Stop Putting Pugs In Adverts, Say Vets And Animal Rights Campaigners

The dogs' popularity on social media has promoted selective breeding that results in dogs with serious health problems

This Is Why The Pug Trend Needs To Stop, For Their Sake

by Ebere Nweze |
Published on

Members of the Brachycephalic Working Group (BWG) - which includes experts from the British Veterinarian Association, the University of Cambridge and the RSPCA - have called for pugs and French bulldogs to be banned from advertising campaigns after social media increased the demand for pugs with deformities.

The flat faces that so many young people find cute are actually signs that the dogs may actually be suffering from severe health problems such as breathing difficulties, skin diseases and cataracts.

Members of the Brachycephalic (meaning, in this case, flat-faced) Working Group published an open letter in order to bring the problem to the public's attention.

Dr Neill, chairman of the group, said: 'There is a real concern that the use of French bulldogs, bulldogs and pugs in adverts is fuelling the popularity of these breeds, and is widening the market for those who simply wish to make money from these dogs with little or no regard for their health and well-being.'

Many companies have capitalised on the increased popularity of pugs to boost their advertising. Amazon, for example, uses French bulldogs to sell their Echo speakers and Virgin Media featured YouTube star 'Barry the Pug' in one of their ads. Halifax has a pug mascot on its app, but yesterday agreed to remove it in response to the BWG's letter.

But perhaps it is the celebrities who are most responsible for the increased popularity of these dog breeds, with stars such as David Beckham and Lady Gaga owning pugs, and blogger Zoella writing a 154-page book on her own pet, calling it 'Doug The Pug'.

The number of flat-faced dogs has reached record labels. The Kennel Club announced that the number of French bulldogs registered with them increased from 670 in 2007 to 21,470 in 2016. BWG hopes the letter will show both companies and people alike that health problems are too high a price to pay for a cute face.

This article originally appeared on The Debrief.

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