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French bulldog set to become ‘most popular breed’
frenchie
New figures show there were 21,854 French bulldog registrations in 2016.
Registration figures prompt ‘welfare crisis’ concern
 
French bulldogs could soon overtake Labradors as the UK’s most popular dog breed, according to the latest Kennel Club registration figures.

Popular with celebrities including the Beckhams and Leonardo DiCaprio, French bulldogs are currently in third place, after Labrador retrievers and cocker spaniels. If current trends continue, the breed is on course to take the top spot by the end of 2018, unseating Labradors for the first time in 27 years.

New figures show that in 2016 the Kennel Club registered 21,470 French bulldog puppies, 33,856 Labradors and 21,854 cocker spaniels. This represents a 47 per cent increase in the number of Frenchie registrations from 2015-2016 alone, and a staggering 3,104 per cent increase in the past 10 years.

However, the Kennel Club figures account for just 30 per cent of the UK’s total dog population, meaning the number of French bulldogs in the country is likely to be far higher, including dogs that have been imported illegally from Eastern Europe.

There are concerns that the breed’s popularity is rising as a result of celebrity fashions rather than its suitability for owners. Animal welfare charities are already seeing an increase in Frenchies coming through their doors.

“French bulldog welfare services are getting more and more dogs through their doors, so there is a genuine concern that we could be facing a welfare crisis if their numbers keep increasing,” commented Jackie Mavro-Michaelis, secretary of the Pennine and Scottish French Bulldog Association.

Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club secretary, added: “The breed is a favourite with celebrities, who often flaunt them on their Instagram and Twitter accounts for people to coo over. While it’s normal to want to show off your dog, when celebrities do it, it usually results in a surge in the popularity of certain breeds, which is not a good thing as it opens the doors to unscrupulous breeders who see it as an opportunity to breed lots of them without due care to health and welfare.”

Would-be dog owners are being urged to do their research and consider other breeds that may be more suited to their lifestyles. For those intent on buying a French bulldog, choosing a responsible breeder or considering a rescue dog is crucial if they are to avoid contributing to an impending welfare crisis.

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Mission Rabies 2017 off to a great start

News Story 1
 More than 4,500 dogs have been vaccinated against rabies in one of the first major drives of 2017.

It took just two weeks in January for Mission Rabies to vaccinate 4,575 dogs in the Meru district of Tanzania.

The team set-up vaccination points across the district and followed-up with door-to-door work, checking vaccination cards and giving vaccines to any dogs that had been missed.

Overall, the charity reached 75 per cent of the local dog population, smashing last year's total and comfortably above the required 70 per cent.  

News Shorts
US science association honours leading Pirbright scientist

A leading scientist at The Pirbright Institute has been honoured by the American Association for the Advancement of Science as a 2017-2018 AAAS Alan I. Leshner Leadership Institute Public Engagement Fellow.

Dr Anthony Wilson, group leader for integrative entomology at Pirbright, was chosen from a large number of international applicants, together with 14 other infectious disease researchers from around the world.

In selecting the new Public Engagement Fellows, the AAAS said they had demonstrated, "...leadership and excellence in their research careers and interest in promoting meaningful dialogue between science and society".