Netherlands Considers Banning Flat-Nosed Dogs and Folded-Ear Cats to Prevent Animal Suffering

Minister Piet Adema of Culture, Nature, and Food Quality stated that the Netherlands is making significant progress towards being a country where pets are not required to suffer due to their appearance. The minister is working on two laws – one that would prohibit the possession of animals with detrimental physical features, such as cats with folded ears or dogs with flat snouts. The second legislation would prohibit these animals from being advertised.

External physical traits such as folded ears or a short snout, which may seem attractive to some, can result in lifelong agony for the animals. For instance, canines with short snouts tend to have respiratory problems. Hence, the Netherlands will initiate efforts to prevent this misery for animals, commencing with cats and dogs, as stated by Adema.

In a statement, he expressed his concern for animals who suffer from physical characteristics that humans find attractive. He emphasized that many pets suffer for life due to these features, and the new bans aim to prevent such suffering. Adema also shared a personal connection to the issue, stating that it affects him not just as a Minister but also as a person.

Adema is planning to implement a ban on trading and importing animals with harmful characteristics, which will also prohibit people from owning such animals. He is considering how to put this into effect, possibly by creating a list of external characteristics that can objectively cause permanent suffering. The list may start small, but it can grow over time with additional research revealing other harmful features.

People who already have pets with banned features will be given a grace period and will be allowed to keep their pets until they die.

The Ministry stated that featuring certain types of pets in media can increase the demand for them. To prevent this, Minister Adema plans to implement a ban on displaying pets with harmful traits in advertisements or on social media. He will also examine the influence of celebrities and influencers in this regard.

Minister Adema acknowledged that the bans on owning animals with harmful characteristics and showing them in advertisements are complicated issues, and there are many questions that need to be addressed. For instance, how to accurately determine that an animal is suffering from its appearance, and how to handle freedom of expression on social media. Although these issues will take some time to be resolved, the Ministry wants to notify people that these changes will occur, especially those who are thinking of adopting a new pet.


Read More: NL Times

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