Moonpig draws cards featuring pugs and French bulldogs amid health woes

Moonpig is to stop selling cards with images of pugs and French bulldogs after activists claimed it “normalizes their suffering from respiratory illnesses”.

It comes after animal rights lobby group Peta raised concerns that the major online retailer was “advertising” the “respiratory impaired” dog breeds.

In response, Moonpig said it has removed or is in the process of removing such maps from its website, PA news agency correspondence shows.

A spokesperson also told Peta that the retailer will not be designing or sourcing any card designs featuring these breeds going forward.

A search for “pug” and “French bulldog” on Moonpig’s website on Friday yielded no cards showing either breed.

However, some cards with images of English bulldogs, which also have a flat face, remained on sale.

Cached data, a form of web history, shows that Moonpig has previously sold Christmas cards featuring both breeds wearing festive hats.

The move comes after a Royal Veterinary College (RVC) study published in May 2022 indicated that “urgent action is needed as many of the health problems of Pugs are linked to their extreme body shape”.

From a study population of 905,544 dogs, the analysis included random samples of 4,308 Pugs and 21,835 non-Pugs.

It concluded that the health of Pugs in the UK is now significantly different and far worse than other breeds, showing that they are almost twice as likely to suffer from one or more medical conditions each year as compared to other dogs.

The RVC, the UK’s largest independent veterinary school, said at the time that “from a health perspective the pug can no longer be considered a ‘typical dog'”.

Peta Director of Corporate Projects Yvonne Taylor said: “By banning images of pugs and French bulldogs, Moonpig is acting responsibly and helping to end the advertising of dog breeds with painful, life-threatening deformities.

“Peta is celebrating this compassionate first step and will continue to work with Moonpig to extend this new policy to all breeds with restricted breathing, including Boston Terriers, Boxers and Shih Tzus.”

Peta said the dogs are bred for a specific look, resulting in shortened airways that cause a range of symptoms including: labored breathing, snorting, choking and collapsing.

It also makes dogs more prone to vomiting, exercise intolerance, heat stroke and even death, it added.

Restrictions on breeding these dogs have been imposed in Austria, Germany, Norway and the Netherlands, Peta noted.

In 2019, after a similar intervention by Peta, Moonpig vowed to stop selling cards featuring “captive apes in unnatural situations.”

Moonpig has been contacted for comment.

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