New PETA ‘Freak Show’ Ad Shines the Spotlight on Crufts

Posted by 5 years ago | Permalink | Comments (26)

With Crufts so close, we’ve released a hard-hitting, old-fashioned–style “freak show” ad which activists will hand out to visitors attending the event. The ad shines the spotlight on a fact that the Kennel Club would rather keep quiet: that many of the most popular breeds of dogs have been bred for looks instead of health, welfare and temperament.

Crufts Circus Poster

A 2008 BBC documentary Pedigree Dogs Exposed, investigated the health and welfare issues facing pedigree dogs and caused the RSPCA to withdraw its support of Crufts and the BBC to cancel its longstanding coverage. Now, the BBC has re-opened their investigation in Pedigree Dogs Exposed: Three Years On. The program once again highlighted how the Kennel Club continues to promote breeding traits which leave dogs vulnerable to disease, pain, disability and behavioural problems. Our ad touches on three popular breeds that continue to suffer greatly:

Pugs are so inbred that it is believed the 10,000 in Britain could be descended from just 50 dogs. They can suffer terribly from breathing problems brought about from their genetically flattened faces, and many in the veterinary profession believe it is unethical to breed them.

German Shepherds
Many German shepherds suffer from ailments because of inbreeding – from painful hip and elbow dysplasia to degenerative myelopathy, a disease that results in paralysis.

King Charles Spaniels
Virtually all King Charles spaniels will develop life-threatening heart murmurs, and more than a third suffer from syringomyelia – an agonising brain condition caused by their being bred with skulls too small for their brains.

Pedigree shows such as Crufts actively encourage the breeding of deformed and disease-prone dogs and cause members of the public to rush out to buy the latest “must have” dog – unaware of the veterinary bills and heartbreak that lay ahead. Buying a dog from a breeder or a pet shop also is a guarantee that a dog in an animal shelter will be left homeless. Always adopt – never shop.


  • oaf commented on March 1, 2012 at 2:48 pm

    The King Charles Spaniel is a different breed from the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, which is the actual breed under scrutiny. I hope you haven’t gone live with this ad and have time to fix it.

    • lauren commented on March 20, 2012 at 11:59 am

      just shows PETA have yet again no idea what they are talking about. :/

    • sam commented on May 31, 2012 at 3:42 pm

      …it says cavalier king charles spaniel?

    • Samantha Bourdelier commented on February 22, 2013 at 1:51 pm

      These animals are not bred with scrutiny at all and that is the problem. Inbreeding is a huge problem in the UK. If you could see how the German Sheppard has changed over the years is really dramatic. They say they are half dog and half frog. To see what has happened to the breed is truly tragic. The showed how much the skull of the English Bulldog has changed over the past 100 years is dramatic. As far as the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is concerned I think you are fighting a war of semantics. I have seen with my own eyes how these dogs are suffering. You need to see the documentary to know how badly the inbreeding has been changing the breed standard. The Rhodesian ridgeback is a good example. Not all of that breed are born with the ridgeback. The puppies that are born without the ridge are culled because they are seen as deformed dogs. The truth the dog without the ridgeback are a sign of a healthy dog. You need to watch this documentary before anyone can talk about it. I don’t know if you have seen it. I know it and if I have to look at it again I have to watch it without sound because hearing dogs wailing in pain is more than I can take. Everyone who cares about animals should see the documentary Pedigree dogs exposed.

  • Jerri commented on March 1, 2012 at 5:50 pm

    These people are like any other terrorist group. You cannot ignore them or they get worse.

    Stand up for yourselves as individuals and groups and use your own lasw against them.

    Remember, PETA is all about the money. Hit them where it hurts.

    • Jared commented on March 2, 2012 at 4:57 pm

      Ha! q’uel surprise! A breeder who calls PETA terrorists..

    • Stella commented on March 14, 2012 at 8:39 pm

      Well you could say that about any charity really, but if we didn’t have charities or no one supported them than who would actually be out there saving the animals. We all disagree with animal cruelty and wish it could stop, but what’s the point of standing around complaining when we could be doing something proactive and supporting a charity. The point is charities are the organisations that actually do something to help with the world’s problems and if they had no supporters then we would have no chance of making the world a better place, no matter how much we complain!
      Also, if PETA is really ALL about the money then how come they spend so much time producing ads and articles, and organising demonstrations and holding investigations? The whole organisation is dedicated to saving animals from cruelty! Do you actually think they don’t care about the animals?

