Moonpig pulls cards with pugs and bulldogs after claims they 'promote suffering'

Moonpig is scrapping its range of cards featuring images of dogs prone to breathing problems after campaigners warned they ‘normalise suffering’.

Animal rights activists Peta praised the online retailer for ‘acting responsibly’ after cards showing pugs and French bulldogs disappeared from its website.

Both breeds as well as regular bulldogs are at extremely high risk of brachycephalic obstructive airway syndrome (BOAS).

A direct result of being bred to have scrunched-up snouts and skulls, it can cause dogs to suffer from oxygen starvation, extreme sleep deprivation, obesity, vomiting, choking on food, intense acid reflux and heatstroke.

The disorder is estimated to affect around half of all flat-faced dogs, which also include Boston terriers, boxers, and shih tzus.

The Royal Veterinary College stopped classing pugs as ‘typical dogs’ after a study of nearly a million dogs last year found the breed was almost twice as likely to suffer from at least one disorder compared to other breeds.

Moonpig was still selling several cards showing English bulldogs on Friday, though the company is understood to have promised Peta it is in the process of removing any cards showing breathing-impaired breeds from its site.

After a similar demands by Peta in 2019, the company stopped selling cards depicting ‘captive great apes in unnatural situations’.

Peta director of corporate projects Yvonne Taylor said: ‘By banning images of pugs and French bulldogs, Moonpig is acting responsibly and helping put an end to the promotion of dog breeds with painful, life-threatening deformities.

‘Peta is celebrating this compassionate first step and will keep working with Moonpig to extend this new policy to all breathing-impaired breeds.’

Campaigners have urged the British government to follow Austria, Germany, Norway, and the Netherlands by imposing restrictions on breeding these dogs.

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