The Netherlands wants to ban pets such as flat-faced dogs and cats with folded ears, which look sweet but suffer “miserable” health problems, the government said on Friday.
Dutch Agriculture Minister Piet Adema said he would seek to outlaw the ownership of the designer breeds and to ban the publication of photos of them in advertising or on social media.
“We make life miserable for these innocent animals, just because we like them and find them cute,” Adema said in a letter to parliament.
“Their owners have the best of intentions but are often unaware of the dark side of their pets’ appearance.”
The government would now work out a list of affected breeds, Adema said, but the public broadcaster NOS said squish-faced pugs could be among those banned.
“Dogs with snouts that are too short are constantly out of breath,” Adema said.
Cat breeds with folded back ears also suffered health problems, he added.
“This subject touches me as a minister but also as a human.”
Any ban would come in after a transition period, with people who currently own one of the pets allowed to keep them until the animal dies.
Recent studies have found that pugs and other dogs bred to have short noses such as French and English bulldogs are more prone to health problems, particularly with breathing. — Agence France-Presse