Ben Fogle, the TV presenter and adventurer has revealed his regrets at not quitting in his role as Crufts TV anchor in protest over the widespread concern over animal welfare problems associated with the event.
The presenter, son of vet and author Bruce Fogle, says he had reservations about the event but continued to present the show for two years, but that he had supported the BBC in its decision to stop broadcasting Crufts after the furore caused by the documentary Pedigree Dogs Exposed, which brought many serious ethical and welfare concerns in to the mainstream.
“In retrospect I probably should have stopped it sooner because I also don’t think that dogs should be bred for pure show,” he explained to the Cheltenham Literature Festival.
“In some ways I regret that I didn’t make that decision myself, I waited for other people at the BBC to make that decision for me.”
Fogle explained that he had also discussed with his father the ethical connotations of taking the job in the first place.
“Before I took that job I asked dad what he thought and he highlighted these issues about dogs being bred for aesthetics rather than health,” he said.
“Dad and I have had many chats about this over the years because I also have my reservations now. ”
He emphasised that he felt it was a “great decision” for the BBC to abandon its Crufts coverage following the corporations own investigation in to the show’s impact on the health of many pedigree dogs.
The Cast Away star added: “There are many breeders that really do care about their dogs but there are some of them don’t.
“There are dogs that literally live in cages going from show to show to show.
“Those are big American dog winners who literally live in cages and go back and forth across America. ”