brnewcont

LINKS TO OPEN SHOWS
 

Archive

North of England Irish Terrier Club O/ Show 10
Terrier Breeds Of Ireland Open Show 10
Open Show DOTY Contest 10
Yorks & Eastern Counties Airedale T. C. 10
Worcester & Malvern CS 10
Northern Provincial BTC Open Ohow
West Bromwich & Wednusbry CS 10
Monmouthshire Show Society – Open Show
London & Home Counties Terrier 10
Birmingham & District Gundog & Terrier Club 10
The Pembrokeshire County Show 10
Northern Provincial BTC October Open Show
Wigan & District CS 10

 

 

 

 

 




 

 

 

 

 

 

RANDOM COAT TESTING – REGULATION F(B)

The Kennel Club confirms that next year it will continue vigorously to enforce its Regulation F(B)2 on the preparation of dogs for exhibition. Exhibitors are reminded that any contravention of this Regulation may result in disciplinary action under Kennel Club Rule A42.

No substance which alters the natural colour, texture or body of the coat may be present in a dog’s coat, nor may any substance which alters the natural colour of any external part of the dog be present on the dog, at any time during a show. All owners are therefore reminded to be vigilant to ensure that no such substance is present on any dog being exhibited.

Random testing will continue during 2011 at a selection of championship shows to ensure that judges are not deceived and that exhibitors are able to compete on a ‘level playing field’.

Go To Top Of Page


KC Disappointed Over Advisory Council Members

The Kennel Club says it is disappointed that only one breeder is among the founding members of the Dog Advisory Council.

It is also concerned that some of the members may not be in favour of pedigree dogs.

Last week the names were revealed of the new members, including that of Lesley Bloomfield, who has served as an officer of the English Springer Spaniel Club and acted as joint health co-ordinator on behalf of the eight UK English Springer Spaniel clubs.

The others are a senior lecturer in companion animal behaviour and welfare, a lecturer in animal behaviour, the veterinary director of a charity, a rescue and animal welfare worker, two geneticists, a specialist in animal welfare law and a veterinary neurologist.

This week the KC disclosed that it had put forward four potential members – its chairman Ronnie Irving, vice-chairman Mike Townsend, health and breeder services manager Bill Lambert and its own geneticist, Professor Jeff Sampson. None of them were chosen.

While voicing the KC’s reservations, Mr Irving said he did not doubt the first-rate academic qualifications of ‘most of those chosen’.

“However, we are concerned that some of those appointed have a past history of making what can only be regarded as anti-pedigree-dog noises,” he said.

“We are optimistic that they will all be able to leave such positions behind and will be truly independent of their current and previous associations in order to ensure the best future for dogs.

Panel

“It has to be said that we would have liked to see more dog breeders among those on the panel in order that there is a balanced membership base, and to this end several senior KC people, both staff and committee, put themselves forward. But none was appointed – perhaps because of a perceived lack of independence, or because one or two KC members are already included?”

Mr Irving said the KC was pleased Mrs Bloomfield had been appointed.

“But certainly we would have liked to see a much greater involvement of other experienced dog breeders so as to give added weight to the practical aspects of the problems we all face,” he said.
The KC is pleased that council chairman Professor Sheila Crispin believes the burning issues for the council to tackle are reportedly puppy farming and status dogs.

“We will, of course, continue to operate the regulations for KC-registered dogs and influence those who register dogs with us, mainly by reference to the advice given to it by its various experts and advisors, many of whom are independent and external to the KC and who sit on the various sub-groups of our Dog Health Group,” he said. “All of this care and attention ought to be good news for the future of both KC-registered pedigree dogs and dogs of all kinds.

“There is much work to be done and it is to be hoped that all involved will be able to work together in complementary ways and will use their respective expertise for the benefits of the overall welfare of dogs.”

Go To Top Of Page


Anonymous letter To Crufts Group Judge

An anonymous letter containing ‘malicious allegations’ about Kennel Club General Committee member Dr Ron James has been received by the Beagle Club.
It concerns Dr James’ past employment as a vet at Huntingdon Life Sciences (HLS) in Cambridgeshire, and has prompted a statement from the Kennel Club.

Dr James, who is judging the gundog group at Crufts next year and is secretary of Richmond Dog Show Society, said: “The KC is aware of the letter, and the statement has been agreed between us.”

