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Mongrel causes controversy at Crufts

Monday, 7th March 2011

For the first time at pedigree dog show Crufts a mongrel pooch may trot round the arena with its owner holding its dog collar and lead.

Fiona the mongrel is part Dalmatian and part Pointer, giving her brown spots instead of black, reports the Daily Mail.

However, officials at the Kennel Club have said she can be entered into the competition because Fiona carries a gene from the Pointer that protects her from a life-threatening condition.

The Kennel Club declared that Fiona can be registered as a Dalmatian because of the health benefits she can bring to future generations of the breed.

However, this ruling has come as a blow to other breeders across the country, who claim a mongrel should not be allowed to enter the annual competition as a pure breed.

Anne Harcraft, a breeder from Sheffield, told the news provider: "This is a dog that is not pure-bred. This is a mongrel. You can't cross a Dalmatian with a Pointer and say it's a Dalmatian. This is unethical and I'd be disgusted if the dog won."

Julie Evans, Fiona's owner, hopes that Fiona will be able to mother puppies with a wider gene pool so that fewer Dalmatians are affected by a mutant gene that makes them prone to a potentially fatal chemical imbalance that affects the urinary system.