A top TV vet has named the full list of dog breeds that could be under threat after Norway banned the selective breeding of two popular British breeds.
ITV’s Dr Scott Miller was speaking following the news of the ban on breeding British Bulldogs and Cavalier King Charles Spaniels due to criticism over the multitude of health problems commonly found in them.
The Oslo District Court ruled that breeding brachycephalic, or flat-faced, dogs is cruel, causing unnecessary “man-made health problems” for the animals.
Speaking on This Morning on February 4, Dr Scott explained the ruling and what it may mean for other selectively bred dog breeds.
Referring to the ban, he explained: “This is quite a tricky one. From a veterinary perspective, we do have grave concerns about what’s called brachycephalic dogs – flat-faced dogs – and the impact that it has on their welfare.
“For a dog like that [British Bulldog], [they have] very narrow nostrils and virtually no nose.
“So all the structures in the nasal passages are shunted back.
“King Charles Spaniels have such an abnormally shaped head, it can actually pressurise the brain stem and lead to a neurological condition called syringomyelia.
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He warned: “Both of those conditions have been brought about because of breed standards.
“What Norway has done though – by banning the breeders, you can’t work through a problem unless you can have a discussion at the table.
“And by banning the breeders they’re allowing dodgy breeders to come in, infiltrate with even worse genetic lines. I think that that is problematic.”
Asked if other breeds could be banned in the future, Dr Scott said: “So Pugs as well are very flat-faced, French Bulldogs.
“A lot of people [like them], and the reason people do is that we relate to animals that look like us, which is very simplistic.
“We like pandas, we like koalas, anything with a flat face and big eyes.”
Norway ruled that the breeding of the dogs would be banned when the case was brought to court by animals rights group Animal Protection Norway.
Commenting on the decision, the group said it was “first and foremost a victory for our dogs”.
CEO of Animal Protection Norway Ashild Roaldset said: “The man-made health problems of the bulldog have been known since the early 20 th century. This verdict is many years overdue.”
Fans of the breeds will be delighted to know that the ban does not spell the end for British Bulldogs and Cavalier King Charles Spaniels.
The Norwegian ruling specifies that breeders who work to bring an end to the animals’ health problems can continue to breed the dogs.