He declined to comment further.

The KC said it was ‘a very emotive and complex issue’ but that Dr James’ past work had no direct link to his position at the KC or his involvement with Crufts.

“It is 20 years since Dr James resigned from employment with HLS, having worked for them over two periods – the first of which commenced back in 1975,” the statement said. “His role with HLS was in his capacity as a vet and not in any way as a dog breeder and enthusiast.

Regulated Products

“In his first period of employment his work was solely on pharmaceuticals and other regulated products as is required by UK law, and did not involve either cosmetics or household products. This work was carried out mainly on rats and mice under Home Office licence.

“When Dr James agreed to re-join HLS in 1984, he was tasked to develop and maintain operational procedures aimed at ensuring that no unjustified or unnecessary studies were undertaken and that all studies were conducted with full regard to Home Office requirements.

“Dr James has never made any secret of his work and is proud of his efforts to maintain rigorous standards of animal welfare during his time with the company.”

Since resigning from the company in 1990, Dr James – who has been a breeder and exhibitor of Pointers, Bullmastiffs and Basenjis – has worked as an independent advisor to organisations engaged solely in the development of human and veterinary medicines, the KC said.

~ “He has continued to contribute to the animal welfare debate by speaking on the subject at workshops and conferences and was an invited member of the British Veterinary Association’s Animal Welfare Foundation/Fund for the Replacement of Animals in Medical

Experiments(FRAME)/RSPCA/Universities Federation for Animal Welfare joint working group on refinement, which has published a series of reports setting out good practice for a range of husbandry and care practices with the aim of significant reductions in the overall impact of research on animals.

“The KC makes a significant annual financial contribution towards the running of FRAME and believes that this charity is critical to the future wellbeing of all animals.”

The KC said it and Dr James supported strongly the principles of the ‘three R’s’ which form the basis of FRAME’s work: refinement of scientific techniques, reduction in the numbers of animals used, and replacement of animal experimentation with alternative methods.

“While acknowledging the need for testing of certain products on higher animals – in line with Government policy – the KC believes that the use of dogs in all forms of research, for instance the development of vaccines and other drugs, should be kept to an absolute minimum,” the statement said.

“The KC takes a positive position against the use of dogs in the testing of cosmetics since there are other methods available which do not involve the use of animals, for the testing of such substances.”

A spokesman for the Beagle Club said: “Our club’s stance against, and the breeding of Beagles for, experimentation is well documented. We have received an anonymous letter making allegations about Dr James and deplore the use of anonymity to make malicious allegations about any individual.

“The club has nothing but respect for Dr James’ abilities as a championship show judge and feels because of the nature of the allegations that this is a matter entirely for him and the KC.”

Go To Top Of Page


KENNEL CLUB AGREES NEW APPROACH TO CAESAREAN SECTIONS

The Kennel Club has had discussions with the major veterinary organisations over restrictions on the number of litters born by caesarean section which may be registered from an individual bitch from 2012.

The Kennel Club has confirmed that it will no longer register any puppies born by caesarean section from any bitch which has previously had two such operations, except for scientifically proven welfare reasons and in such cases normally provided that the application is made prior to mating. Refusal to register a third or subsequent litters of puppies born by caesarean section would occur irrespective of whether the progeny from either of the first two operations had been registered with the Club.

Following discussions with the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, the British Veterinary Association and the British Small Animal Veterinary Association, the organisations have agreed to advise their members that any caesarean sections which they perform on a Kennel Club registered bitch should be reported to the Kennel Club.

To allow the reporting of such operations by veterinary surgeons, an additional section will be incorporated into the form which is presently completed to notify the Kennel Club of any operation which alters the natural conformation of a registered pedigree dog.

This policy will become effective for all litters born on or after 1st January 2012. Further details relating to the timing of reporting by veterinary surgeons will be announced in due course.

Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club Communications Director, said: “Adding the reporting of litters born by caesarean section to the paperwork already used by veterinary surgeons will go a long way to enabling us to achieve our objective of improving the health and welfare of all pedigree dogs.

“It is particularly vital that the Kennel Club knows as much as possible about surgical operations which alter a dog’s natural conformation, so that we can continue to ensure that only those pedigree dogs which are healthy are likely be used for future breeding.”

