract. This is just one more. People need freedom, yes, but they also require a degree of regulation. Look at the banks.

There does seem to be a gradual focus on cat related issues and their regulation. I am thinking of the declaw bans in California late last year. And the bill in California to stop landlords insisting on cats being declawed.

The law needs to protect animals that are part of a profit making enterprise as these animals are always open to abuse even on a minor scale. See Genetic Diseases in Purebred Cats.

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