A top TV vet has named the full list of dog breeds that could be at risk after Norway banned the selective breeding of two popular British breeds.
ITV’s Dr Scott Miller was speaking following news that the breeding of British Bulldogs and Cavalier King Charles Spaniels was banned due to criticism of the host of health issues commonly found at their home.
The Oslo District Court ruled that the breeding of brachycephalic or flat-faced dogs was cruel, causing unnecessary “man-made health problems” for the animals.
Speaking this morning on February 4, Dr Scott explained the decision and what it could mean for other breeds of selectively bred dogs.
Referring to the ban, he explained: “It’s quite a delicate matter. From a veterinary point of view, we have serious concerns about what are called brachycephalic dogs – flat-faced dogs – and the impact this has on their well-being.
“For a dog like that [British Bulldog], [they have] very narrow nostrils and virtually no nose.
“Thus, all the structures of the nasal passages are returned.
“King Charles Spaniels have such an abnormally shaped head that it can actually put pressure on the brainstem and lead to a neurological condition called syringomyelia.
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He warned: “These two conditions were created because of breed standards.
“What Norway has done though – by banning breeders, you can’t solve a problem unless you have a discussion at the table.
“And by banning breeders, they’re allowing dodgy breeders to come in, infiltrate with even worse genetic lines. I think that’s problematic.”
Asked if other breeds might be banned in the future, Dr Scott said: “So pugs are also flat-faced French bulldogs.
“Many people [like them]and the reason people do that is because we relate to animals that look like us, which is very simplistic.
“We love pandas, we love koalas, anything with a flat face and big eyes.”
Norway decided that the breeding of the dogs would be banned when the case was taken to court by animal rights group Animal Protection Norway.
Commenting on the decision, the group said it was “first and foremost a victory for our dogs”.
Animal Protection Norway CEO Ashild Roaldset said: “Human-made bulldog health problems have been known since the beginning of the 20 and century. This verdict has been awaited for many years.
Fans of the breeds will be pleased to know that the ban does not mean the end of British Bulldogs and Cavalier King Charles Spaniels.
The Norwegian decision clarifies that breeders who work to end animal health problems can continue to breed the dogs.