According to an opinion from the Animal Welfare Council, these breeds are too risky for their behavior and health.
The breeding and holding of hybrid cats and Fold will soon be banned. This has recently been decided by the Brussels government by approving at first reading a preliminary draft of this new law.
Bengal and Savannah, the two most common breeds of hybrid cats, have a number of problems related to their behavior or reproduction, while Fold cats suffer from a serious genetic problem that can lead to cartilage malformations and severe pain.
Secretary of State for Animal Welfare Bianca Debaets (CD & V) decided to take these measures, being reinforced in her choice by two opinions of the Brussels Council for Animal Welfare.
The first is about hybrid cats.
“The first generations of hybrid breeds do not behave appropriately for life in captivity, which can cause serious problems. On the other hand, they present the problem of lack of fertility and their gestation period is not the same as that of domestic cats. During mating, the risk of aggression is very high, “she says.
The second notice concerns Fold cats, including the Scottish Fold and Highland Fold breeds
Which have short ears folded forward. This feature is actually due to a genetic mutation that also causes significant abnormalities in the cartilage of the ears but also the entire skeleton. “This congenital malformation causes severe pain and chronic arthritis.
To avoid this suffering, it is decided to ban the breeding, marketing and possession of these cats, and this to achieve a gradual extinction, “says Bianca Debaets.
This opinion is not shared by Yvan Beck, a Brussels veterinarian. “This is a minority problem compared to other issues to be addressed in terms of animal welfare. During my career I was dealing with very few cats of these breeds and those that I could cure did not have these characteristics, “he explains. “At the Savannah level, it is true that he is a very independent cat but I have never observed behavioral problems.
And for the Scottish Fold, there is almost no more. Regarding the owners of hybrid cats, what will they do when the law is in force? Euthanize them? It’s absurd. I will never accept to euthanize a hybrid cat that is in good health, “says Yvan Beck.
Indeed, once the law is applicable, holding hybrid cats will be totally forbidden. Those who wish to keep their cat will have to obtain an authorization from the Brussels administration.
The latter will give an opinion and if it is negative, they will euthanize their animal. However, the Secretary of State wishes to clarify that this extreme case will be very rare.
“The opinion will almost never require owners to euthanize their cat, except in extreme cases.” As for the cats Fold, they can be kept until their death provided that they are sterilized.