The vegan activists, holding signs saying “Crufts: Canine Eugenics,” stormed the world’s largest dog show just as the judges were announcing the “Best in Show” winner.
According to the animal rights organization, the protest “serves as a reminder that the dogs displayed at the event are bred by humans to have ridiculous, exaggerated physical features that can have devastating health consequences.”
“Breeders’ obsession with arbitrary physical characteristics causes dogs to suffer from painful and crippling genetic defects,” PETA Director Elisa Allen said in a statement.
“Crufts is a twisted celebration of genetically manipulated animals who have difficulty breathing or walking, and PETA encourages everyone who cares about dogs to steer clear of it.”
Recently, vegan activists from PETA — clad in lab coats to represent “evil scientists” while holding signs saying “Breeding Pedigree Dogs Is Mad Science” and “Crufts is a Frankenstein Show” — also stood in Birmingham’s city center to protest against Crufts.
“Through its obsession with ‘purity of breed’, Crufts glorifies canine eugenics, rewarding breeders for producing dogs with ‘ideal’ physical traits with little or no regard for their welfare,” said PETA.
“Breeding pedigree dogs in abnormal shapes and sizes leaves them genetically predisposed to suffering from epilepsy, heart disease, deafness, hip dysplasia, and numerous other health problems. Many bulldogs, pugs, Pekingese, and other brachycephalic (flat-faced) dogs can’t breathe well – let alone go for a walk or chase a ball without gasping for air – because of their unnaturally shortened airways.”
“The culture of breeding also has wider implications for canine welfare. Because breeders are churning out litter after litter of unhealthy pedigree puppies, thousands of healthy, adoptable dogs in animal shelters are denied their chance at a loving home.”
Even though UK animal welfare charity Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) publicly condemned Crufts, Channel 4 continues to broadcast the international dog show.
PETA is now encouraging the public to send a message to Channel 4 Chief Executive Alex Mahon in order to convince her to take the show off the screens.