Wednesday, 1 July 2009
Another accolade for Jemima
The RSPCA has given their highest accolade, the Richard Martin Award, to Jemima Harrison for making the BBC One documentary Pedigree Dogs Exposed. It is the first time the Award has been given to a film-maker.
Pedigree Dogs Exposed, which aired on BBC One last August to an audience of four million, highlighted health and welfare problems in pedigree dogs and led to the BBC suspending its coverage of Crufts after more than 40 years. The programme also led to the RSPCA, Dogs Trust and the PDSA pulling out of Crufts and three major reviews of dog-breeding in the UK. Soon after the broadcast, and in the face of continued pressure, the Kennel Club announced a raft of changes, including the revision of many breed standards and the banning of mother-to-son, father-to-daughter and sister-to-brother matings.
“Jemima's commitment ensured the programme was completed, often in the face of abuse from hostile individuals and groups, and the impact was enormous, igniting a ground-breaking debate about pedigree dog welfare,” says RSPCA Chief Executive Mark Watts.
The citation reads: “To Jemima Harrison, for her commitment to the welfare of pedigree dogs”.
Pedigree Dogs Exposed was commissioned by Richard Klein. Executive producer was Eamon Hardy for the BBC. Jemima and her cameraman partner Jon Lane made the film through Passionate Productions, which they run from their thatched cottage in rural Wiltshire. The couple has five dogs of their own, a mix of pedigree and crossbreeds.
“We’re the tiniest independent on the planet, and we’re very proud of what we have been able to achieve with Pedigree Dogs Exposed,” says Jemima, who is currently working on related projects.
Last year Jemima and brave Cavalier owner and campaigner Carol Fowler were invited to attend the Women of the Year Lunch in recognition of their efforts. This documentary has moved the debate along considerably and I'm sure the future health of dogs has already been much improved as a consequence.
Read Jemima's new column every month in Dogs Today. Well done Jemima and thank you for caring so much about dogs.