Banning brachycephalic dog breeds

Today we announced a change to our animal welfare policy. We are banning the sale of three brachycephalic dog breeds.

From 1 March, British Bulldogs, Pugs and French Bulldogs will be banned for sale on Trade Me.

For more information please see our media release below or check out:

Trade Me bans sale of brachycephalic dog breeds

Trade Me is banning the sale of three brachycephalic dog breeds from 1 March 2018.

Trade Me Policy & Compliance Team Leader James Ryan said that the banned breeds are pugs, British bulldogs and French bulldogs. “These breeds suffer acutely from brachycephalic obstructive airway syndrome (BOAS) which dramatically impacts the quality of their life.

“Even when the dog is not severely affected, BOAS will cause noisy breathing, snorting and snoring. However, in many dogs the symptoms are so severe that the dog will have trouble exercising (walking for longer than 3 minutes), and find it difficult to moderate their body temperature through panting and often overheat, sometimes fatally.

“As a result, it is common for BOAS sufferers to faint, vomit, cough or gag. Many dogs also have chronic sleep deprivation due to their breathing problems. The disorder has been likened to the feeling of breathing through a pillow.”

Mr Ryan said it was the extent and severity of the BOAS symptoms in these breeds that prompted Trade Me to act. “Research we’ve seen shows that 90-95 per cent of these dogs have BOAS to varying degrees.

“We didn’t take this decision lightly. We know how loved and popular these breeds are but after consultation with a range of animal experts including the New Zealand Veterinary Association (NZVA) and the SPCA we felt we couldn’t, in good conscience, continue to allow the sale of animals who suffer lifelong health issues.

SPCA CEO Andrea Midgen said these dogs deserve better. “Pugs, British bulldogs and French bulldogs are lovely little dogs, but their exaggerated physical features cause them considerable welfare issues.

“For those New Zealanders looking for a new addition to their family, we ask that you instead consider adopting one of the thousands of rescue dogs who are looking for homes.”

NZVA Chief Executive Officer Mark Ward said the veterinary profession has long held concerns for many breeds of cats and dogs whose welfare is compromised from being bred to look a certain way. “The rise in popularity of English bulldogs, French bulldogs and pugs has seen a marked increase in supply of dogs with exaggerated features which cause serious health issues including breathing difficulties and eye problems.

“Without correctional surgery, large numbers of these dogs live with chronic pain and distress, with many owners and breeders unaware that their dog is suffering.”

Mr Ryan said that Trade Me was not making judgements about current owners of these breeds, but sees this as an opportunity to educate potential and current owners. “We suspect most Kiwis have no idea about the suffering these animals endure.”

These breeds can still be listed for adoption on Trade Me, and the ban extends to crossbreeds as well as purebreds.