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Crufts Statement

Press Release 28th Oct 08

Kennel Club Chairman Ronnie Irving has issued a strong statement on behalf of Crufts, the world's most famous and popular dog show. The statement denies categorically that the future of the show is in any doubt following speculation after one of its sponsors withdrew.

“Crufts as a show has taken place successfully for over 100 years and retains its popularity with dog breeders, visitors and TV viewers alike. Crufts is the biggest dog show in the world with regularly over 22,000 dogs entered. But it is only one of the hundreds of dog shows that take place every year in the UK. There are around 300,000 pedigree dog entries every year at the many large shows around this country. We at Crufts, like at any other event, are always sorry to lose any support but people should be aware that Pedigree as a brand has been changing its approach and its brand position for a number of years. This is evidenced by its change of style in its home country, the USA. It has also been progressively withdrawing from the very popular dog show scene here in the UK for nearly two years now. This latest news comes as no surprise to us.

That said, the 44 year relationship will continue in 2009 as Pedigree will still be having a presence at Crufts and will be working along side us on other projects in the future.

Crufts has many other supporters, hundreds of trade stands and thousands of people who look forward to this national and international celebration of dogs each year. Not only does Crufts cater for the best of pedigree dogs from all over the world, but in more recent years we have encompassed cross bred dogs and all levels of dog ownership and activities.  Crufts 2009 will concentrate even more than ever on healthy, happy and well bred dogs. Make no mistake, this country has a very strong tradition for caring dog ownership and leads the way internationally in this sphere.  The vast majority of the dogs at Crufts are, and always have been, happy, healthy and of good sound temperament.

On the subject of breed standards, there is a great deal of focus regarding the health of pedigree dogs. The vast majority of pedigree dog breeders in this country breed for health and temperament and it is insulting and inaccurate to suggest otherwise.  This applies especially to those who support the 5000 dog shows a year that the Kennel Club licenses. The Kennel Club is and has been for years, working with breeders and many organisations to create an ongoing programme of health improvement.  To suggest that we are on any sort of collision course with breed clubs and breeders is also very wide of the mark. I am pleased to report that already, all of the Pekingese breed clubs have met and unanimously agreed a way forward in full support of the revised breed standard that we announced a couple of weeks ago. They have also resolved to work in co-operation with the Kennel Club on further health screening programmes.

As the dedicated dog organisation with the widest remit of health and welfare for dogs in the UK, we will continue to work with others to implement our health and welfare strategy which has been accepted and applauded by veterinarians, breeders, exhibitors, sponsors, welfare groups and other individuals and organisations.

The Kennel Club has the strongest and soundest strategy for the future health and welfare of dogs. Our significant steps forward will be illustrated at Crufts 2009 and beyond.”

Dogs - (Correct at time of publication) for more information contact the Kennel Club tel: 0870 606 6750

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