BWG activities in relation to Disney’s ‘Patrick’ movie
Updated June 21st, 2018
Disney’s upcoming film, Patrick, 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. The concern of the Brachycephalic Working Group (BWG), which is made up of leading breed clubs, welfare, veterinary and academic organisations, is that the film will create a surge in demand for Pugs. In response, BWG has met with Disney to provide advice and information on how Disney can manage this anticipated interest in the breed. The aim is to ensure that anyone considering purchasing Pug carefully researches the breed and are 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 Patrick movie may have on the popularity and demand for the breed include:
- Adding the following welfare message into the credits section of the film that explains the health issues of Pugs:
“Patrick like most pugs, is very lovable. However, pugs and some other flat faced breeds can suffer from serious health problems. If you are thinking of getting a dog, please think twice before getting a pug and speak to your local vet to learn more first.”
- Distributing a Pug Welfare Information Sheet to journalists and the public at UK cinemas that describes health issues of the Pug breed and that explain that ownership should not be undertaken lightly.
- Linking to the Pug Welfare Information Sheet from a prominent Pug Health and Welfare tab on the official Patrick the Movie website homepage
- Creating a shareable Pug Welfare video, hosted on the Disney UK YouTube channel
- Images of Pugs dressed in human clothing will not be used in leading marketing materials such as the Patrick promotional poster.
- The film will not be accompanied by any merchandising of ‘Patrick’ Pug memorabilia.
- BWG will support development of film industry initiatives to ensure that potential animal welfare implications are considered prior to future movies that prominently feature animals
June 27, 2018 BVA Blog: Pugs on Film – the problems of Pugmania in the media
June 25, 2018: FECAVA press release: Companion animal vets worldwide voice concern about new ‘pug’ film.