Brachycephalic Working Group assists Disney in reducing impact of Patrick film release

27 May 2018

Disney's film, Patrick, features a Pug in the leading role. The Brachycephalic Working Group is concerned that its release would lead to a surge in demand in the breed

The Brachycephalic Working Group (BWG), of which the British Veterinary
Association is a member alongside leading breed clubs, welfare, veterinary and
academic organisations, has expressed concern that Disney's upcoming film,
Patrick, will lead to a surge in demand for Pugs. The film, which releases on
29 June, features a Pug in the leading role.

Pugs are a ‘brachycephalic' or flat-faced breed,
and these types of dogs are prone to many health problems that can severely
damage their welfare, as highlighted by BVA's #BreedtoBreathe campaign.

In response, BWG has met with Disney to provide advice and information
on how the company can manage this anticipated interest in the breed. The aim
is to ensure that anyone considering purchasing a Pug carefully researches the
breed and is fully aware of the potential health issues, costs, and specialist
care that these dogs may need.

The actions that the BWG have assisted and agreed* with Disney that aim
to mitigate the negative effects that the movie Patrick may have on the
popularity and demand for the breed include:

  1. Adding a welfare message
    into the credits section of the film that explains the health issues of Pugs.
  2. Leaflets to be distributed
    to journalists and to the public at UK cinemas that describe the leading health
    issues of the Pug breed and suggest that ownership should not be undertaken
    lightly.
  3. Images of Pugs dressed in
    human clothing will not be used in associated marketing.
  4. The film will not be
    accompanied by any merchandising of Patrick Pug memorabilia.
  5. BWG will support
    development of a process to ensure that potential animal welfare implications
    are considered prior to future movies that prominently feature domestic animals.

* Correct as of 27 May,
2018

British Veterinary Association Senior Vice President Gudrun Ravetz said:

“Flat-faced dogs have seen a rapid rise in popularity in recent years,
which has been fuelled by their prominence in the media, but many people are unaware
that their ‘cute' looks mask serious and often life-limiting health problems.

“We
welcome Disney's positive engagement with BWG to address members' concerns
regarding the anticipated interest in Pugs after the movie's release.

“As
part of BVA's ongoing Breed to Breathe campaign, we would urge prospective dog
owners to prioritise welfare over looks and to
speak to their local vet for advice on the right dog for them.”

Related links

Related BVA policy

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