Urgent action on flat-faced dogs called for

The rise in the popularity of so-called brachycephalic (flat-faced) breeds, including pugs and French bulldogs, is linked to concerning trends for dog health and welfare, according to the Federation of European Companion Animal Veterinary Associations (FECAVA), the World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA) and the Danish Small Animal Veterinary Association.

Experts from around the world discussed the issues facing these breeds and the implications for veterinarians during a panel session following a lecture stream dedicated to hereditary disease and the importance of responsible breeding at last month’s FECAVA-WSAVA Congress in Copenhagen. More than 200 delegates attended.

At the end of the session, panel members issued a number of recommendations to help vets take steps to improve the health and welfare of brachycephalic dogs.

FECAVA past president Monique Megens, who chaired the discussion, said: “As advocates of—and experts in—animal health and welfare, veterinarians should speak up and show leadership in taking action against the breeding of dogs with excessive traits leading to health and welfare problems.

“The great attendance at the panel discussion shows the willingness of the profession to do so.”

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