Norway bans breeding of British Bulldog and King Charles Cavalier spaniel over cruelty to animals

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A court in Norway this week ruled that breeding British Bulldogs should be illegal in the country, effectively banning the historic breed.

In a landmark ruling, Oslo Discrict Court ruled that breeding the dog contravened the country’s Animal Welfare Act, effectively banning the dog in the country.

“This is first and foremost a victory for our dogs,” said Åshild Roaldset, the vet who leads Animal Protection Norway, the animal rights group which took the case to court.

“It is a historic verdict that attracts international attention. The man-made health problems of the bulldog have been known since the early 20th century. But dogs have the right to be bred healthy.”

The group’s legal team argued successfully for a ban on breeding both British Bulldogs and Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, arguing that the history of selective breeding meant that there are currently no animals in Norway that could be classed as “healthy” and so ethically be used for breeding.

Due to their short and wide skulls and short snouts, British bulldogs are prone to Brachycephalic Airway Obstruction Syndrome, and a range of other health problems.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, meanwhile, suffer heart defects, headaches, and eye and joint problems.

In its judgement, the court stressed that the ban on breeding the dogs would not extend to breeders seeking to end the animals’ health problems. 

“A conviction does not imply a ban on serious breeding of Bulldog or Cavalier, as serious and scientifically based cross-breeding could be a good alternative,” it ruled.

Animal Protection Norway has called for the development of detailed databases containing information on dogs’ temperament, traits, and health data.

The case started when the charity issued legal proceedings against the Norwegian Kennel Club, the Norwegian Cavalier Club, the Norwegian Bulldog Club and six breeders of English bulldog and Cavalier King Charles Spaniel for violating the Animal Welfare Act.

Read more via The Telegraph

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