A Facebook page called ‘Stop the BBC Making another PDE’, which was set up last week after the announcement the station was planning on making a follow up programme, has already attracted over 2,500 members, echoing the recent and successful group which called for an end to coat testing.
Mike Davidsohn of the Kiragleons Poodles, who set up the group, wants the programme to be scrapped or, at least, for the BBC to make sure it is fair and balanced.
Speaking to OUR DOGS, Mike said: ‘I have owned Poodles for over 30 years, I started showing regularly in the late 1990’s and always did the right thing and health tested my dogs as required by our breed club.
‘So in August 2008 when BBC One aired Pedigree Dogs Exposed I, like many thousands of other viewers, was horrified to see the blatant bias against us shown by this program. No mention of the work that the KC was already doing with the ABS that had already been going on for FOUR years.
‘No mention of the great work that was being carried out by The Animal Health Trust with financial and other support from breed clubs and the KC Charitable Trust. I sat there stunned by the sensationalist programming, I was in shock. This programme had offended me, my hobby and what has become a big part of my life over the years’.
The scene in Pedigree Dogs Exposed, where the film makers described Pedigree Dog Breeders like Hitler’s Eugenicists, affected Mike deeply.
Mike told OUR DOGS: ‘When they flashed on the screen a picture of a concentration camp with the grisly pictures of the loss of life there and said that “Pedigree Dog Breeders are like Hitler’s Eugenicists” I went for my phone and tried to ring the BBC to complain but (no surprise here) it was engaged as countless others had the same idea.
‘I was very angry and almost in tears, you see I am Jewish and my father lost all his family to the Nazis, so I had now been offended on two fronts. Surely this remark should not have been allowed, I wrote to the BBC and complained about the programme on both issues, but got a reply back saying that the BBC felt the remark was justified, I kid you not.
‘I complained to the Metropolitan Police about the remark which I considered to be religiously offensive and wanted Jemima Harrison and her company prosecuted for it. The Met told me that they would wait until the result of the Ofcom investigation before they would decide what to do.
Well we know about the Ofcom investigation and their findings, this wretched woman and her politically motivated programme had got away with it.’
Mike, horrified by the news that the BBC had commissioned a sequel from Ms Harrison, to be aired on BBC 4 some time next year, felt he had no choice but to spring into action and set up the Facebook group.
Mike concludes: ‘In 36 hours it grew to over 1500 members and at the time of writing has over 2,500 and is still growing. At the moment it is a closed group so you have to be invited or ask to become a member. I set it up to gauge opinion about the new program and to try and work out a way forward, the opinion is very positive thus far and the discussions are very interesting.
The group needs everyone who shows, breeds or owns a pedigree dog and has a Facebook account to sign up and we will have an even bigger voice than we already have.