Why Crufts Is So Cruel
Breeding, the Kennel Club, Crufts – what does it all mean for the dogs we love so much?
According to research, about 130,000 dogs are given to UK rehoming organisations every year. That means that right now, countless dogs are waiting in shelters to be adopted into a loving home. Yet breeders continue to churn out puppies for sale – contributing to the dog overpopulation crisis.
If dogs in shelters don’t find a home, they may end up being among the 20,000 who are euthanised every year in the UK alone.
What Does the Kennel Club Do?
Meanwhile, the Kennel Club registers more than 250,000 new dogs per year, and thousands more are bred by unregistered breeders.
The club’s “breed standards” – according to which dogs at Crufts are judged – call for animals to be bred for certain looks, to the detriment of their health and well-being.
Some breeders have even admitted to euthanising healthy dogs who don’t match the arbitrary requirements of the Kennel Club’s breed standards. As seen in the groundbreaking BBC documentary Pedigree Dogs Exposed, the Rhodesian Ridgeback Club’s code of ethics, which was reportedly ratified by the Kennel Club, once stated that Rhodesian ridgebacks whose backs weren’t sufficiently ridged could be killed.
And while thousands of dogs are euthanised every year because there aren’t enough good homes for them, the Kennel Club – and dog shows – continue to promote breeding.
As long as dogs are dying in shelters because of a lack of homes, all breeding is irresponsible.
What About Crufts?
Run by the Kennel Club, Crufts is a celebration of everything that’s wrong with the dog-breeding industry.
It supports churning out dogs to look a particular way at the expense of their health. This canine “beauty” pageant actively encourages extreme breeding practices and the inbreeding of closely related animals, which is wrong. Breeding deformed and disabled animals in order to win trophies is just cruel.
Poor #Dachshunds – dogs like Poppy are bred to such an extreme they have become prone to these painful & debilitating spinal problems. Welfare should come before looks. #Crufts pic.twitter.com/vTSQq5kXVz
— RSPCA (England & Wales) (@RSPCA_official) March 11, 2018
To understand the suffering these animals endure, all you have to do is look at some of the breeds that are qualifying for shows and winning prizes at Crufts:
- Pekingese and pugs are bred to have abnormally flat faces that make it difficult for them to breathe.
- Cavalier King Charles spaniels are born with skulls too small for their brains, which one vet described as being like trying to fit a size 6 shoe onto a size 10 foot.
- German shepherds are prone to serious back conditions that can leave them crippled.
- Basset hounds are laden with huge amounts of excess flesh that can result in uncomfortable skin conditions.
- English bulldogs commonly have difficulty walking, breathing, mating, and giving birth.
Crufts not only exploits the poor dogs suffering from ailments they’ve been forced to endure through breeding but also promotes the “winners” to viewers and attendees, encouraging them to purchase a puppy based on the breeds on display.
If you love dogs, you should hate Crufts.
What You Can Do
Never ever buy from a breeder – because all dogs, regardless of their “pedigree” or “heritage”, deserve love, a warm spot to curl up, and a place to call home.
Don’t support Crufts, and encourage your friends and family to stay away, too.
Even though the RSPCA has publicly condemned Crufts and the BBC stopped airing it 12 years ago, Channel 4 continues to broadcast this grotesque charade. Please send a message to the channel’s chief executive, Alex Mahon, urging her to take the show off our TV screens: