Why it’s time for Kennel Club CEO Rosemary Smart to be moved on and the cruelty of Crufts stopped
Crufts, the shining glory of the canine world since 1891, is only weeks away from taking place at the NEC in Birmingham. Over the four days, we’ll get to witness animal cruelty at its finest, mutated, health inflicted breeds which have been coiffured to look more like the late Jonbenet Ramsey than anything resembling a dog.
Owners who kick off fights between each other over the placement of a bow, leads pulled so tightly by their owners that dogs aren’t moving of their own free will and occasionally you’ll get the dog who's just had enough of spending more of their life in a cage being shipped from show to show and, good on them, they’ll do what they please.
Presiding over this spectacle of cruelty will be former pet insurance marketing executive turned Kennel Club CEO, Rosemary Smart.
Among the other achievements 60 year-old Rosemary, from Bromley, Kent can be proud of is:
- Leading an organisation where you can’t be racist (good), or prejudice someone because of their age, religion or disability (great) but it’s totally fine to prejudice someone because say, they are a woman (surprising given she is a woman) or they are married or for their sexual orientation (just shocking). Well done Rosemary, doing a great job there, nice to see you keeping up with modern times.
- Not caving into pressure from the BBC for the 209 breeds (at the time) of dogs to undergo health checks at Crufts in order for them to continue broadcasting live animal cruelty to the nation.
- Having a multitude of the Kennel Club board resign over a series of scandals but manage to hang on in there, clutching at poo bags, to keep her own role. Afterall, the CEO isn’t responsible for the failings and shortcomings of a company are they?
- Leading an organisation which muddles their way through one incompetent stroke of the keyboard at a time and yes, Ellen Abrahams, Jacqui Easton and Linda Branflake we’re talking about you
- Being a fearless leader, not afraid to instigate change, admit wrong-doings and definitely not going into hiding when there’s some questions which are a teeny tiny bit hard and she has to admit - she doesn’t have control or a clue what’s going on
Bow-gate: Pat & Rose Change The Shows
In 2017 judge Pat Maule spun the wrath of Shih Tzu owners by daring to ban the use of ribbons and bows in top knots (!) of those showing. They could, however, use an elastic band. Now, have you ever caught your hair in an elastic band? Yes, ouch indeed, fine for the dogs though according to Pat - a decision no doubt approved by the Smart but Stupid, Rosemary.
You can just imagine the meeting this was decided at, all sat around a table in a cold, dark wood paneled room, an old faded photograph of The Queen hangs askew, the women in green tartan skirts, bits of straw in their unkempt hair all wondering why they hadn’t been accepted to the WI, notebooks and pencils ready to note anything interesting.
Up Pat speaks “So, i’ve got an idea”...oooo the room coos, no one really having had an idea in years, “Are you ready everyone, I want to ban bows in shih tzus”. The room gasps, Rosemary looks around, not really sure what to do or say and finally says “But Pat, can I do some, you know, marketing on that”. Pat rolls her eyes, tells the 60 year old blonde Ms Smart what she wants to hear, knowing she is not bright enough to comprehend the fall out or the fact that elastic bands are way more cruel than ribbons. Old Rosemary agrees, she then goes into a trance trying to think of ‘bowless’ marketing campaigns - “maybe Robin Hood, not holding a bow but holding a shih tzu” - the room just ignores her.
Pat then can’t understand why she is being called the C word from as far away as Australia. Pat, it’s a mystery to us too. Let’s hold there for a moment on the Aussies. Good old Shazza, Sharon ‘Shazza’ Murray, an Australian breeder, was one of the globally furious commented in the Telegraph “For many of us putting bows in the top knot of our shih tzu is a long held tradition. To state it's only done in an effort to misrepresent an exhibit is so offensive….”. Hold on a minute, exhibit - what is Shazza showing, a vase, a painting? You see, to those who enter Crufts, these aren’t dogs, man’s best friend or their fur-baby these are objects, exhibits, cash cows. Quite frankly, these are people who shouldn’t be allowed to own dogs.
We’re going to rewind a little further now, 2009 is the year, Switzerland went into a recession, Brazil came out of one, Nadal won his first Australian Championship and finally, the RSPCA condemned Crufts as being cruel. The RSPCA, as in the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, We don't know about you, but will you be more likely to believe a charity dedicated to the Protection of Animals or the Kennel Club a business which made over £4m in 2018 from cruel dog shows like Crufts (and to note, over £21m from membership fees from cruel owners).
That year the RSPCA and Dogs Trust, along with a host of high profile brand name sponsors including Pedigree and their £1.5m sponsorship, pulled their support of Crufts, the BBC aired the documentary Pedigree Dogs Exposed and stated that unless health checks for the 209 breeds were put in place it wouldn’t air the show again.
Naturally, the first thing CEO Rosemary Smart did, without a second thought and as a responsible leader of a company, was ensure these checks were put in place. An organisation dedicated to dogs would naturally want to ensure the welfare of dogs and to confirm that the viewing public weren’t witness cruel and inhumane behaviour.
Except, she didn’t, she did nothing, the BBC has not shown Crufts since. Actually, it’s not true she did nothing over the years she has forced (although we don’t know how the dim witted woman managed this) several board members to take the fall for slipping standards and continued farce that surrounds Cruel Crufts.
If you spend, as we have, time going through the decades worth of damning coverage leveled at the Kennel Club and Crufts you will wonder how on earth the organisation and show are still going. The only people who have positive comment about them are their own members.
We haven’t found yet an animal publication which comes out in support of Crufts, we can’t find a stream of celebrities happy to attend and be photographed there (remember, Clare Balding is contractually obliged by Channel4). The lack of external support is amazing.
When criticisms like some of those found in this article are levelled are the Kennel Club, the one person never on record to defend them is CEO Rosemary. All we find from her are generic pre-prepared lines by the Kennel Club Press Office. Why is this? Put Rosemary in front of media at your peril, she doesn’t understand the questions she’s being asked or have the knowledge to answer them is our guess - remember that Harry Enfield character Tim Nice but Dim...then you have Rosemary Smart but Stupid.
One Kennel Club Member, who asked not be named and has decided against showing at Crufts again, said: "Rosemary likes the glory, you'll always see her being photographed and sharing any good news, she leaves the bad and tricky parts to others."
Who does face the music? Why Dolly the GM Sheep and the dogs at Crufts are no different. These are just some of the questions we’ll cover in part two of this series, a series which will continue until Smart but Stupid Rosemary is removed from her baby the kennel club.
If you agree that Rosemary is not fit to be the CEO of any company let alone the Kennel Club you can sign our Change petition here, remember, every signature helps and takes just seconds.