Unethical Breeding of Animals

Animal breeding

Animal breeding is the process of selective mating of animals with desirable genetic traits, to maintain or enhance these traits in future generations. For livestock, this involves estimation of the genetic value of individuals for traits including growth rate and yield of products such as eggs, milk or meat.


Ethical Breeding

Article by 

Wenche Farstad

First published:25 November 2018


Citations: 2

Ethical breeding involves the use of healthy animals true to their species in behaviour and physical appearance, and when applicable, showing a sustainable performance.

The concerns for the species/breed are essential parts of the breeding goals, including preservation of genetic resources within the species/breed, and the health and welfare of the individual animal.

Ethical and welfare considerations were often not prioritized in developing new breeds of production or companion animals. As a result, animal breeding practices are increasingly becoming part of the debate on animal welfare.

In companion animals, breeding for curiosity or “cuteness” may be a goal in itself, although dogs are also bred for utility. In production animals, breeding focus is on performance, i.e., quantitative entities and financial income, rather than physical appearance.

For instance, dairy cows are bred to be larger and to have higher milk yields, sows and ewes to produce more offspring, and horses are designed for riding, racing, and companionship.

Overbreeding in relation to current demand of horses, cats, and dogs raises welfare issues due to abandonment or killing of horses and millions of cats and dogs every year.

There is variable regulation of health requirements for breeding animals in different countries of the world. In many countries, consumers are becoming increasingly aware of animal welfare issues such as negative effects of certain production traits in farm animals, leading to decreased demand for their meat at a time where increased food production is becoming crucial. Amidst these dilemmas are the veterinarians. 


Breeding Horses

Horse Backriding Race

Article by The Coalition for the protectıon of Racehorses 

Life of a Racehorse

Beneath its glamorous façade, commercial horseracing is a ruthless industry motivated by financial gain and prestige.

What is concealed from the television-viewing punter and champagne-sipping patron are the unremitting challenges the racehorse is forced to endure often in its very short life.

The suffering starts at a very early age. At approximately 6 months, it is separated from its mother and the training for racing begins. The average racehorse will race for less than 3 years before being discarded. (1)

The Stud

Rather than allow nature to take its course and let mares conceive naturally and give birth in the summer months when the weather is mild, foals are born as close to August 1st as possible as this is the date that thoroughbred horses age is determined by. This allows maximum time for race training.

This unnatural cycle is achieved through adjusting temperatures, artificially lengthening days through the use of lighting and injecting drugs such as ‘prostaglandins’ into the female.

When they reach fertility - often only weeks after giving birth, mares are forced to stand for a stallion in order to produce another foal for the following season. Under natural conditions, mares normally produce a foal once every two years.


Thoroughbred foals are separated from their mothers at approx. 6 months of age. The foal then commences a training regime and is generally fed a high protein diet to prepare it for sale and future racing.

The foal will be “broken” - meaning it will be taught to comply with human commands through learned helplessness techniques - which compels the horse to obey due to fear, pain or both. The horses that rebel against the oppressive training methods will be forced even more harshly into compliance. If they fail to comply, they will be deemed rogue horses and discarded.

The mother (brood mare) is taken away and prepared for the birth of her next foal. She will be pregnant for more than 90 percent of her life. Brood mares are mostly discarded once their stud days are over. Studs will often demand breeding horses be killed when they are discarded to prevent breeding by future owners.

Yearling Sales

Most of the money in horse racing is not made through racing but by breeding. A sire or dam that produces winners on the track becomes extremely valuable. Redoutes Choice, for example, Australia’s leading stallion has demanded as high as $330,000 per serve and serves up to 190 mares in a season. [2] Each year approximately 13,000 foals are born in Australia [1] and many thousands are sold at sales like the yearling sales.

Foals born with the right attributes are looked after extremely well. However, minor deformities can render a horse worthless and may mean a very early death. Some cosmetic deformities may be operated on or treated but this risks further injury to the young horse.

