The Netherlands is first country in the world to ban ownership of pets with harmful external characteristics

Dutch government proposed a law which prohibits the ownership of cats and dogs with external characteristics that are harmful to the animal. The ban was announced on January 21 by the Minister of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality (Piet Adema). Using immages of these animals for advertising and social media promotion will be prohibited as well. The ban will apply to cats with folded ears (Scottish fold) and dogs and cats with flat faces (f.i. pugs, French bulldogs, Persian cats).

Health problems caused by flat faces and folded ears
The flat faces and stocky build of breeds such as the pug and the French and English bulldog cause a range of serious disorders. Most of these dogs are chronically out of breath and susceptible to heat strokes. The nose fold which is typical for these breeds causes skin and eye infections.
The folded ears that are typical for the Scottish fold are caused by a genetic cartilage disorder that also causes painful joints and joint diseases.

Chronic suffering
There is clear scientific evidence that a lot of pets suffer chronically from specific physical characteristics they are deliberately bred for. Veterinarians and animal welfare organizations have warned about these health problems for years.
The Dutch animal welfare organization Dier&Recht (Animal&Law) has been campaigning against deliberate breeding based on harmful external characteristics for years. During this campaign, the foundation worked together closely with other organisations such as the Royal Dutch Society for Veterinary Medicine (KNMvD) and the Dutch Society for the Protection of Animals (Dierenbescherming). The organizations welcome the announced ban.

Dier&Recht hopes more countries will follow
Veterinarian Kelly Kessen of Dier&Recht: “This is fantastic news for all dogs and cats that suffer from the extreme physical features they are purposefully bred for. We hope that more countries will follow this example and realize that these animals are continuously suffering from their disorders and limitations!”

More at Dier&Recht webpage on the LINK (in Dutch)

Dier&Recht is a non-profit organisation that speaks out for animals by campaigning, filing lawsuits and political lobby.

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