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Trade Me ban on Pugs, British Bulldogs and French Bulldogs

17 January 2017
Dogs New Zealand Press Release (copy)

Dogs New Zealand promotes and supports responsible breeding practices to produce active healthy and well-mannered dogs.  Our breeders, who are bound by rules, regulations and codes of ethics, account for approximately 13% of the dogs bred in New Zealand and with the regulation of dog breeding being a significant and topical issue we see the action by Trade Me as highlighting that issue. Dogs New Zealand is frustrated that our breeders and their practices are being compromised by the actions of irresponsible and opportunistic individuals. Currently here in New Zealand there is no effective regulation in place to control such individuals and consequently we are hearing more and more of puppy farming and puppy mills. We do not believe the issue is at the same level as in other countries but without some intervention there is no question the problem will escalate.

In terms of the timing of Trade Me¬ís action we believe it is premature. Dogs New Zealand along with many other organisations is currently working with the National Animal Welfare Advisory Committee (NAWAC) on its review of the selective breeding of animals in New Zealand. In relation to dogs we are well aware of the focus on brachycephalic breeds and in turn NAWAC is also well aware of our initiatives to investigate the perceptions that exist. 

The three breeds identified by Trade Me have experienced a surge in popularity over recent years and not just in New Zealand and with that there has been an obvious rise in indiscriminate and irresponsible breeding practices.  These breeds are more prone to developing various health conditions and without the application of responsible breeding practices there is an increased risk of producing puppies which suffer from poor welfare.

Most Dogs New Zealand breeders have waiting lists for their puppies and do not need to advertise them online to sell them.  However, it is disappointing that the sale of these breeds, or in fact any breed at risk of exploitation, was not restricted to people who are registered breeders with Dogs New Zealand.  Responsible puppy sourcing must be enabled by responsible puppy breeding.  The best way to ensure good welfare standards for these breeds, which people will continue to want to buy, is to support and encourage those who are breeding them responsibly.    

Dogs New Zealand has a strict mandatory Breeders Code of Ethics, a Brachycephalic Working Group, and an Accredited Breeders Scheme which are all in place to ensure the improving welfare standards of breeding dogs and their puppies.  

Dogs New Zealand is concerned that the banning of sale of these three breeds in its entirety will drive sales to other unregulated websites where poor welfare in breeding dogs and puppies will continue to be experienced.  Trade Me has a significant platform which could have been used for education for the inevitable ongoing breeding of these dogs.

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