This week, a district court in Oslo, Norway concluded that it is contrary to the country’s Animal Welfare Act to breed Bulldogs and Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, and that breeding of these dogs must stop immediately. The court claims that Bulldogs and Cavaliers have major health challenges and further breeding is in violation of the Norwegian Animal Welfare Act.
The Bulldog Club of America’s (BCA) position continues to be that the breed in the right hands has proved through many decades to be healthy, normal companions for thousands of owners who have chosen Bulldogs as their preferred breed.
The Bulldog, like any other breed, is not inherently unhealthy when well bred. The Bulldog of today is healthier than ever. What has changed? The BCA and its member clubs have diligently worked to maintain the breed standard by breeding for good health, conformation and temperament. We continuously promote the health and welfare of the breed. The BCA provides education to members, judges, and the public through seminars, publications, videos, social media groups, participation in “AKC Meet the Breeds” and via the BCA website.
Modern technology has provided for health and genetic testing that at one time was impossible. The BCA’s very successful Ambassador for Health Program continues to award Bulldogs who pass all levels of health tests. The BCA sponsors and encourages participation in health clinics at special events around the country. Since 2012 we have more than doubled the number of dogs participating in BCA recommended testing. In addition, there are many generations of BCA Bulldogs with positive OFA testing, many with CHIC certification through the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (ofa.org).
BCA cannot control rogue breeders from producing deformed dogs. These dogs are not bred to our official standards and are at risk of inherited diseases and malformation.
There are sensible methods to help curb the massive amount of irresponsible breeding while at the same time promoting the high quality breeding that produces dogs of completely normal health and typical appearance. The BCA mourns for the Norwegian breeders whose years of dedication to both the Bulldog and the Cavalier King Charles Spaniels have been destroyed. Two breeds which have existed for hundreds of years are in danger of being wiped out.
The BCA strongly recommends that people searching for a Bulldog should research the breed and only use breeders who adhere to the breed standard. In the United States, resources for breeder referral, health information and how to join your local Bulldog club, can be found at: Bulldog Club of America (bulldogclubofamerica.org).