    • Stacey commented on November 23, 2012 at 1:38 am


    • Emily commented on February 16, 2013 at 4:04 pm

      Ok peta can be stupid sometimes but seriously pugs and cavaliers suffer from diseases like this!

  • Brien Comerford commented on March 2, 2012 at 12:41 am

    Dogs are arguably man’s best friends while men are inarguably not dog’s best friends.

  • lyn eldred commented on March 2, 2012 at 3:45 pm

    Please get your facts straight! Wrong breed! If you get that wrong, your research cannot be trusted. Go and shake a stick at something you do know something about.

    • Jared commented on March 2, 2012 at 4:58 pm

      Uhm – isn’t the only difference between the Cavalier, and the King Charles, the shorter muzzle/nose?

    • sam commented on May 31, 2012 at 3:45 pm

      It, syringomyelia, is found in both cavaliers. They are closely related, perhaps you should do your research too!

  • emma commented on March 8, 2012 at 6:03 pm

    all animals deserve a life well lived and that they can enjoy they deserve to be on this planet as much as us if not more and its not fair that they are born with breathing difficulties and Hip dysplasia also im training to become a vet nurse and love animals and hate seeing the bad breeds because its so upsetting so I fully back this poster!

  • Abigail commented on March 8, 2012 at 9:02 pm

    To all of the people who are making PETA out to be something they are not, wake up. Spend your time doing something positive for the animals of the world and the environment, instead of wasting it posting negative, inaccurate comments on a website dedicated to fighting for the the rights of animals around the world.

  • Sadies Wolf commented on March 9, 2012 at 2:53 pm

    Saddly I had a college trip to the cruel dog show yesterday and I went in open minded and came out horrified. The best of breed for Bulldog and Pekignese were not put throught to represent their breeds as they failed their vet check however at least the Kennel Club are begining to get the message. Hopefuly they will stop the cruelty soon.

    Also the Rhodesian Ridgeback has it’s ridge because there is a hole going down it’s spine and the pups born without the spine are healthy anf yet killed. Makes me sick.

    • sam commented on May 31, 2012 at 3:55 pm

      The ridge is a throwback of a genetic defect similar to spina bifida in humans.

      Dermoid sinus

      This is the inherited condition most commonly thought of in association with Ridgebacks. It is related to the formation of the ridge and similar to spina bifida in humans. It is generally detected at birth (by most breeders and some veterinary surgeons), and in this country most affected animals are euthanised (although in the US by 2000 only 52% were euthanised)2. The dermoid sinus is felt as a fine thread from the skin surface going down toward the vertebrae- and keep in mind some animals may have multiple sinuses. It is generally felt along the midline between the occiput bone and the beginning of the ridge, or from the end of the ridge and down into the tail. However, sinuses have been reported by some breeders as tracking through the epithelial surface and surfacing elsewhere such as on the cheek area. Left unchecked, epithelial cells may slough off into the sinus and cause the area to abscess.

      An early paper on Dermoid sinus suggests inheritance is dominant with “inconstant penetration”4. A study has recently been published which determined the allele responsible for the ridge and demonstrated a link between dermoid sinus and the ridge5. They noted that in selectively breeding dogs with ridges together and removing ridgeless dogs from the breeding population, the genetic sequence that codes for both the ridge and dermoid sinus is over represented! Their findings are not surprising as my experience is such that where there are more ridgeless pups born (Rr parents), there is less dermoid sinus.

      It is only 1 of 26 known and listed genetic defects inherent in the Ridgeback breed

  • Adzcliff commented on March 14, 2012 at 10:14 am

    “Pugs are so inbred that it is believed the 10,000 in Britain could be descended from just 50 dogs”

    I may be wrong on this, but is this really an alarming statistic? Why is it automatically concerning that 50 individuals go on to eventually have 10,000 ancestors between them? I’ve just done 50 x 4 x 4 x 4 x 4 and got to 12,800 in just four generations (and I assume 4 is a fairly modest litter?). Please note, this isn’t an argument against selective in-breeding – we have rescued a mixed breed for this very reason – but just think PETA needs to unpack some of these arguments if they want them to have impact, and maintain the moral and intellectual high ground on these important issues.

