Legal framework and current techniques for age estimation in puppy trade

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M. Van den Broeck

P. Cornillie

Published Jun 30, 2020

Abstract

Dog breeding and dog trade are strictly regulated by EU-legislation, as well as by national and regional legislations. Nevertheless, it is believed that part of the puppies traded within the EU are younger than the legal minimum age, with the risk of compromising their own health and wellbeing as well as public health. A proper age determination is necessary to expose potential malpractices. Combining multiple independent methods is essential to compensate for possible variations in one single estimation method. Assessment of the dental age and bone age, more specifically by evaluating the eruption status of the dentition and the radiographic appearance and formation of ossification centers are both eligible. However, current available data are not detailed enough. In order to improve the accuracy and reduce the error in age estimation, more breed specific data are required, more intermediate development stages must be described and possible developmental disorders and pathologies must be considered.


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