Breeder Code of Ethics
by: IHA = International Hedgehog Association
The IHA provides this code of ethics, as a guideline by which to evaluate the practices of hedgehog breeders. We recognize that there is a wide range of acceptable practice, but ask that IHA Registered breeders adhere to this code.
As an ethical breeder I...
· will not knowingly breed an unhealthy hedgehog.
· will not sell an animal with significant health issues. If minor health issues that are expected to resolve rapidly, such as a healing scab, are present, I will provide full disclosure and follow-up assistance.
· will keep alert for and work to eradicate inherited problems.
· will obtain and maintain all required local, regional, and/or federal licensure.
· will represent my hedgehogs as honestly as possible to prospective buyers and will try to assist the serious novice in their understanding.
· will not knowingly falsify any records, pedigrees, or registrations.
· will not perform any line breeding without serious consideration as to the potential negative consequences, and will not purposely breed first degree relatives without good reason or without first consulting with others as to the advisability.
· will ensure that I have experience with hedgehogs as a species and with breeding animals in general before undertaking a hedgehog breeding project.
· will seek an experienced mentor to assist me when I start breeding hedgehogs, and will seek to increase my knowledge and share knowledge with others as I progress.
· will ensure adequate health care for my hedgehogs.
· will not knowingly breed a hedgehog that may carry a health problem that is suspected of being genetically linked.
· will make a written copy of my policies and guarantees available to all customers, including replacement policy.
· will feed my hedgehogs a reasonably appropriate diet.
· will make reasonable efforts to keep my cages free from filth.
· will provide clean food and water.
· will provide an environment that is within an appropriate temperature range and understand that atelerix albiventris and/or atelerix algirus are not meant to hibernate.
· will keep records of my lineage and participate in the International Hedgehog Registry.
· will provide cages that are sufficiently sized for adequate movement, and that provide adequate ventilation.
· will make reasonable efforts to ensure that buyers of my hedgehogs are not making an uninformed, impulse purchase and can provide appropriate, long-term care.
· will not allow babies to leave my care until they are weaned, recognizing that this is generally around 6 weeks old, unless it is under special circumstances and care is taken to meet the baby's needs.
· Will not openly sell hedgehogs to persons in places where they are illegal, regardless of the level of enforcement that takes place and I will not willingly sell or place a hedgehog into a potentially dangerous situation and/or environment.
Code of Ethics
by: HBA = Hedgehog Breeders Alliance
"Breed to Improve"
Responsible breeders do not breed unless they are convinced that their knowledge, experience, and devotion to their hedgehogs will result in a mating that will produce an exceptional litter of babies, with qualities that are as near as possible to the ideal for hedgehogs. They breed to preserve and to enhance the characteristics that make their hedgehogs unique. They breed to improve health, longevity and exceptional personalities.
I will breed discriminately and only if I am sure I can find appropriate homes for my baby hedgehogs. I will place babies in homes that I believe will provide a life long commitment of love, care and appreciation, including adequate vet care.
Any hedgehog sold, will be sold under the following conditions:
1. Breeder guarantees that the hedgehog is in good health and condition at the time of sale. 2. Breeder will encourage the new owner to have the hedgehog examined by their own vet within a few days of purchase to ensure good condition and health. Breeder will include names of vets in the area that will see and assist in the treatment of hedgehogs. 3. Breeder will inform the new owner of possible inherent health issues known to affect hedgehogs. 4. Breeder agrees to complete USDA Aphis Form 7020 (Record of Acquisition, Disposition or Transport of Animals) or other USDA approved forms if they are a USDA licensed breeder in the USA. 5. All Breeder members are required to register their hedgehogs (this includes all hedgehogs in the care of the breeder) within two months of becoming members.
