Thursday 18 Sep 2014
In 2008, Pedigree Dogs Exposed lifted the lid on the true extent of health and welfare problems in pedigree dogs in the UK. Its startling expose of harmful breeding practices generated a massive reaction from the public at large and from those involved in the world of dog breeding.
Three years on, BBC Four has commissioned Jemima Harrison, who made the original film, to revisit the issue and tell the story of what has happened since the transmission. The update will be a "personal view" film, reflecting Jemima's involvement in the area of dog welfare since making Pedigree Dogs Exposed, and will take a measured look at the changes that have been introduced following the film's broadcast.
Jemima says: "There are good breeders out there, but there is still denial about the extent of the problems. Particularly worrisome is the continued blind adherence to outdated notions of 'purity' and the disturbing lack of general awareness that breeds such as the Bulldog, Pug, Peke and Neapolitan Mastiff have been bred to such distorted shapes that it often compromises health and welfare."
The update will include a review of the main findings of Pedigree Dogs Exposed and a significant amount of new material exploring what progress has been made, particularly by the UK Kennel Club in its response to the criticism in Pedigree Dogs Exposed and the recommendations made by the three independent inquiries that followed the film. The update will also probe what more needs to be done to ensure that purebred dogs enjoy a healthier, happier future.
Richard Klein, BBC Four Controller, says: "Three years after commissioning the film that started the debate about how we breed dogs in this country, I am pleased that we are able to see this follow-up film explore what progress has been made."
Richard Klein commissioned Pedigree Dogs Exposed for BBC One in his former role as Head of Knowledge Commissioning for Independents. It transmitted on 19 August 2008.
The update programme will be broadcast next year. It was commissioned by Richard Klein and Charlotte Moore, Commissioning Editor, Documentaries. Commissioning Executive will be Clare Paterson and Executive Producer will be Jane Merkin.
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