We ask the press office some difficult questions and they answer (some)...

... what they said was going to be in last night's show and what actually ran.... and some new statements from charities...

I emailed the press officer who gave us the last comment some further questions. I am holding over our editorial deadline as this is a breaking story and I can't let my editorial go to press with this issue still unresolved. Here's what I asked...
We obviously saw the instruction on last night's show to consult an experienced dog trainer before trying Jordan's methods at home. But it begs the question, why are you using an inexperienced trainer on your show when you advise others to be more careful?
There are so many qualified and experienced trainers you could have chosen.
It has also been pointed out that Wobbly Dog Productions lists two directors at Company House. Brian Klein (famously the director of BBC Top Gear) and a 21 year old called Jordan Shelley.
Can you confirm that this is the same Jordan Shelley? Extensive research has revealed only the briefest of sightings of Jordan in a dog context. We are told (unconfirmed) that he has done some fostering of dogs but had to hand two dogs back because he could not cope with them. How carefully was his experience checked before putting on air and exposing the British public to his methods. And how did he come to the attention of the BBC?
Also, has the programme considered the very generous offer of Victoria Stilwell (presenter of It's Me or the Dog) to fly over from New York at her own expense to properly train Roxy as she is now very, very afraid for the family's safety.
Plus, with a now on-going investigation by the RSPCA into last week's show are you still sticking by the thread you have pre-filmed with Jordan Shelly?
We have catalogued forceful complaints from every major dog welfare charity and organisation (For eg The Association of Pet Behaviour Counsellors, Dogs Trust, Blue Cross, Wood Green, RSPCA and the Kennel Club.)
Also we have collected complaints from  every high-profile dog trainer - many involved in other TV shows - It's me of the Dog, Dog Borstal, The Underdogs etc. Dog trainers from every aspect of dog training - not just one technique - the dog world is united on this.
We are still awaiting comment from Cesar Millan who is being advised about his name being associated with this very dangerous piece of television.
The two facebook pages calling for Jordan to be removed now have more than 2,000 likes in only a couple of days and your own facebook page is quite obviously under siege.
We know of a dog being put into rescue after the owner tried Jordan's method at home and another where a child was bitten and the dog put to sleep.
The 'don't try this at home' message obviously came too late for both these dogs.

So in short, considering all the above - is the BBC still continuing to stand by their unqualified and inexperienced 21 year old self-taught dog 'expert'. And is he in any way related (business wise or otherwise) to a key BBC employee?

Many thanks
Beverley Cuddy
Editor - Dogs Today

I've had a email back to say they are working on their reply. In the meantime the following has appeared on the One Show Facebook page.

 Thank you to everyone who has shared their opinion on Friday's 'Fix My Dog' feature. We have been looking at all your posts and very much value your comments. We're hoping to debate this further on the show. More news on this topic when we have it!

I don't think a debate will sort it. I can't see anyone defending what Jordan did apart from the BBC press office!

And here's the reply to my questions - well some of the questions....!

Many thanks for your email, below is our response to your questions. We
do also urge you to watch the show tonight.

OntheBox a production company owned by Brian Klein who regularly works
with the BBC was contracted for the item by The One Show.  The One Show
had not entered into any agreements with Wobbly Dog Productions - which
we understand has only been set up for the past four months and has
never made any transmitted programmes.

Jordan Shelley is largely self-taught and has gained years of experience
in the welfare and care of dogs in the UK and abroad. Jordan works with
fostered dogs that might otherwise have been put down at his privately
run dog sanctuary, based at his home in north London. We will be
documenting that tonight and will clarify that he works with the dogs
brought to him.

We will be featuring other independent advice and opinions on dog
training in the programme tonight.

