More 4, a division of Channel 4, has signed a deal with the Kennel Club, organiser of DFS Crufts, to broadcast the event for the first time in 2010.
More 4 will bring a fresh perspective to coverage of Crufts while retaining the show’s popular highlights including the stories of ‘hero dogs’ in the Friends for Life competition and the live award of ‘Best in Show’. The programming will also provide a high profile platform to inform the public about issues of health and welfare in pedigree dog breeding.
Coverage of the four-day dog show will be broadcast between 11 – 14 March with an hour long programme from Thursday to Saturday and a two-hour special on Sunday.
Hamish Mykura, Head of More 4, said: “More 4’s coverage will enable dog lovers to see all the Crufts favourites, with fresh and stylish coverage that will give the show a More 4 twist. Crufts has a long-standing place in British broadcasting, and people who watch it want to know that the dogs are, above all, happy and healthy. Our programmes will place a particular emphasis on dog welfare issues, reflecting different points of view.”
Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club Communications Director, said: “Dogs and dog lovers look forward to Crufts every year and we are delighted that More 4’s coverage will give them the opportunity to celebrate with us the special and unique bond between dogs and their owners. The programme will not only show a range of the fun competitions and events that celebrate the diverse role that dogs play in society, but will also give puppy buyers the opportunity to learn how to choose, train and care of their dog, throughout its life.
“Dog shows such as Crufts, are crucial to safeguarding the long term health and welfare of pedigree dogs. They enable us to encourage and reward the breeding of healthy, happy dogs, by making sure that these are the ones that go home with the prizes. Without dog shows there would be no incentive to breed healthy dogs, no forum to monitor whether this is being done and no platform to educate the breeders and owners of the future.
“Crufts is also the world’s best platform for all individuals and welfare organisations, veterinary professionals and breed experts who love and care about dogs, to discuss the health issues that the Kennel Club recognises affect some breeds and to discuss what we can all do to ensure that dogs live healthy, happy lives.
“The Kennel Club has worked hard for many years to address these health issues both within and outside of the show ring, and will continue to do so. It conducted the world’s largest survey into pedigree health in 2004, in association with the Animal Health Trust and the British Small Animal Veterinary Association, which culminated in the review of all breed standards in January 2009.”
Nicky Paull, President of the British Veterinary Association, said: “Dog shows such as Crufts provide an excellent opportunity to educate the public about pedigree breeding – both the good elements and the areas of concern. They can also be used to highlight best practice in dog breeding and encourage responsible ownership.
“Alongside many other organisations, the BVA has long campaigned to reduce genetic disease in all animals and, jointly with the Kennel Club, our Canine Health Schemes help breeders to identify problems early and ensure they are not passed on.
“We welcome More 4’s commitment to screening Crufts as a way to highlight health and welfare issues and inform viewers in an interesting and engaging way.”
For more information on Crufts visit www.crufts.org.uk
The coverage will be produced by Sunset and Vine.