This post is also available in: Nederlands (Dutch)
28th of May, 2021
The Minister has recently been forced by the activists of Dier&Recht and a court ruling to enforce and visit breeders of pedigree dogs who according to Dier&Recht have broken the law. A case that has been dragging on for 5 years. What does this tell us?
At this moment the Dutch government is flooded with lawsuits and arbitrations to correct failing and wrong policies. Whether it is a benefits affair, the nitrogen case, damage by natural gas extraction, youth care or the enforcement criteria for short muzzled pedigreedogs. It all points in the same direction. This government has tried to solve problems ad hoc due to a lack of vision. And preferably with as little to pay as possible. This required a great deal of juggling by the prime minister Rutte to keep all those balls in the air. In fact, they didn’t solve the problems but rather kicked the can, creating festering wounds that now start to smell and, by the end of corona, have room to let their stench penetrate our nostrils. This has created a form of government that is based on lying and deception of the general public. Visible mistakes had to be covered up. All this has led to much human suffering.
There are so many ad hoc laws and regulations that we can gradually place an enforcer next to every Dutchman. The vacancies for BOA(S) employees and NVWA’ers must be so enormous that taxes will soon have to be raised significantly. After all, we are paying this ourselves. This oppressive policy is nevertheless led by two “liberal” parties that claim to want a different style of governing. How do they want to realise that?
Because of the many rules that must be enforced, they have the choice between failing enforcement, which undermines the principle of legislation, or a totalitarian police state that uses all available digital resources to keep an eye on the population and wipe the floor with privacy. How the latter works we can learn from China. We experienced how coercive government rules can ultimately have an effect with Corona . After one year it was really enough.
So the question is how else can or should this new style of governing work?
Given that the two previously mentioned options are disastrous for the state and / or population, perhaps a solution is possible that relies less on coercive rules and positively reverses the negative. How might that work in, say, the pedigree world?
We can of course work towards the Greek situation where every dog has to be sterilized. Whether this is a positive policy is doubtful. Also the pedigree dogs will come to their end which means in principle the end of the kennel club in that country. Soon they will have to hide pedigree puppies in that country like a radio in the second world war or maybe even worse. Importing dogs is still possible because of the European rules. Basically, this simply shifts the problem to neighboring countries. Is that the intention of Europe? This does not seem to be a solution but once again shifting the problem.
How else could it be done without repression and oppression?
The big curse of the activists of Dier&Recht concerning pedigree dogs was the dog shows with judges who actually steered the dogs in the wrong direction. Closed nostrils were approved and dogs even received awards while knowing this direction was wrong but the rest of the breed standard seemed more important.
It seems that the problem can only be solved in a European context. And this in cooperation with the breeders who own the breed standard of national breeds. The judges basically listen to the breed standard. Moving the open nostrils from the ‘wish list’ to the ‘disqualification list’ should meet with little resistance. Anyone who says that health comes first and simultaneously accepts closed nostrils, which have been scientifically proven to contribute for at least one-third to the BOAS problem, can no longer be taken seriously. This small change in the breed standard could be a start and make open nostrils the standard in a very short time. How effective this is we have seen in the Chihuahuas with their open fontanel. After categorizing this as a disqualification fault, within two years no Chihuahua appeared with an open fontanel.
In short, one could start thinking about opportunities and possibilities in consultation with breeders and population geneticists, as they want to do in Flanders, and that in a European context instead of imposing repressive regulations that vary from country to country. This can lead to the bizarre situation that on one side of the border crossbreeding is prohibited while on the other side one is forced to crossbreeding. Here we can find the opportunities of one Europe which can lead to both a reduction of the number of enforcers needed and a reduction of the defects in the pedigree dogs. An opportunity through positive policies rather than turning our country into a Chinese-style police state.
Foundation Ras en Recht