Every year, pedigree dog owners from across world take to Birmingham to compete and show their pets in Crufts.
But a local charity has hit out at the show ahead of its start this weekend.
This comes after comments made by animal welfare charity PETA, who have suggested that pedigree dogs bred specifically for shows like Crufts may suffer from serious genetical dispositions and illnesses. They believe that because of the way pedigree dogs are bred, they can suffer from things like epilepsy, heart disease, hip problems and severe breathing difficulties.
Yvonne Taylor, the special projects manager at PETA, says that Cavalier King Charles Spaniels’ heads can be too small as a result of the way they’ve been bred. She added: “According to a study published in the veterinary journal, each of the 50 most common pedigree dog breeds is actually at risk from some sort of genetic defect which causes them huge suffering.”
In 2009, the RSPCA pulled all support for Crufts because they too believed that pedigree dogs should not be bred in the way they are. Charlotte Childs is the branch administrator for Lincoln’s RSPCA. She said: “I recently was in the park with my dog and there was a puppy bulldog and it couldn’t even run because if it ran it started coughing and the breathing was very laboured. You then begin to question what quality of life if gives the dog.
“The sad thing is if you look at pictures of these dogs from a hundred years ago, they don’t look anything like they do today because they have fine-tuned the breed for looks that really, they should never have had.”
Caroline Kisco is the Kennel Club’s secretary. She disagrees with the comments made by PETA and the RSPCA and says that any dogs such as this would not be allowed to enter their shows. She said: “Those dogs would not be here, I can be pretty much certain of that.
“Within the show there are monitors going around all of the time making sure that all of the dogs that are in the rings are healthy. If they do see an unhealthy dog they should be reporting it to the show’s management.”