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New Flemish legislation regarding the issuing of pedigrees for dogs and cats

New Flemish legislation regarding the issuing of pedigrees for dogs and cats

Date: January 16, 2024

On December 22, 2023, the Flemish government passed a new law. ZooEasy is following these developments with interest. The new “Decree of the Flemish Government on the breeding of dogs and cats and the conditions for issuing pedigrees” contains important provisions for breeders and organizations involved in the breeding of dogs and cats. From now on, new rules will apply for issuing pedigrees. For example, a pedigree may only be called a pedigree if it is issued by a recognized pedigree association and meets specific requirements.

To be a recognized pedigree society, a pedigree issuing authority must, among other things, register all animals of its breeders in a central database. The parentage of all offspring must be confirmed by means of DNA testing. And so-called “performance tests” such as, for example, health test results for hip dysplasia, eye diseases or DNA mutations must also be recorded in the central database. These tests are important, because the studbook association also has to draw up a breeding program for each breed it represents.

The breeding program for a breed must be approved by the appropriate entity (the Animal Welfare Division of the Department of Environment). It should include measures to limit the inbreeding rate within the breed or variety, maintain genetic diversity, and reduce hereditary diseases. The breeding program must also include a ‘rasfiche’ (‘breed sheet’), which lists the mandatory performance tests. In addition, the permitted combinations of results of those tests must be indicated. Puppies or kittens out of combinations that do not meet the contents of the established breeding program (i.e. don’t have the correct test results, for example) can not be issued a pedigree from now on.

For breeders, breed associations and pedigree issuing organizations in Flanders, this law increases the need for proper pedigree records.  An animal administration in which pedigrees, inbreeding percentage, mean kinship, disease reports and behavioral, health, sports and working results can be recorded is now not only handy to have, but essential. And that makes ZooEasy the ideal tool.

In response to these developments ZooEasy is in contact with several Flemish parties about the possibilities ZooEasy has to offer to support them with this new legislation. For example, we are working on the digital importing of DNA data in ZooEasy Online. And with ZooEasy Online, every breeder and breed club or studbook organization has all information about their dogs or cats readily at hand. Breeders can print out ‘worpfiches’ (‘litter sheets’) at the push of a button. Associations can manage the population while keeping track of information about all dogs and cats of the entire breed. And the ZooEasy team is always ready to answer any questions you may have and to help you find the right solutions. Interested? Contact us, or sign up for a trial administration today!

For more information, read the full text of the Flemish government’s decision here or watch a presentation explaining the new law here.