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Pugs And French Bulldogs Could Be Banned In UK With Calls For New Crackdown

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Pugs And French Bulldogs Could Be Banned In UK With Calls For New Crackdown

Animal charity Blue Cross is calling for the ban of French bulldogs and other flat-faced pets in UK advertising.

Calls have been growing amid veterinary and animal ethics group to ban the breeding of brachycephalic pets – short-muzzled animals such as French bulldogs, pugs and Boston terriers – who can end up suffering from serious health conditions and a limited life span.

The Australian Veterinary Association (AVA) has already called for a partial ban, and now the Blue Cross has launched the #EndTheTrend campaign.

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Common health issues that can affect brachycephalic pets include obstructed breathing, eye disease, skin disease and spinal deformities, which can lead to the animals having to undergo a 'distressing operation' known as BOAS (brachycephalic obstructive airway syndrome) surgery, have their eyes or eyelids removed in an Enucleation procedure or even undergo a Caesarean section.

It's not just dogs that are subject to the poor breeding either, with Persian cats and Lionhead rabbits also affected.

However, one fifth of the nation's dogs were brachycephalic breeds as of 2021 – with the breeds noted as being popular for their 'fashion' status.

The #EndTheTrend campaign is subsequently calling for the UK's leading brands – companies which it lists on its site – to 'commit to the end of 2022 to phase out the use of any brachycephalic pets in their future advertisements' in a bid to stem the over-popularisation of the animals and stop their breeding.

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The Blue Cross #EndTheTrend page states: "More and more major British consumer brands are using brachycephalic (flat-faced) animals in their marketing and advertising, even if their products are unrelated.

"By using brachycephalic pets in their advertisements, brands are indirectly contributing to the over-popularisation of these animals and, in turn, the extreme demand for flat-faced breeds.

"Over-popularisation, fuelled by advertising, online sales, and the impact of unregulated breeding, has resulted in an animal welfare crisis."

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The BVA has also released a guide for brands on how to use pets safely and ethically within campaigns.

"The power and reach of advertising can be harnessed to promote positive animal health and welfare and this document is intended to support advertisers in their decision making to achieve this," it states.

Becky Thwaites, Head of Public Affairs at Blue Cross said: “Blue Cross supports the move to end the poor breeding of flat-faced breeds who suffer from serious health conditions and a limited life span. We are pleased to see the calls being made in Australia to introduce legislative change and are keen to see the outcome of the proposed measures and learn what we can to address the same problem in the UK.

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"Ultimately Blue Cross is determined to see the end of the poor breeding of flat faced dogs and are considering all options both legislative and non-legislative to achieve this.”

The petition concludes: "With your support, we can put a stop to the cruel and inhumane over-breeding of these pets to solve the animal welfare crisis that we, as a society, have created. 

"Every pet deserves a long, happy and healthy life, and it is our responsibility as humans to give them one."

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If you see an animal in distress and/or in need of help, contact the RSPCA's 24-hour animal cruelty line on 0300 1234 999 or visit their website for further advice 

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: Animals, Dogs, UK News

Poppy Bilderbeck
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