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Norway Bans Breeding Of English Bulldogs And Cavalier King Charles Spaniels

Dominic Smithers

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Norway Bans Breeding Of English Bulldogs And Cavalier King Charles Spaniels

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Norway has banned the breeding of English Bulldogs and Cavalier King Charles Spaniels.

The animal rights group Animal Protection Norway, which campaigned for the change to the law, announced the ruling had been made due to the numerous 'man-made health problems' experienced by both types of dog.

The body said the breeds were subject to 'systemic betrayal of our four-legged friends' and that the practice went against the country's Animal Welfare Act.

Announcing the ruling, Ashild Roaldset, CEO of Animal Protection Norway, said: "The man-made health problems of the bulldog have been known since the early 20th century. This verdict is therefore many years overdue.

"For many decades, sick dogs have been bred illegally. What is happening here is a systematic and organized betrayal of our four-legged friends. Today it was finally determined that this is a violation of the law."

Breeding English Bulldogs (pictured) and Cavalier King Charles Spaniels has been banned in Norway. Credit: Alamy
Breeding English Bulldogs (pictured) and Cavalier King Charles Spaniels has been banned in Norway. Credit: Alamy

Both Bulldogs and King Charles Spaniels are known to suffer from a variety of health problems, including breathing conditions, skin infections, eye conditions, joint problems and heart issues.

In 2016, a study by a team at the University of California found that the genetic make up of English Bulldogs was not sufficiently diverse for the breed to continue.

According to the piece of research, the intense designing of the animals was creating biological issues.

For example, of the 102 healthy dogs included in the study, around 80 percent of them were more genetically similar than they would have been if their parents had been siblings.

Animal Protection Norway argued in court that a ban was required because intense breeding had meant that no animals from either breed could be categorised as 'healthy', and therefore it went against the country's welfare laws.

The ruling stated, however, that the new ban would not include breeders who are attempting to put an end to the animals’ health problems.

The judgement said that 'serious and scientifically-based cross-breeding could be a good alternative'.

In the UK, some 11,594 English Bulldogs were registered to the Kennel Club in the UK in 2020, which represented a decade-long high for the breed.

The ruling stated neither Cavalier King Charles Spaniels (pictured) or English Bulldogs could be categorised as 'healthy'. Credit: Alamy
The ruling stated neither Cavalier King Charles Spaniels (pictured) or English Bulldogs could be categorised as 'healthy'. Credit: Alamy

However, the popularity of King Charles Spaniels has waned in recent years, with fewer than 3,000 registered in the UK in 2020 compared with more than 7,000 ten years earlier.

A couple of years ago, the UK government introduced a landmark new law aimed at preventing puppy farms from operating illegally by banning the commercial third-party sale of baby animals.

'Lucy's Law' means that anyone who wants to get a pet puppy or kitten in England must buy directly from a licenced breeder, or consider adopting instead.

The law is named after a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel called Lucy - she died in 2016 after being poorly treated on a puppy farm as a baby.

Lucy's Law is the result of a 10-year grassroots campaign supported by the likes of Ricky Gervais, Brian May and Rachel Riley.

Topics: Animals, Dogs

Dominic Smithers
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