In this week’s radio interview, we discussed the controversy around Crufts (still not update on toxicology as of 16/3) and I answered a listener’s query about her cat scratching the furniture.
The saga following Crufts this year has been a bit of a PR disaster for the Kennel Club. The focus has been on negativity, with rumours of poisoning (yet nothing confirmed) and with criticisms of the way that the winning dog was handled. In some ways, it’s a shame that the world’s media has been distracted by these issues: there are two bigger issues that merit discussion, but that have been ignored in the hubbub.
First, what about the genuine negative aspects of dog showing: the poor conformation of some breeds that is still rewarded in the ring, and the poor health of other breeds that do well in the showring (Read this blog about cancer issues affecting Scotties – the breed that won the Best in Show.)
And second, what about the genuine positive aspects of Crufts: such as the fact that the Kennel Club has put into place in the past seven years to tackle these issues? And initiatives like the online Mate select system which makes it easy for breeders to choose the genetically preferred mate for their breeding animal? And the genetics tests that are now available to help deal with some inherited diseases? Not to mention all of the other positive aspects of dog life that are always evident at Crufts – from agility to obedience to therapy dogs to the wide range of commercial stands selling all sorts of doggy goodies.
As always, the media has its own agenda: to attract readers, above all else. Which is why “murder mysteries” and “tail pulling” sagas dominate.