ANIMAL WATCH - A proposed law by to address “animal cruelty” by banning the breeding of bracycephalic bulldogs (e.g. French Bulldogs) was intended to raise awareness of a serious breathing, breeding and other problems of dogs with “flat faces,” but would also inadvertently have potentially included some of the large, aggressive Bully breeds.
“The AKC (American Kennel Club) declared two brachycephalic breeds (French Bulldogs and Bulldogs) among its top ten most popular breeds in 2017, and eight brachycephalic breeds (French Bulldogs, Bulldogs, Boxers, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, Shih Tzus, Boston Terriers, Mastiffs, and Pugs) among its top 31 most popular breeds,” according to LugarUK9 Training.
HB 1102-ER introduced in the New Hampshire legislature on October 20, 2023, by Rep. Ellen Read (An Act relative to the definition of Animal Cruelty) was intended to bring attention to the fact that such dogs as French Bulldogs, Bulldogs, and Pugs can have serious health issues due to their “flat faces” and may find it hard to breathe to the point that it constitutes “animal cruelty.”
French Bulldogs usually need C-section deliveries of puppies because of their narrow hips and difficulty in breathing. They also are usually artificially inseminated because a male may not be able to accomplish the task. If a dog needs that much help to reproduce, isn’t that maybe a sign it shouldn’t?
WHY DID THE AKC TAKE DOWN ITS PAGE?
Oddly, in the middle of this present discussion, a Google search for the AKC page, Brachycephalic Dog Breeds: A Guide to Flat-Faced Dog Breeds, provides a Jan. 4, 2024, message stating, “Highly recognizable and beloved, brachycephalic breeds make up some of the most popular dogs in the United States, and include charismatic pups like the French Bulldog, Bulldog.” But a visit to that link shows the message, “UH-OH. PAGE NOT FOUND: 404.” “Sorry! It appears the page you're looking for cannot be found.”
NEW HAMPSHIRE BILL COULD HAVE ALSO AFFECTED LARGE BULLY BREEDS
However, Bill No 1102 also could have affected some of the larger, aggressive Bully breeds, according to breed experts.
The bill appears to have been stopped by opposition without any Committee hearing, after the American Kennel Club sent out a panicked alarm to all members and New Hampshire politicians to oppose this effort.
COULD REDUCING BREEDING OF LARGE BULLIES, ALSO CURTAIL THE NUMBER OF BULLY ATTACKS?
Without the incentive of the ability to breed for profit, the Bill might also have curtailed breeding/owning Pit Bulls, American Bullies and American XL and XXL Bullies—breeds which have killed and maimed so many human victims that England and Wales issued a ban recently, threatened to be followed by more countries, unless certain specific regulations are upheld. ( See: Animals and Humans Win Protections in 2023-2024 but Much More is Needed)
Bully dogs—in any form—now are the most popular and the most lucrative, selling easily for $4,500 to $5,000 per puppy for the smaller pets and much more for the large XL and XXL Bullies allegedly coveted for “protection.”
DANGEROUS DOGS DENY ANOTHER’S RIGHT TO SAFETY
The motion to “ban animal cruelty” in this manner was introduced by New Hampshire State Rep. Ellen Read, who has represented Rockingham District 17 since 2016 and has just been re-elected to her third term. She serves on the Fish and Game and Marine Resources Committee.
Rep. Ellen Read has received honors from: “*American Promise *Voices of Wildlife - 2019/2020 Legislator Honors;*Humane Society of the US, NH 2020 Legislator of the Year; and *NH Independent Voters.”
Principles she says she believes in are “returning power to the hands of the People and holding government accountable,” defending “equal constitutional, civil, and privacy rights for all—uphold the founding principle of ‘all liberties but those that deny another’s rights.”
And, that final part of her statement may be the reason she introduced a bill calling for a “Brachycephalic dog ban.”
When people purchase a dog, they have the right to believe the dog will be healthy and sound. But poor health and breathing issues—which are allegedly determined by the soundness of breeding—are creating an animal welfare crisis. These brachycephalic dog breeds have been hyped into popularity. The medical issues serve to inflate veterinary bills or require more expensive pet insurance. Whether intentional or just because of the underlying quick-profit motive, rather than quality, it is a violation of the trust—and the rights—of the purchaser to have not produced a healthy pet.
The following warning was issued by Zazie Todd, Ph.D., “Before getting a brachycephalic breed puppy, people should check that the parent dogs can walk fast for three minutes without trouble.”
WHICH BULLYS ARE NOT A BRACHYCEPHALIC RISK?
Now veterinarians at the World Small Animal Veterinary Association are alerting people to what they say is a “canine welfare crisis” because of how popular these breeds are.
Common brachycephalic breeds include the French Bulldog, Pug, and English Bulldog. French Bulldogs and Bulldogs, which are amongst the most popular dog breeds in the US, and therefore the most lucrative to AKC members.
According to Are Pit Bulls Brachycephalic?, Athough some Pit Bulls may also fall into this category, “Pit bulls are not generally considered to be a brachycephalic breed…. Overall, it’s important to remember that pit bulls are a unique and diverse breed.”
According to Your Dog Advisor.com, The American Bully – Your Ultimate Breed Information Guide – The American Bully is a large bully breed mixed with American Pitbull Terrier and Bulldog, and health issues include Brachycephallic Airway Syndrome.
