The RSPCA drops out of Crufts and Discover Dogs

The RSPCA has cancelled exhibition stands at two Kennel Club shows Crufts and Discover Dogs due to the recent BBC expose of the health of pedigree dogs.

Dog: breeding problems
Dog: breeding problems

BBC documentary Pedigree Dogs Exposed, broadcast in August, featured revelations that dogs suffered severe health problems due to inbreeding.

"Dog shows using current breed standards as the main judging criteria actively encourage both the international breeding of deformed and disabled dogs and the inbreeding of closely related animals," said RSPCA chief veterinary advisor Mark Evans.

"From a dog health and welfare perspective, such shows are fundamentally flawed and do our much loved pedigree dogs no favours. Intentionally breeding deformed and disabled animals is morally unjustifiable and it has to stop."

Kennel Club spokesperson Caroline Kisko responded: "Dog shows such as Crufts give the Kennel Club and other organisations a great opportunity to educate the dog loving public about the importance of health and welfare. The fact that the RSCPA continues to make such unhelpful statements with regard to the health of pedigree dogs is extremely regrettable but we will continue to endeavour to work with them despite their stated position - for the benefit of dogs. The Kennel Club is dedicated to improving the health and welfare of dogs through responsible breeding."

Crufts will take place from 5 - 8 March 2009 and Discover Dogs will take place from 8 - 9 November 2008.

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