Westminster Best In Show Or Bad Breeding?

 |  Jan 15th 2009  |   30 Contributions

I received an email from a member sharing the news with me that PETA is encouraging the USA Network not to air the Westminster Dog Show .

The reasoning, the breeds that are bred for show endure inhumane treatment, bad breeding, and health issues.

The BBC has already decided to pull their version of the Westminster, Crufts Dog Show, from the air. The BBC pulled Crufts after an expose was aired, "Pedigree Dogs Exposed," raising concerns over the health of dogs bred for the show ring.

In a letter to USA's president Bonnie Hammer, PETA founder and president Ingrid Newkirk writes, "Since dog breeders routinely use incestuous inbreeding and genetic manipulation...it's not surprising that as many as one in four purebred dogs is plagued with a serious genetic problem."

Beagles like last year's Westminster winner, Uno, are susceptible to a wide variety of genetic health problems like hypothyroidism, epilepsy and demodectic mange, according to PETA.

"Countless dogs suffer painful cosmetic surgeries and millions of wonderful dogs die in animal shelters because of the AKC's inhumane policies...USA Network can take a stand against the cruel treatment of animals simply by denying air time to the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show," said PETA Vice President Daphna Nachminovitch.

If you would like to express your opinion to the USA Network, letting them know how you feel, go to their feedback page.

Do you think the Westminster Dog Show is good television viewing, that PETA's questions about health and safety are unfounded? Or, do you think there is something to what they say and it should be pulled?

* Uno picture courtesy Timothy A. Clary / AFP - Getty Images


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