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New figures show fall in popularity of pugs, bulldogs and French bulldogs
In the first six months of 2019, there were 31 per cent fewer registrations of pug puppies.
Health and welfare experts welcome news ‘with caution’

Statistics released by dog welfare organisation the Kennel Club have revealed that the pug, the French bulldog and the bulldog have all begun to fall in popularity.

The figures show that, in the first six months of 2019, there were 31 per cent fewer registrations of pug puppies, seven per cent less of bulldogs, and eight per cent less French bulldog registrations, compared with the first six months of 2018.

This is the first time in almost a decade these breeds - popularised by celebrities and advertisers - have seen a dip in their numbers. Meanwhile, registrations for miniature smooth haired dachshunds - a breed owned by singer Adele and YouTuber Tanya Burr - continue to soar, rising 23 per cent since 2018.

Dan O’Neill, chair of the Brachycephalic Working Group (BWG), said: “The dropping registrations for these key flat-faced breeds are a step in the right direction and we do welcome them, although with some caution.

“We hope this is a sign that more puppy buyers, owners and breeders are considering the health and welfare implications these dogs can face, especially if these dogs are bought on an impulse solely because they ‘look cute’ but with little understanding of their potential health issues, or that they are bred indiscriminately to meet demand.”

The health issues faced by brachycephalic dog breeds have created one of the most pressing welfare issues for dogs in the UK. In the last 10 years, French bulldogs have seen a staggering increase of 3,488 per cent, bulldogs by 135 per cent and pugs by 118 per cent.

In 2017, the BWG penned an open letter to advertisers urging them to avoid using brachycephalic dogs in their advertising campaigns. Most recently, the group has advised Disney in its film Patrick the Pug, and supported the BVA’s call on retailers to avoid using the breeds on Christmas merchandise.

Dan continued: “While we hope these figures indicate our concerns about flat-faced dogs may be starting to reach the public and that the unprecedented demand we’ve seen in recent years could be declining slightly, there are still thousands of flat-faced dogs being bred outside any umbrella of influence by irresponsible breeders and being bought by poorly informed owners.

“We will not rest on our laurels; we must continue to work together to protect the health and welfare of these still very much popular dogs, as many continue to suffer due to impulsive puppy buying habits and indiscriminate, opportunistic, profit-focused breeders.”

He added: “We’re also aware of extreme features in other breeds, such as Dachshunds, which now seem to be increasing in popularity and could become the new ‘breed of the moment’. Extremes of conformation in any animal are a cause for concern so we continue to urge puppy buyers again to really consider their decision before they buy a puppy, instead of choosing a dog because of fashion.”

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AWF Student Grant open for submissions

News Story 1
 Applications are open for the Animal Welfare Foundation (AWF) Student Grant Scheme for innovative research projects designed to impact animal welfare.

Undergraduate and postgraduate students of veterinary science, veterinary nursing, agriculture studies and animal welfare are invited to submit their proposals to undertake research projects next year.

Grants are decided based on the project’s innovation, relevance to topical animal welfare issues and ability to contribute towards raising animal welfare standards. For more information visit animalwelfarefoundation.org.uk.  

Click here for more...
News Shorts
SPANA film highlights plight of working animals overseas

Animal welfare charity SPANA (The Society for the Protection of Animals Abroad) has teamed up with Brian Blessed and other famous voices to highlight the plight of working animals overseas.

In a new animated film, the celebrities raise awareness by showing the solidarity of the UK's own working animals on strike. A sniffer dog (Brian Blessed), police horse (Peter Egan) and sheepdog (Deborah Meaden) are shown ignoring their duties and protesting in solidarity with animals in developing countries.

SPANA chef executive Geoffrey Dennis said: "We are so grateful to Deborah, Peter and Brian for lending their voices to our new film, and for speaking up for millions of working animals overseas. SPANA believes that a life of work should not mean a life of suffering, and it is only thanks to people’s generosity and support that we can continue our vital work improving the lives of these animals."