Norway bans breeding Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, bulldogs

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They may look cute, but Norway has ruled they’re a product of cruelty — and they’re no longer allowed to be bred.

On Monday, Norway’s Oslo District Court made a unanimous, landmark ruling that breeding bulldogs and Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are a violation of the Norwegian Animal Welfare Act section 25 and will no longer be tolerated.

The ruling was prompted by a case brought in November 2021 by Animal Protection Norway out of concern for the dog breeds’ numerous, critical health issues.

“The man-made health problems of the bulldog have been known since the early 20th century. This verdict is many years overdue,” said Åshild Roaldset, the CEO of Animal Protection Norway in a post published by the group following the ruling. “For several decades, sick dogs have been bred in violation of Norwegian law. Our dogs [have] been victims of systematic and organized betrayal of our four-legged friends. Today it has been confirmed that this is illegal.”

Breeding of bulldogs and Cavalier King Charles Spaniels has now been banned in Norway.

The ruling is not a blanket ban on the breeds, however, but a nuanced “legal framework for animal breeding,” noted lawyer Emanuel Feinberg in the post. Thus, cross-breeding of the beloved — if often sickly — dog types is still possible and permitted.

“A conviction does not imply a ban on serious breeding of Bulldog or Cavalier, as serious and scientifically based cross-breeding could be a good alternative,” the judgment stated. The nation has the infrastructure to make more humane cross-breeding a reality, Animal Protection Norway added, noting the technology also exists.

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norway bulldog ban
Many bulldogs struggle to breathe because of the way they’re bred.
Getty Images/Westend61

To aid in the transition to better breeding tactics, the Animal Protection Norway has proposed more regulated use of temperament, traits and health data in breeding, as well as the use of chip marking. Without such traceability, “it is impossible” for dog breeding to be effectively supervised, Roaldset added.

「This is a day of celebration for our dogs! The Animal Welfare Act is intended to protect animals from the irrational actions of humans, and it has done so today. This is about the dogs’ right to feel good,” said Roaldset.

Omori Yoshiaki


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