We have been in communication with the RSPCA and are engaging fully with
any enquiries. It has been made clear on the show that viewers shouldn't
try any techniques from the programme without seeking the advice of a

Kind regards
The BBC Press Office

We've heard that vet Joe Inglis (@Joethevet on Twitter) will be on the couch tonight and there will be a short film of Catherine Gillie from Dogs Trust.  But a debate is not what is needed here. What is needed is for the One Show to do their research before they appoint an expert to tell the British public how to train dogs.
This should so obviously be a qualified and experienced person to show people how to train their dogs safely of whom there are hundreds probably thousands more appropriate to choose from!
How can someone at 21 have 'years' of experience. And I asked further questions and 'the sanctuary' isn't licensed or run as a business. The dogs are fostered - in that, they explained, he takes them in to his home and then gives them back to the families.
And this segment was offered by Brian Klein's production company with Jordan already in place? I asked how Jordan came to Brian's attention as seemingly no one in the dog world had ever heard of him before and was told through Jordan's fostering work. Which he does from his home in North London.
No wonder the BBC are in no hurry to drop this item! It would seem the appointment of an unqualified, inexperienced unknown dog trainer is becoming more understandable by the minute!
Let's recap - an unqualified, inexperienced dog 'expert' being investigated by the RSPCA, complained about by every credible organisation and charity - a man that encouraged the general public to approach snarling dogs with their feet gets the full support and protection of the BBC press office
I asked the direct question - is Jordan Shelley's slot continuing?
I was told - he's on the show tonight.
The implication being that they'll decide after tonight's show airs.
I asked about Victoria Stilwell's offer and was told it wasn't in my question... I read it back to them and they thought she was offering the family not the programme... how confusing? Either way had they passed it on, seems not.
I reiterated Victoria would like her very kind offer considered.
So who have the BBC considered to be the independent behaviour experts who will be debating Jordan's ability tonight? The APBC? A lecturer perhaps, from a university that offers 'qualifications'?
No one I can identify so far, perhaps it's a secret.
Dogs Trust are on a pre-record. @Joethevet says he's on the sofa but the press office didn't think he was but they sounded slightly despairing that there were lots of things they didn't have answers for. But they couldn't tell me any of the other names either as it was all still being edited. Turns out there was no one else - just the ones we knew about already.
The press office said we'd talk again tomorrow (now today).
I don't think anyone is going to be happy unless the BBC drop this segment. Let's encourage undeniably charismatic Jordan to actually take some qualifications and go on a few courses and in a few years, who knows, he may make a really great dog trainer.
But at the moment he's in been put in the spotlight too soon and it's not just his trousers that are fashionably at half mast... at the moment he's hideously exposed for not having the skills or the training or indeed the judgment to tell Britain what to do with their dogs.
Thank you to poster who left this as a comment:
"According to the record at Companies House, both Jordan Shelley and Brian Klein became Directors at Wobbly Dog on 5 November 2010 (perhaps a prophetic date, given the ensuing fireworks!). Perhaps the BBC researchers need training in basic web skills, as well as dog behaviour studies, as this information is readily available through Google: http://bizzy.co.uk/uk/07431473/wobbly-dog-productions I cannot see that the fact that the item comes from sister company On The Box makes any difference at all - the bottom line is that the BBC has accepted and presented this young man as an expert, without undertaking any due diligence to establish his qualifications for the title."


Here's a link to last night's one show - 10 mins in....


And just added at the bottom new post-show Dogs Trust statement....

Commentary on last night's One Show:
Catherine Gillie from Dogs Trust making perfect sense but edited around some very glamorous shots of Jordan at home in his 'sanctuary' in his back garden. It all made little sense to be honest. They tries to edit back a case history about a dog that Jordan fostered - but it was all so brief you saw a dog arrive, be put in a run with some other dogs and put on a treadmill as a cure for something or other... yes, more muscles, great idea. And Catherine saying  in effect no, never do what was done on film under any circumstances.
Jordan seemingly thinking the VT wasn't saying anything personally about what he did the week before but was saying reward is better than dominance says he likes the Dogs Trust and that he respects them, and rates their 'methods' like he likes cheese sometimes but most days he prefers steak.
But we all saw Dogs Trust saying what Jordan did was dangerous and ineffective.
Perhaps nobody had the heart to tell him - but we got no reaction.
No moment of realisation that it was he who did the thing everyone is upset about and that he might be just a little out of his depth.
Matt claimed Jordan had learned from the criticisms but I couldn't read that in his body language.
And in the VT after five weeks a very grateful owner picks up her dog and says how fantastic Jordan is. And later leaves the dog with Jordan again when she goes on holiday, so he must be a really great trainer.
We don't see the before or the after or how he achieves whatever it was he was doing - but we are told it is achieved using reward-based training so that obviously makes everything okay.
But that stuff he was doing in show one, that wasn't another flavour of dog training. That was just bad.
Back in the studio things felt tense. Matt Baker genuinely seemed mortified. Joe Inglis the One Show vet had an uncharacteristic tremour in his voice.
Jordan was publicly cast out of the One Show family. No longer the One Show's dog trainer - now just someone they were following - but why? Joe says very accurately that, sadly anyone can call themselves a dog trainer.
Well precisely.
Will that be the end of saga?
Jordan achieved something in his short media career - he united every faction in the dog world. It's an accolade of sorts.
We await further news.

