Trade Me bans selling pugs, bulldogs over welfare concerns

Trade Me has announced it is banning the sale of pugs, British bulldogs and French bulldogs starting in March.

The decision came from concern for the suffering they face due to brachycephalic obstructive airway syndrome (BOAS).

BOAS is a condition which affects dogs and cats with short noses. Their shorter airways prevent the animals from being able to breathe fast or deep enough when exercising, stressed or hot.

"In many dogs the symptoms are so severe that the dog will have trouble exercising (walking for longer than three minutes), and find it difficult to moderate their body temperature through panting and often overheat, sometimes fatally," says James Ryan, Trade Me Policy and Compliance team leader.

"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 says 90-95 percent of these dogs suffer from BOAS to varying degrees.

"We didn't take this decision lightly," he says.

"We suspect most Kiwis have no idea about the suffering these animals endure."

The New Zealand Veterinary Association (NZVA) says the veterinary profession has long held concerns for cats and dogs who suffer 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," says NZVA CEO Mark Ward.

"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."

The breeds can still be listed for adoption on Trade Me.


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