BIRMINGHAM, England, Oct. 25 (UPI) -- The owner of the Pedigree pet food company says the company has withdrawn its sponsorship of the Crufts dog show in Britain after 44 years of support.
A statement from Pedigree's parent company, Mars UK, said Pedigree would no longer offer nearly $2.4 million in funding to the annual dog show, whose future is now in doubt amidst allegations of animal mistreatment, The Times of London reported Saturday.
"After careful consideration, Pedigree has decided to withdraw its sponsorship of Crufts," the company said. "The Pedigree brand has evolved and we are prioritizing initiatives that support the broadest possible community of dog owners such as our successful program the Pedigree Adoption Drive, and our online service for breeders, pedigreedirect.co.uk."
The Times said the Kennel Club, the organization that holds the Crufts event, has been accused of using breeding techniques that bring about disease and deformities in animals.
The National Exhibition Center event faced related allegations of promoting such deformities through the annual competition, The Times said.