    • sam commented on May 31, 2012 at 3:44 pm

      As a veterinary nurse, I can confirm this statistic. Sick isn’t it?

  • Jerri commented on March 20, 2012 at 2:54 pm

    If you want to support an organization that really supports animals, do your homework! Dig around online until you get a feel for how much of the money received is actually being used for animals.

    Some of you may be surprised to know that the parent clubs of pure bred dogs have rescue groups. Members contribute all they can to see that dogs get a fair chance at a good life. If we go into a situation and find a pitiful mix or another breed than our own, we sure don’t leave it on it’s own. Every penny goes to the animals.

    It’s up to you to know what you are doing and what is true. Stop and thing about how much PETA and HSUS spend on advertising – you know, they do PAY for all that TV time. Look at what their management takes in as salery. Make an effort to find out how many shelters they actually support. It’s a revelation.

    • Debrah commented on August 4, 2012 at 10:30 am

      Make an effort Jerri, to discover ALL that PETA does. Their mandate is not to run shelters, it is to educate and communicate with industries that use and abuse animals and seeks to convince those people to quit hurting animals. Their mandate is to show the public that animals don’t deserve to be hurt by humans and that there is a better way, a kinder way. Their mandate is to provide free spay/neuter clinics in the town where they have an office and to provide free dog houses to neglected inner city back yard dogs. Their mandate is to expose the abusers via undercover videos that inform the public and the authorities wherever needed. That’s what their purpose is.

      Now in turn, what is your purpose? Do you do anything to help the animals or do you just bash a group that seeks to help change the worlds attitude towards the creatures that we share the planet with?

  • sam commented on May 31, 2012 at 3:48 pm

    Syringomyelia is found in both Cavalier types, for those on the rant.

    The statistics relating to the pug are correct and well-known within the breeding industry and veterinary profession.

    Peta are only trying to let you lot know of these issues, they are not hard to validate online with just a simple Google search.

    Get off your high horses, Peta may have some frankly unorthodox approaches to their plights – many of which I disagree with – but this info is correct, so pipe down!

  • PK commented on August 1, 2012 at 2:06 am

    Well this is a bit of minefield of a subject. I show my dog & first & foremost that she is a pet & member of the family first like most people who show. Dogs have changed over the years due to breeding & good in some areas & bad in others. I would like to say that OESD members are trying to improve the health issues within there breed and so are most other breed clubs. You lot are missing the main point is a DNA database in the UK. How do you know when buying a puppy are they the parents and do they have issues. This would help to get rid of puppy farms also help to tackle the issues in dogs. The Kennel club in the UK has avoid this issues for years. They buttered up to you people by getting rid of docking but to avoid the bigger issues also why don’t you help & try & work with people & get a DNA database set up & stop wasting money on stupid adverts

    • Debrah commented on August 4, 2012 at 10:36 am

      PK, you are deliberately ignore that many of the dogs that are bred today are mutants and have mutations that make their lives unbearable. Not only that, you ignore the fact that many puppies are born and then killed by the breeders because they don’t match up to some stupid breed standard. Sure lots of them are family pets but tell me PK, will your dog contribute to the overpopulation of dogs? Will your puppy that you sold to someone who said they loved it, wind up in a rescue, or a shelter, or simply be one of the many killed because someone bought it, then got bored with it or trained it so badly that it was killed because you and thousands of other ‘breeder and showers” brought one more (or a dozen more) little lives onto the planet when there are already millions of dogs to try and find homes for?

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  • Samantha Bourdelier commented on February 22, 2013 at 2:04 pm

    I have seen this documentary “Pedigree Dogs Exposed” and I believe something should be done. To see how much the German Shepard has changed over the years is truly shocking. It is said they are half dog and half frog. They say that because of how they walk. Their rear legs are so deformed that is the only way they can walk. To see how the English Bull Dog skull has changed over the past 100 years is so dramatic it just dramatic and shocking. Many of these breeds cannot breathe well. Other dogs are beset with epilepsy. If these were your dogs I would like to think you would be very angry to see how your pet suffering like these pedigree dogs are suffering. There is too much material to cover in an email you must see this for yourself. These dogs suffer greatly and I believe something should be done right away. There are some dogs that are in danger of not being inbred out of existence. Some breed cannot be bred or give birth without assistance. It is something that cannot and must not continue.

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