Intruder storms arena as Crufts winner announced
The security scare frightened the dogs and has prompted a review of what happened.
An intruder stormed the arena as the winner of the Crufts dog show was announced on live television.
The male intruder, who was named by Crufts organisers as a protester from the animal rights group Peta, was wrestled to the ground in the middle of the show arena, the NEC in Birmingham.
Owner Yvette Short, of Edinburgh, had proudly stepped up to the podium with her Best In Show winner – a two-and-a-half-year-old whippet bitch called Tease – when the intruder sprinted on the scene.
Ms Short quickly grabbed Tease as several men ran down and cornered the protester in front of the live audience who began to boo.
The crowd broke into applause as the intruder was taken away.
Crufts and the NEC Group said they are to review its security procedure as “a matter of urgency” as the scare frightened the dogs and risked their safety.
A Crufts spokesman said: “It appears that protesters from Peta gained unauthorised access to the ring in the main arena at Crufts, and in doing so scared the dogs and put the safety of both dogs and people at risk in a hugely irresponsible way.
“Our main priority at the moment is the wellbeing of the dogs that were in the ring, who are looked after by their owners and show officials.
“The NEC Group have extensive security procedures in place at Crufts and we, along with the NEC Group, will be reviewing what happened as a matter of urgency.”
Peta UK later tweeted a clip of the invasion and claimed activists were protesting against extreme breeding and carrying banners which said “Crufts: Canine Eugenics”.
It said there were two intruders and named them as members of the Vegan Strike Group which bills itself as fighters against animal abuse.