To make the foals more attractive to bidders at the yearling sales, horses are subjected to a regime of exercise, a high protein diet and sometimes drugs to increase their appeal and profitability.

It is not uncommon for yearlings to be purchased for a price in excess of $50,000. In April 2006 at the Sydney Easter Sales a yearling was sold for three million dollars. (4)

It is also not uncommon for horses at thoroughbred sales to be bought for only a few hundred dollars and killed for meat, either for human consumption or pet food.

Once sold, the yearling becomes the property of the owner or syndicate whose motivation is to see a profit. In reality, less than two percent actually do.

Fact: The average career of a racehorse is less than 3 years

Race horses are mostly confined to a stable where they will spend up to 22 hours per day unable to socialise with other horses; their only reprieve being training. In this artificial environment, many horses will develop symptoms of neurotic behaviour like wind sucking (grasping an object by the teeth and sucking in air) and weaving (swaying the head, neck and forequarters from side to side)

They will also suffer from many common illnesses like stomach ulcers and respiratory diseases.


The fate of racehorses after racing is one of the industry’s dirtiest and best-kept secrets.

Keeping an unviable racehorse is not an option as their owners seek to make a profit at all costs. Their lives are cut short by greed as they are discreetly disposed of.

Many are sent to saleyards where most are bought by knackeries; the owners extracting the last few dollars out of their investment. Some racehorses are sold as cheaply as $150.

In some cases, studs and racing stables have arrangements with knackeries and horse brokers and sell them directly on request.

While some ex-racehorses find loving and caring homes, the vast majority will be killed after their careers come to an end.

[1] Australian Racing Fact Book 2010
[2] Racing and Sports 15th April 2007 http://www.racingandsports.com.au/breeding/rsNewsArt.asp?NID=102673
[4] Dynamic Syndications News 20/4/2006


Captive Animal Breeding


Article by


Postdoctoral Fellow, Max Planck Institute for the History of Science

Disclosure statement

Marianna Szczygielska does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.

The rotting remains of a number of tigers, lions and cougars were recently discovered in a raid on a house in Prague. This disturbing find was the culmination of a five-year investigation that revealed an illegal trade in exotic wildlife blooming in the heart of Europe.

Czech authorities managed to identify the main figures behind an international crime ring who had been processing and selling wild cat parts as traditional Chinese medicine. Claws, teeth, bones, skin and extracts from their bodies known as “tiger wine” or “broth” were smuggled to Asia or used to supply the domestic demand in tiger products. The slaughtered tigers came from the country’s largest private breeding facility for lions and tigers – where, officially, these protected wildcats are bred for circuses, roadside attractions and petting zoos.

This story provides a stark reminder of the cruelty engendered by captive breeding. Even zoos heralded as the beacons of endangered species conservation play a controversial part in this story.


Canned Hunting

Canned hunting is a fast-growing business in South Africa, where thousands of lions are being bred on farms to be shot by wealthy foreign trophy-hunters


Mon 3 Jun 2013 07.00 BSTFirst published on Mon 3 Jun 2013 07.00 BST

They are adorably cute, with grubby brown fur so soft it seems to slip through my fingers like flour. It is only when one of the nine-week-old cubs playfully grabs my arm with its teeth and squeezes with an agonising grip that I remember – this is a lion, a wild animal.


These four cubs are not wild, however. They are kept in a small pen behind the Lion's Den, a pub on a ranch in desolate countryside 75 miles south of Johannesburg. Tourists stop to pet them but most visitors do not venture over the hill, where the ranch has pens holding nearly 50 juvenile and fully-grown lions, and two tigers.

Moreson ranch is one of more than 160 such farms legally breeding big cats in South Africa. There are now more lions held in captivity (upwards of 5,000) in the country than live wild (about 2,000). While the owners of this ranch insist they do not hunt and kill their lions, animal welfare groups say most breeders sell their stock to be shot dead by wealthy trophy-hunters from Europe and North America, or for traditional medicine in Asia. The easy slaughter of animals in fenced areas is called "canned hunting", perhaps because it's rather like shooting fish in a barrel.


