THE charity behind an animal rehoming centre in Thirsk is calling on local businesses to support its campaign to end the use of flat-faced animals in advertising.

The Blue Cross, which runs a shelter in Topcliffe, has launched a campaign called #EndTheTrend – which calls on brands to support its mission to improve the lives and welfare of flat-faced (brachycephalic) pets.

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Many firms currently use flat-faced animals in their advertisements, even if the products are unrelated, but the breeds have common and complicated health problems.

These include breathing and sight difficulties which often need surgery to fix.

The Northern Echo:

The Blue Cross has created its own advertising campaign highligting the common health problems found in flat-faced breeds

Flat-faced pets – such as pugs, French bulldogs, Boston terriers and Persian cats – have soared in popularity and as of 2021, flat faced canines account for one fifth of the nation’s dogs.

But in in the last two years alone, Blue Cross vets have treated more then 5,000 flat-faced pets.

Common procedures include surgery to widen their nasal passages and shorten their soft palate to improve breathing and eyelid surgery to repair or remove their eyes and modify their eyelids due to high rates of disease.

These health problems have stemmed from over-breeding to meet the huge demand for these breeds and the Blue Cross believes their use in advertising is contributing to the demand for them.

Caroline Reay, Blue Cross Vet, said: “Brachycephalic pets, like Frenchies and pugs, have soared in popularity in recent years.

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"With their compelling big eyes and baby-like faces, our obsession with their appearance has created an animal welfare crisis.

"As these breeds grow in popularity, there is a rise in parallel of unscrupulous breeders looking to cash in on a trend.

"Our veterinary hospital teams are treating more and more very unwell pets who are experiencing health complications caused by breeding for a characteristic ‘flat face’.

The Blue Cross has launched a petition to urge retailers to discontinue their use in advertising and is urging the public to sign it at

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