Veterinarians are warning that extreme breeding practices are leaving horses and dogs looking like cartoons and struggling to breathe because of human demands.
Orrion Farms in Ellensburg, Washington recently put up a nine-month-old Arabian Colt up for sale.
The animal has a cartoonish “dished” profile, notes The Telegraph.
Doug Leadley, farm manager and primary breeding adviser for Orrion, told Veterinary Record magazine: “This horse is a stepping stone to getting close to perfection.”
Leadley also claimed that vets said the colt has no medical or respiratory problems.
However, UK equine expert and vet Tim Greet told Veterinary Record magazine that the new colt “‘takes things to a ridiculous level,” and added: “Dogs like man can mouth breathe, but horses can only breathe through their nose. I suspect exercise would definitely be limited for this horse.”
Adele Waters, the Editor of Veterinary Record, said:
My first thoughts were “is this the work of CGI trickery?” Many specialist horse vets have had a similar reaction. But the truth is this is a real horse and it has been bred to meet the demands of a particular market that likes a particular appearance. Where will it end? Is it really so bad for a horse to look like a horse and not a cartoon character?
Jonathan Pycock equine reproduction expert and president of the British Equine Veterinary Association (BEVA) warned that the horse’s unusual features“served no functional purpose and could put the horse at risk of breathing problems.”
Dr Madeleine Campbell, an equine reproduction specialist, stated:
Whilst it is obviously impossible to comment on an individual animal based only on photographic evidence, as a general principle any trend towards breeding for extremes of form which might adversely affect normal function must be condemned, on welfare grounds.
This would apply equally to head shape which might compromise the ability to breathe or eat normally or, for example, to extremes of animal size which might compromise the ability to give birth normally.
(Sources: The Telegraph)