British Bulldogs and Cavalier King Charles Spaniels banned in Norway
Oslo District Court has ruled that reproducing the two breeds breaches the country’s Animal Welfare Act. The landmark ruling effectively bans the two iconic breeds.
The court ruled that the practice is cruel and results in man-made health problems for the animals, adding that breeding the flat faced dogs breaches the country’s Animal Welfare act.
Lawyers argued that it was no longer possible to maintain the health of the breeds in a case brought in 2018 by Animal Protection Norway which sued the Norwegian Kennel Club (NKK), the Norwegian Cavalier Club, the Norwegian Bulldog Club as well as six breeders of English bulldogs and Cavalier King Charles Spaniels.
Norway’s parliament in July 2021 voted to change the wording of a breeding clause in the Scandinavian country’s Animal Welfare Act to say that the NKK, breeder groups and private breeders were responsible for breeding healthy animals.
Lawyers representing the animal rights group argued that because of the history of selective breeding in the country, none of the animals currently in Norway could be considered healthy.
A court in Norway has banned British Bulldogs and Cavalier King Charles Spaniels.
A Cavalier King Charles Spaniel runs in the agility demonstration at Westminster Dog Show
They argued it therefore followed that none could be used ethically for breeding purposes.
Animal Protection Norway’s CEO, Åshild Roaldset, said: “This is first and foremost a victory for our dogs, and for us at Animal Protection Norway. It is a historic verdict that attracts international attention. The man-made health problems of the bulldog have been known since the early 20th century.But dogs have the right to be bred healthy.
“Now we have the wording in the law after the Oslo District Court ruled that dogs must be bred healthy. In the last 50 years, there has been a rapid technological and scientific development in breeding. In Norway, we have the infrastructure and technology to be able to achieve good, scientifically based breeding work.”
Kennel Club figures cited by The Blue Cross animal welfare charity show that the popularity of flat-faced dogs has boomed in recent years with the group recording a 2,747 percent increase in ownership in the UK of French Bulldogs alone since 2004.
READ MORE ABOUT PRINCE ANDREW LASHING OUT AT A GARDENER
However, a 2021 study by the Royal Veterinary College found 58 percent of short-nosed dog owners were unable to recognize signs their hound was having breathing problems.
English Bulldogs are susceptible to Brachycephalic Airway Obstruction Syndrome due to their flatter, wide skulls and short snouts. They can also suffer from skin problems, inverted eyelashes, kidney stone disease and kneecap dislocation.
Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are prone to heart defects, chronic headaches or syringomyelia, eye disease and joint problems where the kneecap is out of its usual position on the femur.
There is some hope remaining for lovers of British Bulldogs and Cavalier King Charles Spaniels in Norway with the ruling stipulating that breeders who work to bring an end to the animals’ health problems can continue.
Piers Morgan news UK Covid death toll Europe coronavirus cases latest [REVEALED]
Calls to ban petrol lawnmowers after ‘unbelievable’ damage to UK [REPORT]
German press mocks Brexit Britain as Boris hails ‘small victory’ [LATEST]
A British bulldog in Mexico City.
The ruling states: “A conviction does not imply a ban on serious breeding of Bulldog or Cavalier, as serious and scientifically based cross-breeding could be a good alternative.”
According to Belfast Live, Tom Øystein Martinsen, chairman of the Norwegian Kennel Club, said: “A breeding ban is still not a breed ban, and the consequences of this are great.
“Irresponsible players will be ready to take over the market producing dogs from breeding that are not subject to any form of control. Then the professional competence, health requirements and information about the health status and history of the breeding animals will disappear.
“As the situation is today, where there is no obligation to ID-mark the dog and there is no overview of those who breed outside the NKK system, in principle all unregistered breeding can take place without any kind of follow-up and control. “
Festively dressed British bulldog seen during December Fest in Russia.
But Ms Roaldset said Norway’s dogs deserve to benefit from the ruling, and the way the dogs are bred must be adjusted according to current, available knowledge.
She said: “This verdict has been a long time coming. For many decades, sick dogs have been bred in violation of Norwegian law in a systematic and organized betrayal of our four-legged friends. Today it has been confirmed that this is a crime .
“The ruling clarifies the need for change.”
Animal Protection Norway has proposed introduction of ID marking and the use of temperament, traits, health data and kinship data in breeding.
The ruling covers modifying hereditary issues so that they adversely affect the physical or mental functions of animals, or which continue such hereditary systems; reducing the ability of animals to exercise natural behavior and thirdly, increasing general ethical reactions so animals with hereditary issues shall not be used in further breeding.
Modern bulldogs descend from thick-set dogs used in bull baiting, which was introduced to Britain by the Normans in the 12th Century and went on to become a popular form of entertainment by the 1500s, according to The Kennel Club.
Spaniels can be traced back to at least the 16th Century with The Kennel Club saying it is likely they were bred from sporting breeds.