Britain reviews dog breeding standards

Oct. 8, 2008 at 9:09 AM

LONDON, Oct. 8 (UPI) -- Britain's Kennel Club is in the process of reviewing the breeding standards for every one of the 209 species of pedigree dog in the United Kingdom.

The effort was sparked by charges that breeding rules to qualify for the world-renowned Crufts Dog Show encouraged deformities and diseases in dogs, The Times of London reported Wednesday.

A recent BBC documentary highlighting the side effects of unhealthy breeding programs revealed a flat-faced Pekingese that won Best of Show in 2003 had to undergo surgery to enable it to breathe.

Other breeds facing scrutiny include the Clumber Spaniel, bloodhound, bulldog, mastiff, German Shepard, basset hound and St. Bernard, The Times said.

The kennel club's new breeding standards are to be in place by the end of the year and will be used to judge dogs in next year's Crufts competition. In addition, the club wants Parliament to rush through new regulations giving it power to take action against breeders who fail to make canine health a top priority, the Times reported.

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