First breeder of Shar-Pei dogs penalized by the NVWA

A Brabant breeder of Shar Peis has been reprimanded for conditions resulting from deliberately breeding for huge skin folds. The Dutch Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority (NVWA) checked the breeder after an enforcement request from Dier&Recht. This is the first time that the NVWA has taken action against the extreme appearance of Shar-Peis.

It is prohibited to breed animals with external characteristics that are harmful to the animal itself. The NVWA treats the deliberate breeding of snouts that are too short as a serious violation. Breeding dogs with extreme skin folds, resulting in diseases such as entropion, is now also a serious offense. The Brabant breeder will receive a fine of 5,000 euros per breeding animal used for each subsequent violation.

Staples in eyelids

Shar-peis are purposefully bred to have thick folds of skin all over their body, including the head. Many puppies cannot or hardly keep their eyes open due to those extreme folds. All that excess skin increases the risk of entropion, a serious eye condition that causes the eyelids to curl inward. This causes painful eye ulcers and can even lead to blindness. The reprimanded breeder tried to prevent eye damage by holding puppies’ eyelids open with staples and stitches.

Deadly Shar-Pei Fever

In addition to the many skin conditions, the breed has an increased risk of numerous diseases and conditions, including the dreaded Shar-Pei fever. This painful hereditary disease causes bouts of fever, lameness and kidney failure. Dogs with this condition usually die before they are six years old.

Enforcement of harmful external characteristics

Dier&Recht is pleased with the stricter inspections by the NVWA. Veterinarian Kelly Kessen: “Many people find the folds of a Shar-Pei cute, but for the animal itself they are a source of illness and misery. We are pleased that the NVWA is now also taking action against breeding with extreme skin folds. This prevents a lot of animal suffering.”

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