Good News for Pedigrees

by Mary Haight on January 20, 2009

Remember the UK controversy that started heating up over the poor state of health in show dogs last August ?  The once esteemed Crufts dog show was where the RSPCA drew the line on participating in events awarding trophys to inbred dogs crippled with deformities.  Pedigree followed by pulling sponsorship, and the BBC, after a scathing review of Kennel Club conformation requirements as cruelty in disguise, dropped plans  in mid-December to cover the 2009 event.  Just last week, the Kennel Club announced new standards for 209 breeds, meant to reverse the health consequences of inbreeding. 

All well and good, and perhaps a little too quickly delivered to deliberate the significant changes needed to “show” standards of conformation given RSPCA’s chief veterinary advisor, Mark Evans, response to the news. Evans heartily agreed with the ban on inbreeding, but  relates that show standard changes are not radical enough to make a difference, especially regarding interpretation in the show ring by judges.

It will take generations to breed out all the exaggerations resulting from inbreeding, according to a spokesperson from the Kennel Club.  You can read more here.

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