BBC One reveals shocking truth about pedigree dog breeding in UK!

This from the BBC...

Two years in the making, Pedigree Dogs Exposed (Tuesday 19 August 2008, 9pm, BBC One) lifts the lid on the true extent of health and welfare problems in pedigree dogs in the UK.

Seventy-five per cent of the seven million dogs in the UK are pedigrees, and they cost their owners over £10m in vet fees every week.

This in-depth investigation suggests they are in serious trouble, plagued by genetic disease due to decades of inbreeding.

They are also suffering acute problems because of the showring's emphasis on looks over and above function and health.

Some physical traits required by the Kennel Club's breed standards have inherent health problems (short faces, wrinkling, screw-tails, dwarfism) while other problems occur because of exaggerations bred into dogs by breeders trying to win rosettes.

Deliberate mating of dogs that are close relatives is common practice and the Kennel Club continues to register dogs bred from mother-to-son and brother-to-sister matings.

Scientists at Imperial College, London, recently found that pugs in the UK are so inbred that, although there are 10,000 of them, it is the equivalent of just 50 distinct individuals – making them more genetically compromised than the giant panda.

Steve Jones, Professor of Genetics, UCL, says: "People are carrying out breeding which would be, first of all, be entirely illegal in humans and secondly is absolutely insane from the point of view of the health of the animals."

He adds: "In some breeds they are paying a terrible, terrible price in genetic disease."

The film exposes the devastating consequences of such genetic disease for dogs and the distress it causes their owners.
Read more...see the film via YouTube beginning here.

So what do you think? Are purebred dogs, not only in the UK, but in the US as well, being overbred and inbred? Do you see an increase of these serious genetic disorders? Do you have a pup with a genetic disorder that has been attributed to overbreeding and inbreeding? Comment and give us your views!