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Korean 'dog prizes' withdrawn [08/02/2001]

The surprising announcement that 200 puppies would be offered as prizes for a credit card promotion prompted quick action from The Kennel Club, which yesterday issued a release stating that the promotion had been withdrawn.

The promotion was sponsored by Korea Telecom and The Korea Kennel Club, and was intended to raise public awareness of the joys of pet ownership. The announcement drew immediate protests from animal groups, who have campaigned for many years that pets do not make good gifts.

The Kennel Club in the UK reacted quickly to the announcement: Korea Telecom is affiliated to Samsung, a Crufts sponsor, and the potential for embarrassment was extreme. Caroline Kisko, Secretary of The Kennel Club, stated that the issue was raised "at the highest level with Samsung". The latter corporation took the point and intervened to stop the competition.

Said Kisko, "We, as an organisation, promote responsible dog ownership and feel that the giving of animals as 'gifts' is totally unacceptable."

Puppies were not bred specifically for the competition, and therefore rehoming was not at issue. Korea Telecom and The Korea Kennel Club are reported to be exploring an alternative promotion.

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