|Is the Israeli dog scene coming to an end?
By Yossi Guy
The Israeli parliament is about to discuss a bill that if it passes will mean the end of dog breeding.
The bill is entitled Ban on Breeding and Selling Dogs and Cats. The Israeli dog scene is in an uproar and Facebook is full of anxious posts. The Israeli Kennel Club says it is onto it.
On Friday, the 12th of January, a post was published with documents relating to a bill - the Ban on Breeding and Selling Dogs and Cats. The bill is phrased as follows: 'A person shall not mate a dog or cat nor sell its offspring except for dogs designated for use as guide dogs or security service.'
The municipal vet may approve special cases in which the animal does not suffer genetic problems that may cause defects in its offspring. The animal's owner has not violated the instruction of the Dog Supervision Law for a period of seven years prior to the request. The municipal vet determines the animal and its offspring are kept in appropriate conditions.
Should a dog or cat be illegally mated and its offspring sold without permission, the animal will be spayed or neutered as well as its offspring. The municipal vet or an animal rights organization may request a court order to confiscate a dog or cat or its offspring should the instructions be breached.
The explanation that accompanies the bill says:
"The State of Israel is coping with a widespread phenomenon of homeless dogs and cats, that become stray animals. These animals often suffer harsh living conditions, hunger, injury, entrapment and incarceration in pounds, abuse and death. Furthermore, they are a source of spreading of various diseases, particularly deadly rabies. In view of this the authorities invest great financial resources in catching them, keeping them in pounds and often putting them to death.
"This phenomenon is caused by keeping animals in an irresponsible manner, and particularly uncontrolled reproduction: litters of puppies that do not find a home, are handed to associations or pounds in local authorities and in the worst case scenario are thrown out in the street.
"One of the causes of uncontrolled reproduction of abandoned and homeless dogs and cats is mating and sale of dogs and cats for profit by private persons, particularly owners of pure-bred dogs and cats. In some cases, these pure-bred animals are purchased particularly for the purpose of mating and selling the puppies. Thus, the animal incurs great suffering, particularly in the case of a female that has to keep having offspring throughout her life. This phenomenon contributes extensively to the uncontrolled reproduction of dogs and cats and prevents adoption of abandoned, homeless animals."
In order to decrease the extent of this phenomenon, the bill proposes a ban on breeding and selling puppies and kittens. Should a person make and illegal mating, the animal may be confiscated. A person who transgresses this law may be sentenced to one year in prison and a stiff fine of around £30,000.
Obviously, the bill expresses the wishes of the extremely strong and active radical animal rights organizations in Israel, PETA's equivalents, who have been trying to get rid of pure bred dogs in many direct and indirect ways.
The person who posted this was Dana Harel-Konstantini who breeds Shar Peis. Her brother is a parliamentary assistant and he brought the bill to her attention. Dana is extremely concerned and is trying her best to bring the bill to the attention of other breeders.
The president of the Israeli Hound Club, Tali Krotman, who breeds Beagles and American Akitas for a living was shocked by the bill.
'This means the end of the breed clubs because we will be left without dogs. Dogs are part of my life and I cannot see myself refraining from breeding. Everything I have toiled for over the past 20 years will be lost. I am looking for ways to fight this terrible bill. If this actually passes I would definitely consider migrating.'
The feelings at the moment are mixed, with some furious and others anxious and concerned. As far as the Israeli Kennel Club is concerned, they issued a very laconic statement to the clubs, saying: "The board is handling this and has already been in touch with some of the members of parliament who proposed the bill. At the moment we cannot provide further information in order to refrain from detracting from the negotiations. Further information will be provided subsequently.'
Dog breeders in Israel are appealing to their colleagues in other countries. Has anyone encountered such a bill and what was done to have it dismissed? Anyone who has information is invited to send the writer a personal message on Facebook.