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Dog lovers urged to avoid buying 'flat faced' breeds for Christmas
"We are particulalry worried about the rising demand for flat-face puppies who often suffer from painful health conditions" - Dr Dan O'Neill.
Figures suggest searches for French bulldogs and bulldog puppies peak during November.

Potential dog owners are being warned against buying brachycephalic breeds ahead of the festive season in a bid to crackdown on puppy farming and the ‘international smuggling of these dogs by profiteering cruel traders’.

The warning from the Brachycephalic Working Group (BWG) comes as new figures show that searches for French Bulldogs and Bulldog puppies rose during the second half of 2020, peaking on 21 and 1 November, respectively. 

In light of their findings, major stakeholders from the BWG, including the BVA and Dogs Trust, are calling on the public to ‘stop and think before buying a flat-faced dog’ - especially as the pandemic has impacted on the supply of responsibly-bred puppies.

Dr Dan O’Neill, chairman of the BWG, said: “Unlike some commodities which are reportedly going to be in short supply this Christmas, and which we’re being advised to ‘buy now to avoid disappointment later’, puppies are living, sentient creatures and must not be bought on a whim.

“We are particularly worried about rising demand for flat-faced puppies who often suffer from painful health conditions. This demand, spurred in part by the pandemic, coupled with rife puppy farming, rogue breeding and international smuggling of these dogs by profiteering cruel traders, means it’s incredibly difficult to responsibly source one of these dogs at any time of the year.

He continued: “Dog welfare concerns only grow at Christmas due to impulsive puppy buying decisions and gift-giving. With this newly released data showing a trend for ‘Christmas puppies’, the UK’s leading pet welfare experts are urging would-be owners to avoid buying any new four-legged friend at Christmas.”

Research by the BWG also found that during 2020, Kennel Club registrations for the French bulldog and English bulldog rose to record levels, increasing by 17 per cent between 2019 and 2020.

Catherine Dobbie, Dogs Trust veterinary surgeon, said: “As our famous slogan states, ‘A Dog is for Life, not just for Christmas’. Welcoming a dog into your life is a wonderful thing, but it is big commitment and one that needs to be thought through."

Justine Shotton, BVA President, added: “We’d advise owners against getting a dog of any breed around Christmas time, as it’s a big commitment that extends far beyond the festive period and requires very clear and careful consideration."

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VET Festival returns for 2022

News Story 1
 VET Festival, the unique CPD opportunity, is returning for 2022, running from 20 to 21 May.

The outdoor event, held at Loseley Park in Guildford, will feature 17 education streams, with a dedicated stream covering veterinary wellness, leadership and management topics. The festival will feature veterinary speakers from around the world, with the opportunity to collect 14 hours of CPD across the two-day event.

Alongside veterinary education, VET Festival will also offer wellbeing activities such as yoga and mindfulness activities, with the popular VETFest Live Party Night making a return for 2022.

Tickets available here.  

Click here for more...
News Shorts
Avian influenza housing order declared in Yorkshire

A new avian influenza prevention zone has been declared in North Yorkshire following the identification of H5N1 avian influenza at a number of premises.

The requirement means all bird keepers in Harrogate, Hambleton and Richmondshire are now legally required to keep their birds indoors and follow strict biosecurity measures.

Several other cases of H5N1 avian influenza have also been confirmed in recent days at sites in Essex, Cheshire and Cumbria. On Monday (22 November), the disease was identified near Wells-next-the-Sea, North Norfolk.