The wurst news is over: Germany denies claims of sausage dog ban

28 March 2024, 22:31 | Updated: 28 March 2024, 22:50

A spokesman has denied reports the sausage dog could be banned.
A spokesman has denied reports the sausage dog could be banned. Picture: Alamy

By Jenny Medlicott

Germany has denied claims that Dachshunds could be banned under a draft law to prohibit breeds with 'skeletal anomalies'.

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Earlier this week, the German Kennel Club (VDH) launched a petition to save the sausage dog from being banned after a draft animal protection law suggested breeds with certain problems, including spinal injuries, could be prohibited.

Under the proposed Animal Protection Act, the law would include traits that in dogs can cause “pain, suffering or damage”.

This led to fears that sausage dogs could be banned under the act, as they are known to struggle with back problems and can also easily become overweight.

However, after sweeping headlines this week, a spokesman for the Green-led agriculture ministry shut down the rumours.

The spokesman said: “No dog breeds will be banned.

“We want to prevent breeders from deforming dogs so much, that they suffer,” they said.

Could Germany really ban the Dachshund?

The draft law was proposed amid government fears that dog breeds are continuing to develop, meaning they are at risk of developing extreme characteristics.

The aim of the new draft German law is essentially to prevent dogs with specific genetic diseases from being bred out further.

While ‘torture breeding’, as it is known in Germany, has been banned for three decades in the nation, the law has been open to interpretation.

"Just because people find something new or aesthetically pleasing, animals shouldn't be tormented," the ministry's spokesman told the BBC.

"There will always be sausage dogs," the spokesman said. "We will just never see any with legs one centimetre long."

The VDH previously argued that the law would be too open for interpretation when determining genetic defects.

Anna Webb, a dog behaviourist and host of the 'A Dogs Life Podcast', told LBC's Andrew Marr earlier this week: "It’s a landmark statement for Germany to be banning them. We have seen so many breeds suffer from what is known as exaggeration of features."

Ms Webb said the problem is that the breed has "too much sausage" and "not enough dog".

She continued: "Their backs are extremely long and legs shorter and shorter over time."

The VDH's petition reads: "A draft for a new animal protection law was published in February.

"Many of the proposed changes, such as regulating the online trade in animals or taking action against the illegal puppy trade, make sense."

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Dachshunds have soared in popularity across Europe
Dachshunds have soared in popularity across Europe. Picture: Getty

It goes on: "However, the new animal protection law contains requirements that could mean the end of many healthy dog breeds in Germany.

"The draft lists various disease characteristics that can lead to a ban on breeding healthy dogs.

"Unfortunately, many of the characteristics mentioned are vague and ambiguous."

Sausage dogs are extremely popular in European nations, including in the UK.

The number of miniature Dachshunds in the UK has risen from 2,857 in 2011 to more than 15,000 in 2022.

According to research, around 25 per cent of Dachshunds suffer spinal problems at some point in their life.