After 14 years on the world’s longest running children program, Mabel, a border collie mix, has died.
Seen by millions of children on “Blue Peter,” Mabel was the BBC program’s first rescue dog.
“She was dearly loved and that’s a credit to her quirky character. She’ll be sorely missed by the presenters and viewers alike,” said Helen Skelton, one of the program’s co-hosts.
Mabel, who retired last year, was the second-longest serving dog on the show. Another, named Petra, appeared on the show for 15 years.
Her death came barely a month after the death of her canine co-star Lucy, according to the Daily Mail.
Mabel was originally featured on the program in 1996 when then presenter Katy Hill met her while making a film about the RSPCA. She joined the show a month later. Her name came from the letters MAB1 which were written on her RSPCA kennel.
Mabel, who was thought to be 16, was notable for her different colored eyes – one brown, one blue – and a folded-over ear. She starred alongside 14 different presenters in hundreds of studio shows.
After retirement, she lived with a former member of the show’s production team
The BBC show’s presenters announced the news about the border collie to viewers last night.
Posted by jwoestendiek May 5th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, bbc, blue peter, border collie, childrens, childrens show, death, died, dog, dogs, helen skelton, mabel, mix, pets, program, rescue, rspca, shelter, show, television, tv
“Pedigree Dogs Exposed, ” the controversial BBC documentary that shed some much needed light on purebred breeding practices and the horrors they have produced, will get its first airing in the U.S. tonight (Dec. 10).
Probably the single most important piece of dog reporting in the past decade, the documentary led to the BBC dropping its coverage of Crufts, the UK’s equivalent of the Westminster Dog Show.
The documentary looks at how many breeds have had their physical appearance so exaggerated they’re unrecognizable from a century ago, and it examines some of the breed-specific health problems that have resulted from breeders emphasizing looks over health when breeding dogs for shows.
The show, which led to some changes in Kennel Club and breeder policies and practices, airs at 8 p.m. tonight on BBC America.
The documentary revealed that dogs suffering from genetic illness are not prevented from competing in dog shows and have gone on to win “best in breed”, despite their poor health. It says physical traits required by the Kennel Club’s breed standards in the U.K., such as short faces, wrinkling, screw-tails and dwarfism, have led to inherent health problems.
This excerpt from the program shows a prize-winning cavalier King Charles spaniel suffering from syringomyelia, a condition which occurs when a dog’s skull is too small for its brain.
The documentary looks at other problems that have resulted from mating dogs who are close relatives, all for the purposes of accentuating certain physical features deemed desirable by the dog show crowd — boxers suffering from epilepsy, pugs with breathing problems and bulldogs who are unable to mate or give birth unassisted because their heads are so big.
While picked up here and there by the U.S. media, the story of shaping purebred dogs to fit arbitrary human standards of beauty — despite the health ramifications – remains best told by the BBC documentary. By all means, watch it.
Posted by jwoestendiek December 10th, 2009 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animals, bbc, bbc america, boxers, breeders, breeding, breeds, bulldog, cavalier king charles spaniel, crufts, documentary, dog, dog shows, dogs, expose, first, genetic, health, illness, inbreeding, kennel club, pedigree dogs exposed, pets, physical features, practices, premier, problems, pugs, showing, united kingdom, united states, westminster
Ofcom — the UK’s equivalent to our FCC — has ruled that the controversial BBC documentary “Pedigree Dogs Exposed” was mostly fair, but didn’t give Kennel Club officials a chance to fully respond to all of the allegations it made.
“Pedigree Dogs Exposed,” which is receiving its first U.S. airing tonight, alleged that events such as the Crufts dog show awarded top prizes to unhealthy and inbred animals and encouraged breeders to place appearance above health concerns.
Ofcom said that the way the film was edited was fair and that the Kennel Club was not, as it claimed, deceived about its purpose.” However, it added, the Kennel Club was “not given a proper opportunity to respond to an allegation about eugenics and a comparison with Hitler and the Nazi Party, or an allegation that it covered up the nature of an operation carried out on a Crufts Best in Show winner”.
