The Kennel Club has announced that the following the breed judging on the first day of Crufts (Thursday) the Best of Breed (BOB) winners in two of the high profile breeds – the bulldog and the Pekingese – failed their veterinary checks and the breeds were not represented in the utility and toy group judging.
The British Veterinary Association (BVA) welcomed the Kennel Club’s initiative to put the veterinary checks in place for the BOB winner in the 15 high profile breeds at all championship dog shows starting at Crufts this year.
The 15 breeds have been identified as having particular health problems often due to poor conformation as a result of having been bred with exaggerated characteristics. The veterinary checks ensure the BOB winners are not suffering as a result of their conformation, such as eye problems, skin disease, lameness or breathing difficulties, which should have been identified by the judge.
Commenting, Carl Padgett, President of the BVA, said:
“Breeding dogs with exaggerated features must be tackled robustly. The veterinary checks are sending out a strong message that dogs with health problems will not win in the show ring, and only visibly healthy dogs will be rewarded.
“Dog showing can be a force for good for dog breeding and education but the veterinary checks on the first two groups at Crufts have highlighted the health problems that all too often affect man’s best friend.
“We hope this strong action by the Kennel Club will be a wake-up call to those breeders and judges that still need to embrace the message that health should always be at the top of the agenda.”