Norway's 2022 Ban on Bulldog and Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Breeding
On January 31st, 2022, the Norweigan Oslo District Court reached a monumental decision regarding English Bulldog and Cavalier King Charles Spaniel's breeding. It is no longer allowed to breed these breeds in Norway. The District Court in Oslo reached a verdict that breeding them violates the Norwegian Animal Welfare Act section 25. What does this mean for these breeds? Are they forbidden? How is this possible? Let’s see what this verdict means.
After an extensive hearing in front of a judge and two co-judges (one veterinarian and one geneticist), the court reached a verdict that it is no longer allowed to breed Bulldogs and Cavaliers in Norway. As the main issue, they claim there are no healthy specimens left in Norway. There were several expert witnesses that have the highest possible credentials and expertise in the field of dog breeding.
Another big issue the judge had a problem with was the lack of supervision. The Norwegian Society for Protection of Animals (NSPA) has proposed systematic use of temperament, traits, health data, and kinship data in the breeding of these breeds.
At World Dog Finder, we believe all dog breeders should do extensive research before they breed their dogs. Simply looking at breeding dog’s dog show titles is not enough. All responsible dog breeders should look at the dog’s pedigree several generations back to ensure the inbreeding coefficient is as small as possible.
The reason for this unprecedented court case in Norway is the statement that claims
“Our dogs have been victims of systematic and organized betrayal…”
That means that NSPA believes Bulldogs and Cavaliers have been systematically bred for the wrong reasons. They claim dog breeders have focused on the dog’s looks and temperament rather than their health. It is a bold statement and verdict whose repercussions will be felt throughout the dog breeding world. Nevertheless, Bulldogs and Cavaliers are brachycephalic breeds, which means they have flat faces. Flat faces make them prone to specific health issues, especially during hot summer days. Other health issues found in Norweigan specimens of Bulldogs and Cavaliers NSPA claimed in their case are;
- Heart conditions
- Patellar luxation
- Eye problems
- Joint degeneration
- Chronic headaches
- Skin problems
- Brachycephalic syndrome
NSPA claims the Norweigan Kennel Club, Norwegian Bulldog Club, Norwegian Cavalier Club, and six breeders named in the lawsuit, have been breeding dogs in violation of the Animal Welfare Act. They believe it is time for changes in Norweigan dog breeding practices, and they have stated there are safer alternatives and ways to make these breeds healthier. One of their proposed solutions is scientific crossbreeding.
The ownership of these dogs is not forbidden. If you are a Bulldog or Cavalier King Charles Spaniel owner who lives in Norway, this ruling will not affect you unless you decide to get another one of these dogs. You can still own and import these breeds, but breeding is now severely restricted in Norway. One of the main issues we take with this verdict is that it opens up space for unethical breeders that operate outside of breeding clubs and the Norweigan Kennel Club.
These types of breeders are not members of animal welfare organizations, breeding clubs, or NKK. They are in this business exclusively to make money, and they don’t care about the breed or their breeding dogs. Whenever such a verdict is made, those that operate outside of the law stand to benefit the most. Norwegians will still love Bulldogs and Cavaliers and will want to keep them as pets. Since responsible breeders were banned, they will look for these breeds in alternative ways. Most of the time, it will lead them to unethical dog breeders.
The complete translation of the 60-page verdict is still not entirely done and made available to the public. We are eagerly waiting for the response of the Norweigan Kennel Club, which is expected to appeal, and the FCI (Fédération Cynologique Internationale), as the biggest cynology union in the world.
World Dog Finder team