Tuesday, 17 February 2009

Crufts demo

The Kennel Club seem to be publicising a demonstration at Crufts. Not an agility demo, or heelwork to music - an actual proper demonstration with placards.
They have issued a press release...
The Kennel Club would like to reassure people planning to visit Crufts, following speculation that a protest has been planned by animal rights activists to coincide with the event.
Both the Kennel Club and the NEC are keeping a very close eye on the situation and all exhibitors and visitors to the show are advised that everything is being done to prevent any undue disruption which may affect the enjoyment of their visit.
Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club spokesperson, said: “We are treating this information very seriously and taking all necessary steps to deal with the situation accordingly.
“Both the Kennel Club and the NEC have considerable experience of dealing with similar incidents in the past, and would like to reassure visitors and exhibitors at Crufts that any protest will be carefully managed to prevent it from spoiling their enjoyment of the show.
“Crufts 2009 will go ahead as scheduled and will be a great celebration of happy, healthy dogs. The Kennel Club would urge visitors not to let any potential protest put them off from sharing in this celebration.”

Now until the KC issued this press release, how many people even knew about this demo? And who would it be that organises these things?
I did a bit of searching and found this link - and who would have thought that the scary group behind this demo is none other than the Veggies Catering Campaign (Nottingham)! When I first heard of this group I could kind of understand where they might be coming from. Having endured many years of working at Crufts I'm surprised we haven't had campaigns before for more toilets, too - never mind improving the food offerings. But it seems the Veggies aren't campaigning about the lack of healthy herbivore options at the NEC, they always campaign outside Crufts wearing dog suits asking the public to kick the cruelty out of the show. It's just no one has taken much of an interest in them until now.
Their campaign points are:
  • Breeding unhealthy dogs for aesthetic purposes is morally wrong.

  • Breeding dogs is pointless when there are existing dogs all over the world needing homes
They are asking anyone wanting to join them to:
  • Dress in dog costumes
  • Bring cuddly dog toys
  • Make Banners/Placards with slogans such as
    • - Rescue, don't breed
    • - Mutts can love too
    • - Stop breeding dogs to death
    • - Crufts: eugenics for dogs
I'm sorry, but I don't think these veggie people sound all that intimidating, do you?.
Isn't it a free country? Who is going to be upset by a bunch of vegetarians wearing dog suits carrying fluffy toys?
And how do we know they are animal rights activists? Do the KC have any proof that these people have used firebombs or intimidation?
Every year I've walked past peaceful protesters about various issues - most usually involving show sponsors that do animal testing on dog food.
Certainly don't remember seeing a pre-show press release from the KC warning us about the likes of Uncaged leafleting at the entrance etc.
Why make out the sort of people who want health reforms are all extreme animal rights activists?
From where I'm standing EVERYONE who loves dogs wants health reforms.
I suspect there'll be a few show people that would have a foot in both camps and may be rustling up their costumes already.
I'd love to see someone with a really right-on placard saying "bring in automatic COI calculation now" or "stop the overuse of popular sires before it's too late," or
"EBVs are more important that CCs!"
Still I'm sure the Veggies in Notingham are delighted for this unprecedented PR push from the KC to publicise their little demo. I'm guessing like me you might not have heard about it otherwise!


celticlion said...

Covered this on 12th. This post is getting steady and high hits from searches. There is interest.


Anonymous said...

What would happen if a protester terrified a dog and the dog retaliated by biting them? Don't these people realise that the vast majority of show dogs are pets first and foremost and if demonstrators start shouting and waving banners etc. they are going to frighten the dogs with who knows what consequences.