The Crufts Best in Show award ceremony was disrupted when a protester from animal rights group PETA ran into the arena just as the winner was declared.

The man, who was holding a sign reading “Crufts: Canine Eugenics”, was swiftly tackled to the ground by security staff.

The winning two-and-a-half-year-old whippet bitch, Whippet Ch Collooney Tartan Tease JW, was taken to safety as the commotion unfolded.

Crufts organisers, the Kennel Club, said in a statement: “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.”

Violent antis try to wreck Crufts dog show