BCA's Position Regarding the Kennel Club of the Netherlands' Changes For Brachycephalic Breeds

The Bulldog Club of America is profoundly dismayed regarding the breeding and registration changes, adopted by the Raad van Beheer (the Kennel Club of the Netherlands) relative to certain breeds, which include the Bulldog.  The Raad van Beheer recently made the changes to comply with mandates from the Dutch government. The stated reason for the changes is to improve the health and welfare of various breeds; however, the decision appears to be based on selected research, often not evidence based.  [read more....]

BCA believes facts count

Many beliefs about appropriate policies concerning the Bulldog breed, dog ownership, and the proper care of animals are based on myths, outdated or falsified information, or lack a sound scientific basis. Many proposed policies seek to apply a “one size fits all” strategy to the increasingly complex and technical issues regarding proper dog ownership, which differ drastically from breed-to-breed. BCA believes that most legislative attempts to curtail or control the minutiae of dog breeding are completely ineffective and counterproductive. As local ordinances try to restrict the best of our hobby breeders, and after decades of pressure to reduce the numbers of litters produced, prospective puppy buyers have less success in finding a local breeder that suits their needs. In some parts of the country, this shortage of puppies has given rise to a thriving, yet unregulated, Internet-based free-for-all system of dog sales and the importation of dogs for shelters to fill the puppy deficit. This has resulted in several well-publicized cases where dog imported for resale brought diseases into areas where they were not prevalent, causing the unnecessary death and illness of pets and potential danger to the human population and the agricultural stability of the region.

Please review the position statements in the links below for additional information.

BCA cares about the Bulldog

With a membership of approximately 2,500 nationwide, the Bulldog Club of America (BCA) is one of the oldest AKC-affiliated parent breed clubs in the United States. Since 1890, BCA has focused on maintaining the breed standard; the breeding, care, health, and training of the Bulldog; and the education of its members and the public. Bulldogs today excel as family companions, having been bred to have a kind and equable disposition with a pacific and dignified demeanor.

On behalf of our members, BCA opposes legislative efforts to curtail the legitimate rights of people to own, breed, train, and appreciate dogs.

BCA is a resource for anyone interested in Bulldogs

Most of BCA’s services are available to members and non-members alike. Its network of local member clubs provides referrals to local breeders and local members of the Bulldog Rescue Network. Its website provides online educational material on all aspects of the breed and links to other sources of information on dog ownership. BCA also provides contacts for a personal response to questions about the breed and its care and for mentoring about the breed. As the leading authority on Bulldogs in the United States, BCA and its member specialty clubs nationwide continue to promote the health and welfare of the breed and the educational efforts by AKC and other AKC parent breed clubs. We seek to enable all dog owners to be responsible members of their communities and to ensure the well-being of their dogs.

BCA encourages responsible dog ownership

Animal control laws originally served two purposes: 1) to provide a basis for the protection of the public’s health, and 2) to provide a means to prosecute animal cruelty. In recent years, however, animal rights groups have pushed to force every level of government micromanage dog ownership, especially via requirements for mandatory spaying and neutering dogs, establishing overly restrictive zoning standards and limiting the right to breed dogs without intrusive government regulation.

In our view, the appropriate care for the welfare of dogs is not related to the number of dogs one owns, their reproductive status or the size of one’s property, but solely by how well the dogs are cared for by their owner(s). Similarly, those factors should not determine whether ownership creates problems in the community. The appropriate way to handle public nuisances is to address the nuisance, not impact individual rights unrelated to the public welfare. Every state has animal cruelty statutes and nuisance laws that are sufficient to deal with the cases that arise, as long as they are enforced adequately.

Creating more laws controlling animal ownership, especially where current laws are not properly enforced, does nothing to improve substandard dog care, but only succeeds in creating criminals out of honest citizens and encourages further evasion of the existing laws. As our society becomes more urban, the number of people who have extensive experience in animal husbandry is dwindling. Education and training of individuals on how to be responsible dog owners does more to improve the lives of animals in this country than any legislation.

BCA supports reasonable and rational solutions

The demand to impose new laws despite governmental inaction to enforce existing laws continues, with little positive effect. Few of these proposals actually help animals; rather, they attempt to make animal ownership more expensive, more difficult, and sometimes even impossible.

Limit laws and higher license fees for intact dogs have been shown not to work, and generally are most difficult to enforce. People resist attempts to accept financial punishment when they know they have done nothing morally or ethically wrong.

Intact dogs do not automatically create puppies unless they are allowed to breed without restraint. Responsible owners do not allow their dogs to indiscriminately reproduce. Reputable hobby breeders of purebred dogs, developed for companionship, recreation, and service, should be able to continue their breeding programs to maintain and improve their chosen breeds, without punitive legislation.

USDA licensed commercial kennels, following the rules they are required to adhere to under federal, state and local laws and standards, should be able to run their businesses without fear of interference from animal rights extremists or excessive legislative mandates unrelated to the actual quality of care the animals receive.

Dangerous dog laws should never target specific breed type, size, or assumed disposition - they should be crafted so they can be fairly enacted across the gamut of dog ownership, and with a reasonable understanding of typical dog behavior. Because they have proven to be ineffective in reducing the number of dog bites, many communities that previously enacted breed-specific legislation are currently seeking to rescind them. BCA supports these efforts.