Vets call for end to use of flat-faced dogs on greeting cards | UK News

Greeting card designers are urged to stop using pugs and other flat-faced dogs and cats on Valentine’s Day cards, as those sold by major retailers show how popular these images remain despite warnings cruelty to animals from veterinarians.

The British Veterinary Association (BVA) has written to the Greeting Card Association and card retailers including Moonpig, Paperchase, WH Smith, Scribbler, Clinton’s and Funky Pigeon, reviving a call to action launched four years ago to ban such pictures.

Its #HugsNotPugs campaign aims to curb a worrying demand for flat-faced animals. The BVA believe the use of images of pugs on cards and gifts normalizes these breeds’ short noses and large eyes, which can cause pain for the animal and prove costly for the dog to treat. owner.

Despite sounding the alarm in 2018 with its #BreedtoBreathe campaign, the BVA said there had still been no real change on the pitch, and a look at the St. Valentine’s Day in stores this year is showing a similar range of animals bred for “cute.” look, he said.

BVA President Justine Shotton said: “Flat-faced dogs and cats like pugs, French bulldogs and Persians and ‘long and low’ breeds like dachshunds continue to remain popular on show cards. wishes and gifts this Valentine’s Day, even four years after vets launched the #BreedToBreathe campaign.

“These animals add a ‘cute’ appeal to the merchandise, but their appearance masks a host of potential health and wellness issues. Valentine’s Day is a day to show love, so giving a gift or card depicting an animal that may be in pain because of the way it was raised is not the right message to give to a loved one. . That’s why we’re asking everyone to choose hugs and not pugs to show your love this year.

“Some card retailers and associations engaged with us when we wrote to them in 2018, but unfortunately we have yet to see any real change. While stock for this year is already in stores, we hope that card retailers will work with BVA to reduce the visibility and hopefully popularity of these breeds in the future.

More than half of brachycephalic dogs and a quarter of brachycephalic cats that veterinarians see need treatment for health issues related to their appearance, according to the BVA’s Voice of the Veterinary Profession survey.

In a letter sent to retailers, Shotton wrote: “Animals with extreme features that have been bred for their looks rather than their health have grown in popularity in recent years, fueled by media, celebrities and the use of these animals in merchandising and advertising. .

“These are breeds that struggle with serious and often fatal health issues. For example, dogs and cats with short muzzles (Pugs, French Bulldogs and Persians, among others) can have trouble breathing and can also suffer from a range of other problems, including eye ulcers, skin infections and spinal abnormalities.

“We appreciate that the images on your cards are meant to be fun, however, we are concerned that greater visibility of flat-faced dogs and cats or ‘long and low’ pets will create higher demand for animals.”

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