Wednesday 3 February 2016

Swedish vets call for a ban of certain breeds

The Swedes as a nation are a nice bunch and the veterinary profession is, in the main, a conservative one.

So in many ways it is unexpected that Swedish vets are leading the world in demanding change for short-nosed breeds.  But perhaps we shouldn't be totally surprised given that Sweden has a strong record in animal welfare and a Kennel Club that has been more proactive than most in trying to tackle genetic and conformation issues.

In recent months, Swedish vets have become increasingly outspoken.  Following a petition signed by hundreds of Swedish vets last year, brachycephalic dogs are a hot topic in Sweden, with literature/campaigning material such as this video trending under the hashtag #ogulligt. It means "not sweet" (cute).

In one Swedish newspaper today, two Swedish veterinary opthamologists have called publicly for an outright ban of certain breeds. They rather politely don't name the breeds, but an article highlighting their concerns features a Pug and a Peke.

The original report is in Swedish, but you can read Google Translate's stab at translating it here.


  1. Right on Sweden! Setting an example to the rest of the world.

  2. Hopefully the Swedish pet-owning public is smart enough to get on board with this... all you'd get on this side of the ocean would be a bunch of outraged owners who think the vets are just being a bunch of big meanies and trying to take away "My Right" to own whatever dog I want to get. The best that could be hoped for would be for the AKC/CKC/etc. to stop registering extreme brachy breeds or allowing them to compete in conformation shows.
    I'm wondering who exactly would "ban" these breeds, and who would enforce this ban? Great, now I'm imagining an undercover officer hard at work trying to bust an underground Pug trafficking ring...

    1. The commity of animal welfare can ban breeders from breeding yes. If not to follow this, they will (can) take away your dogs and ban you from having animals. IF this ban of breeds will come true, you as a breeder gave 2 choises, 1. Change breed or 2. Move to another country.
      Yes, iam from Sweden and im lucky so far.... The vets and animal welfare commity have yet not found anything on my breeds to ban them.

    2. The K.Cs ruling that members only breed within the registry.
      Not ABLE to breed any dog unrecognized by the registry or ineligible for a certificate of pedigree.

      That rule turned the pedigree system from an aid to understanding and improving domestic dogs, to a demand to support an absolute ideology.

      No personal responsibility. The ideology has to come 1st.
      Absolute ideologies don't support purpose and values. They support only the ideology.Its a singular environment.

      Individuals support purpose and values. And collectively,through COMMON expectations, bring improvement.

      There is nothing common about an absolute ideology.
      Its sole purpose is to dominate common expectations. It takes away available response to problems, leaving us fewer. So we are taught to expect less.
      Our responses are inflexible.
      It BECOMES the purpose and the value.

      As for the rest of us, we may not have signed up to any absolute ideology, but we still won't be judged as individuals who take PERSONAL responsibility.
      Because those who follow that ideology are united by it and choose the doctrine of group responsibility. Its always going to be their ideology against any others. Personal responsibility is gone.

      We are not judging breeders by their individual purpose and values. But by what environment ( or ideology) they come from.

      So we reject Pug breeders today, German Shepherds tomorrow. Maybe grey hounds next. There will be an endless progression of environments to eliminate if we can't find the value and purpose in them.
      Value and purpose are environment specific.
      The demonstration of purpose and values in our own unique environments is what sets up our collective expectations.
      For what we can demand in our choices.

      Not the other way around.

      Get rid of the absolute in the ideology.

  3. just watched this and it is very clever - but it appears to leave room for 'some amount of snub noses' still? At what point does anyone see the line being drawn, more than 3 cm nose length for instance? or where? What about the snub nosed breeds that still have a bit of a nose, that breathe quietly, don't snuffle or snore - there are 'some' that fulfil those criteria

    1. Yes there are - particularly the less fleshy-headed brachy breeds. But you ask a good question about where to draw the line. Everyone's idea of how much suffering is too much will be different... when 10 per cent of the breed is affected? 20 per cent? 50 percent? The recent RVC brach research found no deficit where muzzles were longer than half the length of the skull (that's your average Staffie) but of course that long a muzzle would be completely unacceptable to breeders of Frenchies, Pugs and Bulldogs. I think the focus needs to be only on the extreme brachycephalics and, as I've suggested on the post before this one, it isn't rocket science, not really. I think quite small things could make a big difference - slightly more muzzle, slightly less wrinkling, less thick necks, slightly smaller eyes, slightly wider nostrils. As research has shown, keeping these dogs leaner would make a big difference, too.

    2. Just read RVC's paper out of curiosity....and was disappointed. If you look at their data carefully, there are many questions...please go through the number of brachycephalic dogs for each breed and the supplementary. BOAS is a disease only happened in brachycephalic dogs, it makes no sense to include long-muzzled dogs into the predictive models.

      Interesting brachycephalic data on Table 2....

    3. Personally I think "snub" is out, slightly as a definition is too loose. Looking at the exaggerations that have been put up across varying breeds indicates to me that one person's slight is another person's "breed characteristic to extreme". "The Swedish Model" is admirable and exciting for all breeds of dogs that have lunatic breeders involved and more Kennel Clubs need to have their noses "rubbed into the sense" of what is being sought. Different types of dogs without exaggeration, thus enabling dogs to be dogs and live long, happy, comfortable lives with people who understand what being a dog means. It's not a toy, it's not a thing, it's a living creature that deserves respect and the Kennel Clubs should be making themselves aware of that fact. Well done Sweden I personally congratulate you and your common sense in protection of our much loved dogs.

  4. Do you have a link to the original article? (I am pretty sure I can read Swedish)

  5. Ban brachyephalic breeds would be a travesty. What would happen to those popular youtube videos of dogs snorting and snoring? On a more serious note, hopefully one of these days, some of these kennel clubs will put aside their egos and do the right thing. I believe the right thing is fairly obvious, modify some of these standards- e.g. decrease head size, lengthen the nose, etc. One more thing, check out a new blog that questions the AKC and its lunacy with some humor

  6. Crystal, that is exactly what they are doing. Taking the people's right to freedom of choice when it comes to the breed of dog they own away. Looks like the AR terrorists have the once great Vikings by the balls. Seems they also have the Celts & Anglo-Saxons by the balls too lol.

    1. "Freedom of choice" doesn't grant people the right to burden an entire breed with suffering just because they like the look of the animal.

    2. "Freedom of choice" doesn't grant people the right to burden an entire breed with suffering just because they like the look of the animal.

  7. The answer is easy, breed them healthier and the reason to ban them goes away. The animals right to a healthy and pain free life goes before anyones right to keep a breed unhealthy just because someone wants to or think they are entitled to doing what they want with animals. Start wanting them to be healthy.
    Free airways and good life quality seems to be a fair request.

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