Okay... I need to have a brain spill on this topic, as it's one that comes around quite frequently on the Dog Legislation Council of Canada's member's list. I've taken the liberty of sticking this behind a LJ Cut, as it's rather long.
Some people are for it... some people are against it. The DLCC list is made up of all sorts of people, (dog owners, dog trainers, vets, behaviorists, breeders, people from the dog show circuits and clubs, etc.) and so naturally there would be all sorts of points of view on this issue.
Now, in this whole fight against Breed Specific Legislation, one of the biggest restrictions often times implemented is the mandatory spaying and neutering of certain breeds that a government will label as "dangerous," in the hopes of eventually killing the breed off entirely. Hence the DLCC opposes mandatory spay and neuter laws.
Then on the opposite side of the spectrum, there's PETA. PETA rallies FOR mandatory spay/neuter, and slams registered breeders. Their argument is that every time you purchase a new puppy from a breeder, you kill a shelter dog. They supposedly advocate spaying and neutering for the population control of pets, as there are tons of new unwanted litters being born, and unwanted pets being dumped at shelters, and killed every day. Now, if this was PETA's true motive for wanting mandatory spaying/neutering, it might make sense... except for the fact that PETA has stated that it is looking towards the eventual extermination of all domestic animals, period (and you can get plenty of information confirming this by doing a simple Google search on PETA, if you don't want to take my word for it). So really, PETA is no better than the governments who implement mandatory spay/neuter as a form of BSL.
Let's look at some of the reasons why mandatory spay/neuter doesn't work, shall we?
1.) The most common reason why governments implement mandatory s/n with breed bans is for the reason mentioned above - it is in the hopes that in time, any breeds deemed as "dangerous" will eventually die off, as they are no longer being bred.
Right. News flash... irresponsible people don't care about following the rules of the law. "Dangerous" dogs are being bred anyway - in fact there are more dogs being bred now than ever before, *because* of all of the breed specific laws and bans that have been breaking out all around the world! Anything that is restricted is usually very attractive to people who are irresponsible.
2.) Unaltered dogs are naturally prone to aggression, and are involved in the highest numbers of dog attack statistics. Therefore Mandatory s/n of dogs will decrease dog bites and attacks.
Nope. Unaltered dogs who bite or attack other animals and people are in most cases the result of an owner who does not have any control over their dog, or their dog has been poorly socialized. Either way, an owner who *knows* that their dog is potentially aggressive should be responsible and take the appropriate measures to ensure the safety of those around him or her.
3.) Governments implement mandatory s/n for the safety of the people and animals, and to control overpopulation problems. With mandatory s/n laws in place, it greatly reduces the amount of dogs that are dumped at shelters.
Wrong again. The overpopulation of dogs come from people who are irresponsible, uneducated, or who just don't care. Take the owner who leaves his unaltered dog in their backyard, who happens to jump the fence one day and get a neighbor's dog pregnant. How about the dog who lives in a household filled with young kids, who accidentally leave the front door open one day, and that dog decides to go exploring? What about the parents who get a puppy for their kid at Christmas, but soon that puppy gets older and is no longer cute...? Or the couple who breaks up, and neither person wants to keep the dog... or someone gets a new job and moves, and can't be bothered to find a new place that accepts dogs, and that dog gets dumped at a pound (or rescue, if the dog is lucky)? Does spaying and neutering stop these dogs from ending up in shelters?
What are the three common similarities in all of these scenarios?
Personal responsibility. Period.
Mandatory spaying and neutering doesn't do a damn thing. It's a quick fix, that doesn't actually address the route of the problem, which is always about the responsibility of the pet OWNER in the end.
So, with all of that said, it only makes sense that the DLCC and other dog groups tend to lean more against mandatory spaying and neutering... at least, when it comes to looking at it from a government/legislation point of view.
Now... finally getting to what the point of this entry is. What's been urking me lately, are the people on the DLCC list who like to scream "Mandatory spay/neuter is evil! Fight against it!!" and yet some of these people are breeders... and MANY registered breeders in North America have their clients sign mandatory spay/neuter contracts when you buy a puppy from them.
So, my big question is... why is it bad for a government to legislate mandatory s/n... but it's okay for breeders to demand that their clients sign a mandatory s/n contract? What's the difference? Isn't this just a bit hypocritical...?
Don't get me wrong... I've done my fair share of research when it comes to registered dog breeders, and I know the kind of hard work, time, money, research and care that goes into doing the dog shows, getting the health checks and certifications, the careful selection to ensure a good standard, temperament, etc. I know it's a lot of hard work, and that breeders don't want their clients running off and breeding their dogs, and ruining the bloodline that they worked so hard to create.
But still... mandatory spay/neuter IS mandatory spay/neuter, isn't it? No matter where it comes from... whether it's a government trying to rip away the freedoms of people as pet owners, or a breeder trying to lay certain restrictions on purchasing that pet... in the end, isn't it still about trying to control and restrict people from making their own personal choices?
In Europe, a large percentage of dogs are left unaltered, and there are RARELY any issues with dogs being out of control, attacking other animals or people, or overpopulation problems. All because people there are actually RESPONSIBLE with their pets! In fact, there are some places in Europe, where it's illegal, and considered animal cruelty to alter your pet, unless it's for health purposes.
So when does the whole mandatory spay/neuter thing go too far? When will people start addressing the issues of personal responsibility in pet ownership, instead of implementing half-ass quick fixes?
Just something to think about.