Netherlands Ban On Pug Breeding To Prevent Suffering

The Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality of the Netherlands has announced this Friday an initiative to prevent animal suffering that includes the possible ban on pug dogs or Scottish Fold cats.

“This issue affects me not only as a minister, but also as a person. We make life miserable for innocent animals, simply because we think they are ‘beautiful’ and ‘cute’. That is why today we are taking a big step towards a Netherlands where no pet has to suffer because of its appearance,” Dutch minister Piet Adema said in a statement.

The Ministry contemplates the possibility of creating a list with external characteristics that may be harmful to animals. These include dogs that cannot breathe properly due to their short snouts, such as pugs.

Likewise, other affected animals could be Scottish Fold cats because they have a genetic mutation that causes pain in the cartilage of their legs. For this reason, their ears are folded, as reported by the newspaper ‘Het Parool’.

“People who already have at home an animal with that characteristic that is prohibited can keep that animal until it dies,” clarified the minister, who has reported that the Executive wants to prepare two parallel measures, one on the prohibition of this type of animals and another on their sale, import or exhibition.

Norway Has Already Banned The Breeding of Two Breeds to Avoid Suffering

Precisely, last year the Oslo District Court (Norway) definitively prohibited the breeding of two canine breeds, considering that the resulting specimens experience “incompatible suffering” with the Animal Welfare Law in force in the country.

The breeds in question are the English bulldog and the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, brachycephalic dogs (with broad skulls with short muzzles and flattened heads), a condition resulting from selective breeding for aesthetic purposes only that causes breathing problems, difficulty swallowing, disorders related to the digestive system such as esophageal reflux, as well as sleep apnea, eye problems, heat stroke and other serious health conditions.

While the decision was supported by organizations defending animal rights and activists, canine companies and private breeders expressed their discontent with the measure, since it is a brake on selective breeding and the high price involved in selling specimens of ‘breed pure’.

The inbreeding resulting from the breeding and reproduction of canine companies and private breeders has caused a population of both breeds with a high degree of consanguinity, a problem that according to the Norwegian Society for the Protection of Animals (NSPA), promoter of the initiative, has caused hereditary disorders present in the majority of individuals in the country.

In the trial that began at the end of 2021, the NSPA considered the breeding of both breeds “unethical”, and calculated that while the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel accumulates about 25 hereditary disorders, the English bulldog presents up to 40, evidence that they consider contradicts the Animal Welfare Act, which stipulates that husbandry shall promote the good health of animals.

The NSPA explains that more of the English bulldogs born in Norway in the last decade required a caesarean section, because their hip makes it difficult to deliver by natural childbirth. In addition, this breed frequently suffers from dermatological, cardiac, reproductive and orthopedic problems.

In the case of the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, a breed with an aristocratic reputation, headaches are common due to the small size of its skull, as are eye conditions, while the main cause of death is due to congenital heart problems.

Although the verdict has yet to become law, the ongoing ban revives a broad debate about selective breeding that is based on purely aesthetic criteria to obtain the desired characteristics in a particular breed, despite the congenital diseases and heart problems that inbreeding can cause. carry.

The regulations allow the crossing of both breeds with healthy dogs of other breeds as a scientifically viable mechanism to provide greater genetic viability and improve their long-term health.

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