Germany’s iconic Dachshund, also known as the sausage dog, could be outlawed in the country.It comes after a draft law that seeks to prevent breeding practices that cause animals to suffer.The German Kennel Club is petitioning to save the breed. 

The iconic Dachshund, also known as the sausage dog, could be outlawed in Germany as a new draft law seeks to prevent breeding practices that cause animals to suffer, the German Kennel Club (VDH) has said, The Times of London reported.

The law, which intends to outlaw dogs with “skeletal anomalies,” has faced pushback from the VDH, calling for Germans to stand up against “a law that prohibits our favorite dogs.”

Peter Friedrich, the president of the VDH, said the proposed law needed to clarify what defined an anomaly, saying: “Otherwise, the obvious thing to do would be to make the dog’s ancestor, the wolf, the prototype. In that case, the legally stipulated breeding ban will affect all healthy dogs that deviate from the wolf type in their appearance,” per The Times.

The VDH launched a petition to oppose “a law that prohibits our favourite dogs,” that had over 14,000 signatures by Wednesday, per Sky News.

Dachshunds are plagued by a range of health problems relating to their “extreme body shape,” according to the British Veterinary Association.

The association says that there are six varieties of the breed — standard long, smooth, and wire-haired, and the miniature versions of those types — and all are at risk of several chronic issues that may require costly surgical intervention.

Germany’s agriculture ministry has denied that the overhaul of breeding laws would amount to a ban on certain breeds but was aimed at doing away with “torture breeding” that could inflict pain and suffering on future generations, per The Telegraph.

Business Insider has contacted the VDH for comment.

Exaggerated features

Pug breed.

Dachshunds are not the only breed to suffer from breeding-related issues.

Most dogs were chosen for specific purposes, such as guard duties, herding, or hunting, and selective breeding sought to create dogs most suited to these tasks based on specific features, according to the UK’s Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA).

But in more recent times, dog breeders have tried to emphasize such traits in order to win pedigree dog shows — but that has led to a lack of genetic diversity, which in turn increases the risks of a variety of maladies like blindness and cancer, the RSPCA says on its website.

Dachshunds were originally bred to hunt badgers, with their narrow bodies and short legs enabling them to track the animals close to the ground and to get into small burrows.

But these now highly exaggerated features mean sausage dogs have an increased risk of “lifelong back, knee, and joint problems,” per People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).

The nonprofit also notes that Dachshunds are “particularly susceptible” to deafness, eye disease, and heart valve defects.

Other dogs with significant health issues derived from selective breeding include the pug and the bulldog, both suffer from serious breathing difficulties due to their flat faces.

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