Dogs Trust have just issued a new statement:
Dogs Trust statement on the training methods of Jordan Shelley as featured on The One Show- 22 September 2011

Dogs Trust, the UK’s largest dog welfare charity appreciated the right-to-reply opportunity provided by the BBC after the training methods of Jordan Shelley were featured on The One Show on Friday 16th and 22nd September.

However, we remain deeply concerned by the training methods used by Jordan Shelley. The main issues we have are:

  • A dog with such aggression and fear issues should never, ever have had food taken away by members of the family. There was no regard for the safety of the family - using methods like this will only cause the dog to suppress the behaviour and there is a strong possibility that, when the opportunity arises, he will revert to the aggression.
  • There was no consideration for the dog's emotional state and the motivation behind the behaviour - until these are redressed then you can never consider the behaviour to be resolved.
  • Any other pet dog owner attempting these methods could put themselves and their families at risk of serious dog bites.

We continue to recommend that dog owners do not replicate the techniques used by Jordan Shelley at home and are pleased that The One Show warned viewers against this also; doing so could endanger both them and their dog. Instead they should seek a dog trainer who uses positive, reward-based techniques.

We would urge the BBC to seriously consider seeking and researching alternative advice on dog training for their viewers going forward.

Hannah Baker
Dogs Trust Press Office

PDSA statement on Jordan Shelley training techniques featured on The One Show

PDSA Senior Vet, Sean Wensley, says: “Whilst highlighting the issues surrounding problem behaviour in dogs should be viewed as a positive step, in this particular case, it was a shame that the techniques used were not the most effective or humane, and could potentially endanger human safety.
“Problem behaviour in dogs is an issue that, without question, needs addressing for the safety and wellbeing of dogs and people. The groundbreaking PDSA Animal Wellbeing (PAW) Report, published earlier this year, reveals that 165,000 dogs show aggression to people on a weekly basis.  This level is unacceptable, and is linked to the abandonment and euthanasia of thousands of dogs each year through no fault of their own.
“In order to improve such behaviour, PDSA only recommends the use of reward-based training techniques carried out by fully qualified and accredited pet behaviourists. By using the correct techniques, most problem behaviour can be overcome.
“Identifying the underlying reason for problem behaviour should always be the first consideration. The primary reason is often a lack of socialisation and training during puppyhood, but other issues such as separation anxiety, boredom or inappropriate training techniques can all contribute to behavioural issues. The PAW Report has shown that 4.1 million dogs never went to training classes within their first six months of life and 25% of owners who had their dog as a puppy did not adequately socialise them.
 “As a leader in promoting pet health and welfare, PDSA is urging owners who may have concerns about their pets’ behaviour to seek professional advice before the problem gets out of hand. In most cases, this should start with a trip to their local veterinary practice to rule out any possible underlying medical causes. For anyone with a young dog, they should, without exception, make a commitment to socialising their pet and training them properly. It’s up to owners to make sure that they provide the correct support for their dogs to prevent them from feeling anxious, scared or being aggressive towards others.”
 "I would like to express my concern about what I saw on The One Show last Friday.
"I am the
National Post Home Support Officer, Greyhound Rescue West of England - and  qualified in behaviour work with dogs.
"Jordan Shelley is unqualified. He intimidated the small terrier into co-operating but he taught it nothing. If he had done that with alarger dog like a rottweiller it could have hurt him badly, people who copy him may get dangerously hurt. The BBC should be more responsible. Both Jordan and Caesar Milan are not properly qualified, they have not studied research into dog behaviour and are watchable rather than accurate. I am disappointed in the BBC's response to criticism from charities like Dogs Trust. Your response is to say people like it and are booking their dogs in with him. This doesn't mean he is good. You could show someone offering under age sex on the show and there would be plenty of punters but it wouldn't be morally right. Showing Jordan Shelly intimidating a dog with his foot isn't morally right."

