Animal rights advocates are fuming after an attempt to introduce a ban on breeding ‘flat-faced’ dogs, including French bulldogs, boxers and shih tzus, was blocked.
A motion by Animal Justice party MP Emma Hurst to introduce a ban on the dogs, which often suffer severe health issues and cost unwitting owners thousands in medical costs, was blocked by the NSW government in parliament.
Other breeds likely to be targeted by a possible ban will include King Charles spaniels, pugs, Boston terriers, and British bulldogs.
A motion by Animal Justice party MP Emma Hurst to introduce a ban on ‘flat-faced’ dogs, which often suffer severe health issues and cost unwitting owners thousands in medical costs, was blocked by the NSW government in parliament
Ms Hurst with a pug, one of the types of dogs which commonly suffer from Brachycephalic Obstructive Airway Syndrome (BOAS)
Only one member is needed to object to a motion, which means a bill cannot be introduced on the issue without further support.
Ms Hurst slammed the NSW government over the block and said it signaled to breeders they could continue to make money out of the suffering of dogs.
‘This morning the Government objected to my motion to outlaw breeding animals with specific appearances that will cause them a lifetime of suffering,’ she said.
‘So essentially people can continue to breed animals that will suffer as long as someone is making money out of it.’
Boston terriers are one of the breeds affected by breathing difficulties due to selective breeding
Sydney woman Maureen Elvy’s French bulldog Phoebe has needed spinal, airway and genital surgery, and regular immunotherapy costing a total estimated bill of $200,000 since she got the dog in 2017 (pictured, Ms Elvy with Phoebe)
‘Objecting to the protection of dogs is a disgusting move by the NSW Government.
Dog breeding advocates have argued that banning the dogs could worsen the problem by sending it underground, but Ms Hurst disagrees.
‘That’s never an excuse to not make something illegal that should be illegal,’ she said.
‘At least if these breeding practices are illegal enforcement agencies can investigate and fine people breeding these animals.
‘It also sends a strong message to the community – nobody wants to bring animals into their homes and find out later that it was bred in a way to cause them significant suffering. If it’s illegal there will be more awareness of the issues.’
Previously, the Australian Veterinary Association (AVA) called for breeding and showing bans on any dog with ‘a muzzle length less than a third of its skull length’ because of the suffering caused to the animal.
The dogs with these features are often highly popular, but the impacts are so horrific and painful they are now designated ‘brachycephalic breeds’ because they suffer from Brachycephalic Obstructive Airway Syndrome (BOAS), among many other health issues.
The dogs also commonly experience spinal issues, neurological and eye problems.
For instance it has been shown up to 97 per cent of cavalier King Charles spaniels suffer disorders which can produce severe headaches, vision problems, balance problems, dizziness and even hearing loss.
BOAS causes exhaustion, severe heart conditions, difficulty breathing and walking, and may increase the chance of an early death.
A 2013 study found that dogs affected by BOAS could not walk for more than ten minutes on a 19C day.
An estimated 97 per cent of cavalier King Charles spaniels suffer disorders which can produce severe headaches, vision problems, balance problems, dizziness and even hearing loss
Ms Hurst vowed to push on with her plan and amend her proposed puppy farm legislation to include the ban.
Her Companion Animals Amendment (Puppy Farms) Bill 2021 has been tabled and is now the subject of an inquiry that is due to be completed in August.
It is uncertain whether any ban would seek to outlaw entire breeds or instead target methods to produce so-called ‘flat-faced’ dogs.
Several veterinary organizations have called for bans on dog breeding to produce short or flat faces, such as bulldogs, boxers, Boston terriers, Shih Tzus and bull mastiffs.
Recently a devoted Sydney dog owner revealed she had spent $200,000 on surgery to fix shocking health issues her pet suffers due to dodgy breeding practices.
Maureen Elvy’s French bulldog called Phoebe has needed spinal, airway and genital surgery, and regular immunotherapy costing $2,000 a treatment since she got the dog in 2017.
Phoebe’s health is so precarious that she is allergic to 700 types of tree, and can only survive with a diet of crocodile meat and a hypoallergenic biscuit.
She cannot play in many Sydney parks because she’s allergic to Couch grass, which is extremely common.