The country wants to become a place where “no pet has to suffer from its appearance.”
They look so cute; the pugs, bulldogs and boxers, with their flat faces. Or the Scottish Fold cat breed with their tiny ears. But these external features might actually cause the animals to suffer. That is why The Netherlands is planning on banning flat-faced dogs and cats with folded ears.
Piet Adema, the minister of Culture, Nature and Food Quality, is working on two bans. The first ban is on owning animals with these harmful features and the second ban is on showing these kinds of animals in advertisements. The features like folded ears in cats or a flat face in dogs might be harming the animals. That is why the Dutch minister now wants to put an end to trading, importing and owning these animals. Even though the fold in the ears of a Scottish Fold isn’t necessarily harmful, the reason why they’re folded that way (and stay folded) is an inherited defect that also causes these cats to have abnormalities in their joints that could lead to arthritis and pain while walking. This trait is dominant and that means that all Scottish Folds will have the same deformities. In flat-faced dogs, the shape of their snout can cause them to have trouble breathing, eating and they might be more prone to eye problems.
Adema says that he feels like this ban is very important. According to NL Times he said: “This subject affects me not only as a Minister but also as a person. We make life miserable for innocent animals purely because we think they are beautiful and cute. That is why today we are taking a big step towards a Netherlands where no pet has to suffer from their appearance.” And the ban on showing these pets in advertisements helps with this. “Seeing a certain type of pet frequently or prominently often increases demand for it,” the Minister reportedly said. What the ban will look like and how it will be implemented has not been determined yet. But Adema says it is important to be aware of the possible ban when you’re thinking about getting a pet.
The people who already have one of these pets will be allowed to keep it so it can live out its days in the comfort of its own home.