Crufts says winning dogs must pass health checks amid overbreeding concerns

Mon, 10 Jan 2011

The top breeds at Britain's biggest dog show will have to pass health checks amid concerns that overbreeding is hurting the animals which participate in the annual event.

The Kennel Club, which runs Crufts, says that dogs from 15 high profile breeds such as basset hounds, bulldogs, and pugs will have to be given a clean bill of health by veterinarians before their award is confirmed and they are allowed to continue to compete in the final.

The move aims to improve health in pedigree dogs and protect the sport of dog showing, following a BBC investigation which aired in 2008 and claimed the breeding process has put dogs' appearance over their health and resulted in high levels of deformity and genetic illnesses.

Vets will be looking for clinical signs of pain or discomfort such as breathing difficulties when taking moderate exercise, skin disorders, damage to the eyes and lameness. This new rule aims to ensure that judges don't reward unhealthy dogs.

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