Carol Baby
National Post Homing Support Officer
Greyhound Rescue West of England (GRWE)


Frances said…
Excellent, Beverley. The BBC seems to have acheived the impossible, and found something all dog trainers agree about!
Pink Animal said…
go Beverley. well done.
Susie Wong said…
Well said!
Laura Patricia said…

Cannot wait to see their answers!
Debbie Buxcey said…
You go girl!

No seriously, there are some very important questions that need urgent answers before any more people are bitten and dogs lose their lives.

Debbie Buxcey BSYA (Animal Heal)
G4U Founder
Kelly Jones said…
Excellent! Can't wait to read the response. However, I don't hold out much hope of it actually answering the questions, they can be very evasive when they want to cover their backsides!!
Jane said…
Excellent letter. I hope you get some answers & this idiot gets taken off our television (& away from our dogs!).
Quiche said…
Looking forward to the reply from the Beeb,
ThuggyDog said…
i would like to see "jordons" foot in the mouth tactics with me! As i am sure most of you are aware..I am NOT a little terrier (terrorist) I am a 35KG GSD x collie, with the affectionate nickname "THUGGYDOG"!!! I can be a handfull at times, but I am more than happy to please for a small reward! NOT A KICK IN THE MOUTH!!!! Well done Beverly..lets see Jordon try and train me using his methods! grrr

Love and cuggles ThuggyDog xx
Anonymous said…
I am really looking forward to the BBC,s reply ! Let's hope it makes more sense than using JOrdan Shelley as a dog trainer ! God help them both and all the dogs he has been involved with...
Anonymous said…
Excellent work as always Beverley. Lets hope that the BBC give the answers we are all hoping for - just not going to hold my breath. I dont understand how they can be holding to their guns in the wake of such strong and widespread opposition, and from such qualified people, not just ordinary owners like myself.
Lynn Holden
Angela Pitman MAPDT 385 said…
Excellent post Beverley!! No doubt the BBC will, as usual be evasive in their reply but will look forward to their reply.
Suzanne M said…
For once I support you!
All excellent questions. I'm just waiting to see how they avoid answering them.
Ems said…
Excellent questions Beverley and I eagerly await the answers!

Can I ask again here, Victoria Stilwell is trying to trace the family involved on last weeks shows to make her offer to them, to come over and put right the damage done, so if anyone knows them and can pass contact details either to Dogs Today or let me know, or point them in the direction of Victoria's facebook page, that would be great.
Excellent points made here Beverley - I await their response with interest. Karen
sheila mcdonald said…
Well said as I fear for many dogs and family members.
Tracy said…
Well done, Beverley. Let's hope you get some clear and honest answers (not likely, but you never know). Perhaps the BBC now know what stress feels like and may be able to empathise with what they have put Roxy through.
Frankie W said…
I look forward to hearing the BBC response. I am however worried that, in spite of all the comments both here and elsewhere and Victoria Stillwell's offer, the family are not actually aware that they now have a ticking time bomb living in their midst. I only hope they see sense before Roxy bites without warning.
Delia said…
Well done! So well put; will be interesting to see how they respond to this
Rachel Worley said…
I'm so proud of the time and effort being put in by everyone to resolve this matter...Well done beverley for spearheading another worthwhile cause. (But what a shame we've all had to get involved in the first place?!)

Rachel Worley
Pet Dog Behaviour Advisor
Joflatcoat said…
Congratulations on an excellent letter!
Joflatcoat said…
Congratulations , a superb post.
Anonymous said…
Well said.
However, surely any response in defence would be untenable without recourse to some adequately qualified, behavioural practitioner or trainer, who, ideally should be a member of a professional association or equivalent.

