This news lightens my heart made heavy by legalised animal abuse. We all know that flat-faced dogs (and cats) and cats with folded ears (the Scottish Fold) are inherently unhealthy. We have known it for a long time. Their existence is a reflection of the attitude that cuteness trumps ill-health. That appearance is more important than welfare. And I am delighted to have spotted a news item in a Dutch online newspaper, Dutch News.nl, which tells us that the government of The Netherlands will be phasing out these breeds with the ultimate goal of a ban in the future.
THERE ARE SOME MORE ARTICLES ON ‘TORTURE BREEDING’ AT THE END OF THE ARTICLE.
Farm and wildlife minister Piet Adema said:
“We are hurting innocent animals just because we think they are ‘pretty’ and ‘cute’. No pet should suffer because of its appearance.”
The classic flat-faced dog and one that was the most popular with the Dachshund during Covid lockdowns is the diminutive French bulldog. There are other breeds with stunted muzzles. The major cat breed with folded ears is the Scottish Fold. There are a few others. A cat breed which should not have been created in the first place.
The folded ears of the Scottish Fold are due to a dominant genetic mutation which weakens the animal’s cartilage. The ear flaps lose their stiffness. But it is not just the ear flaps, made of cartilage, which are affected. The condition (a disease in effect) can affect the spine and feet. It can be crippling. Breeders do their best to avoid these problems.
But it is unethical to create a cat breed on the back of a potentially crippling disease and a dog breed that has breathing problems plus other potential health issues as stated below. The Germans call it qualzucht (torture breeding).
The French bulldog is a brachycephalic breed, which means that their short snouts and flat faces make them more susceptible to certain health problems. Some of the most common health problems associated with French bulldogs include:
- Respiratory issues: French bulldogs are prone to breathing difficulties due to their short snouts, which can make it harder for them to get enough oxygen. They are also at risk of developing Brachycephalic Obstructive Airway Syndrome (BOAS), a chronic respiratory disorder caused by the obstruction of the airways.
- Heat stroke: French bulldogs are not able to cool themselves as efficiently as other breeds due to their short snouts, which can make them more susceptible to heat stroke.
- Eye problems: French bulldogs are at risk of developing eyelid and cornea abnormalities, which can lead to eye infections and even blindness.
- Ear infections: French bulldogs have large, floppy ears that can trap moisture and debris, making them more susceptible to ear infections.
- Skin issues: French bulldogs are prone to developing skin problems due to their wrinkles and skin folds, which can trap moisture and bacteria.
- Dental issues: French bulldogs have a higher chance of dental problems such as malocclusion and overcrowding of teeth.
- Spinal issues: French bulldogs are also prone to developing spinal problems such as intervertebral disc disease (IVDD) which can cause pain and mobility problems.
It’s important to note that not all French bulldogs will develop these health problems, but it’s important to be aware of the risks when considering getting a French bulldog and to consult a veterinarian to check their health history.
Scottish Fold cats, known for their distinctive folded ears, have been known to have a genetic condition called osteochondrodysplasia, which affects the growth and development of bones and cartilage. This condition can cause a number of health problems, including arthritis, joint stiffness, and a higher risk of skeletal abnormalities. Scottish Fold cats are also more prone to developing hip dysplasia, a condition where the hip joint doesn’t form properly and can lead to arthritis and pain. Additionally, Scottish Fold cats can also develop a condition called cardiomyopathy, a disease of the heart muscle, which can lead to heart failure if not treated.
Due to these health problems, breeding organizations have been discouraged breeding Scottish fold cats and some countries have banned breeding them altogether.
It is important to note that not all Scottish Fold cats will develop these health problems and it’s always good to consult a veterinarian before getting a cat, and to check the health history of the cat’s parents to be aware of the risks.
Below are some articles on problem breeding.