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Campaigners are calling for a ban on the sale of French Bulldogs, Pugs, and other flat-faced, or brachycephalic, pets in the UK.
Becky Thwaites, head of public affairs at Blue Cross, said they had already started contacting MPs. She told The Sun: "[We are] determined to see the end of the poor breeding of flat-faced dogs and are considering all options both legislative and non-legislative to achieve this."
The charity adds that a rise in "cute" advertising of certain breeds has led to a rise in demands for French Bulldogs and Pugs who are being diagnosed with health issues.
Struggling to breathe shouldn't be something that any pet experiences. 💔 Which is why we launched our #EndTheTrend campaign because pets like Cole, Clint and Banks deserve better. pic.twitter.com/mbK7Ex0MWu— Blue Cross (@The_Blue_Cross) February 17, 2022
The Blue Cross has recently launched the #EndTheTrend campaign which asks UK brands "to commit by the end of 2022 to phasing out the use of any brachycephalic pets in their future advertisements."
In recent years there has been a push by animal charities to ban the breeding of brachycephalic pets, as they can develop horrific health problems.
These pets can suffer breathing problems, overheating, sleep apnoea, eye disease and much more. Brachycephaly refers to a short skull shape, which gives the appearance of a flattened face.
The Blue Cross's #EndTheTrend campaign states that: "More and more major British consumer brands are using brachycephalic (flat-faced) animals in their marketing and advertising, even if their products are unrelated."
"By using brachycephalic pets in their advertisements, brands are indirectly contributing to the over-popularisation of these animals and, in turn, the extreme demand for flat-faced breeds." The charity continues.
The charity says that their veterinary staff have treated over 5,000 brachy pets – a number that continues to grow week on week.
Flat-faced animals have been seen as "trendy" in recent years leading to growth in demand for many breeds including French Bulldogs, Pugs, Boston Terriers, Persian Cats, and Lionheaded Rabbits.
In 2021 brachycephalic breeds made up one fifth of the nation’s dogs.
If you wish to sign the #EndTheTrend petition you can do so here.
If you see an animal in distress and/or in need of help, please contact the RSPCA's 24-hour animal cruelty line on 0300 1234 999 or visit their website for further advice