The Kennel Club made complaints about the program in five areas. Ofcom — here’s the full ruling — rejected complaints in four of these areas stating that there was “no unfairness.”
Only the Kennel Club’s fifth complaint was deemed somewhat valid. The Kennel Club said it was not given an appropriate opportunity to respond to 15 specific allegations, and Ofcom agreed that was in the case for four of the 15.
In one of those, Jeff Sampson, the Kennel Club’s senior scientific adviser and spokesman, “was not given the chance to show how seriously he took the health problems confronting pedigree dogs,” Ofcom said.
The BBC said it stood by the program. “While we note Ofcom’s findings regarding some aspects of Pedigree Dogs Exposed, we stand firmly by the programme, which was clearly in the public interest, and we stand firmly by its conclusions,” said a spokesman for the BBC.
“The broadcast has accelerated unprecedented reform in the way pedigree dogs are bred, including new limits on inbreeding, changes to the written standards of 78 breeds of dog and a new code of ethics which prohibits the culling of puppies for cosmetic reasons,” he added.
Posted by jwoestendiek December 10th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: allegations, appearance, bbc, breeds, complaint, crufts, disease, documentary, dogs, eugenics, fairness, fcc, genetics, health, hitler, investigation, jeff sampson, kennel club, nazi, ofcom, pedigree dogs exposed, ruling, scientific adviser
Three people have been convicted for their roles in one of Europe’s largest dog-fighting syndicates — offenses brought to light by a BBC program called “Panorama.”
Claire Parker, 44, from Lincolnshire, Mohammed Farooq, 33, from Birmingham, and a 17-year-old boy were convicted at Lincoln Magistrates’ Court, the BBC reported.
The RSPCA said it was one of the biggest cases of dog-fighting it had prosecuted. Read more »
Posted by jwoestendiek September 16th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: bbc, charges, claire parker, convictions, court, dog, dog fighting, dogfighting, dogs, england, europe, law, mohammed farooq, panorama, program, rspca
Grisly testimony was heard yesterday in the trial of a woman accused of being a member of one of England’s biggest dog fighting gangs.
The case was brought against Claire Parker by the Royal SPCA after Steve Ibinson, an undercover investigator, infiltrated a dog fighting gang called the Farmer Boys in Northern Ireland for a BBC Panorama program.
The busted dogfighting ring had links to Northern Irish paramilitary organizations, according to the Times of London.
Parker, a 44-old breeder of Boston terriers, denies being present at a dog fight, using her property for fights and owning three pit bulls.
Parker is on trial with 33-year-old Mohammed Nasir Farooq, who it is claimed acted as the “time keeper” during the Lincolnshire fight in May 2007.
At the opening of what’s expected to be a two-week trial, the Lincoln Magistrates Court heard how some of the gang made the dogs train on treadmills and in swim tanks, used lunge poles with dummies hanging on them, electrocuted dogs, and used “rape harnesses” to force female dogs to mate.
RSPCA raids also uncovered weighing scales, ’break sticks’ for parting the animals once their jaws had locked on to each other and veterinary products to treat wounded animals.
Ibinson, a former SAS operative who had lived in fear of his life following the investigation, uncovered links between the gang and dog fighting fanatics across the United Kingdom. His identity was revealed after his death, from natural causes, earlier this year while serving as a security guard in Afghanistan.
Statements he made are being given as part of a case that has seen five people from across the North of England already admit various dog fighting offenses.
In a secretly recorded video, Gary Adamson, a 38-year-old welder, is shown standing next to three reinforced pens in his yard boasting about how his pit bull, Pablo, suffered a “real good ragging” during a 26-minute fight held in the garage of Parker’s home in Lincolnshire.
In his statement, Ibinson said that Adamson was a representative of the Farmers Boys, from County Armagh, and aspired to be for pit bull fighting what Don King was for boxing.
(Photo: Courtesy of the RSPCA)
Posted by jwoestendiek September 9th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abuse, bbc, claire parker, court, cruelty, dog, dogfighting, dogs, england, farmer boys, fighting, investigation, ireland, law, lincolnshire, northern, operation, raid, ring, rspca, steve ibinson, trial, undercover, united kingdom