A fully-grown, captive-bred lion is taken from its pen to an enclosed area where it wanders listlessly for some hours before being shot dead by a man with a shotgun, hand-gun or even a crossbow, standing safely on the back of a truck. forHe pays anything from £5,000 to £25,000, and it is all completely legal.


Like other tourists and daytrippers from Jo'burg, I pay a more modest £3.50 to hug the lions at Moreson, a game ranch which on its website invites tourists to come and enjoy the canned hunting of everything from pretty blesbok and springbok – South Africa's national symbol – to lions and crocodiles. After a cuddle with the cubs, I go on a "game drive" through the 2,000 hectare estate. Herds of blue wildebeest, red hartebeest and eland run from the truck, then stop and watch us, warily: according to the guides, the animals seem to know when visitors are not carrying guns. At the far end of the property is an abandoned farm, surrounded by pens of lethargic-looking big cats. One pair mate in front of us. Two healthy looking tigers tear at chicken carcasses rapidly rotting in the African sun.

The animals look well cared for. But Cathleen Benade, a ranch assistant who is studying wildlife photography and is devoted to the cubs, reveals that they were taken away from their mothers just an hour after birth and bottle-fed by humans for the first eight weeks of their life. After dark, as the lions roar in the cages below the pub veranda, Maryke Van Der Merwe, the manager of Lion's Den and daughter of the ranch owner, explains that if the cubs weren't separated from their mother – by blowing a horn to scare the adult lion away – the young lions would starve to death, because their mother had no milk. She says the mother is not distressed: "She's looking for the cubs for a few hours but it's not like she's sad. After a day or two I don't think she remembered that she had cubs."

Animal welfare experts disagree, however. They say breeders remove the cubs from their mother so that the lioness will quickly become fertile again, as they squeeze as many cubs from their adults as possible – five litters every two years. For an animal that is usually weaned at six months, missing out on the crucial colostrum, or first milk, can cause ill-health. "These breeders tell you they removed the cubs because the mother had no milk; I've never seen that in the wild," says Pieter Kat, an evolutionary biologist who has worked with wild lions in Kenya and Botswana. "Lions and tigers in captivity may kill their young because they are under a lot of stress. But the main reason breeders separate the young from their mother is because they don't want them to be dependant on their mother. Separation brings the female back into a reproductive position much faster than if the cubs were around. It's a conveyor-belt production of animals."

lion bred in captivity in south africa

 A lion bred on a farm in South Africa for commercial use. Photograph: Stephane De Sakutin/AFP/Getty Images

South Africa has a strong hunting tradition but few people express much enthusiasm for its debased canned form. It is still legal to bring a lion carcass back to Britain (or anywhere in Europe or North America) as a trophy, and much of the demand comes from overseas. Trophy-hunters are attracted by the guarantee of success, and the price: a wild lion shot on a safari in Tanzania may cost £50,000, compared with a £5,000 captive-bred specimen in South Africa. Five years ago, the South African government effectively banned canned hunting by requiring an animal to roam free for two years before it could be hunted, severely restricting breeders and hunters' profitability. But lion breeders challenged the policy in South Africa's courts and a high court judge eventually ruled that such restrictions were "not rational". The number of trophy hunted animals has since soared. In the five years to 2006, 1,830 lion trophies were exported from South Africa; in the five years to 2011, 4,062 were exported, a 122% increase, and the vast majority captive-bred animals.

Demand from the Far East is also driving profits for lions breeders. In 2001, two lions were exported as "trophies" to China, Laos and Vietnam; in 2011, 70 lion trophies were exported to those nations. While the trade in tiger parts is now illegal, demand for lion parts for traditional Asian medicine is soaring. In 2009, five lion skeletons were exported from South Africa to Laos; in 2011, it was 496. The legal export of lion bones and whole carcasses has also soared. "It's definitely a rapidly growing source of revenue for these canned breeding facilities," says Will Travers of the charity Born Free. "The increase and volume are terrifying."

