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Artificial Insemination in Dogs - Recent Information and Misinformation

Brenda Bonnett

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Artificial Insemination in Dogs - Recent Information and Misinformation


A recent post(s) on CRUFFA re: "Good news! Another step in law enforcement in the Netherlands. Standard artificial insemination is forbidden in the Netherlands for dogbreeding." is an inaccurate or, at best, incomplete description of the situation.

Even if if were true, celebrating a total elimination of artificial insemination (A.I.) in dogs would be ill-advised and inappropriate.  CRUFFA moderator Jemima Harrison wisely suggested that in her repsonse to the comments.

We are in the process of tracking down the actual wording of the legislation and will post more information and links to better sources when they become available.  I will also post a more comprehensive blog on both the major benefits and ethical concerns in the use of A.I. for dogs.

For now suffice it to say:

  • According to my sources, the legislation does not prevent all uses of insemination.  Where there are good reasons - e.g., semen is from deceased dogs (hopefully with good health results and some degree of longevity), or imported semen used to improve genetic diversity, A.I. is allowed. 
  • Note again that I do not have the official language yet, but have good information that the main intent of this legislation in the Netherlands is to restrict the use of A.I. in breeds that are physically or conformationally unable to breed naturally.  
    • In the case cited, action has been taken against a French Bulldog (FBD) breeder.  In general, and based on reports from breeders themselves, some (many?) FBD males cannot breed normally due to short backs (which arise from spinal abnormalities known to be common in the breed); females with similar conformation may be unable or uncomortable, for similar reasons.  In cases like these, use of A.I. to allow reproduction in compromised dogs must be questioned from an ethical perspective.  For more info on FBDs and health conditions see: Get a GRIHP! on French Bulldogs.

Although the following link is also not from an official source, it seems somewhat better that the one in the post above:  First dog breeder reprimanded for illegal artificial insemination.  (Google translate returns an undestandable English version.)

Please stay tuned to my blogs for further discussion of this important issue.

In general, please:

  • Avoid knee-jerk reactions to limited or inaccurate information.
  • Try to embrace informed, rational, evidence-based discussions more so than emotionally-laced or confrontational conversations.
  • Remember - 'decision-making by Facebook' will not solve the health and welfare issues in dogs!
  • There are essentially no simple, yes-no, absolutes that apply across all breeds and all situations in the issues of dog health and welfare.  And essentially all require a more balanced, multi-stakeholder approach to be effective. 
  • Please see our discussions on Reframing Current Challenges Around Pedigree Dogs: A Call for Respectful Dialogue, Collaboration, and Collective Actions.

Let's work together for the dogs we love, and for the people who love dogs.



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