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RSPCA attacks in-breeding of pedigree dogs

[Wednesday 11 February 2009]

WITH the Kennel Club’s Cruft’s dog show banned from BBC TV for the first time in 40 years, the RSPCA has launched another attack on pedigree dog breeders for allowing closely related animals to mate.

The BBC pulled its annual broadcast from the show after a furious row last year between the Kennel Club and society vets, who claimed that excessive inter-breeding was threatening to make some breeds of dog extinct because of growing health problems.

At the time, club officials acted angrily, accusing TV producers of over-reacting, but they then changed their pedigree registration rules to ban breeding between father and daughter, mother and son, and brother and sister – activities that horrified many animal lovers but which had gone on unchallenged for generations.

Now, the RSPCA says that these changes don’t go far enough and is calling for a ban on the mating of grandparents and their second generation prodigy and half-siblings. The society admits that changing the rules will be difficult to enforce but insists: "Pedigree dogs need our help – and they need it now."

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