Sign our #EndTheTrend petition

Grey French bulldog Banks looks directly at the camera. He is standing on green grass and is on a blue lead, which can be partially seen in the image.
Blue Cross vets had to remove soft tissue from French bulldog Banks’s throat to help him to breathe.

We’re campaigning for an end to the trend of the horrendously bad breeding of brachycephalic pets, like French bulldogs, pugs, and Persian cats.

Over-popularisation, fuelled by advertising, online sales, and the impact of unregulated breeding, has resulted in an animal welfare crisis.

More and more major British consumer brands are using brachycephalic (flat-faced) animals in their marketing and advertising, even if their products are unrelated.

By using brachycephalic pets in their advertisements, brands are indirectly contributing to the over-popularisation of these animals and, in turn, the extreme demand for flat-faced breeds.

That’s why our #EndTheTrend petition calls for the UK's leading brands to commit by the end of 2023 to phasing out the use of any brachycephalic pets in their future advertisements.

The BVA (British Veterinary Association) have produced a guide to show how pets can be used responsibly in advertising.

With your support, we can put a stop to the cruel and inhumane over-breeding of these pets to solve the animal welfare crisis that we, as a society, have created. 

Every pet deserves a long, happy and healthy life, and it is our responsibility as humans to give them one.

Sign our petition to #EndTheTrend

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An image of a Valentine's Day card. The card features a photo of a grey French bulldog looking upwards beyond the camera. Below the dog, text says 'It's just the way I'm bred'. Heart illustrations float up from the text to the right of the card.

We are sending alternative Valentine’s Day cards to MPs this year, with an appeal for action on unregulated breeding.

The love letter tells the story of dogs and cats who are left breathless or with heart tremors; not due to cupid’s arrow, but as a result of bad breeding.

5,000 Number of brachy pets treated by our vets in the last two years alone

Many people are already aware that flat-faced (brachycephalic) pets have soared in popularity in recent years and have become somewhat of a ‘trendy’ companion. Pets such as:

  • French bulldogs
  • pugs
  • Boston terriers
  • Persian cats
  • lionhead rabbits

As of 2021, brachycephalic breeds account for one fifth of the nation’s dogs.

A grey and white cat lies on a cat tower, leaning against a member of Blue Cross staff. Clint has a flat fact. His eyes look sore and are surrounded by discharge. The charity uniform with logo can be seen at the left-hand edge of the image but the staff member is not in shot.
Flat-faced Clint can’t play for as long as other cats because he tires easily due to poor breeding.

Our obsession with these brachycephalic pets has created an animal welfare crisis. Part of the reason for this is their ‘fashion’ status and impulse buying, which is why brands are in a vital place to help stop this crisis.

Most people know that flat-faced animals can struggle with breathing issues. But not many know about the other countless painful and life-limiting conditions they are forced to live with or undergo surgeries for.

We are all too aware of this crisis. In the last two years alone, our vets have treated over 5,000 brachy pets – a number that continues to grow week on week. 

Common procedures include:

  • BOAS (brachycephalic obstructive airway syndrome) surgery: a distressing operation for any pet to have to undergo, but often vital in clearing their dangerously obstructed airways
  • Enucleation: removal of their eyes and eyelids due to high rates of disease
  • Caesarean section: meaning they cannot give birth to litters without vet help

These health problems come from a vicious cycle of over-breeding to meet the huge demand for these four-legged friends. Many of these breeds now no longer even resemble their healthy ancestors that came just a century before them. And, devastatingly, it is now costing them their quality of life. 

Watch our campaign video to find out more about brachycephalic dogs and help us #EndTheTrend.