There are mixed responses to Norway’s new dog breeding law. Norway’s Oslo District Court made a unanimous ruling to ban the breeding of English Bulldogs and Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, two breeds in high demand. The reasoning is that breeding these dogs is a violation of Norway’s Animal Welfare Act.
Of course, both these breeds are lovable, but many struggle with painful health concerns. The ban is in place to stop more dogs from suffering and encourage healthy breeding for all dogs. But will this new law have the impact that the government is hoping for?
Why Were These Breeding Practices Banned?
English Bulldogs and Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are both notorious for having excessive health problems, which are encouraged through breeding. Many breeders focus more on the dog’s appearance rather than how that look could negatively impact the canines. Not every dog is affected by these concerns, but the high risk isn’t worth it.
Bulldogs are known for having breathing issues, hip dysplasia, eye problems, and skin infections due to their short snouts and unique body shapes. Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are at a high risk of heart disease, and the small size of their skulls doesn’t leave enough space for their brains to fit comfortably. As you can imagine, all these concerns can be incredibly painful.
“The man-made health problems of the bulldog have been known since the early 20th century. This verdict is many years overdue,” said Åshild Roaldset, the CEO of Animal Protection Norway. “For several decades, sick dogs have been bred in violation of Norwegian law. Our dogs [have] been victims of systematic and organized betrayal of our four-legged friends. Today it has been confirmed that this is illegal.”
Both breeds, especially Bulldogs, have trouble conceiving naturally, so they require artificial insemination. Many puppies have a high mortality rate due to the health concerns.
Creating a Better World for Dogs
Some breeders are trying to focus on the health of these breeds, but those efforts are rare. If enough breeders had been focusing on the issue after all these years, the dogs wouldn’t be at such a high risk.
However, the ban may not be a blanket statement for all dogs of these breeds. Norway government is hopeful that breeders will find legal ways to breed the dogs that can improve their health. Cross-breeding may be a safer alternative at this point.
“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,” the judgment stated.
While many are still skeptical of this new law, most dog lovers consider it a huge success. A dog’s health shouldn’t be sacrificed for appearance, so hopefully more countries will take action. The UK Kennel Club has recently taken a stand too after changing their requirements for the French Bulldog standard.