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Dog show fans to PETA: Leave Westminster alone!

January 7, 2009 |  8:45 pm

A poodle competes in the Westminster dog show Back in December, the BBC announced that it wouldn't air the Crufts dog show because of concerns over purebred dogs' health.  Earlier this week, we told you that PETA is asking the USA Network, which broadcasts the Westminster Dog Show every February, to follow the BBC's lead and discontinue coverage of America's most prestigious dog show.

We suspected a lot of you would take issue with PETA's premise: that breeding dogs for the show ring locks in genetic defects that, it argues, plague "as many as one in four purebred dogs ... with a serious genetic problem."  But we were surprised by just how vocal you were: More than 300 of you have commented on the story so far

Some of you agreed with PETA.  Christine said, "I think it would be great if the USA Network dropped this show. Let's do a special on the USA Network about all the adorable shelter dogs available!"  And Carl S chimed in, "PETA is spot on. The AKC is about money and human arrogance, not about what's in the best interest of dogs."

Most of you, though, said the show must go on.  "It is a total misconception that mixed breeds are more healthy than purebreds. Responsible breeders routinely screen for health problems. A mixed breed dog has no such testing and can inherit problems from many ancestors," said Janet.  And Purebred dog lover mused, "We are now in an era with the animal rightists trying to destroy and discredit breeders of purebred dogs. It must be duly noted that there are no health statistics kept on mixed breeds, just on purebred dogs. Who knows how many mixed breeds die of disease or breed problems gotten genetically from their mixed parentage?"

--Lindsay Barnett

Photo: USA Network

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