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BBC defends controversial dog breeding documentary after petition to stop show reaches 91,000 signatures

‘Anything that promotes animals as commodities to make money from is absolutely disgraceful,’ the petition’s description reads

Annabel Nugent
Thursday 10 December 2020 07:35 GMT
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The BBC has stepped in to defend its documentary about dog breeding as a petition to stop it airing continues to gain momentum.

The programme – titled Will My Puppies Make Me Rich? – will follow young dog breeders as they try to build their businesses and make them reputable.

However, since the documentary was announced, an online petition to stop its release has been set up and acquired nearly 92,000 signatures.

The organiser of the petition states that their concern surrounding the programme is in regards to those who may watch it as “as a ‘how-to-guide’ to buy dogs solely for the purpose of breeding and making money”.

The page’s description admits that “the show hasn’t aired yet so we don’t know what kind of angle that it's going to portray” but goes on to clarify “anything that promotes animals as commodities to make money from is absolutely disgraceful”.

It adds: “There are thousands of dogs in shelters needing homes, we do not need a programme that promotes breeding and selling puppies as a get rich quick scheme or career.”

The RSPCA has also expressed their apprehension about the documentary, writing in a Twitter post: “We’re concerned about  BBC Three’s commissioned Will My Puppies Make Me Rich? programme as it could lead to dog welfare issues and glamorise breeding.”

A spokesperson for the BBC has told Metro.co.uk that the forthcoming documentary will “highlight the importance of good animal welfare” as opposed to “glamourise dog breeding”.

They said: “This observational documentary does not glamorise dog breeding, it responsibly examines the growing rise of young people entering the business and highlights the importance of good animal welfare, training and licensing.

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“The production team are working closely with animal experts throughout to inform the audience of what constitutes good and bad practice.”

Will My Puppies Make Me Rich? will reportedly also look at how prices for puppies have more than doubled in the last six months due to the ongoing pandemic, as demand from people spending more time at home soars.

The documentary, which is being produced by filmmakers Helena Rochester and Sophia Slater, is currently in production with no release date yet announced.

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