Jump to content
REGISTER NOW for the 4th International Dog Health Workshop (IDHW) Read more... ×
Translation Help | Aide à la traduction | Käännösohje | Übersetzungshilfe | Oversettelseshjelp | Översättningshjälp | Ayuda de traducción Read more... ×
International Collaboration For Dog Health And Welfare. Join Us.
×
  • entries
    27
  • comments
    18
  • views
    6,158

The Brachycephalic Issue: Evidence, Emotion and Challenged Beliefs

Brenda Bonnett

Viewed: 949 times

I look forward with interest to see how the discussions and collaborations develop on this important issue.  Brachycephalic – flat-faced dogs – are a hot topic.

opposing_views.thumb.jpg.98ec69b409f6f04

As has been said elsewhere, there are intense emotions and strongly-held opinions on all sides.  There continue to be opposing views expressed on the internet and social media - not always in a respectful manner; some rather confrontational. In my experience, people at opposing poles (of this and other issues) often share some similarities - they are passionate in their beliefs; have confidence in their own evidence; may dismiss the evidence put forward by others (or interpret it very differently); both may accuse the other side of ignoring the evidence.  All feel they are fighting a good cause; most, I would say, have ‘good’ intentions. 

 

As an epidemiologist I generally try to see the 'Big Picture'.  As a representative of IPFD and the one who is ultimately responsible for DogWellNet.com, I am committed to providing a balance, highlighting the issues in the broadest sense, providing evidence, and trying to promote information sharing and collaboration.  I am optimistic that all sides will find this helpful. However, there is certainly some risk that the efforts of a ‘moderate' (or a moderator) may actually serve to frustrate those at the poles of an issue.

 

And, interestingly, I came across a perfect example of this, just this week, relative to the controversy surrounding the outlawing of horse slaughter for meat in the USA.  Without going into the details, the consequences of eliminating humane slaughter, while reducing the production of horse meat for human consumption, have almost certainly included increased suffering and welfare issues for many horses.  I do not want to start a debate here!  I do want to tell you about a conversation I had with Prof. Hal Herzog.  He invited another researcher to post to his blog (on Psychology Today) her - balanced - assessment of the impacts and issues on both sides of the question.  To their angst and surprise, rather than an inflow of comments thanking them for a reasoned and unbiased presentation of the issues, the authors were attacked.  And attacked almost equally by those at either end of the issue. One can only hope that many who read the information – but who declined to comment – were thoughtfully inspired by the material; that they would consider the ramifications of 'best intentions', both in this specific case and, in general; and that they might be moved to ponder the potential for unforeseen or unintended consequences in all acts and actions.  

 

We will always get more comments from those with strong opinions than those in the middle, even if the latter represent the majority.  This assumption must sustain those of us trying to provide exposure to the complex and challenging issues of people and pets. 

 

remembrance_day.thumb.jpg.71f4ccdb5cb09a

 

Let us have respect and compassion for each other; let us believe that each of us – even if we don’t agree on the exact definitions - wants health, well-being and welfare for dogs and to support all that is good in human-animal interactions.  Let us find common ground and work collaboratively towards those goals

 

A friend/ colleague, commenting on a draft of this blog said, “Compassion and empathy saves us all from becoming completely blinded by our own entrenched views.” 

 

Posting a plea to avoid conflict on Remembrance Day, here in Canada, seems somehow appropriate.

 

You might be interested in Prof. Herzog's book: Some We Love, Some We Hate, Some We Eat: Why It's So Hard to Think Straight About Animals.

 

And I will mention another very recently published book: Companion Animal Ethics, by Sandoe, Corr and Palmer.

 

Thanks to Jen St. Louis Photography for the chameleon image.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



1 Comment


Recommended Comments

This makes me remember that in the XIXth century, the main association for animal welfare in France (SPA Societe Protectrice des Animaux) supported horse meat consumption (Pierre, 2003, L’hippophagie au secours des classes laborieuses, Communications, 74:177-200.), for the same very reasons that make some people currently support horse slaughter in USA...

 

Share this comment


Link to comment

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • International Dog Health Workshops

    2-15-2018-4thidhw-postcard8inx3in-web.png

    REGISTER NOW for the 4th IDHW in the UK!
    Co-hosted by The Kennel Club and IPFD
    May 30th - June 1st, 2019

    4th IDHW - DWN's Pre-Meeting Resources

  • Our Partners

    • The Kennel Club is the largest organization in the UK devoted to dog health, welfare and training. Its objective is to ensure that dogs live healthy, happy lives with responsible owners.   …
    • Agria Djurförsäkring (Agria Animal Insurance) is one of the world's leading animal insurers specialising in small animal and equine insurance. The company dominates Scandinavian pet insurance and h…
    • The French Kennel Club - SOCIÉTÉ CENTRALE CANINE (SCC) - was founded in 1881 as a non-profit organization by dog fanciers aiming to replenish native dog breeds and to bring in and establish foreign…
    • Agria is one of the world’s leading animal insurers, specialising in small animal and equine insurance. Founded in Sweden over 120 years ago, Agria came to the UK in 2009 and is now a prominent feat…
    • The SKK - Svenka Kennelklubben (Swedish Kennel Club, in English), is Sweden's largest organisation dedicated to dogs and dog owners. We represent the interests of our 300,000 members – first time d…
    • Suomen Kennelliitto (Finnish Kennel Club, in English) - Established in 1889, the Finnish Kennel Club is a nationwide expert organisation on canine matters. Its aim is to promote the breeding of ped…
    • Royal Canin is a global leader in pet health nutrition. In an industry that continues to adapt to popular trends in cat and dog food, our mission will remain the same; to constantly bring, through H…
    •   Mars Veterinary is a business unit of Mars Petcare, the world’s largest pet care provider. Their mission is to facilitate responsible pet care by enhancing the well-being and relationship bet…
    • The Norwegian Kennel Club (NKC) was founded in 1898, and is the largest organisation for dog owners in Norway.   Website: https://www.nkk.no/english/category1045.html Norwegian Kennel Club…
    • The OFA was a Founding Partner of the International Partnership for Dogs; As of January 1, 2018, the OFA is no longer an IPFD Partner.    Founded and originally incorporated as a private no…
    • The VDH - Verband für das Deutsche Hundewesen (German Kennel Club in English) is the foremost organisation representing the interests of dog-owners throughout Germany – the first address to find ou…
    • The FCI was a Founding Partner of the International Partnership for Dogs; As of January 1, 2018, FCI is no longer an IPFD Partner.   The Fédération Cynologique Internationale is the World C…
    • The Irish Kennel Club promotes the responsible ownership and breeding of dogs throughout Ireland through education, registration, training and support schemes and events.   Website: http://…
×

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.