While we loved the Best in Show winner, in other areas there is still considerable room for improvement - check out Jemima Harrison's blog http://pedigreedogsexposed.blogspot.com/2011/03/parade-of-mutants.html and then read this letter just in from the RSPCA.
And if you look at the jaw-dropping comments on Jemima's blog you'll see there seems to be a hard core of people who seem to think there's nothing wrong with Neapolitan Mastiffs....the most frequent entry to our monthly caption competition comes to mind, "should have gone to Specsavers?" I can't look at those photos without getting upset - and remember these are the creme de la creme....
Open letter to Kennel Club chief executive Rosemary Smart.
I am writing to express the RSPCA’s grave concern about the coverage of Crufts on More 4 during which interviewees and presenters repeatedly gave the message that pedigree dogs, including those shown at Crufts, are happy and healthy.
This is misleading to the public and extremely disappointing as we had hoped the coverage would be open and honest about the serious health and welfare issues that continue to affect many pedigree dogs, without glossing over the issues. After all, this is one of the biggest challenges facing dog welfare in the UK today.
Many pedigree dogs remain vulnerable to unnecessary disease, disability, pain or behavioural problems because they’re bred primarily for how they look rather than with health, welfare or temperament in mind.
Indeed, footage of some of the dogs at Crufts this year demonstrated the exaggerated features that we are so concerned about. As just one example, during the judging of the Working Group the commentators said that a dog was free from exaggerations. The dog in question clearly had extremely folded skin and drooping eyelids, which can lead to suffering.
Three reports on the welfare problems associated with dog breeding have been published in the UK in the last two years, and the conclusions of each are very clear – urgent action is needed to safeguard the welfare of pedigree dogs.
Although some progress has been made by the dog world, it has not been nearly enough and the problems are far from being solved. Both experts and the various reports on this issue recognise that it will take decades before the problems really begin to be resolved – and only then if sufficient effort is made by everyone in the dog world.
It is extremely misleading to suggest not only that the problems have been solved after only two years, but that pedigree dogs are happy and healthy.