Peter Jinman OBE, President of the RCVS, said: “We are very pleased to see that the Kennel Club is taking steps to limit the number of litters which it will register born by caesarean section from a bitch. We are keen to support this move, although in time we would very much like the limit to be reduced to one caesarean only. But this is the first step, which demonstrates that we are all working towards the same end: an improvement in health for all dogs.”

The Kennel Club will amend its regulation B22c to cover the new policy regarding the registration of puppies born by caesarean section. The amended part of the regulation will read as follows:

‘The General Committee will not accept an application to register a litter when:-
(5) The dam has already had two litters delivered by caesarean section, save for scientifically proven welfare reasons and this only normally provided the application is made prior to the mating.’

The litter form to be completed by breeders will also be amended to incorporate the new policy. A new section will appear in red on the form asking the breeder if the litter was delivered as a result of a caesarean section, and whether this was elective or an emergency procedure. The form will request details of how many caesareans, including the litter in question, the bitch has had.

Guidance notes will also appear on the litter application form/online services relating to the above under the heading ‘Caesarean Sections’ and will confirm the revised Regulation B22c. All puppies born by caesarean section will be marked accordingly in the Breed Record Supplement.

The Kennel Club recognises that some breeds will be affected more than others by this new policy and intends to review its efficiency after a period of a year.

Go To Top Of Page


KENNEL CLUB TAKES THE LEAD ON LITTER LIMITS FOR BITCHES

The Kennel Club has announced that from 2012 it will normally register no more than four litters from any one bitch because of concerns that the current legal limit of six litters can potentially be detrimental to a bitch’s welfare.

The decision was made by the Kennel Club General Committee after receiving a recommendation from its Dog Health Group and will be effective for litters born on or after 1st January 2012.

Six litters per bitch is the current legal limit enshrined in the Breeding and Sale of Dogs (Welfare) Act 1999.

Bill Lambert, the Kennel Club’s Health and Breeder Services Manager, said: “The Kennel Club wants to ensure that all breeders put the health and welfare of their puppies and breeding bitches first and foremost, and this decision underlines our commitment to this issue.

“Whilst the law allows bitches to have six litters in a lifetime and our registration system has previously fallen in line with this, the vast majority of responsible breeders feel that this is too high and that there is potential for this to have a negative impact on the welfare of the bitch.

“Very serious consideration has to be given to the matter if a breeder wishes a bitch to have more than four litters but the Kennel Club may grant permission for this to happen if it believes that there is good and justifiable reason for doing so on a case by case basis.”

The Kennel Club has also urged the government to follow suit and to tighten up the law in order to help clamp down on puppy farmers.

Mr Lambert added: “Of course, this decision will sadly not impact on those people who do not register their litters with the Kennel Club, in particular puppy farmers who breed purely for profit and tend to show little consideration for an animal’s welfare. Legislation needs to be tightened so that these people can be brought to account.”

The Kennel Club has called for the principles and standards of the Kennel Club Accredited Breeder Scheme to be made mandatory for all dog breeders. This means that breeders would have to put the health and welfare of their puppies first, for example by giving their dogs the required health tests for their breed and ensuring that potential buyers see the puppies with their mothers and in their home environment. A petition with 15,000 signatures supporting this objective was handed in to Number Ten Downing Street just a year ago by Ian Cawsey MP.

Go To Top Of Page


Need For Group And BIS Judging Questioned? Let's Trial It Starting With Crufts 2011!

Would championship shows be better if there was no group judging and BIS?

This is the question Kennel Club chairman Ronnie Irving ponders over in his ‘From the chairman’ column in the Kennel Gazette this month. He said it has been argued that shows would be ‘much better places’ without groups, and that the breeds themselves might be ‘a great deal better off’ if group competitions didn’t exist at all.

In countries where championship show entries are relatively low and the competition in breeds is small, the group competition can be the only thing of interest to serious exhibitors, Mr Irving writes.
“In this country, with much stronger breed competition than is found at most ordinary overseas shows, winning in the breed classes is still very much more important to the average dog person than it is elsewhere.”

From the point of view of the show organisers, he wrote, ‘the need to have a fancy and flower-decorated’ ring for the group and BIS competitions could be eliminated, along with all of its associated costs.

“The need to pay the expenses of one, or even seven individual group judges could be avoided and the show organisers wouldn’t have to spend as much time worrying about whether or not each breed ring was going to finish on time,” Mr Irving said.

