FECAVA video: Please don't buy flat-faced animals
The Federation of European Companion Animal Veterinary Associations (an IPFD Collaborating Partner) has come out with a powerful new video bringing the voices of veterinary practitioners together in a plea for people not to buy brachycephalic - flat-faced - animals.
As we have been discussing and blogging (see links below) - the incredible popularity of these animals has led to increased stress and anguish for veterinarians throughout the world - and for the owners - and mostly - for the dogs themselves. Many groups and organizations are working to address these problems, but, to be successful we must address the source - the demand for these types of pets. So this is the simple plea: Please don't buy flat-faced animals.
Some may feel this is an extreme approach. Let this be an indication that vets feel this situation is extreme. However, calls for breed banning may not be effective - see my comments on: Vet Information Network (VIN) Article: Banning brachycephalic breeds is unrealistic.
It is sad news to those who love French Bulldogs, Pugs, Bulldogs, and other flat-faced dogs, but there is no question that as breeds, and as individuals there are significant, wide-spread health and welfare problems in these breeds and the evidence is clear. Unfortunately, not everyone is on the same page. Just the other day I posted a blog called The Great Divide on the differences in opinions and approaches across stakeholder groups, i.e. vets and breeders.
We commend all groups working to increase awareness and trying to promote meaningful actions on behalf of dogs and other pets. It is great to see this approach towards owners and prospective owners. We can only hope that people will listen. ** I am amending this blog due to its misinterpretation by some. My plea here was meant to encourage people to listen to the stress of the vets - going so far as to make this plea. It was not meant to indicate my support for any, possibly implied, banning of breeds. There are examples of people breeding relatively healthy, relatively flat-faced dogs. And the divide between vets and those in the show world likely arises by them seeing very different sub-populations of these dogs. However, vets are seeing a high number of compromised pets.
It is important that people make informed choices about their pets and not buy on a whim or for status or for looks alone. It is important to understand if breeds, by their nature or conformation, are at an increased risk of disease - and what that might mean to the owner's heartbreak or purse strings. It is important to understand the source of dogs and how many are produced to satisfy the demand and when demand is extreme, 'good' breeding... breeding for health and welfare may be sacrificed. And crucially important to understand that it is the people buying the dogs that supply the demand. I hope that people will take time to think about all that... i.e. really listen.
Some references and links:
Brenda Bonnett Blogs:
- The Great Divide - Responses to Challenges in Extreme Breeds - https://dogwellnet.com/blogs/entry/210-the-great-divide- responses-to-challenges-in-extreme-breeds/
- Veterinarians and Brachycephalic Dogs - Ethics and Reality - https://dogwellnet.com/blogs/entry/205-veterinarians-and-brachycephalic-dogs-ethics-and-reality/
- Extremes of Conformation | Brachycephalics: https://dogwellnet.com/content/international-actions/extremes-of-conformation-brachycephalics/
- Dog Breeding Reform Group - https://www.dbrg.uk/
- FECAVA - e.g., Health Breeding https://www.fecava.org/policies-actions/healthy-breeding-3/
- International Collaborative on Extreme Conformation in Dogs (ICECDogs) - https://www.icecdogs.com/home/news