SPCA New Zealand
Advice & welfare

Selective Breeding

SPCA supports responsible breeding practices which prioritise animal welfare and advocates for desexing of non-breeding animals.

SPCA opposes the selective breeding of any animal that results in behavioural or physical diseases or defects that negatively affects the health and welfare of the animal concerned.

SPCA opposes any breeding which causes or is likely to cause suffering or negative health impacts on mothers and offspring. This includes, but is not limited to, breeding animals with genetic mutations that are known to cause significant disease or painful conditions, selecting for exaggerated features that compromise welfare, (e.g. the Scottish fold cat) or breeding of animals that need routine use of caesareans for delivery of their offspring (e.g. some brachycephalic dog breeds).

SPCA supports the testing and reporting of heritable diseases in pedigree animals to reduce and remove harmful genes from the population.

SPCA advocates that, where there are tests available for known inherited diseases or defects, these should be used before a breeding programme is undertaken.

SPCA advocates that information regarding recognised breed-specific genetic disorders be disclosed to prospective buyers.

Providing information regarding breed-specific genetic disorders would make sure that prospective buyers are well informed before making their decision, and limit the propagation of traits that compromise animal welfare.

Our organisation opposes the hybridisation of domesticated animals with wild species for the purposes of creating new types of companion animals.

Although we acknowledge that this is not a regular occurrence in New Zealand, this type of breeding does take place elsewhere. Such hybrids may have behavioural, nutritional and environmental needs that cannot be fulfilled in a domestic situation.

(See Breeding Companion Animals for more details)

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