Furious Paul O’Grady accuses BBC of ‘encouraging puppy farming’ and demands controversial show is taken off-air
Paul O’Grady has added his voice to the growing criticism over an “irresponsible” BBC3 documentary about young people breeding puppies for profit.
The price of puppies more than doubled during the coronavirus lockdown, with dogs costing almost £1,900 on average. The BBC plans to explore this trend in the show, Will My Puppies Make Me Rich?, which follows dog breeders as they build their business.
The documentary is still in production but has already sparked furious backlash amid fears it could “turn puppies into cash machines”, with animal welfare charities warning high prices could encourage smuggling, dog theft and “puppy farming”.
Renowned dog lover Paul O’Grady has joined the many celebrities raising concerns over the BBC’s decision to run the show.
“This kind of c**p only encourages puppy farming and I only hope that the BBC come to their senses and take it off air immediately,” the gay TV personality declared on Instagram.
“It’s a bit of a worry when the bright sparks at BBC3 believe this is suitable viewing. You don’t keep a dog to make money off it. I’ve seen what excessive breeding does and it’s pitiful. Shame on you.”
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O’Grady is an ambassador for the Battersea Dogs and Cats Home, having worked closely with the shelter for his reality TV show Paul O’Grady: For the Love of Dogs.
His post tagged the animal charity, which has joined forces with the Dogs Trust, British Veterinary Association and the RSPCA in demanding the BBC drop the show.
Actor Peter Egan, author Jane Fallon and newsreader Jan Leeming are among the celebrities to express objections, while a petition calling for the documentary to be scrapped has now reached more than 97,000 signatories.
The BBC defended the controversial show, telling the Mirror: “This observational documentary does not glamorise dog breeding, it responsibly examines the growing rise of young people entering the business and highlights the importance of good animal welfare, training and licensing.
“The production team are working closely with animal experts throughout to inform the audience of what constitutes good and bad practice.”