Watch: Activists Crash Crufts’ ‘Best in Show’ to Protest Extreme Dog Breeding
In an action organised by PETA, two Vegan Strike Group activists stormed the floor at tonight’s Crufts dog show, just as judges were announcing the “Best in Show” winner. Brandishing posters reading, “Crufts: Canine Eugenics”, the protesters highlighted the suffering of dogs bred by humans to have grossly exaggerated features – all to meet The Kennel Club’s “Breed Standards”.
Through its obsession with “purity of breed”, Crufts glorifies canine eugenics, rewarding breeders for producing dogs with “ideal” physical traits with little or no regard for their welfare. This extreme breeding puts the animals at a high risk of suffering from a frightening array of painful diseases, birth defects, and congenital health conditions.
Dachshunds, for example, are specifically bred to have long, “stretched-out” spines, which often causes them to develop disc disease or other back problems. Cavalier King Charles spaniels are genetically manipulated to have skulls that are nearly flat on top, and more than a third of them suffer from an agonising condition called syringomyelia because their skulls are too small for their brains. Afflicted dogs often scream in agony, scratch themselves raw, and become progressively weaker until they can barely walk. Some become paralysed. The “pushed-in” faces of English bulldogs and pugs make it so difficult for them to breathe that many can’t even enjoy the activities that dogs love, such as chasing a ball or going for walks, without struggling for air.
The culture of breeding also has wider implications for canine welfare. Because breeders are churning out litter after litter of unhealthy pedigree puppies, thousands of healthy, adoptable dogs in animal shelters are denied their chance at a loving home.
What You Can Do
Even though the RSPCA has publicly condemned Crufts, 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.