Selective breeding can have disastrous health consequences – so why then do we promote and even glorify it each year at the world’s biggest canine ‘beauty’ pageant Crufts?
The Kennel Club’s “breed standards” encourage breeders to treat dogs’ bodies as if they were modelling clay and manipulate them into abnormal shapes and sizes through genetic selection and inbreeding.
Despite the painful and often life-threatening results – breeders – their hearts in their bank accounts – are only too happy to comply.
Last year an American cocker spaniel was judged ‘Best in Show’.
The breed is prone to crippling hip and elbow dysplasia – congestive heart failure and a host of eye issues, including retinal degeneration and glaucoma.
That same year a German shepherd whose back was so abnormally sloped that she walked with what appeared to be a painful, permanent limp – she could barely drag herself around the judge’s circuit – was crowned ‘Best of Breed’.
Crufts’ cruel whims know no bounds.