Saturday, April 12, 2008

More on Spaying

Dr John Burchard writes on mandatory spay neuter, resurrected in California. I had said:

"Only Americans (and perhaps Canadians) have this neutering thing. I think
European members [ of our list-- they did] will confirm that neutering of purebred dogs is much rarer there.

He replied:

"It is beginning to catch on there too ... but at least when I lived in or was
based in Europe (1958-1996 inclusive) desexed dogs were an anomaly there.
People managed their intact dogs, mostly without problems. Of course Europeans
tend to be less complicated about "the facts of life" than Americans. Those
crazy Puritans still cast a long shadow over here.

"I think there may still be some European countries where spay/neuter is
considered "unnecessary surgery" and actually prohibited except in case of
medical necessity?

"It is amazing that some of our own people (I mean, for example, Saluki breeders
who hunt with their dogs) do not see the illogic here and actually think
breeders should be licensed (of course, only the "good" ones) and everyone else
forced by law to sterilize their animals. That is problematic at many levels
... for example, who is a "good" breeder? Laura Sanborn has pointed out that
would mean the immediate end of the supply of police dogs and search-and-rescue
dogs, because most of those come not from "professional breeders" but from "pet
homes" - people who discover, when the dog is a year or two old, that they have
too much dog on their hands. Most of those dogs - who of course become the
parents of the next generation of good working dogs - were not originally
intended for breeding, and were not in the hands of a "breeder" at all. All
those dogs would have to be sterilized. Police patrol dogs are, anyway, nearly
always intact males, because most bitches and nearly all neutered dogs of either
sex don't have enough "drive" for that job. Police dog training is a long and
expensive procedure and you don't want to begin it with animals nearly all of
which will "wash out" during training.

"That's only one of many reasons AB 1634 and its very numerous kinfolk are a very
bad idea. They won't have much effect on the supply of "pets" but they will
practically eliminate the supply of working dogs (including hunting dogs). And
of course they will cause a dramatic *increase* in the animal shelter numbers,
the euthanasia rate, and the costs of animal control. That has been the effect
everywhere such regulations have been enacted."


Anonymous said...

I guess by police dogs she means dogs that search for drugs, explosives and the like. All of the police K9 forces that I have been around buy their dogs (patrol dogs) from proffesional european breeders. Only the dogs used solely for scent detection come from the pet trade.

That being said, one K9 officer that I knew got his patrol dog from the pet trade. It turned out to be the best dog he ever had.


Luisa said...

The last time I googled, both Norway's Welfare of Animals Act and Sweden's Animal Protection Act prohibited spay/neuter of dogs without medical cause. In the link above, see Chapter 2, Section 13: Certain prohibitions concerning mutilations.

For a host of reasons, AB 1634 would be a disaster for the border collie and for people who depend on stockdogs to help manage sheep and cattle. I've written [much] more about this horrible bill here and here.

Daniel Newby said...

These laws are always pitched to control animal populations and thereby improve their welfare. That goal would be admirably served by simple sterilization, a surgery that is particularly cheap, trivial, and low-risk in males. And which is also reversible if a bloodline turns out to be particularly worthwhile.

Yet these laws always seem to mandate that in addition to sterilization, castration must also be performed. It would seem that the real agenda is the psychological manipulation of humans by engineering the psychology of their symbiotes and/or the extinction of those symbiotes. Or maybe they just get kickbacks from veterinarians.

Mike Spies said...

Living in California - the lost paradise - has become a battle for daily existence due to the fact that EVERYBODY nows what is best for EVERYONE ELSE.

I suppose that I should take comfort in the fact that the mandatory Spay and Neuter laws in places like Santa Cruz are almost completely ignored.

From my blog, Living with Bird Dogs ( --

Municipal Experiences with Mandatory Spay/Neuter Laws

Where mandatory spay/neuter (MSN) laws have been introduced, they have failed to reduce euthanasia rates, have increased enforcement costs, and have decreased compliance with legally mandated licensing and rabies vaccination compliance:

San Mateo County, California – dog euthanasia rates increased by 126%, dog licenses declined by 35%

Los Angeles City, California – enforcement costs rose 269%, from $6.7 million to $18 million; and compliance to mandatory dog licensing declined

Fort Worth, TX -- ended its mandatory spay/neuter program. Rabies vaccination and licensing compliance declined after passage of the ordinance. This led to an increase in rabies in the city.

Montgomery County, MD – repealed its mandatory spay/neuter law. Euthanasia rates declined more slowly than they had been prior to the mandatory spay/neuter law; licensing compliance declined by 50%

King County, WA -- euthanasia rates fell at a slower rate after mandatory spay/neuter. License compliance has decreased. Animal control expenses have increased 56.8% and revenues only 43.2%

Camden County, NJ -- mandatory spay/neuter ordinance hasn’t stopped it from being called “consistently one of the leading, if not the leading killers of animals in the state of New Jersey” (ref: PAWS NJ)

Aurora, CO – euthanasia and shelter intake rates increased. Licensing compliance dropped dramatically, compliance costs have increased 75% with revenue increasing only 13% in unincorporated areas of the county which are the areas covered by the ordinance.

Compiled and provided by Dr. Charles Hjerpe, Professor Emeritus of Veterinary Medicine, University of California at Davis.

Nightmare said...

Good think you don't live in Dallas. The new ordinance up for approval there charges you $500 PER YEAR for an intact dog, it must be a breed that is registered by an 'approved' kennel club, PLUS you must be a member of an 'approved' dog or cat club. Frankly, you couldn't pay me to join the national club for either of my breeds, or most any other club, either.