Anticlimax

“On the other hand, the show would end in an atmosphere of anticlimax and there would be even less spectacle able to attract the general public to attend canine events in the way we all want them to,” he added.

What benefit is there to each breed, he asked, and would elimination of groups make a difference to that? Views differ: some say group judging is a good way to asses a breed’s progress, or otherwise, and it is a good way to educate the public about that breed. But their critics say group competitions can produce ‘flashy, group-winning dogs who may be fine as generic show dogs but are not necessarily good specimens of the breed they represent’.

“They cite this phenomenon as reaching its greatest extreme in the US, where it is claimed by some people that generic group-winning dogs are being produced who, while they are showy and sound on the one hand may stray very far from ideal breed type on the other,” Mr Irving said.
There are also those who argue that ‘cut-throat and overly-competitive attitudes are more prevalent among the ‘glitterati’ who are regular group competitors than they are at other levels of the show world’, he continued.

“It is certainly the case that because this competitive element sometimes becomes too all-consuming I have had to write letters to several high-profile people at this level reminding them of the need for them to behave with the greatest possible integrity and to be seen to be doing so as well,” Mr Irving said.

“The critics of group competitions also contend that the average dog exhibitor regards that particular section of the show as nice to have but largely irrelevant to them. “Certainly if you consider it, the average championship show probably has at least 5,000 people present each day, but the group and best in show judging at most shows only attract a very small proportion of that number.”
But, like it or not, the group competition is here to stay, he concluded.

“However, those who stage it, those who compete in it regularly and those who promote it in the canine press should perhaps stop and think occasionally,” he wrote. “Are they giving it more attention than it deserves? Does it figure high in the thinking of the vast majority of exhibitors? And is it always a force for good?

“Judges, show organisers and top level exhibitors ought not just to assume that it is regarded as highly relevant to everyone. It probably isn’t as important as they think and maybe ought to be kept in rather better perspective.”

Go To Top Of Page


Championship Show Secretaries’ Forum To Meet At Kennel Club

The Forum of general championship show secretaries is to meet again, this time at the Kennel Club’s London offices.
The forum met thrice yearly - most often at Stafford showground – until Keith Nathan resigned as Bath secretary, but it is understood that the secretaries feel a meeting is now necessary to tackle various issues facing them.
This time, however, it is to be held at Clarges Street, and the KC’s roadshow manager, Sue Sampson, is to give those present a 15-minute presentation. A KC spokesman said this would be about the support the KC wants to offer the societies.
We understand that the agenda items for November 10 include a tiered scale of entry fees, the possibility of holding back-to-back shows, photography and filming at shows – this is thought to have been prompted by the filming of Chinese Crested at Leeds this year – removal passes, single CC allocation, and the amount of paperwork that must be filled in for the KC.
In 2007, shortly after the meetings began, KC chairman Ronnie Irving wrote to the secretaries saying they were at risk of breaking KC rules, and that discussion had strayed into areas which should be dealt with by the KC’s Shows Liaison Council. He also objected to the ‘much more formal basis’ on which the forum was now organising itself.
Although Mr Irving had given his blessing at first to such a group being formed, at the time he said that had he known what was to be discussed he would have responded ‘very differently’. It is understood that the letter caused some anger among forum members. But the recent decision to hold the meeting at the KC has prompted more secretaries than ever before to take part, including representatives from Scotland.
The forum’s aim is to ‘enhance the facilities for exhibitors and the overall general improvement of general and group championship shows through the exchange of information and views of the member societies’.

