Release of Disney’s film Patrick
26 June 2018
Disney are due to release Patrick in cinemas across the UK on June 29th. The film features Patrick, a pug who takes the leading role in the film.
Members of the Brachycephalic Working Group (BWG) which is made up of leading breed clubs, welfare, academic and veterinary organisations, including BSAVA, are concerned that the film will create a surge in demand for pugs among members of the public who may be largely unaware of the health issues associated with brachycephalic breeds.
To address its concerns, BWG met with the Walt Disney company to provide advice and information on how Disney could manage this anticipated interest in the breed. The aim is to ensure that anyone who is considering becoming a pug owner carefully researches the breed and are fully aware of any potential health issues, costs, and specialist care that these dogs may need. BWG have agreed actions to be undertaken by Disney that aim to mitigate the negative effects of the film on the popularity and demand for the breed and include:
· Adding a welfare message explaining the health issues of pugs into the credits section of the film;
· Creating the content of leaflets to be distributed to journalists and to the public at UK cinemas that describe the main health issues of the pug breed and suggesting that ownership should not be undertaken lightly;
· Minimising both the use of images of pugs dressed in human clothing and the marketing of Patrick the pug merchandising items.
Following on from Patrick, BWG will continue to support development of a process that ensures potential animal welfare implications are considered prior to future films that prominently feature domestic animals.
If the film does lead to a surge in interest, vets in practice may be approached by existing or potential clients asking for advice. In providing advice, vets might find it useful to refer clients to the BWG website- https://www.ukbwg.org.uk/ – or direct them to Disney’s official Patrick website- www.patrickthemovie.co.uk – to obtain a leaflet covering key facts agreed by BWG and Disney or provide them with the leaflet by downloading it directly here.
Previous related news items outlining BSAVA’s ongoing input into activities in this area include the following: