No more English Bulldogs and Cavalier King Charles Spaniels. At least in Norway, which lately banned selective breeding of these two dog breeds. The group who campaigned for this law was Animal Protection Norway group, who commented it this way:
"The man-made health problems of the bulldog have been known since the early 20th century. This verdict is therefore many years overdue. For many decades, sick dogs have been bred illegally. What is happening here is a systematic and organized betrayal of our four-legged friends. Today it was finally determined that this is a violation of the law."
The lawyers representing the Animal Protection group also stated, that it was no longer possible to maintain the health of the breeds.
It is true, that both breeds are known to suffer a lot from serious health issues and that those health issues only worsen in recent years. The Bulldog is especially prone to breathing health problems, while the Cavaliers are prone to heart conditions. Both dogs also have other issues, such as skin and eye problems.
So the court basically found it cruel to continue selectively breeding these two dogs, so it decided to ban it. They also mentioned, that the solution might be in carefully crossbreeding these breeds with other healthier, but similar breeds, to lower the health issues.
And even though everyone probably agree that something must be done about this, that something must be done with the bad health of many many dog breeds, it is hard to say if this is the right way how to do it.
This will be only my opinion, but i think it is very questionable if banning the breeding of English Bulldogs and Cavalier King Charles Spaniels will actually end the breeding. Or will it only affect the pedigree breeders who actually had the option to change the breed for the good?
I am aware that pedigree breeder does not mean a good and responsible breeder, but they are definitely better than backyard breeders and puppy mills, who seems not to be affected by this law. And even if they would be affected by the law, did any bans ever really banned something for good? There will always be some underground breeders who only care about quick cash and it will be impossible to stop them. If there will be demand for the breeds, there will always be supply.
Also, it seems, that importing these dogs will still be possible, so it will only affect breeders directly in Norway, but if people will still be able to import these dogs from neighboring countries, will it really help the breed? Will it really lower the health issues of these dogs?
Also, i found it quite weird, why is this law only affecting English Bulldogs and Cavaliers. What about Pugs or French Bulldogs? There are many other breeds that suffer so much from the same health issues, but they are not affected at all by this law. Is it really cruel to breed Cavaliers, but is it okay to breed Pugs? But i guess this might be just the beginning and the law might be extended or amended.
The last thing i have problem with is, that this law and especially the articles online that wrote about this law make it seem, that selective breeding is something bad, something that should be avoided, which definitely is not true.
With the exception of few breeds, such as New Guinea Singing Dogs and similar landrace dogs like that, all the breeds we have today are result of selective breeding. They might evolved naturally in the past, but recently, they are all selectively bred. And most of them do not suffer from serious health issues if they are bred responsibly.
The problem is that today, most often, we dont breed dogs for function anymore, but we breed them for appearance. And if the dog is bred for aesthetic purposes, it can truly be cruel. Today we are breeding dogs that once were amazing hunters, protectors or herders for cuteness. To have large eyes, large head, smaller body and other stuff that is considered cute by majority of people. This can all result into bad health in the breed.
And i am happy to see that some country is actually trying to do something with this problem on national level. But i am not sure, if this will have any impact on the health of these dogs. To be honest, i believe nothing will change until people will stop buying unhealthy dogs, only because they are cheaper.