Sharing Ideas

Leeds ch show secretary Liz Stannard, who is likely to chair the meeting, said the meeting was overdue.
“It was suggested by the secretaries that it might be better to hold it at the KC so we could show that we weren’t doing anything anti-KC,” she said. “Somebody from the KC will be present and is going to give a bit of a talk. I know one or two things we are going to discuss are KC things.
“A number of secretaries said that at the next meeting they would like to talk about how to encourage people to championship shows, and we will probably discuss how to pool things, such as bulk buying, rather than all the societies buying things individually. If we pool ideas we could save money. We’re just trying to help each other.”
Mrs Stannard said the meeting was to help the societies which were struggling more than others.
“I think it’s a good, sensible idea for the KC to talk to us. Ronnie Irving was not very happy in the first place but we are not marching in like a union. It was he who said we should take steps to encourage more people to our shows, and make them more friendly, and that’s what we are trying to do.”
Former General Committee member Jean Lanning said she believed that the meeting was ‘the most crucial in modern times for the future of general championship shows’.
“We must trust that nothing will be off limits for discussion, as this will be an opportunity not to be missed either by the KC or the societies involved,” she said.
Mr Irving said; “The meeting is not an official meeting with the KC. It is a regular meeting of show societies, this year being held at the KC.
“This year we have agreed to allow the shows to hold their meeting at Clarges Street. We then suggested we should perhaps take the opportunity to talk to them about a couple of important positive issues.”

Go To Top Of Page


Docked Breed Exhibitors Protest At Show Exclusion

Owners of legally-docked dogs are making an orchestrated protest about being unable to exhibit at Crufts and other championship shows.
They are hoping that their views will be taken seriously and that the societies may find an alternative to charging admission – the factor which by law prevents legally-docked dogs being shown.
In addition to Crufts – where legally-docked dogs can be seen in the booths at Discover Dogs, and taking part in other disciplines such as agility, or flyball – the shows under the spotlight are Windsor, Leeds, LKA, East of England and Bournemouth.
The basic thrust of the exhibitors’ argument is that their legally-docked dogs are being denied the chance to show simply because of a gate admission charge, and they believe the shows should be looking for an alternative means of income.
These owners are now creating their own breed databases to include the details of dogs who because of their docked tails cannot be shown at certain shows.
This, they say, will enable societies to see how much income they are losing by not including these dogs, and that if they can be included, coupled with other methods of obtaining visitor income, the same revenue could be brought in as the standard gate admission.

‘Other methods’

Sharon Pinkerton of the Bareve German Wirehaired Pointers said entries to shows were falling and major sponsors were withdrawing.
“So I would imagine there aren’t as many healthy balance sheets out there as there used to be. Therefore, it is more important than ever before to keep up the income, which is probably why the show societies which charge gate admission feel this must continue.
“However, there are other methods of raising funds for visitors, either by charging a car park fee for non-exhibitors – many exhibitors are now printing out their own passes, so to include an obligatory car park pass for all exhibitors would not be an additional show cost to many societies – or sell the visitors a show catalogue sufficiently priced to include the normal admission cost.
“Many sporting events and game fairs are charged per car so it is already a recognised method of raising income.
“My breed is one of those which has had our CCs removed from two shows where there is no gate admission, yet we have four sets where we cannot show our legally-docked dogs, which has greatly affected the entry. At one of these shows this year our entry dropped to 16 dogs; how long will it be with entries as small as this before the KC removes even more of our CC allocation?
“We are forever supportive of Crufts as being the ‘greatest dog show on the earth’, yet with its continued gate admission issue these legally-docked dogs will never be given the chance to compete there. Reputable breeders invest a lot of time, effort and money promoting their own dogs in whatever arenas are available to us – show, field, agility etc – very often with the same dogs completely fulfilling the KC mantra of ‘fit for function’. There are still breeds out there where the same dog can and does win at the highest level in the ring, field and agility yet we will ultimately be penalised for having these dogs.”
Two years ago Miss Pinkerton left a litter undocked; due to recurring damage, three of the puppies had to have their tails amputated as adults and three others are suffering similarly and may have to undergo amputation.
“The whole issue of docking is considered to be a welfare issue so why allow adult dogs to go through a major amputation due to an injury which could have been preventable,” she asked. “We are legally still allowed to dock providing we come up with the necessary proof which we do, therefore we should legally be allowed to show. It is still down to individual decisions as to whether breeders have their dogs docked so why are we being victimised?”
Lisa Baker of the Verwegen Weimaraners said one of her dogs had qualified for Crufts ‘numerous times’.
“But due to her being docked she can never attend,” she said. “The KC’s saying ‘fit for function, fit for life’ couldn’t be more appropriate for those who both work and show their dogs, but how can those who work and dock show this publicly when they are banned from being exhibited!
“The Government is completely contradicting itself by allowing docked dogs to compete in agility at Crufts when working docked dogs can’t be exhibited, not only in their breed classes but also the British Association of Shooting and Conservation working classes too. It is also double standards when a docked dog, post ban, can be ‘on display’ at Discover Dogs at Crufts but can’t be exhibited. What’s the difference? Why can’t the shows find other means of charging the public as do the shows that allow docked dogs?”
Wendy Oxman of the Wendavis German Wirehaired Pointers said she had shown a puppy at every possible championship show this year, winning best puppy in show on the way and qualifying for Crufts.
“But of course I can’t show her at Crufts,” she said. “The KC needs to look into this problem and come up with a solution which will allow all dogs to be able to compete in all aspects of the show.
“In the not-so-distant future, the entries will drop drastically in certain breeds, and as the pre-docking ban dogs get older and retire from the ring there will be no other quality dogs to replace them.”
Roger and Val Mann, of the Valger German Shorthaired Pointers, said they dock their dogs so they can fulfil their working role without sustaining damage to their tails.
“It is very disappointing to be excluded from exhibiting at Crufts and other shows where the public pay admission,” the Manns said. “We could take a docked dog to agility and flyball at Crufts but can’t exhibit there.
“With a large number of GSPs now being docked, in only a few years the entry at Crufts and other shows which charge admission will surely decline. The majority of shows allow us to exhibit; perhaps DEFRA should look again at this issue, as there seems to be different rules for different activities with the same dog.”
This week the KC said it had looked at ways in which these owners could show their dogs at Crufts.
“But doing so simply isn’t practical for a show which relies on the public gate in order to finance so many things undertaken by the KC, which are important for the whole of the world of dogs,” said spokesman Caroline Kisko. “We are aware that a number of shows have substituted income from gate fees with parking charges thus getting around the law, but for Crufts this simply isn’t possible as the parking charges are levied by the NEC.
“If Crufts were to lose income from visitors to the show it would need to make up that lost income through charging higher entry fees. We doubt that owners of undocked dogs would be happy with the idea of subsidising in this way in order to enable owners of docked dogs to show their dogs.”

