Blue Cross calls for an end to flat-faced animals in advertisements


The charity behind an animal placement center in Thirsk is calling on local businesses to support its campaign to end the use of flat-faced animals in advertising.

Blue Cross, which operates a shelter in Topcliffe, has launched a campaign called #EndTheTrend – which calls on brands to support its mission to improve the lives and well-being of flat-faced (brachycephalic) pets.

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Many companies currently use flat-faced animals in their advertisements, even though the products are unrelated, but breeds have common and complicated health issues.

These include breathing and visual difficulties that often require surgery to be corrected.

Blue Cross has created its own advertising campaign highlighting common health issues encountered in flat-faced breeds

Flat-faced pets – such as pugs, French Bulldogs, Boston Terriers, and Persian cats – have grown in popularity and as of 2021, flat-faced dogs make up one-fifth of the nation’s dogs.

But in the past two years alone, Blue Cross vets have treated more than 5,000 flat-faced pets.

Common procedures include surgery to widen their nasal passages and shorten their soft palate to improve breathing and eyelid surgery to repair or remove their eyes and change their eyelids due to the high rates of disease.

These health issues are due to over-breeding to meet the huge demand for these breeds and Blue Cross believes their use in advertising is contributing to the demand for these breeds.

Caroline Reay, Blue Cross veterinarian, said: “Brachycephalic animals, like Frenchies and pugs, have grown in popularity in recent years.

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“With their convincing big eyes and baby faces, our obsession with their appearance has created an animal welfare crisis.

“As these breeds gain popularity, there is a parallel increase in unscrupulous breeders looking to capitalize on a trend.

“Our veterinary hospital teams are increasingly treating very sick pets that experience health complications from breeding for a characteristic ‘flat face’.

Blue Cross has started a petition to urge retailers to stop their use in advertising and urges the public to sign it on

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