No animal should suffer for beauty: new campaign exposes impacts of extreme breeding


No animal should suffer for beauty: new campaign exposes impacts of extreme breeding

20 March 2024
Animal Protection Denmark
The demand for traits such as short muzzles, large eyes and excessive skin folds have resulted in extreme and unhealthy breeding. A new campaign hopes to raise awareness and reduce demand for unhealthy dogs.

Dogs with extreme traits suffer from difficulty in breathing and regulating body temperature, eye problems, jaw and dental problems. Excessive skin folds cause skin infection and mobility problems. 

A new campaign by Animal Protection Denmark hopes to reduce the demand for extreme breeds, shedding light on the consequences that unethical breeding has on dog’s health.


No dog owner wants their animal to suffer, but we find that many people who acquire new dogs are not aware of the many health challenges that flat-nosed dog breeds often have.

Jens Jokumsen, Animal Protection Denmark

Lack of EU-wide legislation 

Animal Protection Denmark has disseminated adverts for a fake plastic surgery clinic for animals, through which the organisation aims to start a conversation about extreme breeding. In Denmark, it is illegal to perform operations on animals if the intention is solely to change the animal's appearance. On the other hand, there is no legislation that protects animals from breeding that deliberately produces an extreme appearance that is harmful to their welfare. 

The campaign informs potential owners on what they should consider before getting a dog, whilst demanding legislation that can help push breeding in the right direction.

Extreme breeding has become a widespread problem in Europe, with severe impacts on animals and emotional distress for owners and veterinarians. Countries like Belgium, the Netherlands and Austria have taken the first step to ban certain extreme breeds, but the legislation needs further reinforcement. 

The European Commission’s new proposed legislation for cats and dogs, despite its many positive aspects, does not address extreme breeding. Eurogroup for Animals calls for an EU-wide ban on extreme breeding, an ownership ban, as well as a ban on the use of extreme featured breeds in the media and in exhibitions and competitions.

Extreme breeding in Europe

Browse to this publication