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Dachshunds are under threat as Germany proposes a ban on breeding them

Germany’s popular dachshund, the dachshund, could be at risk in the country, the national dog breeding association said on Wednesday, citing a new draft law that would ban the breeding of dogs with “skeletal abnormalities.”

The federal government explained that the bill published in February and currently being examined by the authorities is part of the Animal Protection Act, which aims to strengthen existing laws on so-called “cruel breeding”.

The document said it could ban the reproduction of breeds prone to particular problems, such as the common spinal problems seen in dogs with short legs and long backs.

According to the German Dog Club (VDH), other people’s favorites such as the German Shepherd and Schnauzer and even Snoopy himself, the beagle, could also be affected.

Throughout history there have been many famous lovers of the low-slung but feisty Dachshund, or “Dachshund” as it is known in German.

Napoleon Bonaparte owned several dachshunds, and Germany’s last emperor, Kaiser Wilhelm II, had a tombstone erected for his dachshund “Erdmann”.

Painter Pablo Picasso was photographed with his dachshund Lump, who inspired the artist to create his famous line drawing “Le Chien.”

A dachshund even became the first official mascot of the Olympics – in Germany, of course – when organizers unveiled Waldi the dachshund for the 1972 Summer Olympics.

“The dachshund is part of German cultural heritage,” Marion Michelet, chairwoman of the Berlin-Brandenburg German Teckel Club and owner of a dachshund named Pepper, told CNN on Wednesday. “The dachshund is not inbred just because it is small and has short legs.”

Michelet added that in her opinion “the new draft law is excessive… and is directed against breeding as a whole.”

The VDH has launched a petition to save “our favorite dogs,” arguing that the reform would leave too much room for interpretation in determining what constitutes a genetic defect.

As of Wednesday, the petition had garnered more than 15,000 signatures.

The reform proposed by Germany is “outrageous,” says Kerstin Schwartz, a dachshund breeder and owner of 27 dogs from Brandenburg near Berlin. (Courtesy of Kerstin Schwartz via CNN Newsource)

On its website, the VDH stated that “many of the proposed changes, such as the regulation of the online trade in animals or measures against the illegal puppy trade, make sense.”

“However, the Animal Protection Act contains requirements that could mean the end of many healthy dog ​​breeds in Germany,” it continues.

Michelet told CNN that the “abnormalities of the skeletal system” could be viewed as a ban on breeding “any significant size deviation from the wolf,” the ancestor of all modern dogs.

The German agriculture ministry denied that the new draft law amounted to a ban on certain breeds, including the dachshund.

“We do not want to ban the dachshund,” an Agriculture Department spokesperson told CNN, adding: “What we are seeking with this reform is a ban on torture breeding.”

The ministry said the new regulation aims to ban breeding practices that cause long-term suffering to animals.

“We want to consistently protect animals from pain, suffering and harm,” the ministry said, adding that details of how the new regulations would work were still being discussed.

Kerstin Schwartz, a dachshund breeder and owner of 27 dogs from Brandenburg, near Berlin, told CNN the proposed reform was “outrageous.”

She argued that the kennel club she belongs to has maintained the same breeding standards since 1888. “We have not changed our standard breeding practices for 136 years.”

“If the breeding ban came, it would have a significant impact” on dog breeders like her, she said, adding: “I hope it doesn’t come to that.”

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