The UK Brachycephalic Working Group (BWG) has committed to a five-year strategy to accelerate its work to improve the health and welfare of both current and future generations of flat-faced dogs.
Designed collaboratively by the group the BWG’s five-year strategy is based on a review of their efforts since its launch in 2016.
This includes what more needs to be done to increase impact, with insights offered from several stakeholders, both within and outside of the group.
The BWG’s five-year strategy outlines actions required from the group until 2025 and focusing on changing wider public attitudes to extreme conformations in brachycephalic dogs.
It identifies three core challenges:
- Dramatically reducing numbers and popularity of dogs with brachycephaly
- Promoting a more moderate and healthier phenotype of the remaining dogs with brachycephaly
- Reducing the negative impacts of brachycephaly on the current generations of flat-faced dogs
As well as outlining the principles which underpin the strategy, the document lays out a series of aspirations and actions within each challenge, clearly specifying how the BWG will measure impact.
Some of the actions committed to in the BWG’s five-year strategy include working to prevent the inappropriate use of imagery of brachycephalic dogs in advertising, promoting relevant health testing schemes and sharing research with breeders and would-be owners, alongside developing and promoting a Brachycephalic Health Assessment veterinary consultation framework.
Dr Dan O’Neill, chair of BWG, commented: “BWG understands that the serious health problems associated with the flat-faced body shape can cause many dogs to suffer and considers that the health and welfare problems linked to breeding for a flat face are one of the UK’s leading canine welfare priorities.
“This new strategy lays out a plan to redress many of these issues and we call on everybody to ‘Stop and think before buying a flat-faced dog’.”
The full strategy document and an infographic outlining its core aims is available online.