Breeder will provide registration form and/or pedigree information to the new owner. 6. Breeder will encourage the new owner to contact them with questions regarding their new hedgehog, and breeder agrees to respond in a timely manner. Breeder will provide their phone number and e-mail for questions and follow up support. 7. Breeder agrees to use HBA provided forms for the deposit/sales agreements and care sheets. If breeder has their own forms, they may be used with approval of the Board. 8. Breeder will give a supply of food with each baby sold, with instructions how to feed and how to change foods if desired. 9. Breeder agrees to take the baby back should they need to find a home for the hedgie; breeder will emphasize to the new owner that the breeder is to be contacted first to provide a new home. 10. Breeder will sell their hedgehogs with a health guarantee and a WHS warranty. Breeder will adhere to both the guarantee and warranty. Any animal bred by the Breeder, which proven by necropsy to have WHS is to be guaranteed and replaced, free of charge, by the Breeder. If a necropsy is not provided, the replacement of the animal will be governed by the Breeder's individual replacement policy. Breeder will notify Buyer of his or her individual replacement policy (as well as the HBA Minimum Standard) before purchase as an item included in Buyer's purchase agreement. Breeder will supply Buyer with a copy of the guarantee, which will be signed and dated by both parties at the time of purchase. 11. Breeder has the right to refuse a sale if in any doubt the hedgehog will have a good and safe home. 12. Breeder will help the new owners consider the best way of identifying their hedgehog which can include registering with the registry or by micro-chipping. 13. The seller shall provide the purchaser with an IHR Registry transfer form, duly completed and signed by the seller. 14. Breeder agrees that no female will be bred under the age of 6 months. 15. Breeder will not willingly breed any hedgehog with a known genetic defect/disorder. Breeder will inform the new owner of any genetic defects/disorders that appear in the lineage of their hedgehog after the sale. 16. Breeder will not release a baby under the age of 6 weeks. Breeder will ensure that the baby is eating, drinking and gaining weight before being released to the new owner. 17. Breeder agrees not to breed ill animals, nor sell ill animals. 18. Breeder agrees to separate weanlings by the age of 7 weeks, except with special needs cases, so they do not breed with mother or siblings. Males will be housed separately from females. 19. Breeder will treat for parasites when needed and seek vet assistance if they are unsure if parasites are present. Breeder will not knowingly sell a hedgehog harboring parasites. 20. Breeder will examine each hedgehog carefully and recognize its flaws. If you decide to continue with the breeding process, look for a mate that will eliminate or balance those flaws. 21. Inbreeding is breeding two very closely related hedgehogs; mother-son, father-daughter, brother-sister. Inbreeding is NOT condoned by the HBA. It is not wise to inbreed because genetic flaws are more likely to surface since the gene pool is not diversified. What often causes genetic defects is recessive genes lurking in the hedgehog's backgrounds. Breeding closely related animals brings a greater chance for these defective genes to pair off and express themselves. Any weaknesses, faults, deformities, etc, are likely to show up. An example would be WHS. The disease can be magnified in hedgehogs who have it in their family and are inbred. A genetic flaw can also be "bred out". This is when a hedgehog who has a defect in its family continues to breed with other hedgehogs who are known not to have the flaw. Reputable breeders DO NOT inbreed and it should NOT be done. Line-breeding is a tool breeder use to develop, isolate and set specific desirable traits into succeeding generations. Breeding two hedgehogs that share relatives several generations back, but DO NOT share the same mother, father or grandparents is considered line-breeding. Therefore, breeding a male hedgehog and a female hedgehog that share a great-great-great grandfather would be considered line-breeding. This is done to preserve some of the aspects of the line. It is not inbreeding and reputable breeders are very careful to closely study the hedgehog's pedigrees to make the best possible match. One must remember that line-breeding is a program that produces animals from a single line of descent from a common or a few common outstanding ancestors. The goal is not to reproduce the quality of the ancestors but to try and maintain as many of their good qualities as possible while improving their deficiencies by refining the genetics of the line. Ultimately line-breeding is a simple concept that can be extremely complicated as a breeding tool. It should not be practiced unless you know exactly what you are doing. Reputable breeders do however linebreed occasionally. 22. It is recommended that breeders do not sell to any Commercial wholesale or retail pet dealers. IF the breeder does sell to the commercial or retail market, it is required that the store or dealer be USDA licensed (if in the US). NO hedgehog will be given as a prize or donation in a competition of any kind, or sold via internet auction or private auction.
A breeder selling to any commercial or retail dealer will share the info regarding that dealer, name, address and USDA number to the committee for distribution of appropriate HBA care sheet. 23. Breeders must not knowingly misrepresent the characteristics of the breed nor falsely advertise hedgehog nor mislead any person regarding the health or quality of the hedgehog. 24. Retirees shall either be kept by the breeder and cared for properly or given to an experienced, knowledgeable person who is willing to care for any geriatric problems which may arise. 25. As an ethical breeder, I will seek the advice and experience of others. I will be willing to continue educating myself about hedgehog breeding.
In my opinion, Honesty and Ethics go hand in hand. If someone isn't honest, they certainly won't be ethical in their breeding choices. People want to deal with honest and ethical breeders.
As posted above, the HBA code of ethics should be followed. Breeding pet store hedgehogs and unknowns risks breeding hedgehogs that carry WHS. There is also a risk of breeding related hedgehogs and unhealthy hedgehogs.