BVA’s #BreedtoBreathe campaign to highlight the plight of brachycephalic breeds

BVA launched a campaign on 5th January, to raise awareness of the issues brachycephalic animals face as a result of their breeding.

As we are very aware in the profession, there has been a rapid rise in the popularity of these breeds in the UK over the past few years, and BVA is understandably concerned that this rise in numbers is leading to a “population-based increase of ill health and compromised welfare in these breed types.”

BVA Position Statement

BVA have set up a brachycephalic working group, made up of BVA Policy Committee and representatives from the British Small Animal Veterinary Association, and have set out a policy position on brachycephalic dogs to help outline the activities that different stakeholders can become involved in, and to work together towards:

  • Ensuring healthier future generations of dogs with brachycephalic conformation
  • Reducing the negative health and welfare impacts of brachycephaly on the current generation of brachycephalic dogs
  • Increasing awareness of the health and welfare issues associated with brachycephaly amongst current and prospective owners
  • Encouraging research in order to better understand and address the prevalence of, and trends in, conformation-related ill-health in brachycephalic dogs
  • Encouraging research in order to better understand and address the prevalence of the welfare impacts resulting from brachycephaly
  • The development of objective, robust measures to contribute to the assessment of problematic conformation

You can read an executive summary of the BVA’s  policy position here.

Help needed from the profession

BVA have been campaigning hard to get the message out to the public, so that they have the right information before making decisions on breed choice, and to encourage potential dog owners to consider healthier breeds with less confirmation issues. They are also encouraging retailers not to use these breeds in advertising.

BVA are asking members of the veterinary profession to assist with the campaign in a number of ways, and are offering resources to assist, including a useful 10-point action plan for veterinary practices, and the #breedtobreathe toolkit.

You can find out more on the campaign information page here.