By Sharmila Dhal
Dubai: The annual Pedigree & Whiskas Pet Show, which marked its 25th anniversary last February, will not be held this year, XPRESS has learnt.
“For 2014, Mars, producers of Pedigree & Whiskas show, have realigned their pet care strategy both globally and regionally.
“We envision a stronger need to focus our resources on responsible pet ownership campaigns and initiatives. As a result, we will not be organising the Pedigree and Whiskas Dubai Pet Show in 2014,” Greg Smith, consumer care, Mars, said in an email statement to a query from XPRESS.
The hugely popular Pedigree & Whiskas Dubai Pet Show had come in for severe criticism over un-muzzled pets posing a threat to other dogs and unsuspecting visitors, many of them children. Pressure on the organisers and pet owners to be more responsible mounted after a poodle was killed in a deadly attack by an American Staffordshire terrier at the 2012 show.
Pet lovers in the UAE, who attend the much-awaited show in thousands every February, said they are hugely disappointed with the decision to scrap the show. “This is one event we look forward to every year. It’s not fair that we are being denied the treat presumably because of a few irresponsible pet owners,” said Jessie, a dog lover in Dubai.
“The pet show was an annual ritual almost. It’s very disappointing to learn that it will not be held this year,” said another resident, Claire Summers.
Animal rights groups had mixed reactions. “This is sad news. The show was a good opportunity for pets, owners and others to have fun. It will be greatly missed,” said Pedra Mueller, president of the Middle East Cat Society.
Shree Nair, Secretary, Emirates Kennel Club, said: “The point system to get titles in the UAE is not recognised in global shows. The certificates given here are not valid internationally where competitions are held under the auspices of a club. So we are forming Emirates Kennel Club which we will register with the local and international authorities,” he said.