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Protestors fail to make their mark

The handful of protestors on the Sunday were barely noticeable
The handful of protestors on the Sunday were barely noticeable

THE PLANNED protests at Crufts came to nothing more than a handful of people who spent a couple of hours outside on Sunday, the final day.

That SloganDespite a huge push on a website in the weeks running up to Crufts, which promised upwards of 1,000 protesters turning up and causing disruption to exhibitors and visitors, the final number was probably less than 40 people, who caused little or no concern to the thousands who passed through the doors between 10am to around 12.15pm.

Rumours inevitably did the rounds on the first three days of the show, including reports of dogs having paint thrown on them, rolling roadblocks on the motorway and exhibitors being ‘locked in’ the West car park, however none were substantiated.

OUR DOGS spoke to two of the protestors, Kerry Duggan from London and Phil Webb from Wales, who told us that the demonstration was always intended to be peaceful, and that their concerns were more for the thousands of strays in the UK, which they felt were only there because, according to Kerry, ‘the constant breeding of pedigree dogs mean we have too many already.’ Phil voiced his concerns over dogs being put down in animal shelters because not enough good homes could be found for them in time.

The chants of ‘Don’t breed or buy’ failed to impress exhibitors, and the slogans claiming ‘there is no such thing as a responsible dog breeder’ and the (rather amusing) ‘I don’t want to have sex with my Dad, and neither does your dog’ left many visitors with a grin on their faces.

Not bothered!Rhodesian Ridgeback exhibitor, Joyce Withey, told us: ‘We come here every year, and I feel that these protestors are only adding to our cause. It just makes me feel even more determined. In fact, i might go and ask them if they would like to make a donation to rescue while they’re here!’

Lyn Treasure added: ‘It’s bloody ridiculous, in fact half of them don’t even look old enough to be here. They need to spend time with some breeders and see just how much we care about our own dogs and dogs in general.’

Richard Connor from Devon had the same sentiments: ‘I agree with Joyce,’ he said. ‘Go up and ask them to make a donation to welfare or rescue while they’re here, then i might take them more seriously!’

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I am so hurt that these people tar us all with the same brush. I have lived with and loved dogs all my life. I have only actually had show dogs for the last 4 years, and have competed in the last three Crufts, a dream I heald for more than 25 years. Why do they have the right to take this dream away. I don't tell them how to live their lives. I bet if I talked to some of these protesters I would find lots of things that I don't agree with that they do, ie, smoking, drinking, protesting about things that probably very few of them have actually done much research about. Leave us alone, most of us love our dogs more than life itself. This is meant to be a free country, so allow us to be free to do as we please. 
Perhaps these protesters really need to concentrate on the puppy farmers that we have in this country they are the real problem. Very few of them know how many dogs they have let alone what their names are. They don't show, they don't vet the puppies new owners, they just breed and sell. Rescue centre fodder me thinks.

R Summerfield