Breeders argue it is better that hunters shoot a captive-bred lion than further endanger the wild populations, but conservationists and animal welfare groups dispute this. Wild populations of lions have declined by 80% in 20 years, so the rise of lion farms and canned hunting has not protected wild lions. In fact, according to Fiona Miles, director of Lionsrock, a big cat sanctuary in South Africa run by the charity Four Paws, it is fuelling it. The lion farms' creation of a market for canned lion hunts puts a clear price-tag on the head of every wild lion, she says; they create a financial incentive for local people, who collude with poachers or turn a blind eye to illegal lion kills. Trophy-hunters who begin with a captive-bred lion may then graduate to the real, wild thing.

"It's factory-farming of lions, and it's shocking," says Miles. She began working to protect lions after watching a seminal documentary about canned hunting. "The lion all around the world is known as the iconic king of the jungle – that's how it's portrayed in advertising and written into story books – and yet people have reduced it to a commodity, something that can be traded and used."

An alternative use for the captive-bred lions might be tourism. We go for a "lion walk" with Martin Quinn, a conservation educator and lion whisperer. This involves strolling through the veld with three adolescent white lions, which have been bred on Moreson ranch and trained by Quinn and his assistant, Thompson. These striking white lions (which tend to be very inbred, say animal welfare groups) bound around us, rush on, and then lie in the grass, ready for an ambush. Armed only with sticks, Quinn and Thompson control them, while warning us that they are still wild animals. It is an unnerving experience, but Quinn hopes this venture will persuade Moreson ranch that a live lion is worth more than a dead one.

He claims that since he began working with lions at the ranch in January, the owners have not sold on any lions to be hunted. He hopes the ranch will eventually allow the offspring of its captive animals to grow up in the wild. (Breeders sometimes claim their lions are for conservation programmes but examples of captive-bred lions becoming wild animals again are vanishingly rare; even the most respectable zoo has never established a successful programme for releasing captive-bred lions into the wild.)

Pieter Kat, who founded the charity Lion Aid, says the lion walks are simply another income stream for breeders before their lucrative charges are sold on. Van Der Merwe is doubtful that Quinn's lion walks could replace the income the farm receives from selling its lions: "We keep them up until six months for attractions for the people so they can play with them and then we sell them to other lion parks," she says. She insists her ranch's website is wrong, and it does not hunt lions: "We sell them to other people who have the permit for lions. What they do with the lions is up to them. So we don't know what they do with the lions, but we don't do the canned hunting."

Three hours' drive from the ranch is Lionsrock, a former lion breeding farm transformed into a sanctuary for more than 80 abused big cats since it was bought by Four Paws. Some come from local breeding farms, but Four Paws also rescues animals kept in appalling conditions in zoos in Romania, Jordan and the Congo. Unlike in the lion farms, the animals here are not allowed to breed, and instead live within large enclosures in their natural prides, family groups of up to 10 lions.

Lionsrock can rehouse another 100 lions but does not have space for every captive-bred lion in South Africa. Four Paws and other charities working in South Africa want a moratorium on lion breeding because they fear that if lion farms were abruptly outlawed thousands of lions would be dumped or killed. After its high court defeat, there is little sign that the South African government will take on the powerful lion breeders again any time soon. "If we can stop people supporting those industries in the first place and make them aware of what's actually going on and what the life of a [captive-bred] lion is actually like, I believe there will be an outcry," says Miles. "There's far more value for a live lion long-term."

Lion breeders such as Van Der Merwe are not so sure. She says her caged lions have little to do with canned hunting, but admits that if the authorities banned canned hunting, "it would probably not be good for us … There's a lot of people from overseas coming to shoot lions. All the people know you come to Africa to shoot the lion or have a mount against your wall to say 'I've shot a lion'. They surely bring some money into South Africa."

She sees nothing wrong with hunting lions or keeping them in captivity. In fact, she says, she is part of a family of animal lovers: "We grew up with them, so it's nice. It's like babies in your house – when they are really small they walk around in your house and they follow you."

