Crufts forced to cancel for first time since 1954

Crufts 2021 has been cancelled due to coronavirus, the Kennel Club has confirmed.

Kim McCalmont with her Wired Haired Dachshund called Maisie, Best in Show on the fourth day of Crufts 2020
Kim McCalmont with her Wired Haired Dachshund called Maisie, Best in Show on the fourth day of Crufts 2020

The Kennel Club announced on Friday that the annual event will not be taking place this year.

It will be the first time the show, which was due to take place in July and brings thousands of dogs and visitors to the NEC in Birmingham, has been cancelled since 1954.

A spokesman for the Kennel Club said: "With regret, The Kennel Club must announce the cancellation of Crufts 2021.

"This is due to the uncertainty of the current situation regarding the Covid-19 pandemic and consideration for the health and safety of all its staff, volunteers, exhibitors, trade stand holders and visitors.

"We hope to look forward to welcoming Crufts back in its full glory on the 10-13 March 2022."

Crufts chairman Tom Mather added: "We are very disappointed that we have had to cancel Crufts for the first time since 1954, in what would have been its 130th anniversary year, and it is a decision we have not taken lightly.

"We have tried desperately hard to make this year’s show happen, including the decision we took last November to postpone the event to July.

"However, of course this was before we were hit by the devastating second wave of the pandemic.

"When this decision was taken, we were optimistic that the situation would be such that the show could be held.

"However we appreciated that there was a possibility that holding the show in the summer under certain restrictions could also, in some respects, do the show a disservice.

"We were disappointed that, even though we carried over the qualification from 2020, we would still be limited on our entry numbers and wouldn’t be able to welcome as many dogs back as we would have liked.

"Finally, in light of recent announcements and the emergence of a third wave of coronavirus in Europe, it was looking extremely unlikely that both our overseas judges and exhibitors would be able to attend."

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