Wednesday, March 08, 2017

Meeting the Breathe Standard at Crufts?

The Breathe Standard??

Jemima Harrison has a great new public information and advocacy push going on at Crufts. She's calling Friday "Bad Nose Day," as it's the day so many short faced (brachycephalic) breeds are on display, such Pugs, Pekingese. English Bulldogs, and French Bulldogs. These flat-faced dogs often find it almost impossible to breathe as their smashed in muzzles shorten and tighten air ways, and the nostrils are often little more than slits. As The Telegraph notes:

As a sign of their concern about this issue, the Kennel Club has written to all the judges of flat faced dogs asking them to make sure that they take nostrils into account when making decisions. In the past, some prize-winning dogs have had narrowed nostrils, and the aim is to change this legacy.

Welfare campaigners, led by Jemima, are asking the public at Crufts to take photographs of dogs' nostrils, whether they're wide, narrow, or middle-sized, to gather an impression of the variety that's out there.

There has been increasing concern about the welfare of so-called brachycephalic dogs which are deliberately bred with “cute” flattened faces that prevent them from breathing normally. Specialist surgery to widen the breathing passages of such animals has become commonplace. Vets have been amongst those calling for changes to the way that these creatures are bred: it's so obviously wrong to deliberately create animals that are unable to breathe comfortably. Narrowed, “stenotic” nostrils are often a significant part of the problem.

Long time readers of this blog might remember that back in 2012, on this exact date, the Bulldog, Pekingese and Clumber winners at Crufts FAILED a basic vet check.

That same year, in the January edition of Dogs Today, I dared to ask: Is it Time to Dump the Bulldog?   

That's still the right question!

Too Closed for Comfort?

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