I look forward to seeing who that may be......
Wendy Shufflebotham LPDTI MAPDT 00760 said…
Well said Beverley. I look forward to reading their reply. I'm still waiting for a reply to the complaint I made to the BBC.
Hayley Oxenham said…
Fantastic. Perfectly written. Surely your questions can not be ignored and will be acted upon accordingly.
Jo said…
Thanks for asking all the right questions. Especially interested in the director angle.
Typecast1 said…
Was un-nerved not just by the training of the Jack Russell, but the two pups also. I am waiting along with all the others to see BBC's response. I believe something is going to be said on 'The One Show' tonight, having watched last nights' show. Bengy, my rescue dog and I support you with all the questions you have raised.
Anonymous said…
I only saw a small part of this man's approach, and it gave me concerns. The clip I saw seemed to show Jordan engaging in competitive, aggressive show-down behaviour with a very anxious Jack Russell. His comments seemed to me to demonstrate no depth of knowledge (confirmed by the preceding posts), and I wondered by what route he had emerged as an 'expert' in this context. I hope you get some serious answers and there will be a clear corrective balance in the show as an attempt at remedying any harms that can still be addressed.
Suzanne Conboy-Hill, Disabled Animals' Club
Karen Rho said…
Once again Dogs Today is at the heart of the matters which concern good dog owners, breeders, trainers, rescues and anyone else I may have forgotten to mention. Well done.
L.Malvern said…
Brilliant Beverly. An superb letter,that really asks the right questions. How will the BBC worm their way out of this one. the Telegraph did a great job in exposing the MP's expenses scandal. Hope you can do the same with nepotism at the BBC. I think all do trainers are united against the use of this little prat as an 'expert'.
SueL said…
Good for you Beverley, the One Show just wants to boost their ratings! They do this from time to time when Emmerdale pinches all their viewers!
SueL said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rosie Barclay said…
Fantastic journalism Beverley will await the outcome with great interest.
One good thing has come out of all of this. It is clear that there is a much greater understanding of dog behaviour amongst the whole dog community including owners and this can only lead to increased welfare for both dogs and humans. A lot of work has been put into attaining this and I salute all the hard working, incredibly busy and often underpaid doggy people out there.
I feel very proud and privileged to be part of such a great dog caring nation.

Rosie Barclay APBC committee member and CCAB (ASAB accredited).
Thank you Beverley

Let us hope that the BBC spin doctors don't do their usual by dressing up their answer in BBC speak which doesn't address the points but shirts around them.

I look forward to their response to you.

Mike Jones
As a footnote to my earlier post.

The BBC has Joe Ingles (Just posted on his twitter account) on the show tonight to debate the "Behaviourist" issue. Hardly impartial as Joe is on the BBC payroll as their resident vet!

The plot sickens.

Mike Jones
Anonymous said…
Good job Beverley and DT team! Hope the camera's on Jordan's pretty face tonight so we can see his embarrassment!
Frances said…
"OntheBox a production company owned by Brian Klein who regularly works with the BBC was contracted for the item by The One Show. The One Show had not entered into any agreements with Wobbly Dog Productions - which we understand has only been set up for the past four months and has never made any transmitted programmes."

According to the record at Companies House, both Jordan Shelley and Brian Klein became Directors at Wobbly Dog on 5 November 2010 (perhaps a prophetic date, given the ensuing fireworks!). Perhaps the BBC researchers need training in basic web skills, as well as dog behaviour studies, as this information is readily available through Google: http://bizzy.co.uk/uk/07431473/wobbly-dog-productions I cannot see that the fact that the item comes from sister company On The Box makes any difference at all - the bottom line is that the BBC has accepted and presented this young man as an expert, without undertaking any due diligence to establish his qualifications for the title.
Lindsay said…
Great letter Beverley, well said in your points! Excellent.
Katie Scott-Dyer said…
If only you could be Prime Minister Beverly!
Claire Jones said…
Go Beverley! You tell the BBC!!!!
Frances said…
Oh how I wish I coud have eavesdropped on the meetings over the last few days ... surely someone knows a mole who could give us at least a flavour?
Anonymous said…
@ Barney's blog spot,

Joe Ingles, although employed by the BBC's One show, is pro +R and was himself not impressed by what he saw on last weeks show, I actually asked him him if they even asked him opinion on where to go for a good trainer and he said he knew nothing about the segment until he himself like all of us watched it on the TV.
Yes he has to be careful about what he say's on the show as they employ him but be assured he was not happy either.