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Animal breeding and trade EU

The Animal Breeding Regulation will apply to the breeding, the trade in and the entry into the EU of purebred breedingcows, pigs, sheep, goats and horses, hybrid breeding pigs and their germinal products.

The new regulation constitutes a more comprehensive single legal framework taking into account the “state-of-the-art” in animal breeding while preserving valuable animal genetic resources. Breed societies and breeding operations which will have to meet specific criteria to obtain recognition and approval of their breeding programmes by national authorities form the backbone of this regulation. 

The new legislation aims at improving the functioning of the internal market and trade with third countries. It contains specific rules for promoting endangered breeds and provisions taking into account the specificities of the horse breeding sector. 

As animal breeding is not intended to fall within the scope of the official controls proposal currently discussed between the Council and the European Parliament, the new regulation will include provisions on the performance of official controls which are tailor-made for the animal breeding sector. 

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Dark side of Fish Breeding

young carp fish from a fish farm in a barrel are transported for release into the reservoir - artificial animal breeding stock pictures, royalty-free photos & images

Carp fish from a fish farm where they are clearly in distress due to overpopulation. 

The article below is written by Bloom Association with a link below.


Our study shows that fishmeal is mainly used by unsustainable aquaculture schemes that produce carnivorous fish (salmon, sea bream, etc.) but also to feed species such as pigs, poultry or mink that do not naturally eat fish and for which marine proteins are thus completely superfluous. The entire reduction fisheries cycle, from the initial targeting of edible fish to the final use of fishmeal in aquaculture, pig and poultry farming, is contrary to the ‘Code of conduct for responsible fisheries’ of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), which clearly states that fisheries must directly contribute to food security and that the reduction of small pelagics into fishmeal and fish oil should be limited to non-edible species (such as boarfish).


BLOOM dived into the opaque world of ‘reduction fisheries’, which catch fish low on the food chain – such as sardines and anchovies – to reduce them into fishmeal and fish oil to support the farming of fish, pigs and poultry, although 90% of the reduced fish are perfectly edible by humans.

Throughout this report and a scientific study conducted simultaneously (Cashion et al., 2017), BLOOM and coauthors show that reduction fisheries are the result of the massive overexploitation of traditional fish stocks, and that they are now contributing to the sequential depletion of the very first links of the food chain, despite their crucial importance for marine ecosystems.

=> Read BLOOM’s summary and full report as well as the scientific publication that BLOOM co-authored.

In their insatiable quest for wild resources, huge factory vessels have expanded into the distant waters of developing countries, where they directly compete with local fisheries by capturing so-called “forage” fish and posing serious threats to food security.


Finally, BLOOM’s report denounces the commercial logic of ecolabels, which, instead of solving the issue of overfishing, end up encouraging bad practices such as unsustainable aquaculture or unethical fisheries. The increasingly controversial MSC label (Marine Stewardship Council) already certifies 7% of the world’s reduction fisheries, although they exploit the very bottom of the food web and pose structural threats to food security. Thus greenwashed, MSC-certified reduction fisheries can then enter unsustainable aquaculture schemes of carnivorous fishes, which are then poised to obtain the MSC’s sister aquaculture label, the ASC (Aquaculture Stewardship Council). In other words, labels that have redefined sustainability reinforce each other by cross-referencing, promoting their weak standards and controversial certifications.


This link takes you to a pdf on each country


Blog by well known journalist DC Reid.



Chickens in overcrowded cages losing feathers  never seeing the sun or being outside.

Breeding Chickens

Article from Wikipedia with link below

Commercial hens usually begin laying eggs at 16–21 weeks of age, although production gradually declines soon after from approximately 25 weeks of age.

 This means that in many countries, by approximately 72 weeks of age, flocks are considered economically unviable and are slaughtered after approximately 12 months of egg production, although chickens will naturally live for 6 or more years. In some countries, hens are force moulted to re-invigorate egg-laying.

