The UK's leading dog charity and the organisers of Crufts today called for Government support for an independent review into dog breeding.
The Dogs Trust and the Kennel Club want Government backing for a review of registration, breeding and showing of dogs which they will set up and fund themselves.
Plans for an independent review follow a BBC documentary which claimed the breeding process used to produce pedigree dogs had resulted in a high incidence of inherited genetic disease.
Earlier this week, the Kennel Club announced an internal review of the breeding standards for every pedigree breed in the UK in a bid to improve the health and welfare of the animals.
Clarissa Baldwin, chief executive of the Dogs Trust, said: "We believe an independent review is essential in co-ordinating the large body of research and evidence and to advise on workable, timely recommendations for ensuring the future good health and welfare of all dogs."
Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club secretary, said: "Work is already under way to improve the health of pedigree dogs.
"An independent review will assist us in meeting our objective, which is to improve the welfare, health and general wellbeing of all dogs, throughout every stage of their lives.
"We hope the Government can support us".