– This is a historic verdict that attracts
international attention, says general manager of Animal Protection Norway, Åshild Roaldset. Photo: Anne K. Harkestad / Animal Protection
She adds that dogs have the right to be bred healthy
– We have had this wording in the law, so we have shown this. Finally, the Oslo District Court has ruled that dogs must be bred healthy, she says.
Animal protection Norway believes that the clubs and breeders have bred in violation of the law for many years, and that the lawsuit was necessary to specify how the Animal Welfare Act should be understood
Norwegian Kennel Club, Norwegian Bulldog Club, Norwegian Cavalier Club, and the six breeders are surprised and disappointed by the conclusion of the Oslo District Court.
– If the good work that is done today through NKK and the breed clubs must be stopped for the breeds English bulldog and cavalier king charles spaniel, we fear that it will have a negative effect on dog welfare, says Tom Øystein Martinsen, CEO of NKK in a press release.
Animal protection Norway went to court because they believe that there are no healthy individuals left of the dog breeds English bulldog and cavalier king charles spaniel, which can be used further in breeding.
The dog breeds have several known hereditary disorders.
Cavalier king charles spaniel is plagued with heart defects, chronic headaches (syringomyli), eye disease and joint problems (
An inherited predisposed disease in which the patella is out of its normal position on the femur
The English bulldog is, among other things, about breathing problems (
(Brachycephalic Airway Obstruction Syndrome)
Collective term for respiratory disorders that can affect dog breeds with short and wide skulls and short snouts
” data-term=”GOOD”>GOOD), skin problems, kidney stone disease and patellar dislocation.
This is not the first time dog breeding has created commitment.
In 2017, 1,500 veterinarians protested against what they call unethical dog breeding. Fear irresponsible actors
NKK thinks it is worrying that the breeding work, which has been stopped by breeders through the breed clubs, is not allowed to continue in organized forms.
– A breeding ban is still not a breed ban, and the consequences of this are great. Irresponsible players will be ready to take over the market, with the production of dogs from breeding that are not subject to any form of control. Then the professional competence,
health requirements and information about the health status and history of the breeding animals will disappear, Martinsen writes.
According to NKK, the breeds in question are popular, and they do not think demand will decrease.
In 2021, 416 individuals of the breed cavalier king charles spaniel and 83 English bulldog were registered in Norway, the latest shows
the statistics of NKK.
NKK believes this will lead to a lack of overview and control of breeding.
– As the situation is today, where there is no obligation to ID-mark the dog and there is no overview of those who breed outside the NKK system, in principle all unregistered breeding can take place without any kind of follow-up and control, believes Martinsen.
Agree and disagree
Both Dyrebeskyttelsen Norge and NKK completely agree that dog breeds have
health challenges, but disagree on how they can achieve the goal of healthy dogs.
– For us, the answer to solving the
health challenges of working knowledge-based with registered dogs is not a ban. This way we can have control over that healthy and fit animals are used in breeding, and that the sick are excluded, says communications consultant at NKK Kjetil Johansen.
Animal protection Norway believes that a good solution to the
health problems of these dogs is to cross in genes from other healthy dog breeds. In the same way as those Norwegian dog breeds, which may be in danger of extinction.
But neither NKK, nor the breed clubs have the authority to change the breed standard. The purebred dogs are subject to requirements from the
international cynological organization FCI, it says the answer to Oslo District Court from defense counsel Lippestad.
A Norwegian decision will not have a direct effect or weight outside Norway, but we believe it can contribute to us getting similar processes in other countries, the leader of Animal Protection Norway Åshild Roaldset told NRK before the trial.
NKK believes that research-based breeding is the way forward for these dog breeds.
We must read the verdict thoroughly before we consider whether we should appeal this, says Johansen in NKK.
Cavalier king charles spaniel
Photo: TIMOTHY A. CLARY / Afp
Witnesses in the case
Attorney Geir Lippestad represented the defendants. The lawyers from Glittertind, Emanuel Feinberg and Dagny Ås Hovind represented plaintiff Dyrebeskyttelsen Norge.
Five days were set aside in Oslo District Court for the trial in November last year.
Some of Europe’s foremost experts on dog breeding were used as experts in the trial.
Among others, British Jane Ladlow, surgeon and leader of the research group for BOAS at the University of Cambridge in England was summoned as an expert by NKK.
Animal Welfare Norway had, among others, Professor of Animal Husbandry and Genetics at NMBU, Odd Vangen and Professor Clare Rusbrigde from the Veterinary Institute in Surrey, on his list of experts in the case.