BBC decision on coverage of Crufts in 2009
The BBC confirmed today that it has suspended coverage of the Crufts dog show in 2009 pending further investigations into the health and well being of pedigree dogs in the UK.
The BBC recognises that the Kennel Club is taking significant steps to address these problems by introducing changes to the breed standards which will be in place from the beginning of 2009 as well as other new health plans which are currently under development.
The BBC remains keen to continue discussions with the Kennel Club with a view to reviewing the effects of these changes.
The BBC is also interested in reviewing the findings of the independent report that The Kennel Club is co-sponsoring with the Dogs Trust in 2009 ahead of possible discussions about the resumption of Crufts coverage in the future.
The BBC decision follows the broadcast of the programme Pedigree Dogs Exposed on BBC One in August this year which identified serious issues affecting the health and welfare of some pedigree dogs.
As the host broadcaster of Crufts the BBC appointed an independent panel of experts to advise it on future coverage of Crufts.
On receiving the panel's advice the BBC considered it carefully before discussing the next steps with the Kennel Club.
Unfortunately we were not able to reach agreement about how to handle televising the so called "at-risk" breeds of pedigree dog and therefore we decided to suspend coverage in 2009.
George Entwistle, Controller, BBC Knowledge Commissioning, said: "We know that a lot of people will be disappointed that Crufts will not be on the BBC next year but we need to be confident the measures being taken now and planned for the future are effective in addressing the issues raised about the health of some pedigree dogs before we return to broadcasting the event."