Dog show

European dog show continues in Budapest amid wave of COVID-19 cases

02:29

Forget the cat-walks, the most beautiful dogs on the continent have finally been paraded at the European Dog Show 2021 in Budapest.

It is one of the biggest dog events in the world, but it had to be canceled in 2019 and 2020 due to the pandemic. This year’s event had been in limbo for a long time, with organizers originally hoping to hold it earlier this year.

“Until the last minute, we were wondering if we could organize this event,” Hungarian Association of Dog Breeders President Andras Korozs told CGTN.

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But they decided they were going to move forward despite the increase in COVID-19 cases across Europe.

“We monitored epidemic data daily – of the 20,000 to 22,000 dogs entered in competitions, 80 to 90% will show up for this four-day event,” Korozs said.

“There is a huge international interest, with dogs from 57 countries coming to participate”,

To ensure safety, visitors can only enter the site with a negative COVID-19 PCR test or certificate of immunity.

A pair of white miniature poodles at the European Dog Show in Budapest on December 28, 2021. / Attila Kisbenedek / AFP

A pair of white miniature poodles at the European Dog Show in Budapest on December 28, 2021. / Attila Kisbenedek / AFP

An Italian greyhound at the European dog show in Budapest on December 28, 2021. / Attila Kisbenedek / AFP

An Italian greyhound at the European dog show in Budapest on December 28, 2021. / Attila Kisbenedek / AFP

A competitor holds her Bedlington terrier at the European Dog Show in Budapest on December 28, 2021. / Attila Kisbenedek / AFP

A competitor holds her Bedlington terrier at the European Dog Show in Budapest on December 28, 2021. / Attila Kisbenedek / AFP

Two German vizslas play at the European Dog Show in Budapest on December 28, 2021. / Attila Kisbenedek / AFP

Two German vizslas play at the European Dog Show in Budapest on December 28, 2021. / Attila Kisbenedek / AFP

A wire-haired fox terrier at the European dog show in Budapest on December 28, 2021. / Attila Kisbenedek / AFP

A wire-haired fox terrier at the European dog show in Budapest on December 28, 2021. / Attila Kisbenedek / AFP

An English pointing dog takes part in the European Dog Show in Budapest on December 28, 2021. / Attila Kisbenedek / AFP

An English pointing dog takes part in the European Dog Show in Budapest on December 28, 2021. / Attila Kisbenedek / AFP

For some people, their four-legged friends have been invaluable companionship during the pandemic and quarantines, which is why more and more people around the world have recently become dog owners.

“The number of dogs registered has increased dramatically and continues to grow. We are seeing an annual increase of 4,000 to 5,000 puppies registered in Hungary alone. Many people were looking for puppies during the pandemic. ‘they had to be able to go out of the house with a dog for a walk,’ explains Breatrix Arkossy, a dog breeder.

However, canine experts warn that ownership is a huge liability, not just for the duration of the pandemic, but for life. They cautioned against leaving the dogs alone all day and making sure they are out often to give them the best possible care.

The European dog show will run until December 31, 2021.