The Brussels government has banned certain hybrid cat breeds from the city due to risks associated with their behaviour and health.
Cats of the Scottish Fold breed are now illegal in Brussels, following advice from the Animal Welfare Council, the cat species – along with a few other hybrid cat breeds – is on a list of forbidden cat breeds, reported the newspaper La Dernière Heure.
The Fold cat has peculiar pleated ears due to breeding programmes, which causes them severe pains. “Because of this genetic defect, it is now forbidden to breed, sell or buy such cats or to keep them,” says State Secretary for Animal Welfare Bianca Debaets (CD&V).
Other hybrid cat species such as the Bengal (cross with Asian leopard cat) or the Savannah (cross with African wild cat) are also not allowed to be bred or sold in Brussels anymore, because they are not adapted to a life in captivity.
Anyone who already has one of the banned cats and wants to keep it, has to report it to the Brussels government, which will then issue a permit. “We want to know where those cats are,” said Eric Laureys of the Debaets cabinet to Bruzz. “Officially, there are currently 65 of those cats in Brussels, but maybe there are more,” he added.