A Leeds animal rights activist who gatecrashed the Crufts dog show has called for the competition to be banned.
Luke Steele, a law undergraduate from Kirkstall, rushed on to the main floor at the National Exhibition Centre, in Birmingham, on Sunday as the judges announced the ‘Best in Show’ winner.
The 25-year-old unravelled a sign reading ‘Mutts Against Crufts’ before being tackled by security guards. He was arrested but later released without charge.
He told the YEP that the breeding of pedigrees was cruel and led certain breeds to suffer health problems.
Mr Steele, who was protesting on behalf of the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals group, said: “Dogs deserve better than to suffer and die for a beauty pageant.”
The competition has been shrouded in controversy since the co-owner of a prize-winning Irish setter alleged that the dog was poisoned at the show.
The three-year-old dog, named Jagger, is believed to have eaten poisoned beef cubes.
Caroline Kisko, secretary of the Kennel Club, explained that Crufts is a celebration of all dogs, adding that the disruption caused was “a shame”.
She 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.”