Jun 14, 2007

California Considers Canine Eugenics Bill: Purebreds Only Need Apply

Photo at left: Our mutts, Saiki and Woogie, sharing a little kiss. Both passed away within three months of each other (from old age) this past year. We miss them. Mutts RULE!

If you haven't heard, the California State Assembly has already approved a bill, AB 1634, which mandates the forced sterilization by the age of four months of all but select breeds of dogs and cats. In order to have your designated purebred pet keep its reproductive organs intact, you would have to pay a hefty fee (one site said $500) and provide evidence of your noble intent to keep the breed pure. Known euphemistically as the "California Healthy Pets Act," this legislation ought to be known as the "California Nazi Eugenics Pet Act," to go into effect April 1, 2008, pending further objections (let's hope there are lots of further objections--the bill still needs approval from the State Senate).

My entire life, my family and I have had only mutts for pets. Good ol' loveable, unpredictable, mixed-breed, hybridized, heterozygous, vigorous, mutts. My last two dogs were adopted mutts at that. I am not a pedigree person, and in my heart think that people are similar to pets, in that no one can predict which are the good genes—those worth saving
and which are the bad genes. Genes are enormously complicated, to say the least. People have bred animals for desirable characteristics ever since animal husbandry was invented, ever since domesticity first occurred. And the purebred dogs and cats of today were the mutts of long ago who were spotted by dog and cat talent scouts and then bred purposefully to keep those positive qualities. Anyone--and that means you, American Kennel Association, who thinks that purebred animals are the be-all, end-all of breeding are sorely mistaken. Purebred animals are simply a slice of the ever-evolving genetic pie. A snapshot in time. An example of what is popular NOW, not what is IT for dog and cat varieties on planet Earth. Sheesh.

To suddenly take that genetic snapshot and say, OK, this is it, no more changing around the gene pool, and that all dogs and cats who do not belong to this genetic snapshot need to be removed from the gene pool by nixing their reproductivity
the whole thing is completely bogus.

Here's what gets me about this legislation:

Yes, unwanted pets are a huge problem, "but his bill would punish millions of responsible pet owners while actually encouraging more irresponsibility from the minority of pet owners who are causing the problem in the first place." More euthanized animals, greater expense, more unhealthy pets, more black market pets.

Please take a few seconds to sign the petition to oppose AB 1634 in the California State Senate
before it's too late:

Oppose the California Nazi Eugenics Pet Act

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