There seems to be an illusion that desexing dogs is the best way to stop the dog overpopulation problem. I object to this suggestion. Surely the problem is dogs being bred, not dogs being entire.
That is: There are numerous dogs that are not desexed but never contribute to the dog population. Just because a dog has testicles or ovaries doesn’t mean they are necessarily going to be used to produce puppies.
As such, I think any suggestions that ‘responsible ownership’ is desexing is misguided.
Furthermore, I have become alarmed with proposals of mandatory desexing. I am also disturbed with the amount of support these proposals bring from the dog community.
Mandatory desexing poses some pretty serious questions… Firstly, if we assume that only breeders can keep their dogs entire…
- What determines a breeder?
- What determines a non-breeder?
- What about the people who might like to be a breeder but are in the process of deciding?
- If you decide to define a breeder as someone working towards a breed standard, then who decides which breed standards are okay and which are not? Who decides if it’s okay to create a new breed or not?
- If you decide to define a breeder on welfare standards, then these are already in place and already, arguable, unenforced.
Then you get into the logistics…
- Who makes someone desex a pet? (i.e. which body?)
- What are the penalties for not desexing?
- Are non surgical means (e.g. implants etc) permissible?
- What about animals that are deemed unfit for anaesthetic?
- How would any body keep track of all dogs that are desexed/undesexed? (Considering that registration is currently compulsory but many dogs exist unregistered…)
- How do we prevent people bypassing the system, especially with undesexed bitches?
And this doesn’t even go into rights…
- What right does anyone have to tell me what is right for my animal? I should have the right to do with my property as ever I please, as long as it does not harm anyone or thing (including harm the animal).
Any restrictions on breeding, I think, are quite misdirected. There are too many big questions that are too difficult to answer, and even more difficult to police. It also ignores the fact that it is breeding animals that are the problem, and not just animals that are undesexed.
If we are serious about trying to reduce the dog population, I think puppy sales are a more conceivable area to work with (see my last post “What is the answer? (to puppy farms”), and I think most trading legislation could be tweaked a lot easier than creating legislation that impedes upon individuals’ rights to own an animal in a manner they see fit.