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    The Kennel Club has today confirmed that there will be a dedicated Health Zone at Crufts 2009 and that 20 well known dog charities and veterinary organisations will attend the event, in order to achieve the shared objective of breeding happy, healthy dogs.

    There will be a brand new Health Zone at Crufts where vets and scientific experts from the British Veterinary Association and the Animal Health Trust will talk to dog lovers about a range of dog health topics including Kennel Club health initiatives, health screening and DNA tests.

    Amongst others, dog owners will be able to talk to breed experts about choosing the right dog for them, at the Discover Dogs area, and speak to Kennel Club Accredited Breeders about how to ensure that they buy a puppy whose health and welfare has been put first and foremost.

    This news follows a statement from animal charity The Blue Cross, which has announced that it will attend Crufts 2009 “in order to provide pet owners with practical and reliable advice that will enable individuals to influence the issue of hereditary disease through their informed choices and by supporting responsible breeding practices”.

    Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club spokesperson, said: “The Kennel Club is delighted to welcome to Crufts all charities or organisations that share our aim to improve the health and welfare of all dogs.

    “The Blue Cross pet owner survey found that 65 percent of people do not know where to find reliable information about the health and welfare of pedigree dogs but there will be a dedicated Health Zone at Crufts, where experts will be on hand to answer any questions that dog owners might have.

    “Pet owners, alongside breeders, are key to improving the health of pedigree dogs and Crufts is a unique opportunity for visitors to discover how to make informed buying choices, within an environment that celebrates the diverse role that dogs play in society and how much they enrich our lives.

    “The continued support of charities and veterinary organisations confirms our belief that Crufts is the world’s best platform for all dog lovers to come together and ensure that we achieve our shared goal of giving dogs happy, healthy lives.”

    The support of the high profile charities and veterinary organisations follows the results of the Kennel Club’s review of all breed standards, which will help to ensure that no dog is bred for features that might prevent it from seeing, walking and breathing freely. Many of the breed standards required no change or only minor changes but in some the revisions were more significant. The Kennel Club has hosted a Judges Seminar, which highlighted the central role that judges will play in safeguarding the future of pedigree dogs.

    The charities and veterinary organisations which will be at Crufts are:
    · Animal Health Trust
    · Animal Rescue Thessalonike
    · Animals Asia Foundation
    · Battersea Dogs and Cats Home
    · Birmingham Dogs Home
    · Blue Cross
    · British and Irish Dogs Breed Preservation Trust
    · British Veterinary Association
    · Canine Partners
    · Cinnamon Trust
    · Dogs for the Disabled
    · Greyhound Rescue West of England
    · Guide Dogs
    · Hearing Dogs for Deaf People
    · Kennel Club Breed Rescue
    · National Pet Week
    · Pets as Therapy
    · Retired Greyhound Trust
    · Support Dogs
    · Wood Green Animal Shelters

    9th February, 2009

    For further press information or interview requests please contact:
    The Kennel Club Press Office
    020 7518 1008
    [email protected] thekennelclub.

    For images please contact:
    The Kennel Club Picture Library
    020 7518 1035
    [email protected] thekennelclub.

    Notes to Editors

    Crufts is a unique celebration of happy, healthy dogs and of the loving relationship between that they enjoy with their owners. It recognises the varied roles that dogs play in society and highlights the many different disciplines and activities in which dogs are involved.

    Crufts judges will attend Kennel Club seminars to help ensure that only those dogs that are healthy representatives of their breed will win awards in the show ring.

    Health will be at the heart of Crufts and veterinary and scientific experts will be on hand to explain how research has developed over the last 10 years which can help us to resolve genetic issues generally.

    The Kennel Club Charitable Trust has raised nearly £4 million in 21 years for research into dog diseases and for dog support and welfare charities. The money that the Kennel Club makes goes back into the Kennel Club Charitable Trust and into education and health initiatives to help all dogs.

    The Kennel Club, organiser of Crufts, holds the broadest remit to protect and promote the general wellbeing of dogs. At its heart are programmes and investments in education and health initiatives to help dogs across the UK to live long, healthy, happy lives with responsible owners.

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