Cookie use on MRCVSonline
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive all cookies.
If you would like to forward this story on to a friend, simply fill in the form below and click send.

Your friend's email:
Your email:
Your name:
 
 
Send Cancel

Lockdown sees surge in online searches for French bulldogs
Brachycephalic dog breeds are already facing a serious health and welfare crisis.

Rise prompts Brachycephalic Working Group to issue warning to potential buyers of 'flat-faced' breeds. 

New figures released by the Kennel Club show the demand for French bulldogs surged dramatically during the coronavirus lockdown.

According to the data, searches for the breed on the Kennel Club's website increased by 225 per cent during April and May 2020, when many people were at home, compared to the same time last year.

Furthermore, according to the latest 2020 registration data, the French Bulldog is once again the UK’s top dog, with the highest puppy registrations of any breed from January to March 2020.

The figures are so bleak that they have promoted the Brachycephalic Working Group (BWG) to issue a warning about the increased demand.

The group, which includes vets, rescue organisations, breeders and scientists, says the demand could worsen the already serious health and welfare crisis faced by brachycephalic breeds. It  is urging the public to ‘stop and think before buying a flat-faced dog'.

BWG chair Dan O’Neill commented: “We are concerned that some puppy buyers might not be fully considering or be aware of, the long-term responsibility and commitment that comes with getting a dog, especially a flat-faced dog.

“It’s vital that people stop and think. Getting a flat-faced puppy without being aware of the potential health and welfare issues they might face, especially if they are bred indiscriminately to meet demand, will have a devastating and long-lasting impact for thousands of dogs and owners in the UK.”

The impact of sudden and large increased population sizes is such a concern for researchers that the BWG has previously published a joint statement on this risk for dogs, alongside guidance on what can be done to help, on their website.

Dr O’Neill continued: “Rather than making an impulsive decision, or choosing a dog because it seems popular, cute or fashionable, we urge anyone considering buying a flat-faced breed to do their research first. It is true that some flat-faced breeds often have lovely characters, but do you really want to contribute to a welfare crisis where thousands of puppies are bred in appalling circumstances just to satisfy the huge demand for these breeds?

“Our message could not be clearer: Stop and think before buying a flat-faced breed.” 

Image (C) Rachel Hattersley/Veterinary Practice Today.

Become a member or log in to add this story to your CPD history

Face covering rules expanded

News Story 1
 New rules came into force in England on Saturday (8 August) making it mandatory for clients to wear a face covering in veterinary practices.

The rules, which also apply to cinemas, museums and places of worship, follow a recent spike in coronavirus cases. All clients in England must now wear a face covering when inside a veterinary practice unless they are exempt for age, health or equality reasons. 

Click here for more...
News Shorts
BSAVA webinars to shine the spotlight on selected journal papers

A free series of webinars that take a closer look at selected papers published in the Journal of Small Animal Practice has been produced by the BSAVA.

In the new BSAVA Science webinar series, authors of the featured papers discuss their results with a panel and how they may impact clinical practice. The authors then answer questions submitted by audience members.

The webinars are available via the BSAVA Webinar Library, covering four different papers. JSAP editor Nicola Di Girolamo, said: "Discussing the research with the authors - experts in their field - really helps to bring the papers to life."