Environmental conditions are often automatically controlled in egg-laying systems. For example, the duration of the light phase is initially increased to prompt the beginning of egg-laying at 16–20 weeks of age and then mimics summer day length which stimulates the hens to continue laying eggs all year round; normally, egg production occurs only in the warmer months. Some commercial breeds of hen can produce over 300 eggs a year.


People always go to far

Breeding Dogs

It is not all positive that has come out of animal breeding practices. There are examples where selective breeding has been taken too far. There are also examples where selective breeding has not only improved certain performances, but simultaneously and unintendedly also deteriorated other performances that were not under selection: the so-called negative correlated responses.

Both types of negative responses to selective breeding are difficult to predict and are usually only noticed afterwards.

This is the case because it takes a while to realise that the negative effects are structural and not coincidence, and that they occur at increasing frequency throughout the population. Even then it sometimes takes stepping back to realise the negative consequences. Changes are going slowly, so you get used to them.

Negative effects in dog breeding

Some clear examples of selection that has gone too far can be found in dog breeding. This is partly because selective breeding in dogs has a long history, but mainly because some dog breeds are selected mainly on looks. And most extreme looks tend to be considered the best, so selection in those breeds has been, and still is, on extreme looks.

The fact that shape of the skull in some breeds make it difficult for them to eat normal food because of the upper jaw being much shorter than the lower jaw, such as in case of the Boxer or the Bulldog, or breathing, such as in case of all breeds with a short upper jaw resulting in a flat face, or give birth or even mate without medical intervention (e.g. Bulldog), or where there is a risk that the eyes pop out of the socket because the skull is too small for their eyes (e.g. Pekinese, Chihuahua), are clear examples of selection being taken too far. And most of these examples are only related to the skull.

Other breed characteristics that are not increasing the dog's wellbeing are, for example, too long ears so that infections are common (e.g. Basset Hound), or long back and neck so that intervertebral disc disease has become common (e.g. Dachshund), or too much skin so that inflammation in between the folds becomes common (e.g. Bulldog), or sloping back so that hip problems are common (e.g. German Shepherd Dog).

All examples relate to selective breeding and taking breeds more and more too an extreme, because that is what you win the show with. Looking back only we realise that we have gone too far. And that realisation comes only very slowly because people get used to animals with certain features. They don't consider them abnormal for a very long time. Important is to realise that these effects can be reversed by selecting in the opposite direction.

Examples of representatives of dog breeds in "Dogs of all nations" (Mason, 1915) and in 2012. Respectively the Bull Carrier, Basset Hound, Boxer, Bulldog, Dachshund and German Sheperd Dog.



 / 2012/09/29

The English bulldog has come to symbolize all that is wrong with the dog fancy and not without good reason; they suffer from almost every possible disease. A 2004 survey by the Kennel Club found that they die at the median age of 6.25 years (n=180). There really is no such thing as a healthy bulldog. The bulldog’s monstrous proportions make them virtually incapable of mating or birthing without medical intervention.



 / 2012/09/29

It seems incredible that at one time the Bull Terrier was a handsome, athletic dog. Somewhere along its journey to a mutated skull and thick abdomen the bull terrier also picked up a number of other maladies like supernumerary teeth and compulsive tail-chasing.



By: Janet L. Kaminski Leduc, Senior Legislative Attorney

You asked for a summary of federal and state laws and regulations that establish standards for the care of animals by dog and cat breeders. You also want to know what positions large animal advocacy organizations hold on this issue. We contacted the American Kennel Club, American Cat Fanciers Association, and Humane Society of the United States for their positions. The American Kennel Club and the Humane Society provided responses for this report.


The AWA requires wholesale breeders and dealers who supply animals to pet stores, brokers, or research facilities to be licensed with USDA. Breeders and dealers are required to meet the minimum standards of  humane animal care and treatment established by the AWA and enforced by the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS). 

To find USDA-licensed dog breeders, search the Animal Care Information Systems (ACIS) Search Tool for Animal Welfare Act (AWA). On the Search Tool page select “breeder” as the "customer type,” and then select your state from the pulldown menu under "business address."


