|Petition asks government to leave flat-faced breeds alone
A petition has been launched to stop the government introducing a ban on brachycephalic breeds.
In recent weeks and months breeds such as Pugs, French Bulldogs and Bulldogs have come under the spotlight. The British Veterinary Association (BVA) recently launched its #breedtobreathe campaign urging the public to avoid these breeds due to their concerns about Brachycephalic Obstructive Airway Syndrome (BOAS). BOAS is a respiratory disorder that can affect brachycephalic breeds.
Last year the government opened up the possibility of prosecuting breeders under the Animal Welfare Act (2006). A spokesman said, 'Anyone knowingly breeding animals with genetic defects could be considered to be committing an offence under the 2006 act.'
Whilst they have not called for an outright ban the BVA have tried to apply pressure by taking a hard line stance saying that, 'animals which show extremes of conformation that negatively affect their health and welfare should not be used for breeding.'
The Kennel Club backed an open letter sent by Brachycephalic Working Group calling for an end to the use of brachycephalic dogs in advertising.
Last week, OUR DOGS reported on the ban on selling brachycephalic breeds on the New Zealand website Trade Me.
Sally-Ann Cracknell has launched the petition in response to the current campaigns that she feels are putting pressure on the government to introduce a ban on these breeds. The health problems of these breeds have received widespread publicity in the national press and on television.
Sally told OUR DOGS, 'A chain of events led to us launching the petition. Following the ban on electric shock collars the Scottish Government said they were going to look at brachycephalic breeds. Michael Gove wrote in a letter he was going to look at them and a member of the House of Lords gave a speech on it. These events brought it to a head.
'A petition has also been launched to ban brachycephalic breeds. There is a lot of misunderstanding about these breeds and people could mistakenly support a ban.
'So many of these breeds are absurdly healthy. We have pictures on the Proudly Pedigree facebook page that show Pugs climbing mountains and Bulldogs doing agility.
'Some are terrible but good breeders are ethical and the breeders have been working on improving the health of these breeds for over a decade. We have embraced these health schemes and we have all pulled together.
'I can't believe how successful the petition has been. I only put it up on Monday and we had already reached 4,000 by Tuesday lunchtime. It will be 5,000 by the end of the day. It has been shared all over facebook and twitter'.
In response to this petition Jemima Harrison, who made the Pedigree's Dog Exposed documentary, posted on the The Campaign for the Responsible Use of Flat-Faced Animals (CRUFFA) page, wrote, 'As ever, CRUFFA is not calling for a ban. We are calling for moderation. That means we still have Pugs, Frenchies and Bulldogs - but healthier.
'I am also certain that the Government has absolutely no intention to ban these dogs - well, not unless the core breeders absolutely refuse to moderate the phenotype... . I believe the intention is to simply make breeders more responsible if they produce predictably sick dogs eg in future, if you buy a Pug and it needs £3k worth of BOAS surgery... you are more likely to be able to make a claim against the breeder.'