Why do I have to sign a non breeding contract ?

I am sometimes asked why we have non breeding / pet only contracts, why can’t anyone who wants to, breed?  It is to protect the rats.  Running a Rattery is not cheap.  The retired rats need to be cared for, any babies that are not sold have to be cared for, not dumped at a pet store because it is convenient. It is a big responsibility to breed rats properly, in the end they often cost more to keep than what they earned.  
I have observed how quickly bad traits and bad conformation can be bred into a line when people just want to breed for the fun of it, and have no knowledge and often no concern for temperament or genetically inherited illnesses.  With some feeder breeders their lines are so inbred that sometimes those very traits that make rats affectionate to people no longer exist.  It is so sad.  We certainly want to avoid the imported lines going that way.
There is a lot more to breeding than just putting 2 rats together.  The imported lines are carefully monitored by the official breeders, and when an outcross is done to local lines, temperament, health and conformation are taken very seriously.  There is a very fine line that needs to be carefully balanced in order to ensure that we do not lose the varieties now available in South Africa, while at the same time not inbreeding or breeding in bad traits.  It is thanks to the great effort and cost from Moonstones Rattery that we have these rats, so to see them land up in pet shops where they will be bought cheaply, bred at random, and in some cases bred into feeder lines and mass produced is heartbreaking.
So for someone who wants to become a breeder it is important that they understand all the implications that goes with responsible breeding and be prepared to work with the other breeders and learn from their knowledge and experience.