'It really makes no sense' - bulldog enthusiasts perplexed by Trade Me breed ban

Bulldog enthusiasts are perplexed by Trade Me's decision to ban selling the breed on its website.

On Wednesday, the auction site announced that it is banning the sale of pugs, British bulldogs and French bulldogs from March.

President of the Auckland Bulldog Club Amanda Rutherford said as far as she knows, the site has "never done anything like this before".

"It's based on apparent research that they've found, which they're using this as the reason behind this. But it really makes no sense," she said.

Trade Me said its decision came from concern for the suffering the breeds face due to brachycephalic obstructive airway syndrome (BOAS), a condition which affects cats and dogs with short noses.

"In many dogs the symptoms are so severe that the dog will have trouble exercising, and find it difficult to moderate their body temperature through panting and often overheat, sometimes fatally," Trade Me Policy and Compliance team leader James Ryan said on Wednesday.

"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."

But Ms Rutherford says that's "simply not true".

"I've had bulldogs for over 30 years and I know many that have bulldogs and we simply don't have these issues.

"Perhaps 10 years ago yes, but breeders in New Zealand have been working really hard to improve the health of the breeds.

"Perhaps there is some research that someone has done… I'd love to see it.

"None of us have had any information like this."

She says Trade Me is trying to be both judge and jury, and specialists of the breed at the same time.