To coincide with the start of Crufts 2006, the world’s biggest pedigree dog show, Advocates for Animals released a scientific report examining the welfare problems caused by pedigree dog breeding – The Price of a Pedigree – Dog breed standards and breed-related illness.
The report examined the vast number of inherited diseases affecting pedigree dog breeds and how these genetic diseases cause suffering and reduced quality of life for dogs, and worry and expense for their owners. The report called for the UK Government, the Kennel Club and other breed societies, veterinarians and members of the public to take positive action to address these serious welfare issues. Celebrity TV vet Emma Milne, star of BBC’s Vets in Practice, backed the report’s call for changes in irresponsible pedigree dog breeding.
The following year, a BBC investigative programme, Pedigree Dogs Exposed, revealed these important welfare concerns to millions of viewers and caused shockwaves throughout the dog breeding and showing world. As a result, the RSPCA and Pedigree pulled out of supporting Crufts and in 2008, the BBC made the decision to stop broadcasting the show.
A number of reports have since been produced on the topic and breed standards are now being reviewed to incorporate welfare concerns.
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