Crufts opens amid controversey

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

Crufts dog show started today amid claims that pedigree breeders are "creating a Frankenstein's monster of a dog".



Protesters from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (Peta) gathered outside Birmingham's National Exhibition Centre, where the four-day event is held, with banners bearing the slogan: "Hitler Would Be Proud".



The campaigners also displayed posters featuring a white Maltese dog, pictured with a black comb placed across its upper lip to make it look as if it has an Adolf Hitler-style moustache.



The posters are captioned: "Master Race? Wrong for People. Wrong for Dogs. Boycott Breeders. Adopt!"



The group accused the Kennel Club, which runs Crufts, of promoting the breeding of dogs to achieve a "pure bloodline" or "master pedigree" at the cost of animals' health.



Spokeswoman Poorva Joshipura said: "Whether you call it 'pedigree' or 'master race', the quest for pure bloodlines is the same thing - the false and dangerous belief that some breeds or races are superior to others."



She added: "In the race to produce purebred dogs, breeders are moving unwittingly towards creating a Frankenstein's monster of a dog.



"The end result will be not only a more genetically impaired animal but also hundreds and hundreds more homeless animals put to death for the 'crime' of being mutts."



The demonstrations coincide with the publication of an open letter from the producer of a BBC documentary about health problems in pedigree dogs, accusing the Kennel Club of failing to take sufficient action on the issue.



In the letter, published in the magazine Dogs Today, Jemima Harrison said animals "continue to wither genetically" despite the concerns raised in the programme Pedigree Dogs Exposed.



Ms Harrison said: "Some breeds are paying a horrendous price in terms of genetic disease, wounded immune systems and lifespans that, for some, average just six or seven years old."



Her comments come 18 months after the programme sparked concerns by claiming Crufts, the world's most famous dog show, allowed animals bred using damaging practices which cause disease and deformities.



The controversy prompted the Kennel Club and the Dogs Trust to jointly fund an independent inquiry which made a number of recommendations to tackle inbreeding in pedigrees, puppy farming and other welfare issues.



The club later launched a breed information centre on its website to help prospective owners find responsible breeders in their area.



Yesterday the Kennel Club said it was "committed to ensuring that every dog's life is as healthy and happy as it can be".



Caroline Kisko, Communications Director, for the Kennel Club, added: "We are very excited about this year's event, which will celebrate the unique relationship between dogs and their owners and the many ways that they mutually improve and touch each other's lives."



The show features a variety of competitions including the International Agility Championship and the Friends for Life contest, culminating in the Best in Show final on Sunday.



Crufts will be broadcast on More4 this year after the BBC - which began screening Crufts in 1966 - announced it was dropping its coverage in December 2008.



The RSPCA also withdrew its support of Crufts in 2008 because of concerns about the welfare of pedigree animals.

Discover more property articles at Homes and Property
Suggested Topics
News
The cartoon produced by Bruce MacKinnon for the Halifax Chronicle-Herald on Thursday, showing the bronze soldiers of the war memorial in Ottawa welcoming Corporal Cirillo into their midst
news
News
i100
News
The Edge and his wife, Morleigh Steinberg, at the Academy Awards in 2014
peopleGuitarist faces protests over plan to build mansions in Malibu
Voices
Nigel Farage has backed DJ Mike Read's new Ukip song
voicesNigel Farage: Where is the Left’s outrage over the sexual abuse of girls in the North of England?
PROMOTED VIDEO
Property search
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

SSRS Report Developer - Urgent Contract - London - £300pd

£300 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: SSRS Report Developer – 3 Mon...

KS1 Teacher

£95 - £150 per day: Randstad Education Birmingham: Key Stage 1 teacher require...

HR Business Partner - Essex - £39,000 plus benefits

£32000 - £39000 per annum + benefits + bonus: Ashdown Group: Generalist HR Man...

Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £30000 per annum + uncapped: SThree: Do you feel like your sales role...

Day In a Page

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker
Renée Zellweger's real crime has been to age in an industry that prizes women's youth over humanity

'Renée Zellweger's real crime was to age'

The actress's altered appearance raised eyebrows at Elle's Women in Hollywood awards on Monday
From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Patrick Grafton-Green wonders if they can ever recapture the old magic
Thousands of teenagers to visit battlefields of the First World War in new Government scheme

Pupils to visit First World War battlefields

A new Government scheme aims to bring the the horrors of the conflict to life over the next five years
The 10 best smartphone accessories

Make the most of your mobile: 10 best smartphone accessories

Try these add-ons for everything from secret charging to making sure you never lose your keys again
Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time against Real Madrid: Was this shirt swapping the real reason?

Liverpool v Real Madrid

Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time. Was shirt swapping the real reason?
West Indies tour of India: Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Decision to pull out of India tour leaves the WICB fighting for its existence with an off-field storm building
Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?