Considered very carefully

Irene Terry, secretary of Windsor, said her committee had considered very carefully.
“We have received petitions from people but economically it doesn’t make sense,” she said. “Windsor in particular is in the middle of a popular and busy tourist area with a free car park and we do get a good gate because of our position.
“Finance is very important to us and I don’t think, in pure economy, the number of entries of legally-docked dogs would offset what we get for admission. We have looked at it carefully and like all societies we try our very, very best for exhibitors but this is simply not economically viable for Windsor, which is a fairly expensive show to run.
“We have considered it but we cannot change our policy at the present time.”
Leeds secretary Liz Stannard said she had received letters from exhibitors of legally-docked dogs.
“And I have put those letters in front of our committee,” she said. “But we are talking about a minimal number of dogs. I sit on the (KC’s) Show Executive Committee so I see the docking applications come in and I know how many dogs get permission to be docked by vets. It’s not hundreds. To lose the public gate at a venue like ours is not financially viable.
“Some shows charge car parking instead of admission, but that’s not an option for us because our car park belongs to Harewood House and they would take the money if we did that.
“I’m very sorry for the exhibitors of legally-docked breeds, and it’s a mad rule, imposed by the Government.”
However, Bournemouth may soon be changing its policy. “We are having a committee meeting in January at which it will be discussed, and I am 90 per cent sure we will do away with it,” said secretary Denise Courtney. “I think it would affect our entry in the end because there are so many docked breeds.
“(The admission charge) does help our income – a lot of the public go – and we pay a lot for our New Forest site, but I think we will be doing away with the gate money. However, it has to be a committee decision.
“I can sympathise with people but it does make a lot of difference to our income. We are all struggling.”
LKA secretary Jane Valentine was unable to and we were unable to speak to anyone from East of England.

Go To Top Of Page


Choice Of Judge Key To Future Of Shows

"The choice of judges officiating at group and general championship shows gives rise to more verbal complaints than any other topic to the Kennel Club"; said Chairman Ronnie Irving.

Writing in this month’s Kennel Gazette, Mr Irving said surveys show that exhibitors list the judge as the most important factor when deciding whether to go to a show but that not all championship show societies were bearing that in mind.

If they continue to ignore this fact, he warned, the future of some shows may be bleak.
“Having studied the statistics in my own breed I can tell you that some judges always attract higher than average entries for whatever show they are judging, while others almost invariably attract smaller than average entries for the same shows,” he wrote.

