First-of-Its-Kind Bill Would Ban Breeding of Breathing-Impaired Dogs and Cats in New Hampshire

For Immediate Release:
February 28, 2024

Nicole Perreira 202-483-7382

Concord, N.H.

Rep. Ellen Read has just introduced first-in-the-nation legislation that would ban the breeding and sale of brachycephalic dogs and cats—those with intentionally deformed skulls and unnaturally flattened faces. HB 1102-FN, which is supported by PETA, the New Hampshire Animal Rights League, and others, would reclassify the breeding and sale of animals with “a birth deformity that causes suffering, such as brachycephaly,” as cruelty to animals.

PETA points out that these breathing-impaired breeds (BIB)—including French bulldogs, English bulldogs, pugs, boxers, and Boston terriers as well as Persian cats—suffer from a multitude of health problems due to their deliberately distorted and restricted airways, which often shorten their lives and lead to myriad congenital ailments, most notably the constant struggle just to breathe, which is apparent in the panting, snorting, and wheezing common among BIBs.

“I’m proud to have introduced this first-of-its-kind bill to end the intentional cruel breeding of animals with painful deformities,” says Read. “New Hampshire has the opportunity to lead the nation in protecting animals from these abusive breeding practices.”

Joan O’Brien, the president of the New Hampshire Animal Rights League, will testify in support of the bill at a public hearing at the New Hampshire State House at 1 p.m. on March 5. PETA has provided a letter of written testimony in support of the bill.

“Many flat-faced dogs are unable to do the things that make dogs’ lives joyful and fulfilling—like running, chasing balls, and playing with other dogs—without gasping for air due to their deliberately shortened snouts and deformed airways,” says PETA Senior Vice President of Cruelty Investigations Daphna Nachminovitch. “PETA urges New Hampshire residents to contact their legislators to express their support for HB 1102-FN, which would spare countless animals a lifetime of suffering, and we encourage everyone never to buy a BIB or any other animal from a breeder or a pet store.”

“For too long, we have normalized the enormous suffering caused by extreme body shapes in many species of companion animals. This suffering is as tangible as physical abuse and shouldn’t be tolerated in our society,” says Dr. Emma Milne, BVSc FRCVS, founder of the international organization Vets Against Brachycephalism, which represents over 1,600 veterinarians and supports HB 1102-FN.

A recent study revealed that some of the most common BIBs have the shortest life expectancies of companion dog breeds. French bulldogs have a shockingly low life expectancy of just 4.5 years, followed by English bulldogs, American bulldogs, and pugs, all of whom have life expectancies of under 8 years. A number of countries—including Austria, Germany, the Netherlands, and Norway—have banned or restricted the breeding of some or all BIBs.

PETA points out that buying and breeding contribute to the animal overpopulation crisis, which sees around 70 million dogs and cats homeless in the U.S. at any given time.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way”—points out that Every Animal Is Someone and offers free Empathy Kits for people who need a lesson in kindness. For more information, please visit or follow the group on X, Facebook, or Instagram.

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