It is the dog that has come to symbolize Britain’s fighting spirit and pragmatic attitude. But a Norwegian court ruled on Monday that the breeding of British bulldogs should be illegal in the country, effectively banning the historic breed.
In a landmark ruling, the Oslo District Court ruled that breeding the dog violated the country’s animal welfare law, effectively banning the dog from the country.
“It’s first and foremost a victory for our dogs,” said Åshild Roaldset, the veterinarian who runs Animal Protection Norway, the animal rights group that took the case to court.
“It’s a landmark verdict that’s garnering international attention. Man-made bulldog health problems have been known since the turn of the 20th century. But dogs have a right to be raised healthy.”
The group’s legal team successfully argued for a ban on the breeding of both British Bulldogs and Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, arguing that the history of selective breeding meant that there are currently no animal in Norway that could be classified as “healthy” and therefore ethically used for breeding.
Due to their short, broad skulls and short muzzles, British Bulldogs are prone to brachycephalic airway obstruction syndrome and a range of other health issues.
The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, meanwhile, suffers from heart defects, headaches, and eye and joint problems.
The popularity of flat-faced dogs has grown in recent years, with the Kennel Club reporting a 2,747% increase in ownership over the past 17 years. Often, owners do not realize that their animals are suffering.