Stoke pub owner brands animal charity's demand to change boozer's name 'wokism at it's worst'

Mike Newton with is pet bulldog Credit: BPM Media

A pub owner in Stoke-on-Trent has branded a demand from a national animal charity to rename his boozer due to health issues associated with dog breed it's named after, as "absolutely ridiculous".

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) called on The Old Bulldog in Longton to be renamed The Old Mutt.

The organisation says bulldogs and other flat-faced breeds are afflicted with brachycephalic syndrome - which causes laboured breathing, snorting, coughing, retching, tiring easily, and fainting.

The charity wrote a letter to Mike Newton, owner of the pub in Anchor Road, wanting him to change the name. They say that promoting breathing-impaired breeds of dog "normalises their suffering".

PETA has asked the name of the pub to be changed Credit: BPM Media

Mr Newton has slammed their request, saying it represents "wokism at it's worst" and refuses to change the name.

Speaking to ITV News Central, Mr Newton said: "I initially thought it was a prank.

"I felt that someone had to stand up against wokism and it might as well be me.

"I just felt it was absolutely ridiculous that they are trying to ban this national symbol the British Bulldog and what were very weak grounds indeed.

  • Pub owner Mike Newton speaks to ITV News Central

"It is a name. Nothing more nothing less and it is a good one too. I thought it was nuts. I refuse to apologise for loving my dog and loving Britain. I won't do it and I'm not changing the name under any circumstances.

"If you look after a bulldog then it can be a great long-living family pet. The real sub-text here is that it is wokism gone mad."

Businessman Mike named the pub after his own bulldog called Atticus.A spokesperson for PETA said the organisation had offered to contribute to the costs of a new sign and assist in the creation of an adorable mutt-focused design.

PETA Vice President Elisa Allen said: "Unlike bulldogs and other flat-faced breeds, one-of-a-kind mixed-breed dogs are typically healthier and usually live longer than their pedigree cousins.

“PETA is encouraging The Old Bulldog to become ‘The Old Mutt’ to win the praise of caring Stokies and help convince everyone to stop buying or breeding dogs with horrific, life-threatening deformities.”

Jennifer White, spokesperson for PETA speaks to ITV News Central.

A spokesperson for PETA also said: "Bulldogs have been bred so that their snouts are pushed against their skulls and there isn’t enough space to accommodate healthy anatomical features, making them prone to breathing problems. This is the leading cause of death for bulldogs."I hope you’ll agree that breeding dogs with unnatural features that cause severe health problems is cruel.

"This is why restrictions have been imposed on breeding breathing-impaired breeds in Norway and the Netherlands and why many other countries are looking to follow suit."