Their ears, typically folded, are the result of a genetic mutation that causes an abnormality in the cartilage. Belgium has banned them
Since 1 October 2021, the breeding and trading of cat breeds with folded ears, such as the Scottish Fold or Highland Fold, has been banned in Belgium. The most noticeable feature of these animals are the ears, which are the result of a genetic mutation that causes an abnormality in the cartilage, called osteochondrodysplasia. A decision that leads the way and that should make everyone think. These animals, often desired for their particular characteristics, ie folded ears, actually have to deal with excruciating suffering. They suffer from severe joint problems, often accompanied by excruciating pain. Cartilage elsewhere in the body is also malformed. That is why Belgium has banned both breeding and trade.
All you need to know about osteochondrodysplasia
The folded ears of these cats are the result of an abnormality in the cartilage, also called osteochondrodysplasia, caused by a mutation in a gene. It is precisely the malformation of the ear cartilage that characterizes these animals. Unfortunately it is not a purely aesthetic fact. The front and back legs can become crooked and thicken in an anomalous world. It is a very painful disease for animals. It is difficult for them to move. In severe cases, cats become lame. There is no treatment to date. The only way to avoid this condition is to ban the breeding of cats carrying the gene.
And that’s what will happen in Belgium from October. Under the newly introduced ban, all now pregnant females will give birth within 63 days. Puppies can be exchanged at the minimum age of 12 weeks, before October 1st. The country was the first to take a clear position, trying to limit the spread of these animals, which are increasingly widespread, almost in “fashion” for their characteristic ears. Peculiarities that, however, cause them pain.
What will happen to cats with this malformation
Fortunately, there will be no witch hunts in Belgium. Those who live with a cat with this disease can clearly continue to do so but will not be able to sell it or give it away. The only possibility: if it is no longer possible to take care of it, it can be taken to a shelter to give it up for adoption.
Curated by Francesca Mancuso – GreenMe.it