After years of investigation culminating in the documentary, "Pedigree Dogs Exposed," the BBC has decided not to broadcast Crufts in 2009. This is the latest blow to the Kennel Club, the purebred dog registry that hosts the world's most famous dog show. Long-time sponsor Pedigree announced earlier that it will no longer support Crufts. High-profile British charities the RSPCA and the Dogs Trust have also declined to set up information booths at this year's show.
The BBC had asked the Kennel Club for a compromise in which 14 "at-risk" breeds would not be allowed to compete in the main competitions, including "Best in Show" and group categories. The breeds range from the Basset Hound to the St. Bernard; all of them are believed to have severe health or structural issues due to improper breeding. The Kennel Club declined, claiming that it is doing its part to improve the health of all pedigree dogs. Subsequently, the BBC dropped the coverage.
It'll be interesting to see if the Kennel Club controversy affects the American Kennel Club and its prestigious National Championship dog show.