Dutch Propose Bans Of Flat-Faced and Folded Ear Breed Dogs and Cats

Lori Ennis
by Lori Ennis

Some officials in the Netherlands are working to ban breeds of cats and dogs with flat faces or folded ears, as they are concerned about the suffering of the animals due to complications from those features.

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It’s not uncommon for dogs with flatter faces to suffer from brachycephalic issues or cats with folded ears to suffer for aesthetic reasons, but officials in the Netherlands are looking to make that obsolete with the introduction of a ban that would prevent breeds of cat and dog that are known for those features.

Piet Adema is the Dutch Agriculture Minister and in a statement said, “This subject affects me not only as a Minister but also as a person. We make life miserable for innocent animals purely because we think they are beautiful and cute. That is why today we are taking a big step towards the Netherlands where no pet has to suffer from their appearance.”

Dogs with flat faces can often experience breathing issues, heart health conditions and neurological issues. They also often struggle with ear and skin infections. The ban proposes that citizens are not allowed to own animals that have flat-faces or folded ears, and would also include a ban of trading or importing those animals as well. 

As a preemptive attempt to offer families considering the adoption of new family members, the government officials released the announcement before the ban was to take place. This hopefully will encourage those potential pet parents to choose differently and not have their family affected if and when the ban goes into effect. 

A list of animals that could potentially be banned is being created based on certain attributes, but as of yet, there are no official releases or details from the government. Some of the potential breeds affected include Boston Terriers, Boxers, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, English Bulldogs, Pugs and Shih Tzus. Scottish Fold cats could also be affected. For those cats, their folded ears are the result of a genetic mutation and is one that experts claim causes other deformities throughout their body. It’s a dominant trait, so all kittens end up affected too, and can cause unnecessary suffering for a ‘cute’ look. Efforts to create a healthier version of the Scottish Fold still present issues, and could be dangerous for the cats.

The Ministry says that the bans are complex issues and will take time to iron out details, but they are coming, as the Ministry is looking to do what’s best for the animals.

Lori Ennis
Lori Ennis

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