Filmmakers who produced the controversial 2008 documentary Pedigree Dogs Exposed, which prompted a shake-up of dog breeding and shows, are currently in the process of shooting interviews for a follow-up.

Filmmakers who produced the controversial 2008 documentary Pedigree Dogs Exposed, which prompted a shake-up of dog breeding and shows, are currently in the process of shooting interviews for a follow-up.

A still from the original documentary, Pedigree Dogs Exposed.The original exposé, which focused on health and welfare problems associated with conformation to breed standards, led to Patrick Bateson‘s independent inquiry into dog breeding and shows.

The documentary, which was originally broadcast on BBC One, also prompted The Kennel Club to review its breed standards to encourage dog show judges to reward healthy features.

The BBC has commissioned Jemima Harrison‘s independent TV company Passionate Productions, which produced the original Pedigree Dogs Exposed, to make the follow-up.  

The programme is expected to include interviews with prominent vets, including BVA past-president Harvey Locke (whose interview was filmed at the RVC on November 3) and former RSPCA chief veterinary advisor Mark Evans. In the original documentary Mr Evans described dog shows as a “parade of mutants, a freakish beauty pageant”.

Filmmaker Jemima Harrison and her dog Jake.Ms Harrison told Vetsonline that the update will also include her reflections on progress made in the years since the programme was first screened.

Commenting on the progress made as well as ongoing challenges, Ms Harrison said: “There are good breeders out there, but there is still denial about the extent of the problems. Particularly worrisome is the continued blind adherence to outdated notions of ‘purity’ and the disturbing lack of general awareness that breeds such as the bulldog, pug and Neapolitan mastiff have been bred to such distorted shapes that it often compromises health and welfare.”

It is anticipated that the updated documentary will be broadcast next year.

BBC Four controller Richard Klein said: “Three years after commissioning the film that started the debate about how we breed dogs in this country, I am pleased that we are able to see this follow-up film explore what progress has been made.”

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