Welfare issues loom as hopefuls prepare for Crufts

Both four and two-legged Crufts hopefuls were today immersed in last-minute preparations for the controversial contest.

Dogs were given a sniff of the canine competition when they were taken into the famed Birmingham arena for some last-minute training ahead of the show's opening on Thursday.



Meanwhile puppies were put through their paces for the four-day event which will see health and welfare issues to the fore.



The show was mired in controversy when a BBC documentary in 2008 raised concerns over certain breeds of pedigree dog in the competition.



Puppy farming, status dogs and cross breeding will be examined by presenter Clare Balding with a vet on hand to answer questions when highlights from this year's event are screened on television.



Caroline Kisko, communications director of the Kennel Club, has defended the competition and its commitment to healthy dogs.



"We are very excited about this year's event and demonstrating to our visitors how important dogs are in our lives," she said.



"The Kennel Club's primary concern is the health and welfare of all dogs and it is through important and influential dog shows such as Crufts that we can safeguard the long-term health and welfare of pedigree dogs.



"Dog shows enable us to encourage and reward the breeding of happy, healthy dogs by making sure that these are the ones that go home with the prizes."



As well as the traditional Best in Show final, canine competitors will be pitted against each other in an agility championship and in the Friends for Life contest, where dogs are put forward for proving themselves to be "man's best friend".



Breeders will be able to access a "doggie dating website" to find the perfect match for their pedigree dog which is aimed at improving health and genetic diversity.



Visitors to the National Exhibition Centre will also be able to see more than 200 breeds on show and learn about Kennel Club accredited breeders, who take the required health tests for their breed.



The event 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.



Pedigree Dogs Exposed, broadcast in August that year, suggested certain dogs bred for shows were suffering a high degree of genetic illness.



The claims 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 for dogs.



The Kennel Club, which organises Crufts, has launched a new breed information centre on its website to help prospective owners find responsible breeders in their area and see which type of dog would best suit their lifestyle.

Discover more property articles at Homes and Property
Suggested Topics
Property search
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: UX Consultant

£35000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: You will be working with a 8 st...

Recruitment Genius: Part-time Editor

£8000 - £12000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A unique opportunity has arisen ...

Recruitment Genius: Field Sales Executive

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: An exceptional opportunity has arisen for a pa...

Recruitment Genius: Kitchen and Bathroom Installers

£18000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This provider of designer kitch...

Day In a Page

Orthorexia nervosa: How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition

Orthorexia nervosa

How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition
Lady Chatterley is not obscene, says TV director

Lady Chatterley’s Lover

Director Jed Mercurio on why DH Lawrence's novel 'is not an obscene story'
Farmers in tropical forests are training ants to kill off bigger pests

Set a pest to catch a pest

Farmers in tropical forests are training ants to kill off bigger pests
Mexico: A culture that celebrates darkness as an essential part of life

The dark side of Mexico

A culture that celebrates darkness as an essential part of life
Being sexually assaulted was not your fault, Chrissie Hynde. Don't tell other victims it was theirs

Being sexually assaulted was not your fault, Chrissie Hynde

Please don't tell other victims it was theirs
A nap a day could save your life - and here's why

A nap a day could save your life

A midday nap is 'associated with reduced blood pressure'
If men are so obsessed by sex, why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?

If men are so obsessed by sex...

...why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?
The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3

Jon Thoday and Richard Allen-Turner

The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3
The bathing machine is back... but with a difference

Rolling in the deep

The bathing machine is back but with a difference
Part-privatised tests, new age limits, driverless cars: Tories plot motoring revolution

Conservatives plot a motoring revolution

Draft report reveals biggest reform to regulations since driving test introduced in 1935
The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border