Shocking footage shows the moment two protesters stormed the arena at Crufts as the winner of the dog show was presented with its trophy.
The security scare happened just as Tease the whippet, owned by Yvette Short, was being announced as the overall winner of the prestigious show.
In footage captured on live TV, a protester holding a placard reading ‘Crufts canine eugenics’ sprinted onto the stage to disrupt the ceremony.
Within seconds the man was wrestled to the floor by several security guards at the NEC Birmingham.
Animal rights group Peta organised the stunt, which was carried out by activists from Vegan Strike.
Another video showed Ms Short, of Edinburgh, whisking two-and-a-half-year-old Tease out of harm’s way as the man ran past.
Seconds later, someone could be seen picking up the trophy to ensure it would not be damaged in the commotion.
The placard also included the logo of Peta, which has since claimed responsibility for the incident.
The organisation said that two activists from the group Vegan Strike rushed the floor to raise awareness of ‘unnatural breeding’.
Elisa Allen, Peta’s director, told Metro.co.uk: ‘Crufts glorifies pedigree fetishists’ twisted pursuit of the ‘perfect’ dog.
‘There’s nothing natural about breeding dogs with extreme and debilitating physical traits, and Peta urges everyone to stay away from this cruel beauty pageant.’
A spokesperson for Peta added: ‘Crufts causes further harm by sending the message that purebred dogs are more desirable than mixed-breeds, leading many people to buy ‘must-have’ breeds while thousands of healthy, lovable dogs languish in animal shelters, desperately in need of good homes.’
A spokesperson for Crufts 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 being 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.’
Vegan Strike describes itself as ‘a group of activists that travel across the world making direct actions and boycotting shows with animals, always in a peaceful way’.