On 14th March, it became clear that the Supreme Court has decided to hear the appeal in the dog breeding case between The Norwegian Society for Protection of Animals and the Norwegian Kennel Club, two breed clubs and six breeders. The Norwegian Society for Protection of Animals hopes that the dogs’ right to a healthy and functional body will be safeguarded by the Supreme Court.
Full and partial victory
In 2019, The NSPA took the Norwegian Kennel Club, two breed clubs and six breeders to court for violating section 25 of the Animal Welfare Act, which deals with breeding. The NSPA believes that dogs must be bred to be healthy and that one cannot defend using diseased and inbred dogs as breeding animals. A unanimous district court concluded that it is illegal to breed purebred Cavalier King Charles Spaniels and English bulldogs due to the high burden of disease in these two breeds.
When the appeal went before the Borgarting Court of Appeal in September 2022, The NSPA prevailed with the decision to ban the breeding of Cavalier King Charles Spaniels. For the English bulldog, the Court of Appeal disagreed with the District Court, and concluded that they can still be bred, within the law’s minimum requirements.
The right to a good life
The NSPA believes that the practice of breeding dogs that focuses solely on appearance, has created the biggest animal welfare problem we have with dogs today. The suffering is enormous and increases in scope with each passing year.
– Little has happened since the Council for Animal Ethics came out and warned against unethical breeding 25 years ago. The NSPA believes that breeding has gone so far that scientific crossbreeding must be started for both Cavalier King Charles Spaniels and English bulldogs. We can no longer allow the use of dogs with skulls that are too small or have breathing problems in breeding just because someone thinks it’s cute. Both breeds have, in addition to a high disease burden, an extremely high degree of genetic inbreeding, thus crossbreeding is the only thing that can save these two breeds, says CEO Åshild Roaldset.
The appeal case in the Supreme Court will be held during 2023.