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Parliamentary questions
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7 December 2010
Question for written answer E-010081/2010
to the Commission
Rule 117
Franz Obermayr (NI)

 Subject: Cross-breeding pets with wild animals — cruel breeding
 Answer in writing 

Some animal breeders are trying to increase their income with spectacular cross-breeding. According to media reports, sheepdogs are increasingly being cross-bred with wolves in order to produce particularly aggressive and dangerous ‘dogs’ which can, however, barely be controlled in extreme situations.

A cat breeder has announced that she intends to cross-breed Maine Coon cats with caracals in order to create a ‘super-cat’. Maine Coons’ shoulder height is about 40cm. Grown males reach a length of 1.2 m from the nose to the tip of the tail, and weigh up to 12 kg.

Caracals (Persian lynxes) are distributed across Africa, the Arabian Peninsula, Turkey and Iran, as far as the Aral Sea. They attain a length of about 95 cm, a weight of 13 to 18 kg and a shoulder height of about 45 cm. They are predators which feed on hares and other rodents and are also capable of killing dwarf antelopes.

Since caracals are wild animals and predators, animal rights activists fear that the resulting hybrids will not be able to be kept as pets and will be dangerous. Furthermore, the gestation periods for caracals and domestic cats differ by more than a week, meaning that such attempts at cross-breeding would constitute cruelty to animals.

1. Is the Commission aware of these — or other, similar — breeding experiments?

2. What is the Commission’s position on cross-breeding pets with wild animals?

3. Does the Commission intend to act to prevent such breeding experiments?

4. If so, what measures does it intend to take?

5. If not, why does it not intend to take any measures?

6. The promotion of characteristics which cause pain, damage or behavioural disturbances is termed as cruel breeding. In the Commission’s opinion, do the aforementioned examples constitute cruel breeding?

7. What measures does the Commission intend to take to prevent cruel breeding of this nature in future?

Original language of question: DEOJ C 265 E, 09/09/2011
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