Stop buying pedigree dogs. Stop breeding them. Stop these awful practices

 This article is more than 4 years old by 

Here we go again. Another scandal at Crufts. The dog judged to be best German shepherd looked to be deformed, with an oddly sloping back and weedy, wobbly legs. The presenter, a vet, the RSPCA and some members of the public were shocked and “appalled” by the dog’s appearance. The owner, Susan Cuthbert, said that the criticism had been horrendous, and shared the Kennel Club’s confirmation that her dog had a clean bill of health..


Sheep Breeding


Article by  Managing Inbreeding within Sheep Breeding Programmes Samuel Boon, Signet Breeding Services, Updated June 2014

The challenge to avoiding inbreeding

To make the fastest genetic progress in any particular attribute flocks should breed from the rams and ewes with the highest genetic merit in the population.

Unfortunately if this approach is taken to an extreme and superior ancestors are used extensively, it could quickly result in an increase in the level of inbreeding within the flock and ultimately a drop in performance.

Modern livestock breeding programmes can be susceptible to increases in inbreeding due the widespread use of AI & ET, fast generation turnover, selective use of specific family lines and the tendency for a relatively small number of different sire families to dominate within certain breeds. Breeders need to strike a balance to optimise rates of genetic gain, whilst controlling increases in levels of inbreeding.

What is inbreeding? Inbreeding is the practice of mating two genetically related animals. To a degree this is inevitable within any long-term selection programme involving a closed population.

Breeders will sometimes deliberately inbreed specific bloodlines to fix certain characteristics in the flock, increasing the frequency of favourable genes – or more rarely to expose recessive genes.

Related animals will have more genes in common. In this respect it may have a place in a breeding strategy as in some instances it will bring a number of favourable genes together. However, it will also tend to increase the number of recessive or deleterious genes being expressed – leading to a reduction in fitness and productivity; this is referred to as “inbreeding depression”.

Inbreeding can also increase the frequency of observed genetic abnormalities in a population, as recessive genes are brought together and expressed Inbreeding may have a role in a breeding programme, if your aim is to breed a single superior animal – but you would have to accept high levels of wastage as part of the programme.

This is a policy that would be difficult to advocate. Most flocks aim to improve the average performance of the whole flock – and in this respect the economic benefits of close inbreeding are more questionable.


Linebreeding is a deliberate form of inbreeding, and is achieved through the mating of more distantly related animals - cousins, half brother to half sister, uncle to niece. This breeding strategy is used by breeders to create “prepotent” breeding lines that uniformly "stamp" their characteristics on their progeny. Prepotency is more easily achieved in linebred/inbred lines – as the genes being passed to the next generation will be less variable.

Although inbreeding in this manner is likely to increase the uniformity of a flock and when combined with certain characteristics relating to “breed type” may enhance their success in the showring, this image of success in one set of traits shouldn’t stop potential purchasers of these genetics considering what is happening to the other traits, such as reproductive fitness and the longevity of sheep in the flocks from which such show winners have arisen.

One challenge with line breeding is that breeders sometimes forget to look deeper into the pedigree of the proposed line-bred mating, where they might observe additional relationships in common. This means the planned mating is far closer than they originally assumed.


“no copyright infringement is intended”

Breeding Experiments

The Goats with Spider Genes and Silk in their Milk - Horizon: Playing God - BBC Two •Jan 17, 2012



Mysterious museum shows how humans have modified nature for themselves – with important consequences April 9, 2019 12.07pm BST - The postnatural planet

The Center claims to be the world’s only museum that is exclusively focused on postnatural lifeforms, exhibiting species often omitted from typical natural history museums. There’s a hairless, obese rat, fish which glow in the dark, and transgenic mosquitoes which have been bred so they can’t carry dengue fever. There’s also a mix of familiar species – different breeds of dogs and chickens – and species often less associated with human interference, such as cornbananas and chestnut trees.

