Looks like there will be no more pugs in the Netherlands soon, Source: Depositphotos

Dutch government to ban ownership of flat-faced dogs

Dutch government to ban ownership of flat-faced dogs

Citing concerns about humaneness, the legislation aims to discourage the proliferation of the so-called designer pet breeds

The Dutch authorities are looking to expand the scope of legislation concerning the ownership of designer pet breeds with the goal of prohibiting the ownership of such animals. The cited concern is that such pets are actually suffering throughout their lives due to accumulating health problems caused by their unusual head or body shapes.

When talking of designer pets, think of flat-faced dog breeds, such as pugs or French bulldogs, or cats with folded ears. Although, many people find these pets to be exceptionally cute and endearing (precisely because of their features), research has already shown that they tend to live shorter lives and suffer more health problems, such as trouble breathing or possible headaches.

We make life miserable for innocent animals, purely because we think they are ‘beautiful’ and ‘cute’,” the Dutch Minister of Culture, Nature and Food Quality, Piet Adema, said in a statement.

The exact list of forbidden breeds - still to be determined

The Netherlands had already initiated a quest against the existence of such vanity pets, on the grounds of more humane treatment to animals back in 2014 when the law was passed banning the breeding of such animals.

In 2019, the Dutch government updated the rules to specifically apply to dogs whose snout is less than half the length of their skull.

Nevertheless, the market for such pets still remained as they could be bought and brought in from abroad. The proposed new rules are designed to close a loophole so that it will also be illegal to own them altogether.

Still, there needs to be fine-tuning to the legislative proposal. The officials will compile a specific list of breeds whose head and body proportions can be a cause of discomfort to themselves. For this purpose, the administration will consult experts in veterinary genetics at the University of Utrecht.

Any ban would come in after a transition period. People who currently own one of the pets would be allowed to keep them until the animal dies.



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