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Flemish Government decree on breeding and pedigree issuing dogs and cats

Flemish Government decree on breeding and pedigree issuing dogs and cats

Date: July 11, 2024

We’ve mentioned it before; the Flemish Government has recently published a legislative decree on the breeding and issuing of pedigrees for dogs and cats. This decree can have far-reaching consequences for individual Flemish breeders, as well as Flemish breed associations and pedigree-issuing associations and agencies. Fortunately, ZooEasy can help with this!

Requirements for issuing pedigrees

For Flemish studbooks and pedigree associations that wish to issue pedigrees for dogs or cats, a number of important requirements will apply. First of all, an application must be submitted to the Animal Welfare Division of the Department of the Environment in order to be recognized as an official pedigree issuing association. To be able to get this official recognition, the association or studbook must meet a number of specified statutory requirements. Going forward, only officially recognized pedigree associations and studbooks will be allowed to issue pedigrees.

Registration in a central database

Every officially recognized studbook association is furthermore obligated to register the dogs or cats of the breeds they manage in a central database. This must include information like the registration number, name, sex, date of birth, etc. Parentage verification of all offspring is also mandatory, and the parentage of the animals must be recorded in the database.

Performance tests and breeding programs

The new legislation requires every recognized studbook association to establish a set of breeding rules for each breed they represent. Every breed must have it’s own breeding program, with breed-specific rules concerning the promotion of health and reduction of inbreeding. In these breeding programs, rules are included regarding so-called performance tests. These are (health-)tests of the genetic potential for a certain trait, based on a scientific method.

Each breeding program needs to include the performance tests that are to be performed for that breed, breeding recommendations (positive, conditionally positive and no breeding) per performance test, and a maximum inbreeding coefficient. Breeding stock must meet these rules, and a pedigree can’t be issued for combinations that do not meet the rules in the breeding program for their breed. If a parent animal is registered in another studbook but the combination does comply with the breeding program, a pedigree may not be refused. 

Individual breeders 

For individual Flemish breeders, this means that they will have to comply with the rules of the breeding program for their breed when making their breeding decisions. Dogs or cats, no matter what type of pedigree they have, can be used for pedigree breeding as long as they meet the requirements from the breeding program. Pedigrees from various pedigree issuing associations will all be equalized with this decision. Dogs or cats with any type of pedigree will also be allowed to compete in tests, competitions or exhibitions. 


ZooEasy can help!

The good news: with all of the above challenges, ZooEasy can help breeders and breed associations! In a ZooEasy database all data related to the population can be stored. Animal data such as name, registration number and date of birth, pedigree and breeder and owner information can be recorded in ZooEasy. Also results of performance tests, exterior- and working qualifications, other health information and any attachments or general animal information can be stored. 


All information in ZooEasy is accessible via the cloud from anywhere by anyone with an account. And it’s completely in accordance with data- and privacy protection acts! The administrator determines which data is visible to whom; privacy-sensitive information can thus be easily hidden for non-authorized viewers. And more good news: with our new project for an automatic breeding regulations check, rules from breeding programs can also be programmed into a ZooEasy database. This allows both breed clubs and individual breeders who have an account to check for themselves whether a combination meets the rules from a breeding program, and whether the combination is eligible for a pedigree.


In short: with a ZooEasy database, associations can meet all the requirements of Flemish legislation! Any interested Flemish organizations can sign up now, or contact us for more information.