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People are urged to “stop and think” before buying fashionable flat-faced dog breeds like French Bulldogs as new fears show that buying such breeds will fuel criminal activity.
New figures released by the Kennel Club indicate that Flat-faced dogs had record high puppy registrations in 2020, up 17% from 2019. With a booming UK market for these dogs, the Brachycephalic Working Group (BWG) believes this will lead to further welfare issues related to inferior breeding practices.
The brachycephalic breeds, which have a shortened head and nose, already suffer from a variety of health problems, including breathing difficulties, skin fold infections, eye diseases, labor difficulties, and spinal disorders.
“The UK public has been sold the fantasy that flat-faced breeds are cute, but the suffering of many of these dogs has been ignored,” BWG chairman Dan O’Neill told the Vet Times.
“In addition to health problems like shortness of breath, many puppies sold in the UK are indiscriminately bred and many are kept in appalling conditions, often outside the UK. With this in mind, we ask the UK public to ‘stop and think’. before we buy a flat-faced dog. As a caring society, we must now take steps to put the needs of these dogs above our human desires to own dogs just for their looks. ”
Nor is this the first warning from experts. Back in March, vets warned that French bulldogs and pugs were going blind due to overbreeding. Despite its growing popularity, researchers found that changes in the shape of the skull cause ulcers and erosion of the eyeball, which prevents many dogs from closing their eyes.
Previous research also found that many have difficulty breathing and walking, and veterinarians urge owners to remain vigilant when adopting or buying the dogs.
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