Animal rights activist, Rosemary Elliott, argues for a ban on breeding flat-faced dogs in Australia, following one owner who spent £153,000 on life-saving surgeries for her bulldog
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Vets, dog owners and activists have called for a ban on the breeding of flat-faced breeds as they struggle to live with physical deformities.
Sentient, a veterinary institute for animal ethics, is one of many animal rights groups pushing for change in Australia.
Pugs, Boston terriers and British bulldogs are all bred for their ‘cute’ faces, but struggle to walk, breathe and sleep as a result.
President Rosemary Elliott says dogs and cats of these breeds face lifelong health conditions, reports Daily Mail.
“Breeding flat-faced dogs and cats is responsible for animal suffering that is entirely preventable and should be banned in animal welfare legislation,” Dr Elliott told a parliamentary hearing in NSW on Thursday.
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“These animals suffer gross physical deformities that make everyday life unbearably stressful.”
She believes there should be a change in legislation, so breeders are required to have certification issued by vets confirming the animals don’t have any health problems.
Discussing whether these breeds have a right to live, Dr Elliott said: “Their basic existence is one of suffering.”
“We wouldn’t intentionally bring into the world, regardless of species, individuals who are going to suffer to the extent that many of these animals suffer,” she explained.
Supporting Dr Elliott’s viewpoint is Sydney vet, Sam Kovac, who believes gentle artificial selection methods could see healthier breeds in a few generations time.
“I do support modifying breed standards to make a healthier Frenchie that needs fewer vet visits,” he said.
One French bulldog owner, Maureen Elvy, from Sydney, has spent over £153,000 on life-saving surgeries for her pet, Phoebe.
Phoebe is allergic to 700 types of trees and can only survive with a diet of crocodile meat and hypoallergenic biscuits.
Had Maureen known her costs of living would be so high, she admits she probably wouldn’t have gotten Phoebe – but she has no regrets.
“What a moral dilemma, I love her so much and I can’t imagine my life without her,” she said. “But I wouldn’t knowingly get a sick dog.”
Based on her own experience, Maureen wants to see dodgy breeders prosecuted and where appropriate, be made to pay for treatment for poorly pets.
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