All these species, and many others, have different genetic traits over-expressed to accentuate desirable features. Dogs, for example, have been domesticated and selectively bred out from a common wolf ancestor to more than 350 breeds, according to strict guidelines in keeping with particular cultural desires around behavioural traits and visual qualities.

read more click on link below



Breeding Pigs

Inbreeding in Swine

Originally published as a National Swine Improvement Federation Factsheet.

Inbreeding is the mating of individuals that are related. In the strict sense, all members of a breed are related. As a result, any seedstock producer is practicing some inbreeding. Therefore, we generally reserve the term inbreeding for the mating of animals that are more closely related than the average of the breed.

Most breeds of livestock went through a phase of inbreeding early in their development. This resulted from the need to establish color patterns and other aspects of physical appearance. Since one of the results of inbreeding is to establish more genetic uniformity, those traits that have simple means of inheritance can be fixed more easily with the aid of inbreeding.

Genetic and Phenotypic Effects. Inbreeding can have dramatic effects on a herd. These effects are the result of individuals receiving identical genes from each parent. If the parents are related it is more likely that they have genes that are identical. When an individual receives an identical gene from each parent it is said to be homozygous for that pair of genes. This would be desirable if the gene it received from each parent lead to superior performance. However, most animals carry undesirable genes that usually remain hidden unless the animal has a pair of them. An inbred individual is more likely to have gene pairs with identical members, so is more likely to express undesirable genes. This leads to a decline in performance called inbreeding depression. This phenomenon is well documented in all of the major livestock species. It is essentially the opposite of heterosis which is the advantage gained from crossing lines or breeds.


Inbreeding should be avoided as much as possible by anyone that does not have a clear understanding of its use. Unless approached very carefully, the dangers of inbreeding far outweigh the advantages. Linebreeding can be an effective tool for perpetuating the genes from an outstanding ancestor. It should be used only in herds that are superior and only those boars that are clearly outstanding should be the object of a linebreeding program. Mating of close relatives, such as brothers with sisters or parents with offspring, should be avoided in any situation.

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Information developed for the Pork Information Gateway, a project of the U.S. Pork Center of Excellence supported fully by USDA/Agricultural Research Service, USDA/Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service, Pork Checkoff, NPPC, state pork associations from Iowa, Kentucky, Missouri, Mississippi, Tennessee, Pennsylvania, and Utah, and the Extension Services from several cooperating Land-Grant Institutions including Iowa State University, North Carolina State University, University of Minnesota, University of Illinois, University of Missouri, University of Nebraska, Purdue University, The Ohio State University, South Dakota State University, Kansas State University, Michigan State University, University of Wisconsin, Texas A & M University, Virginia Tech University, University of Tennessee, North Dakota State University, University of Georgia, University of Arkansas, and Colorado State University.


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puppıes ın breedıng cages

The Problem With Pedigrees

Shar Pei muzzle
  • Skin infections
  • Eye problems
  • High maintenance care routine
  • Guarding tendencies
  • Not well suited to young families

However, there are lots of Shar Pei and their mixes waiting for homes already, in shelters around the world.



attached fighting dog

A dog bred for fighting. His eyes are are so sad and lifeless

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Article from PETA (People for the ethical treatment of animals)

In addition to the inhumane practices common amongst people who breed animals for profit, selectively breeding dogs for certain exaggerated physical traits – usually from a highly restricted gene pool – has catastrophic effects on animals’ health.

Pedigree dogs are often inbred, which often causes them to have a much shorter life span than their mixed-breed cousins and suffer from painful and debilitating conditions, such as having brains that are too large for their skulls or misshapen hip joints. In some cases, deformities that prevent dogs from leading a normal life have become so commonplace – or are even seen as desirable – that animals routinely need surgery just to survive. For example, shar-peis may require facelifts in order to stop their wrinkled skin from rubbing against their eyes and damaging their sight, while pugs and other “brachycephalic” breeds often need operations to clear their breathing passages.

There are other victims, too. The high demand for “designer” dogs means that many lovable mutts are left languishing in shelters while puppy mills continue to force mother dogs to churn out litter after litter of unhealthy pedigree puppies whose features conform to the current fashion.