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Last Updated on October 10, 2023 by Fumipets
Illegal Dog Fertility Clinics: Creating Designer Breeds with IVF
In a concerning trend that highlights the exploitation of man’s best friend, illegal canine fertility clinics are on the rise, using advanced reproductive technologies, including in vitro fertilization (IVF), to create designer dog breeds.
This underground industry has been flourishing, with fake ‘vets’ conducting dangerous procedures, and it’s causing serious harm to dogs across the UK.
The Disturbing Proliferation of Illegal Clinics
Evidence shows that there has been a staggering increase in illegal canine fertility clinics in the UK. Shockingly, there are now at least 332 such clinics operating across the country, a stark contrast to the 37 known clinics identified just three years ago in 2020. This concerning rise in the number of illegal clinics can be attributed to the insatiable demand for designer dog breeds, driven in part by the pandemic puppy boom.
A Booming Business
These illegal clinics are associated with designer trends, and they are engaged in fierce competition to breed dogs with unique and distinctive traits. This pursuit of uniqueness allows them to command exorbitant prices for their services. While the motivation for these clinics may be financial gain, the consequences for the dogs involved can be dire.
The Role of Untrained ‘Vets’
Perhaps even more alarming is the fact that many of the individuals operating these clinics are untrained. Despite their lack of qualifications, they somehow manage to deceive unsuspecting pet owners into believing that their dogs are in safe hands. One of the most concerning aspects is that, currently in the UK, anyone can set up a ‘canine fertility clinic’ without being subjected to any form of regulation.
Dangers Lurk in Unqualified Hands
Canine fertility clinics offer a range of services, including artificial insemination, ultrasound scanning, progesterone testing, and semen extraction. While some non-invasive procedures can be conducted by unqualified individuals, the law stipulates that all forms of artificial insemination and invasive procedures involving intravenous blood sampling must only be performed by licensed veterinarians.
The Animal Welfare Concern
The spike in fertility clinics can be linked to the insatiable demand for fashionable puppy breeds, such as French Bulldogs, which often face difficulties with natural mating and birthing. Many of these breeds also suffer from various health issues.
The British Veterinary Association (BVA) is deeply concerned that a significant number of canine fertility clinics operate without veterinary oversight, with individuals lacking qualifications performing veterinary procedures.
Urgent Need for Regulation
The BVA is calling for stronger regulation of canine fertility clinics to ensure the welfare and safety of dogs. Vets are emphasizing the importance of inspections and the enforcement of strict penalties for clinics found to be operating outside the law. These actions are necessary to protect the well-being of our four-legged companions.
Sarah Carr, the chief executive of the Naturewatch Foundation, has joined the call for more stringent laws across the UK to address this growing problem. Currently, the maximum fine for conviction in cases involving these clinics is a mere £100, providing little incentive for these operations to cease.
The rise of illegal canine fertility clinics serves as a stark reminder of the need for comprehensive regulations to safeguard the health and welfare of dogs and to ensure that they are treated with the care and respect they deserve.