Beverly, great work on getting all the answers to the burning questions on this young man, a shame it's taken a credible publication to get involved for us to get some answers though, the BBC should be giving answers to all it's viewers that complained and still removing him from the show!
Hannah said…
I'm a trainee dog trainer, working with a GODT Master trainer - have to say, the bit of footage I saw was NOT impressive at all, and I really couldn't say what this guy was trying to teach the dog. I am so glad my licence fee has been spent on this... keep asking the questions please!
Anonymous said…
*like* Frances post at 10.33 - very true! If dog trainers perhaps agreed on a cohesive range of training techniques which were clearly demonstrated rather than sticking to one technique (i.e. either reward based or dominance) in the first place maybe there wouldn't be so many confused dog owners out there. Each dog is different so surely different techniques work for different dogs - that said no technique should ever include physically hurting a dog (I'm sure this doesn't happen any longer as owners wouldn't allow it) or stressing the dog out! I don't understand why the dog world seems to be so spiteful towards each other when they don't quite agree. Surely at the end of the day we all want the same and that is to be able to live in harmony with our dogs and for them to have a stress free existence, and to reduce the number of dogs going to rescue because the owners 'can't cope with the dogs behaviour' or dogs being euthanized because they have bitten. Unified training across the board surely can help to eliminate some of the unwanted behaviour we see in dogs, however, I think we have a long way to go when a number of qualified dog trainers I've had experience with seem to have absolutely no control over their own dogs!
Rachael said…
I can't decide whether my favourite bit of that was Matt Baker trying to distance the One Show from Shelley by saying, "we should point out that Jordan is not the One Show's dog trainer, we're merely following his activies" (quote not verbatim!), or when they had moved on and you could hear Liza Minelli off-camera saying, "well done Joe!" to lovely vet Joe Inglis, who they clearly should have consulted in the first place.
Frances said…
So we have:
A very well known, self taught "dog trainer" who has made a fortune for himself and his television production company through his "gift" for dog training.
A television production company, run by a producer with a keen eye for what will please popular taste.
A young, telegenic lad, with a self professed "gift" for dog training.
Now, can anyone join the dots and make a picture?
Jan said…
Brilliant Beverley! Can't wait to see what they come back with.
Queenie said…
If Jordan grows up a bit and trains properly and gets accreditation for his work, he has the potential to equal Victoria Stilwell in years to come...but I am talking about years, because he needs to mature first and take responsibility. I think he naively believed that he could copy Millan and get away with it. He's had a big shock now !
Anonymous said…
Well done everyone who has united to highlight and stop this 'training' slot continuing. Shame on the BBC and Jordan Shelley for not having the cahonas to actually say they stuffed up. I bet Cesar Milan is breathing a sigh of relief that he didn't try to launch his career in the UK!!
Anonymous said…
An impressive piece of writing - pity about the BBC's less than impressive answers.

Their reaction has been highly unsatisfactory.
Sam W said…
I wonder why iplayer isn't showing The One Show yet!? Maybe they are checking with their lawyers?
Frances said…
Put Your Values Into Action ... and other forgotten mantras from the business world!

It occurs to me that, as trainers in favour of using R+ methods wherever possible, perhaps we should be considering how to apply them in this case. Young Jordan seems to have a genuine wish to work with dogs, even if he seems also to hope to do it without any of the boring study and apprenticeship considered necessary by more thoughtful practitioners. There have been several offers of support and advice for him (which do, of course, mean that he has to accept that his methods are possibly not perfect already, a difficult thing for a 21 year old auto-didact). Perhaps a coordinated thread somewhere bringing all these offers together, phrased in terms of sympathy for his youth and ignorance, might have more effect than trying to drag him into the 21st Century - as we all know, pulling usually causes a pull in the opposite direction!

So people - if he were a dog, how would you set about retraining him? Given that the carrot seems to be television exposure?
Em said…

Pet education trust has joined in :)
Anonymous said…
Having just watched last nights show on the iplayer, I am still unclear as to whether JS will be still featuring on the show. His comments underlined the fact that he has no idea what he is doing. All the stuff with him being a director at a production company with the same person who is director of other TV production companies makes me really uneasy. By 21 he has been a vets assistant, set up and dissolved a cleaning company, and become a director of a TV production company plus he has the time to have set up a 'sanctuary' and have years of experience 'fixing dogs'. When did he start all this? Age 10? He doesn't seem to have much staying power at any of his enterprises, I htink he has seen CM and thought "I want a bit of that".
Last nights show seems to have shown yet another miraculously fixed dog, where all he had to do was put it in a run with other dogs. Are they going to drop him or not?

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