Saturday, 13 December 2008

BBC Are Not Covering Crufts 2009

This is the first paragraph of the Kennel Club Press Release issued yesterday:

Today the Kennel Club confirmed that it and the BBC will be unable to continue working together in 2009 for the broadcast of the world's greatest celebration of dogs, Crufts, which in previous years has attracted over 14 million viewers in the UK and additional audiences worldwide. This position was reached after the Kennel Club regrettably had to refuse to comply with the unreasonable demands insisted on by the BBC, to exclude certain breeds of dog from the group competition at the show. These demands took no account of the measures the Kennel Club has in place to improve the health of pedigree dogs, or of the fact that judges will be trained to help ensure that all dogs being awarded prizes at Crufts will be healthy representatives of their breed.

We have been encouraging people to write to Horse & Country TV to ask if they might consider negotiating with the Kennel Club to take over the coverage of Crufts as the BBC and the Kennel Club can't agree.

All this has come about because of BBC documentary programme 'Pedigree Dogs Exposed' broadcast a few months ago.

From my point of view and a great many of my friends, we are not interested in the Breed Showing side of Crufts. We are interested in the Working Dog side... and a great deal of that goes on at Crufts but very little in shown.

Although 'Pedigree Dogs Exposed' hit the headlines, I didn't write about it on my blog at the time as I knew the programme was very one-sided and several people in the breeds mentioned were also filmed. But they were not shown as their dogs are healthy and have had all the tests before breeding litters. The programme insinuated that all pedigree dogs had health probems. That just isn't the case, but I will say that may be 90% need to be looked at.

I really don't want to get into a discussion on the way some dogs are bred these days as I am not in those breeds with problems. I have Border Collies where we do have a few problems, but I had all the known tests done and checked out the Stud Dog very thoroughly before I bred a litter... and over 20 years, I have only bred three litters, when I wanted to keep a pup, of which all of the pups have been healthy.

Here is a copy of the letter I have just to Horse & Country.

I expect you will know by now that the BBC are no longer going to cover Crufts Dog Show in March 2009.

We are very concerned about this as a there are a great many people who rely on watching the BBC broadcasts when hey are unable to attend the show in person.

We are also a little unhappy with the previous BBC broadcasts. We are interested in the Competitive Obedience Championships - both Dogs & Bitches and they seldom show very much of this.

I represent a good number of people who work their dogs... We are not interested in the Breed Showing part which has always dominated most of the BBC coverage.

You will already have heard from a number of us as we have been encouraging our ObedienceUK Yahoo email list and Forum members to contact you. The majority of the Championship Obedience Competitors who will be competing at Crufts are members of my lists (those who are on the Internet).

You would need a knowledgeable Obedience person to commentate on the Obedience. I can suggest a number of people suitable for this. Some, who have in the past, done the job on the BBC. So they are experienced broadcasters and also know the handlers and dogs. We would suggest you use experienced, well known dog people and not Celebrities who are not very good with when it comes to chatting or handling dogs as they are pet owners. We have our own Celebrity Dog Handlers, like Mary Ray, who you must have heard of.

Apart from the main Championships, there are Team Events and the World Cup where teams are sent to compete from various other countries. There are also the YKC - Young Kennel Club - events. There are Good Citizen Tests and various other demonstrations of Obedience with different breeds of dogs. Also Heelwork To Music.

You also have Agility heats and Finals and Flyball heats and Finals that can be covered. Very popular events with the general public. There are demos of other working dogs like Gun Dogs and Police Dogs, Guide Dogs and Assistance Dogs... There are so many things, but I can't list them all in one email.

And none of the above involves the Breed Showing side of things which is what the BBC used to concentrate on.

For years we have been encouraging Responsible Pet Ownership... and Crufts is the biggest window to reach the public with.

I do hope you will consider negotiating with the Kennel Club.

If you are interested or concerned that Crufts is not going to be broadcast in 2009, maybe you would also like to write to Horse & Country. Scoll down the page for the email link. They seem the most logical TV company to take over from the BBC.

Read this article in The Times today...


Barry said...

I am totally for any promotion of Crufts being boycotted as it is the only way left to put pressure on those who have the power to alter how and what breeding takes place.
Surely the Obedience side don't need to do this at the Crufts show.
If they could look for television coverage in their own rights with other groups, so long as it had nothing to do with Crufts they would benefit in so many ways. The main one being what they wanted in the first place... better coverage to promote good ownership and show what our favourite pets are able and love to do.
To get Horse and Country to cover the agility side of Crufts is to defeat the object of this boycott.
Crufts are still going to get paid for the television rights taking off pressure that is now being exerted.
I could go on about Germany and breed standards there but won't.
Take Care Jane
Love and Wishes to you and the family

Annette said...

I love crufts, and will solely miss it if it's not broadcasted.

Anonymous said...

Hiya Jane. I can see both sides of this sad decision, but from a selfish point of view. I shall be sad to miss seeing Crufts. I used to go when it was held in London, but cannot go since it moved. I loved every aspect of crufts and shall miss it. Unscrupulous breeders rarely show their dogs, just make money from them. Pen.