A call to ban pugs and French bulldogs in a crackdown on ‘dangerous’ breeding has prompted a very emotional response from animal lovers and pet owners in Gloucestershire.
Animal charity Blue Cross is campaigning to end the poor breeding of flat-faced dogs, which they believe causes respiratory problems and other health issues, including heart murmurs.
One in five dogs in the UK are now a flat-faced breed as pets become more popular, and Blue Cross vets claim to have treated more than 5,000 brachycephalic (short-skull) pets over the past few years. last two years only.
READ MORE: Call to ban pugs and French bulldogs amid crackdown on ‘dangerous’ breeding
Opinion among Gloucestershire Live readers was firmly split down the middle when we shared the story on Facebook, with many people who own such pets saying their pooches had no health issues and were happy.
On the other side of the fence were animal lovers who supported the call for a ban, saying the selective breeding of certain types of dogs was cruel and unnecessary, and done for human desire without regard to the animal itself.
Angela Vaughan has shared a before and after photo of pugs, what they looked like in the 1800s and what they look like now, complete with flat nose shape – and the difference is remarkable.
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Clearly not a fan of selective breeding, she said: ‘Pugs are just one example of the insidious fad over function that has led to dog inbreeding.’
Joanne Gibbons agreed, saying, “It’s horrible what’s happened to the race. This is the only way to try to recover the rows and try to get rid of some faults. Hopefully they actually do.
Shar Millin, who speaks from experience owning a rescue dog – a cross between a pug and a French bulldog – said surgery is often the only answer to relieving the dog’s suffering.
“Most people miss the point; no matter how healthy you claim your pugs, chugs, frugs, Frenchies are, they all have the same issues; they all have very narrow noses and all will have difficulty breathing.
“My rescue frug is the same; very healthy diet, lots of exercise, but she still has the same problem and surgery to enlarge the narrowing is the only way to fix it.
“No matter how well or poorly breeders have made litters, the fact remains that these breeds all struggle.”
However, other readers who own such dogs say their pets have had no respiratory or health issues and don’t think such a ban should be in place.
But they also stress the importance of buying your pet from a responsible breeder who has the best interests of the dog at heart, rather than just breeding for fashion and profit.
Frug owner Richard G England said: ‘She has no breathing issues and has been checked. All races have their problems.
In response, Chantell Scheepers Mustoe, owner of two pugs, said: “I agree. My two pugglets are healthy and much loved. I got them from responsible breeders.
The Kennel Club also came for sticks. Rob Redridge said: “I blame the Kennel Club. To allow any breed to be valued for appearance to suit fickle dog owners and award the highest prices to the most deformed of these poor dogs when they know it harms animal health , is a shame.
And the dog’s owner, Trish Ashton, said she hopes the ban goes further to include more selective breeds. “They are bred to suffer and this is the only way to stop selfish breeders. I have a Shih Tzu rescue and many problems have come with her. It’s heartbreaking how they suffer through breeding This is fantastic news. If it saves more from being born in pain, then it’s worth it.
However, some believed the answer was to educate the public rather than an outright ban, or there was a fear that pets would be dumped or euthanized.
Louise Mary Janet Emmerson said: “They need to educate the public about the health, the welfare implications of the bad traits bred in these breeds and the immense cost to vets when these traits impact the lives of these dogs.
“Additionally, breeders who sell puppies should be regulated to prevent poor breeding and the Kennel Club should also support the improvement of these breeds to elevate these traits. If they forbid them to be owned, there will be a massive dumping of pets and hundreds sleeping.
Some commentators have gone further, calling for harsher penalties for irresponsible breeders. Weyland Laurus demanded: “The breeders of deformed dogs should be jailed for the pain and suffering caused to these lovely dogs.”
However, Rhiannon Francesca, owner of a pug and a French bulldog, took a more measured approach, shared by others, when she said: “While mine don’t have breathing problems, a lot others have them and there are too few responsible breeders. Those that exist should be able to live their lives in nice homes, but there should be no more breeding or brachycephalic dogs.
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