And, according to Dog Care Land, Some American Bully XXLs may have brachycephalic traits, such as a shortened muzzle and flat face. The brachycephalic syndrome can lead to breathing difficulties, especially in hot weather.
- The most common dogs affected are the “brachycephalic” breeds. Brachycephalic means “short-headed.” Common examples of brachycephalic dog breeds include the English bulldog, French bulldog, Pug, Pekingese, and Boston terrier.
- American bulldogs are considered brachycephalic, which means they have a short, pushed-in snout.
TESTING THE OPPOSITION
Rep. Ellen Read, appears to have introduced a vaguely worded “placeholder” to explore support and opposition to HB 1102.
And it appears that the AKC—the powerful U.S. dog breeder’s organization panicked and brought out full-blown opposition by the American Kennel Club nationwide, which caused the proposal to not be heard in scheduled committees.
Agreeably, the initial introduction was vague and appeared to test the political waters before refining the wording of a bill, but the reaction by the American Kennel Club –immediately assuring that breeders know what is best and are upholding the highest standards for the breeds in this category, indicated the money being made, but also brings up the question: If these AKC dogs we are seeing involved in thousands of attacks on children and the elderly, as well as their own family or owner, meet he “best and highest standards,” why are these thing happening? What would a poor representative of the breed do? Or, are they “designed” to support more than the breeder, but an entire industry of veterinary care and specialized products?
Seeing that much is going wrong in the entire “Bully-dog world,” why was there was no room for discussion and compromise in the alarm sent out by the AKC to breeders everywhere in the U.S., rather than merely repeating that responsible and professional breeders know best and strive to preserve the best bloodlines and breed characteristics in purebred dogs?
There was no explanation of why there have been so many attacks by XL bullies that two countries already have banned them and others have placed restrictions on owning them.
Here is the Bill Details of HB 1102-FN, according to the AKC:
THE PROPOSAL BY STATE SENATOR SEARCH CURRENT LEGISLATION
Title: relative to the definition of animal cruelty. Sponsors: (Prime) Read (D) (LSR Number 24-2719 (House) Committee: Environment and Agriculture (Due Out 3/21/2024 (Status: IN COMMITTEE).
This bill adds the sale of certain animals with deformities to the definition of animal cruelty.
1 Animal Cruelty; Breeding Deformities. Amend RSA 644:8, III(g)-(h) to read as follows:
(g) Sells an equine colt that is less than 90 days old that is not being nursed by its dam;
(h) Sells an animal that has a birth deformity that causes suffering, such as brachycephaly, or the intentional breeding with the intent to sell, 2 individual animals with the same birth deformity that causes suffering, such as brachycephaly; or
(i) Otherwise negligently permits or causes any animal in his or her possession or custody to be subjected to cruelty, inhumane treatment, or unnecessary suffering of any kind.
2 Effective Date. This act shall take effect January 1, 2025.
AKC ISSUES OPPOSITION PLEA TO NEW HAMPSHIRE HB-1102-FN
On January 4, 2024, the American Kennel Club (AKC) issued a plea to “Unite Against Radical New Hampshire Bill That Would Criminalize Breeding Some Dogs.”
By AKC Government Relations
Published: Jan 04, 2024 | 4 Minutes
Unite Against Radical New Hampshire Bill That Would Criminalize Breeding Some Dogs – American Kennel Club
New Hampshire House Bill 1102, which describes brachycephaly as a “birth deformity that causes suffering” and would CRIMINALIZE the sale and breeding of brachycephalic dogs and any dog that could be claimed to have a birth deformity, is scheduled to be considered by the House Environment and Agriculture Committee on Tuesday, January 16, 2024, at 2PM. (bill sponsor State Representative Ellen Read.)
HB 1102 is one of the most egregious anti-breeding bills introduced in a state legislature over the past decade. While it may appear that this bill only targets a subset of breeders, its expansive language actually targets breeders of alldogs.
A SUMMARY OF THE PROPOSED NEW HAMPSHIRE BILL: Entire post can be seen here.
THANK YOU TO NEW HAMPSHIRE REPRESENTATIVE ELLEN READ
Thanks should be extended to State Representative Read for her effort to initiate a “no cruelty” law regarding breeding. While some breeders may be responsible business owners who protect the buyer’s investment, it appears that the AKC has lost control of enforcing quality and expertise in breeding dogs due to the ease of internet sales and backyard breeding, and many buyers no longer being concerned about the registration of pets, but—as in the above cases—only concerned with the profit they can make.
The AKC recommended that assuring responsible breeding by enforcing standards and consumer protections rather than criminalizing breeders with charges of “animal cruelty.”
AN EXCELLENT EXAMPLE OF A PET-BUYER PROTECTION LAW IS CALIFORNIA’S LOCKYER-POLANCO-FARR ACT
Although rarely enforced in California, exemplary effort was invested in the very detailed existing state law, known as, the Lockyer-Polanco-Farr Pet Protection Act, which requires dealers of dogs and cats to comply with its provisions, including maintaining certain health and safety standards for pets and providing purchasers and prospective purchasers of pets, upon request, with written notice of consumer rights concerning the sale of a pet, including information about available refunds and other remedies.
See CA Pet Protection Act here: legiscan.com CA:
Bill Text: CA AB2380 | 2021-2022 | Regular Session - LegiScan
It is time to think of safety, not profit, in breeding—especially Bully dogs.
(Phyllis M. Daugherty is a former Los Angeles City employee, an animal activist and a contributor to CityWatch.)