Interesting implications for the French Bulldogs competing at Crufts this year —
This year, in an attempt to salvage its reputation, the Kennel Club has enlisted a team of 20 show monitors to scrutinise the judges’ decisions on breeds deemed to be at risk from health problems. Extra vets are also to attend the show.
At a private briefing in Stoneleigh Park, Warwickshire, Ronnie Irving, chairman of the club, told judges that they were now on the front line to ensure that dog shows and pedigree dogs survived the 21st century. He warned them that rewarding the health and welfare of dogs had to be paramount.
Fourteen breeds are deemed to be at risk from health problems: basset hound, bloodhound, bulldog, chow chow, clumber spaniel, dogue de Bordeaux, French bulldog, German shepherd, mastiff, Neapolitan mastiff, pekingese, pug, St Bernard and shar-pei. The club has issued new breed standards.
All the judges have been sent new rules on evaluating the dogs, and they will be briefed on potential pitfalls presented by each breed. They have been told to ban dogs if they shows signs of sickness such as lameness. They must also be alert to symptoms including shortness of breath, refusal to be handled, timidity or aggression. Any dog with features or symptoms that raise concerns will be examined by vets.
Read the rest here — http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article5817529.ece
This won’t be a popular thing to say, but I’m really not adverse to judges excusing French Bulldogs who have obvious breathing problems. A healthy French Bulldog should be able to gait around the ring without hacking, horking and almost passing out from their inability to breathe. That said, my personal experience has been that UK bred French Bulldogs have some of the best breathing in the world, while still managing to have gorgeous head pieces. That, combined with the fact that anyone who has a clearly breathing impaired dog is now almost sure to stay home, makes me confident that we’ll see few, if any, excusals from the French Bulldog ring.
We won’t be able to watch the judging on television, however – the BBC has terminated their contract with Crufts, bowing to public opinion, and no little amount of pressure from the Animal Rights groups who insist that the breeding of any dog is a form of ‘cruelty’. Instead, you’ll have to make do with watching the live telecast, details of which are below.
The Crufts live web stream will be available throughout the four days of Crufts, from the 5th-8th March and will run from 8.30 in the morning through to the end of the Arena programme. The Crufts TV live stream will be free to view anywhere in the world by simply following the link on the Crufts homepage www.crufts.org.uk. For those who miss the action there will also be a catch up video on demand service for paying subscribers, enabling people to watch the replays of the action.
The rest of the media release is here.
What I’m curious about is whether the Crufts servers are prepared for this additional load — Westminster can barely manage to get their breed judging videos on line in a timely manner, and Crufts is jumping straight into webcasting? I’m skeptical, especially since the last few times I’ve tried to access the Crufts site, I’ve received failure to connect errors – and this before Crufts has even started.