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Is Crufts At Risk of A 'Foreign Invasion'?

09 March 2015

ANALYSIS - Historically, Crufts has been as quintessentially British as afternoon tea, but critics say the annual event is at risk of a 'foreign invasion', with overseas entries tripling in the past six years, writes Gemma Hyland.

The event wrapped up on Sunday with the most prestigious 'Best in Show' title handed to Knopa, a Scottish Terrier from Russia.

Also in the group was Rios, a Saluki from Grästorp, Sweden, who won Best in Group for Hounds.

Almost 21,500 dogs competed this year at Birmingham's Genting Arena, among them 2,987 dogs from overseas

There has been rising controversy over the number of foreign dogs allowed to compete at Crufts, which attracts entries from 200 breeds.

A change in quarantine laws in 2001, making it easier to transport animals abroad, is one factor being blamed for the rise in foreign entries.

Crufts entries in numbers

  • In 2009, there were 1,100 foreign entrants. This year, there were 2,987 registered to take part from 45 different countries, making up 14 per cent of the total entrants.
  • Foreign entries are largely European, with 631 French dogs, 530 from Italy and 513 from Germany.
  • This year there were 67 entrants from the United States and four from South Korea. Thailand and Brazil entered two each.

Responding to the claims, the Kennel Club say they are proud to welcome entrants from overseas.

A spokesperson said: "We’re honoured to welcome dogs from all over the globe and those people who make the journey from overseas to come to Crufts, at their own expense, are highly dedicated and extremely proud of and confident in their dogs, which is why the quality of the dogs from overseas is often very high.

"The KC is proud to welcome dogs from overseas and the UK to compete at Crufts in the various competitions, and as a not-for-profit organisation we are also committed to ensuring that the visitors that we attract are informed about how to breed, buy and care for dogs throughout the event, which is one of many ways that we aim to improve dogs’ lives.”

Click here for more Crufts news.

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Headline image: onEdition.

Gemma Hyland, Editor

Gemma Hyland, Editor

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