May 20, 2020

Open letter from the FCI President about the matter of the registration of brachycephalic breeds in the Netherlands

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List of the breeds concerned : Affenpinscher, Boston Terrier, English Bulldog, French Bulldog, Griffon Belge, Griffon Bruxellois, Petit Brabançon, Japanese Chin, King Charles Spaniel, Pug, Pekingese, Shih Tzu.

Reflecting on the legislative changes regarding the brachycephalic breeds in the Netherlands, please be informed about the following:

Even though, last August, the FCI – among many canine stakeholders – had been informed about the preparation of the current legislation, we have since then not heard - nor have we been consulted - of any final step or decision being taken or made.  No professional assistance or guidance was sought at that time by the Raad van Beheer (RvB - Dutch Kennel Club), which “hoped to receive soon a positive reaction on our proposal from our Government and will keep the International Dog World posted”.

Once the rumours about the legislative change have started on social media, we immediately contacted the RvB for official further details.

Under the current sanitary circumstances, face-to-face meetings are not possible to be held but we will arrange a personal meeting between the FCI General Committee’s representative and the RvB in order for us to understand the practical situation, the plans and the standpoint of the RvB following this domestic legislative change.

As previously announced, the FCI had proactively started to establish a cooperation frame with the professional BOAS working group led by Dr. Jane Ladlow and the Kennel Club in order to implement their new system of functional tests and to apply even more professional methods for the health of brachycephalic breeds. Due to the current pandemic situation, it was impossible to launch the program so far, but we shall do our best to introduce this new approach worldwide as soon as the circumstances are appropriate.

Our priority is the preservation of these endangered brachycephalic breeds which all are National Heritages, and the protection of the interests of responsible breeders (vs individual puppy-producers, who are not falling under any regulations in the country).

One of our biggest concerns – besides ignoring the National Heritage of the countries of origin of the affected breeds – lies in the fact that such legislation puts into advantageous situation those unmonitored and unregistered puppy farmers who are now given the tools to avoid any control, functional test, genetic test, and professional supervision of their activities.

“Banning” breeds this way will result in making it impossible for the professionals (registered kennel club’s breeders) to operate correctly and in the interest of the breeds in question.  A huge percentage of the dogs will be produced in individual households with no official affiliation to a registered entity, having as a final consequence that the overall health status of these dogs will be dramatically and negatively impacted  in a near future.

Keep in mind that once we lost the registered gene pool, the quality control gets lost forever.

Obviously, the FCI is also strictly against registered breed-crossing, which boils down to simply cheating hundreds of years of history. Due to its simplicity and advantage to produce results in the short run, outcrossing is a popular concept for refreshing the gene pool, but it also bears unforeseeable consequences on the gene pool of the breed(s).

All that is causing me a serious personal problem as well as the fact that this situation will affect only breeders related to national canine organisations and will protect those who are not providing any pedigree along with their puppies.  Those dogs will indeed not fall under this regulation.

I am inviting all the national canine organisations, especially those which operate in the country of origin of the aforementioned 12 breeds, to express their official reaction about a  decision, taken by a foreign government, which tends to ignore an important part of their National Heritage without any previous consultation with the professional authorities of the involved counties.

I am calling for an international campaign and action related to this cultural matter!

The FCI General Committee will be able to take further actions and measures once we get first-hand information (from the Raad van Beheer) about the facts and circumstances.



Dr. Tamás Jakkel
President of the FCI