The RSPCA has warned that many pedigree dogs are suffering despite the production of a documentary five years ago which highlighted that many premium canines were at risk.

According to the documentary, the Kennel Club and dog breeding world still need to take action to make sure that the health and welfare of pedigree dogs in their care are being assured. It was aired in 2008 but the RSPCA says that many animals are still having to experience awful conditions and treatment.

Jemima Harrison, who produced and directed the documentary Pedigree Dogs Exposed, has supported the animal group in its call for action.

She said that the Kennel Club is in denial about the problems and said that it is "unethical" to breed dogs like Pugs and Bulldogs which have "such flat faces that they cannot breathe" but says these canines continue to be celebrated at its shows.

Ms Harrison added: "The Kennel Club has done too little to tackle the suffering these and many other breeds endure, despite an increasing amount of science which both articulates the issues and offers solutions."

The RSPCA has acknowledged that some progress has been made which includes the development of DNA and health screening tests for hereditary diseases and the introduction of veterinary checks on ‘high profile’ breeds. However, the charity believes that much more should have been done in the five-year period since the airing of the programme on BBC One.

Chief vet at the animal welfare group James Yeates said: "Although some progress has been made by the dog world to address the issues raised in Pedigree Dogs Exposed, it has not been nearly enough. Five years on the problems are still far from being solved.

"We are concerned that many pedigree dogs are still suffering because they’re bred and judged primarily for how they look rather than with health, welfare and temperament in mind."

Mr Yeates added that urgent action needed to be taken and this is supported by the EFRA Committee’s Dog Control and Welfare report which said that too many dogs continue to suffer ill-health due to inbreeding and mating f

Written by: Hannah