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PEDIGREE DOGS EXPOSE

Pedigree Dogs Exposed was a BBC One investigative documentary, produced by Jemima Harrison, which looked into health and welfare issues facing pedigree dogs in the United Kingdom.

The Kennel Club (KC), the governing body of pedigree dogs in the UK that runs the prestigious dog conformation show Crufts, was criticized for allowing breed standards, judging standards and breeding practices to compromise the health of pedigree dogs.[1]

The programme generated much criticism of the Kennel Club. It also caused various sponsors and trade exhibitors to withdraw their participation from Crufts and other Kennel Club events. The BBC—which has broadcast Crufts for 42 years—withdrew its coverage of Crufts for 2009, and chose not to renew it for 2010.

The Kennel Club initially denied the filmmakers' assertion that many dogs suffer from diseases and stated that the vast majority of dog breeds are healthy. It also lodged a complaint with broadcasting regulator Ofcom, claiming unfair treatment and editing. Due to strong public opinion, it later rolled out new health plans and reviewed breed standards for every breed. Some breeders have condemned the Club for overreacting. Ofcom's final ruling upheld KC's complaints regarding the lack of a right of reply for some allegations made by the programme but dismissed complaints made in various other areas. The ruling also acknowledges that KC's geneticist Jeff Sampson's views were misrepresented but states that as a whole, the KC was not treated unfairly.

Three separate health reports were commissioned as a result of the programme. Reports by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Associate Parliamentary Group for Animal Welfare and Sir Patrick Bateson (funded by the KC and Dogs Trust) concluded that current breeding practices are detrimental to the welfare of pedigree dogs and made various recommendations that can be taken by the Kennel Club and breeders to improve pedigree dog health.

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