STUDENTS
10/03/2015 12:00 GMT | Updated 10/03/2015 12:59 GMT

Watch The Moment A PETA Protester Storms Crufts Show

The moment a protester stormed the world-famous dogs Crufts to campaign against pedigree dogs breeding practices has been caught on film.

Animal rights activist and Leeds student Luke Steele gatecrashed the show in Birmingham as the judges announced the Best in Show winner.

The 25-year-old held up a sign reading "mutts against Crufts", shortly before being tackled to the floor by security guards.

He told the Yorkshire Evening Post: "Dogs deserve better than to suffer and die for a beauty pageant."

A spokesperson for the Kennel Club, which runs Crufts, said: "We appreciate that the man in question may have been passionate in his views but we would prefer that he addressed his concerns directly to the Kennel Club rather than causing disruption at the show – however minor – and potentially putting dogs and their owners at risk."

A statement on PETA's website reads: "Many bulldogs, pugs, Pekingese and other brachycephalic (flat-faced) dogs cannot even breathe properly – let alone go for a walk or chase a ball without gasping for air – because of their unnaturally shortened airways.

"Almost all pedigree dogs suffer from abnormally high rates of disease and have much shorter life spans than their mixed-breed cousins do."

In 2008, the BBC suspended its coverage of Crufts after 40 years over concerns of the canines' health. The RSPCA has also boycotted the show because the judging criteria encourages the breeding of "deformed and disabled" dogs, and the competition promoted breeding methods that were "morally unjustifiable".

Crufts has been hit by recent controversy following the death of a prize-winning dog.

Three-year-old Irish setter Thendara Satisfaction, known as Jagger, collapsed and died after returning to Belgium from the show at Birmingham's NEC. Beef cubes containing up to three different poisons - which led to a painful death for the animal - were discovered after an examination.

More dogs have since been reported to have fallen ill after competing in the show.

A petition has also been launched calling for the handler of the winning dog to be stripped of the award for rough handling the dog, including picking it up by the tail.