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Mutations shame the work of dog breeders

Dogs don’t care which breed they are and neither should anyone else (‘French coup sees bulldog on way to top dog position’, Online, February 14).

The demand for pedigrees and “designer pets” fuels cruel breeding practices which cause animals to suffer painful, debilitating conditions.

French bulldogs, for example, have been bred to have unnaturally flat faces, which can cause them to develop brachycephalic airway syndrome, a condition characterised by severe breathing difficulties.

These health issues mean a lifetime of wheezing and weight gain — because their breathing problems leave them unable to exercise — and can even result in death if left untreated.

Many will inevitably be abandoned, putting extra strain on already overburdened shelters.

While breeders profit from churning out puppies with genetic mutations, thousands of healthy, highly adoptable dogs languish in shelters, just waiting for someone to take them home.

JENNIFER WHITE

Peta UK, London

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