From a BBC report on the what the “pure” breeding of many kinds of dogs has done to the health and welfare of these animals.
There is little doubt that the anatomy of the English bulldog has considerable capacity to cause suffering. … The breed is noted to have locomotion difficulties, breathing problems, an inability to mate or give birth without assistance. . . . Many would question whether the breed’s quality of life is so compromised that its breeding should be banned.
The New York Times takes up the topic in its magazine this weekend, noting that breed clubs in the United States want to preserve the “purity” of their breed, caring little for the suffering this causes:
But the Bulldog Club of America (B.C.A.), which owns the copyright to the American standard, says it has no plans to follow suit. The American standard still calls for the breed to have a “massive, short-faced head,” a “heavy, thick-set, low-swung body,” a “very short” face and muzzle and a “massive” and “undershot” jaw.
James Serpell, of the University of Pennsylvania, suggests that humans have created the bulldog because it reminds us of ourselves with its crinkly face, huge eyes and wide grin. He says that if bulldogs had been modified this way in a laboratory, there would be a public outcry. But since they’re “just” being bred this way, it’s considered natural.
It isn’t natural, and, no, bulldogs don’t need to be “redesigned.” They need to stop being bred altogether.