A dog show due to be held over the Easter weekend was cancelled at the last minute following concerns about the promotion of dogs with cropped ears.
Organised by the American Bully Kennel Club (ABKC) UK, Bully Festival 9 was due to be held on Saturday, 8 April at the Bowlers Exhibition Centre in Manchester. However, the venue decided on Thursday not to go ahead with the event.
A spokesperson for the Bowlers Exhibition Centre said: ”After careful consideration and extensive consultation with local authorities, police and the RSPCA we have come to a mutual decision to cancel this weekend's ABKC dog show due to take place at the centre on Saturday.”
It is the second time the show has been cancelled this year. In February, the Coventry Building Society Arena cancelled the event following an investigation into ear cropping by BBC Panorama and BBC Disclosure.
The documentary revealed that dogs with cropped ears were being awarded prizes at events run by ABKC UK. Ear cropping is illegal in England, but dogs with cropped ears can still be imported legally.
The Government has announced plans to ban imports of dogs with cropped ears as part of the Kept Animals Bill. However, the legislation is yet to be passed.
The RSPCA’s Dr Samantha Gaines said: “We are really pleased to hear that the American Bully Kennel Club’s Bully Festival 9 event has been cancelled by Bowlers Exhibition Centre. We raised our concerns with the centre and, after considering the impact of holding this event, they have listened and done the right thing. Cruel practices such as ear cropping should not be applauded.
“The BBC’s recent Panorama and Disclosure documentaries raised some really concerning questions about the welfare of many dogs being shown at these events - with the prominence of dogs with cropped ears a real worry for the RSPCA.
“The cropping of dogs’ ears should never be celebrated. It is a painful, unnecessary procedure that has been illegal in England since 2007. Sadly, despite this, too many people still think this is a desirable cosmetic trait and inflict this on dogs for no other reason than for the look.”