|No flat-faced breeds in advertising, traders told by KC
THE KENNEL Club has written to all trade stand holders, requesting them to avoid using brachycephalic dogs to advertise their products.
This come amid concerns that more and more bodies are against using these breeds for any form of publicity, with fears that the breeds will become more popular and be bred unscrupulously in an attempt to cash in, without health issues being addressed.
The letter says: 'Dear Trade Stand Holder, 'Please find the below open letter that has been sent to the advertising industry recently by concerned dog welfare organisations, the veterinary profession, dog breed clubs and scientific researchers that we have been asked to forward.
'As you will see there is increased concern about the health and welfare of brachycephalic dogs due to the amount they are used in advertising. The Kennel Club and other organisations involved appreciate that certain advertising featuring these breeds must take place for when they are breed related, such as special dietary food and anything made specifically with these breeds in mind, however when it is unrelated and can be avoided we would be very grateful in any support you can provide in not using these breeds in advertising.'
The letter in question was an open letter from the Brachycephalic Working Group, comprising: Animal charities - Dogs Trust, PDSA, RSPCA Academia - Royal Veterinary College, University of Cambridge Dog registration and welfare - Kennel Club; Dog breed clubs - Bulldog, French Bulldog, Pug Veterinary profession - British Small Animal Veterinary; Association (BSAVA), British Veterinary Association (BVA)
It read: 'A request to companies to avoid using 'flat faced' (brachycephalic) dogs in marketing and advertising
'Brachycephalic dogs (dogs with flat faces/short muzzles including Bulldogs, French Bulldogs and Pugs) have grown hugely in popularity and ownership over recent years, fuelled by their increased prominence in advertising and the wider-media.
'These dogs are often considered to look appealing, cute or comic, but breeding primarily for their looks has led to health problems in a substantial proportion of these brachycephalic dogs. These problems include:
'• Breathing difficulties caused by anatomical defects in the upper airways
'• Recurring skin infections as a result of skin folds
'• Eye disease: corneal ulcers and infections
'• Inability to give birth naturally
'• Spinal and / or neurological problems
'Whilst most owners have the wellbeing of their pet at heart, unfortunately many fail to recognise signs such as difficulty breathing as signs of poor health and welfare, with many considering these as "normal for the breed". However, these problems have substantial welfare consequences for affected dogs, including inability to sleep, exercise or regulate body temperature properly. Reducing and ultimately eliminating these health problems is a goal shared by all those who care about the health and welfare of dogs, including the veterinary profession, welfare charities, the Kennel Club, breed clubs and both responsible breeders and owners.
'Brachycephalic dog breeds are commonly used to market products and services. This only perpetuates the appeal and desirability of these breeds. Ethical advertisers and companies have an important role to play in promoting positive animal welfare and working with us to reduce the inappropriate promotion of flat-faced breeds.
'We, the members of the Brachycephalic Working Group (a group set up to tackle the aforementioned issues), therefore ask all organisations and individuals, as part of their corporate social responsibility and brand protection to refrain from the use of brachycephalic dogs (including in cartoons and/or CGI) in marketing materials and products and to publicly commit to this ethical stance.'