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BBC Changes Title For Dog Breeding Documentary Following Backlash And Online Petitions

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BBC Changes Title For Dog Breeding Documentary Following Backlash And Online Petitions

The BBC has pledged to change the working title of its upcoming documentary about dog breeding, following backlash and an online petition.

The programme, which was titled 'Will My Puppies Make Me Rich?' is set to follow young dog breeders in the North of England "as they set out to build reputable businesses during lockdown".

The BBC has explained it's changing the working title of the show (Credit: Unsplash)
The BBC has explained it's changing the working title of the show (Credit: Unsplash)

But the upcoming show has been slammed, with an online petition to stop it being produced reaching over 168,000 signatures since it was announced.

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"The show says it has an emphasis on 'puppies for life and not just for lockdown'. Unfortunately there are people who will watch this show as a 'how-to-guide' to buy dogs solely for the purpose of breeding and making money," the petition reads.

"Dogs used for breeding often lead miserable lives, locked in crates being bred from until they're dead. The puppies also often end up dying due to bad husbandry.

"... There are thousands of dogs in shelters needing homes, we do not need a program that promotes breeding and selling puppies as a get rich quick scheme or a career. I am not suggesting the people involved in this show are neglecting their own animals, but they are promoting an animal welfare pandemic."

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Meanwhile, the RSPCA also expressed concerns, explaining they had written to the BBC urging them to rethink the doc.

A statement said: "We're aware of this programme and are concerned that it is extremely irresponsible to encourage and glamorise breeding as a 'get rich quick' scheme which, in turn, could lead to serious dog welfare issues and fuel the illegal puppy trade."

Following the backlash, the BBC has issued a statement, outlining its plans to change the working title of the show to: Britain's Puppy Boom: Counting the Cost.

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In a statement, the BBC explains: "A lot has been said and written online about this future programme. If the BBC were making a programme about how to exploit animals for profit, then that would be a cause for concern. The reality is rather different. The BBC is not making such a programme and never intended to.

"The title of the programme is a working title. It is not uncommon for programmes to have working titles while they are developed. As the working title has allowed there to be some ambiguity around what the content might be, we have now chosen the new working title - Britain's Puppy Boom: Counting the Cost.


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"We think that title makes clearer the BBC's and the programmes intentions. To clarify further, It will be a film underpinned by sound journalism, providing a balanced exploration of why more young people have become interested in turning their passion for dogs into a profession, done responsibly, as well as understanding the wider negative impacts of the rise in demand for dogs.

"It will not be a 'how to' guide. It is not about encouraging people to get into breeding. Nor is it an attempt to glamorise breeding.

"The welfare of the animals is of the utmost importance and this programme will follow young individuals that are already responsibly breeding or are training to become accredited in order to highlight what constitutes best practice."

The statement went on to explain that the BBC condemns personal attacks directed to the young women who pitched the idea of the documentary.

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"They are not dog breeders but felt the subject was an interesting one to tackle due to the rise in demand for dogs over the past few months," it stated.

Featured Image Credit: Unsplash

Topics: BBC, TV News, Animals, Dogs

Lucy Devine
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