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The dark side of Crufts

There is a dark side to the world's biggest dog show, Crufts, organised by the Kennel Club.

The Kennel Club sets the criteria on what each breed should look like and this year, dogs showing faces and muzzles flattened and distorted by selective breeding, demonstrating the brachycephalic obstructive airway syndrome, that makes breathing a struggle and often needs surgery to correct.

This is a serious animal welfare problem.

I hold the Kennel Club responsible. They encourage breeds like French bulldogs, pugs, Pekinese, mastiffs, dachshund and Cavalier King Charles Spaniels' to be shown. They should rewrite its breed standards. But what concerns me more, as a veterinary surgeon that so much enjoys his work with animals, is that any dog that goes forward to best of breed has to go before a veterinary surgeon to check that the dogs are fit for function, walk, breathe and see normally. This is not done. Such vets are letting such "freakish" dogs down.

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