Promoting breathing-impaired dog breeds (BIBs) normalises their suffering from numerous respiratory ailments. With this in mind, PETA sent a letter to the owner of Churchill Insurance urging the company to retire “Churchie”, its English bulldog mascot.
It’s no secret that the public is influenced by what they see depicted in popular culture, and Churchie has undoubtedly boosted the popularity of English bulldogs over the years. The time has come for Churchill to say “Oh, no” to representations of bulldogs or any other flat-faced breed in its advertising.
Why Promoting Breathing-Impaired Dog Breeds is Unethical
BIBs are bred for a particular look, resulting in drastically shortened airways that cause an array of painful and distressing symptoms – including laboured breathing, snorting, gagging, and collapsing – and makes dogs more susceptible to vomiting, exercise intolerance, heatstroke, and early death.
As the letter points out, flat-faced breeds are susceptible to severe health problems – including brachycephalic syndrome – caused by their snouts being pushed unnaturally far back against their skulls, and the deformity is a leading cause of death for bulldogs.
Restrictions have been imposed on breeding BIBs in several European countries. The Netherlands, which banned breeding flat-faced dogs in 2014, is now preparing to ban owning these animals or featuring them in advertising to address the cruelty of producing dogs with unnatural features that cause severe health problems.
Responsible Breeding is a Myth
Breeding deformed and disabled animals is cruel, and it has to stop. “Pedigrees” exist only because of human interference, and due to selective breeding and a lack of genetic diversity, they end up with a host of health problems.
To add insult to injury, we are in the middle of a companion-animal overpopulation crisis. In the UK alone, an estimated 20,000 dogs are euthanised in shelters every year because there aren’t enough good homes for them, while breeders continue to churn out litters of puppies. There’s simply no such thing as responsible breeding, and breeding companion animals should be banned completely.
Always Adopt, Don’t Shop
Don’t support the cruel and exploitative dog-breeding industry. If you’re considering bringing an animal companion into the family, please adopt from your local shelter.
Help Stop the Promotion of Unhealthy Dog Breeds
Dogs such as Churchie are glamorised and promoted in the annual dog show Crufts. Please send a message to Channel 4, urging it to stop airing Crufts: