In a joint effort to prioritize animal welfare and advocate responsible pet ownership, leading veterinary organizations have come together to address the use of brachycephalic animals in advertising campaigns. The Federation of European Companion Animal Veterinary Associations (FECAVA), the Federation of Veterinarians of Europe (FVE), Union of European Veterinary Practitioners (UEVP) and the International Society of Feline Medicine (ISFM) have collectively issued an open letter to companies employing brachycephalic animals, urging them to reconsider the portrayal of these breeds in their marketing materials.
Brachycephalic animals, characterized by their flat faces and unique body shapes, such as Pugs, French Bulldogs, Persian cats, and other similar breeds, have gained significant popularity in recent years. This trend has been fueled, in part, by the use of these animals in various advertisements, often presenting them in a charming and endearing manner. However, this practice has raised concerns within the veterinary community due to the inherent health challenges faced by these breeds.
These animals are bred with extreme conformation features, including narrow nostrils, elongated soft palates, bulging eyes, and other structural abnormalities. These traits, while contributing to their distinct appearance, also significantly compromise their overall health and quality of life. Many of the health issues that these breeds face, such as spinal deformities, heart problems, and respiratory difficulties, are not readily apparent from their outward appearance but have a profound impact on their wellbeing.
The open letter emphasizes the ethical responsibility of both veterinarians and advertisers to promote animal welfare and discourage the breeding of animals that suffer from severe health problems. By featuring brachycephalic animals in advertisements, companies inadvertently encourage the demand for these breeds, leading potential pet owners to choose them without fully understanding the health challenges they pose.
The veterinary organizations implore companies to consider the implications of their advertising practices and commit to refraining from using brachycephalic animals in their marketing campaigns. This collective stance serves as a call to action for advertisers to contribute positively to animal welfare and support healthier breeding practices.
As a unified front, FECAVA, FVE, UEVP and ISFM underscore the importance of safeguarding the wellbeing of all animals, ensuring that they lead healthy, happy lives, while also pledging to continue their efforts to improve breeding standards and reduce extreme conformation practices.
By choosing to prioritize animal welfare and make informed decisions regarding pet ownership, companies can play a significant role in promoting a culture of responsible pet ownership and healthier breeding practices.
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FVE/FECAVA Office Manager Ulrike Tewes: firstname.lastname@example.org
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Federation of European Companion Animal Veterinary Associations (FECAVA)
Through its member associations, the Federation of European Companion Animal Veterinary Associations (FECAVA) represents more than 25,000 companion animal veterinarians in 39 European countries. FECAVA strives to improve the veterinary care of pets through professional development. It also provides a voice for companion animal issues at European level and works closely with other European veterinary organisations and stakeholders.
Federation of Veterinarians of Europe (FVE) is the umbrella body for veterinary associations from 38 European Countries. It represent , through our Sections, veterinarians working in different fields of the profession, such as veterinary practitioners (UEVP), state officers (EASVO), food safety and veterinary public health (UEVH) and veterinarians working in education, research and industry (EVERI). / https://fve.org
Union of European Veterinary Practitioners (UEVP) is an European umbrella organization of national veterinary practitioners’ associations. Today, UEVP represents 27 member countries and 4 European federations. / https://uevp.fve.org
International Society of Feline Medicine (ISFM) is A worldwide resource on feline medicine and surgery. https://icatcare.org/veterinary/isfm/