Scottish Animal Welfare Charity issues 2021 manifesto

Charity launches 2021 manifesto calling on the Scottish Government to prioritise animal welfare  

Leading Scottish animal campaigns charity, OneKind, has called on the Scottish Government to put an end to the breeding of flat-faced dogs, cats and rabbits, such as French bulldogs, amongst other welfare calls, ahead of the 2021 Scottish elections.  

OneKind has published its manifesto outlining its recommendations to the incoming Scottish Parliament and Government to make Scotland a better place for animals. These include the introduction of measures to discourage the breeding of animals with exaggerated features, such as pugs, an end to the live export trade, an outright ban on the use of snares and the introduction of a real fox hunting ban.   

OneKind Director, Bob Elliot, said:  

“We are calling on all parties and candidates for the 2021 elections to the Scottish Parliament to prioritise animal welfare in the next parliamentary session. OneKind’s vision is a world in which animals are recognised and respected as individuals and treated with kindness, empathy, dignity and compassion. That is why we’re asking parties and candidates to make decisions based on  evidence and ethics and recognise animals as sentient, individual beings, through a series of animal welfare commitments.  

“As an animal welfare charity, we are unique in that we cover all groups of animals in Scotland, including farmed animals, companion animals, and wild animals. Our manifesto contains nineteen asks to improve the lives of all these groups of animals and we look forward to working together with the Scottish Government to help implement these.”  

In discussing why OneKind is calling for an end to the breeding of flat-faced animals, Bob Elliot said:  

“During the pandemic, there has been demand for brachycephalic, or “flat-faced”, dogs and the French Bulldog is now the most popular dog breed in the UK. OneKind has actively campaigned to raise awareness of the extensive and serious welfare concerns associated with these breeds and the high demand for them has prompted us to include an ask in our manifesto to end the breeding of these “flat-faced” dogs, cats and rabbits.  

Dr Andy Cage BVM&S MRCVS, recently retired Senior Veterinary Surgeon after 40 years with veterinary charity PDSA, commented:  

“Over the last few years, due to the increasing popularity of the flat-faced dog breeds, I was seeing a dramatic increase in the numbers presented to the hospital. French bulldogs predominated, but we saw many pugs and bulldogs too. Most, if not all, were suffering from breathing difficulties and many had additional problems, such as ulcers on the surface of the eyeballs and spinal and limb deformities. Before Covid restrictions intervened we were having to carry out risky surgery on some of these pets every week to open up airways and attempt to save sight. Some of the spinal deformities resulted in paralysis and incontinence which meant the animal couldn’t be saved. The worst thing was that many owners weren’t aware of the suffering their pets were enduring and thought the bulging eyes and snorting were ‘cute’.”  

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