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Pedigree Dogs Exposed

BBC mainOfcom has today published its adjudications about the BBC1 programme Pedigree Dogs Exposed.

The programme – broadcast on 19 August 2008 -  looked at health and welfare problems in pedigree dogs and included criticisms of the Kennel Club, other clubs and individual dog breeders.

Ofcom considered five complaints that the BBC programme was unfair; they came from the Kennel Club, the Rhodesian Ridgeback Club of Great Britain, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Club, Mr Michael Randall and Mrs Virginia Barwell.

Ofcom found that there was not unfairness to the Kennel Club in the editing of the programme and that the Kennel Club was not deceived about the purpose of the programme.


But it was not given a proper opportunity to respond to an allegation about eugenics and a comparison with Hitler and the Nazi Party; or an allegation that it covered up the nature of an operation carried out on a Crufts Best in Show winner.

Ofcom found that, when the programme alleged that the Rhodesian Ridgeback Club of Great Britain was not doing all it could about a condition called Dermoid Sinus, it did not fairly represent the research on the subject. An inaccurate description of the breed’s ridge was likely to have unfairly compounded the impression that the Club was choosing to breed deformed dogs.

Summary of findings

Finally, Ofcom found that the programme was unfair to Cavalier King Charles Spaniel breeder Mrs Virginia Barwell, as it did not convey her explanations for the very brief statements she was shown making in the programme.

Ofcom did not uphold the complaints from the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Club or Mr Michael Randall.

Ofcom has directed the BBC to broadcast a summary of this adjudication.

Read the  full document here [PDF]

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