Calls to ban the popular ‘baby face’ dog breeds in Australia, including French bulldogs and pugs, have re-emerged among the country’s leading animal welfare groups.
the Australian Veterinary Association (AVA) has launched a new call for a partial ban on the breeding of any dog with “a snout length less than a third of the length of the skull” due to the pain they suffer from diseases of the upper respiratory tract.
This includes a possible partial ban on breeds such as French bulldogs, pugs, Boston terriers, Cavalier King Charles spaniels, and British bulldogs.
READ MORE: What is your dog’s love language? The telltale signs that they adore you
READ MORE: Buckingham Palace refuses to confirm if Queen Elizabeth has COVID-19 after close contact with Prince Charles
2GB radio host ben fordham spoke to RSPCA Chief Veterinarian Liz Arnott about the controversial call, who revealed that “flat-faced dogs” need a breeding overhaul to make new generations healthier.
“We’re talking about flat-faced dogs like pugs and French bulldogs, because they are often born with health conditions that can cause discomfort or pain,” Fordham said. explained on his radio show.
“It often affects their ability to breathe, exercise or sleep, and a lot of people love these breeds because they’re cute, so we continue to breed them.”
Arnott told Fordham that owners often don’t realize the problems pugs and French bulldogs suffer from, explaining that the health of these popular breeds can be properly addressed through “selective breeding.”
“What’s interesting is that owners often don’t really recognize the illness or distress they’re in,” Arnott revealed.
“It’s not uncommon, and it’s the purpose of breeding programs, to make a generation of healthier, stronger, fitter animals. To improve the breed.”
READ MORE: The best superfoods that belong in your freezer
He added: “It seemed like we got lost somewhere where we’re intentionally trying to change an animal in a way that makes it dysfunctional.”
Asked by Fordham what the first steps are in correcting a new generation of dogs, Arnott said it comes down to the breeder’s decision making.
Both the RSPCA and AVA agree that breeding standards need to be transformed.
“We really need to drive change, that means breeders make decisions that mean subsequent generations are healthier,” he said.
“Selective breeding just means choosing animals that have traits you want to pass on. In the case of these brachycephalic dogs, that means testing them for health.” [traits] and breed them from those animals.
“This artificial breeding is not a new concept. We can do this, we can change the breeds, we just need to focus on health and not aesthetics.”
READ MORE: Changing your diet could add up to 13 years to your life, study says
Pugs and French bulldogs are considered “brachycephalic breeds” because the animals suffer from Brachycephalic Obstructive Airway Syndrome (BOAS), among other health problems.
The AVA is calling for a partial ban on the breeding of these dogs, which also includes the Cavalier King Charles, in a bid to refocus on traits that maximize their health and well-being.
“BOAS affects the animal’s ability to breathe, exercise, thermoregulate, sleep, play, and engage in other normal behaviors,” says the AVA.
“The AVA would like to see the law require breeders to honestly disclose the health and welfare issues that occur with brachycephalic breeds to owners.”
For a daily dose of 9Honey, Subscribe to our newsletter here.
Australia’s Best Dog Breed Revealed In Official Ranking