Controversy in Germany over the fate of dachshunds

The new animal welfare laws have brought many debates, clashes and controversy not only in Spain but also in other countries such as Germany where fans of this breed of dog have rebelled while the Government focuses on the breeders.

The purpose of the Animal Welfare law is noble: to eradicate the suffering of animals, covering not only domestic ones. However, this could trigger the ban and eventual extinction of one of Germany's most iconic dog breeds, the Dachshund. In the background, another cultural dispute looms between those who advocate for the legislation, protection and regulation of animal life, and those who see these measures as a state intrusion into deep-rooted traditions.

In February, the Ministry of Agriculture, headed by Özdemir Cem, published guidelines intended to put an end to "unscrupulous" breeding and practices that result in breeds with genetic characteristics that predispose animals to degenerative diseases. This involves prohibiting the breeding of earless cats, pugs with respiratory problems, and hairless pets, as well as restricting keeping cows tied in stables permanently.

To this extent, dachshunds, known for their long bodies and short legs, are now included among animals with "skeletal abnormalities." The excessively elongated shape of their back often leads to hernias, discopathies and movement difficulties in later stages of life. Although the wording of this law is still ambiguous, its restrictive interpretation could result in a ban on the breeding of dachshunds in the future.

The Association of German Dog Breeders (Vdh) was responsible for denouncing this situation, causing a wave of protests. "We are protecting our dachshunds from the intrusion of ideological forces. It is crucial to join forces", said Josef Ramacher, president of the Deutscher Teckelklub, founded in 1888 and the oldest club in Germany dedicated to this dog breed. The petition against the measures has so far managed to gather 22,000 signatures.

Teckel, Dackel, Dachshund: three names for the same breed, affectionately known by the English as "the German dachshund." Although it currently ranks tenth on the list of favorite dogs in Germany, this breed has a history dating back at least 400 years. As with the English bulldog (another breed that has been at risk of being banned for some time), the health problems these animals face have their origins in the increasingly extreme crossbreeding that took place in the last century. .

If you view portraits or photographs from the late 19th century, the dachshund exhibits longer legs and a shorter torso. This exemplifies how animal welfare has been compromised by human intervention. Peta animal advocates argue that the only "legitimate" dachshunds should come from municipal shelters, meaning the only way to end their suffering is to make the breed extinct. However, Green Minister Cem has a different position: he assures that the law aims to stop irresponsible breeding and that it would never occur to him to ban the German dachshund.

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