He quoted The Dog Press (Dog World) which wrote recently: “Exhibitors as a whole do have a sense of which societies take care over the choice of judges for both CC and non-CC breeds and which (on the other hand) sometimes have an unfortunate tendency to ask people who are in a position to ask their officers in return.”

A Bad Record

“This is the one factor about which people complain to me most,” Mr Irving wrote. “Some shows – and if you look through the lists of judges you can often easily guess which – appear to have a very bad record when it comes to swapping judging appointments.

“If they are currently suffering more than most from poorer than normal entries, perhaps they should ask themselves why?”

This is not a new phenomenon, Mr Irving wrote; recognising this, the KC insists that all championship shows keep a record of the judges proposed by committee members. The KC can ask to see these records.

“Judging by some of the strong comments flying around accusing some committees and officers of abusing their positions in this regard, perhaps now is the time for the KC’s General Committee to call in these records and carry out an exercise to see if there is any truth in the accusations,” Mr Irving said.

Swapping

Unfair swapping of appoint-ments was not the only place where more responsibility needs to be exercised, he continued.

“The sheer lack of interest that some shows seem to have in getting the right judges for breeds is demonstrated by the way that often the same judges – even those unconnected to other societies – appear at certain shows year after year, seemingly being recycled from one breed to another,” he wrote.

Another issue vexing the chairman is that of judges being ‘repeatedly’ physically or mentally unfit.

“Here it is not only the inviting society that has to bear responsibility – after all general championship shows cannot be expected to be expert in every breed,” Mr Irving said. “Judges too must play their part; there are many very good and well-respected judges who have known when to stand down and have done so, but those that don’t ought to have more sense than carry on insisting that they are fit to judge when they should have given up.”

Breed clubs should be much more forceful in persuading people to retire from their judging lists and accept a position on their judges’ roll of honour instead, he said, and friends and family too should play a part. All current judges’ contracts require that judges advise the host society of any change to their circumstances which might ‘impair their ability to carry out the appointment’.

“Surely, armed with such regulations, societies should be able to ensure that their exhibitors do get value in return for their costly entry fees, and that they do get the quality of judges that they expect and deserve,” Mr Irving added. “The KC, having created the framework of regulations, should be able to expect societies to respect the needs of their exhibitors and to ensure that their record of fairness in selecting judges is never able to be brought into question.

“As in other matters, justice in the selection of judges should be both done and be seen to be done. If they do not hurry to recognise this, the future for some shows is going to be bleak.”


Go To Top Of Page


NEW DNA TESTING SCHEMES

At the request of the Glen of Imaal Terrier Association, the Kennel Club has recently approved a new official DNA testing scheme for crd3. This test is offered by OptiGen and further details can be obtained from them at www.optigen.com

After consultation with Standard Poodle breed clubs through their health co-ordinator, the KC has agreed to record the results for vWD (type1). This test is offered by Laboklin (www.laboklin.co.uk) and Vetgen (www.vetgen.com) and further details can be obtained from them.

Copies of all future test certificates issued by the relevant laboratories will be sent directly to the Kennel Club, where the test result will be added to the dog’s details on the registration database. This will trigger the publication of the test result in the next available Breed Records Supplement, and the result will also appear on any new registration certificate issued for the dog and on the registration certificates of any future progeny of the dog.

Owners who have already had their dog(s) DNA tested for these conditions can send copies of the test certificate into the Kennel Club and the data will be added to the dog’s registration details. In addition, if the owner includes the original registration certificate for the dog (not a copy) then a new registration certificate will be issued, with the DNA result on it, free of charge. Please send the DNA test certificates to:

Health & Breeder Services Department
The Kennel Club
1 – 5 Clarges Street
Piccadilly
London
W1J 8AB

For further information on this scheme please contact Professor Jeff Sampson at
jeff.sampson@thekennelclub.org.uk.

Go To Top Of Page


Appeal Fails For Dogue Breeders Now Ordered To Pay £1000.00 Costs

Dogue de Bordeaux breeders and exhibitors - Helen Johnson and Mark Foster who appealed against the findings of a Kennel Club disciplinary hearing - have failed to get their three-year ban overturned and have had £1,000 costs slapped on them as well.

As the tribunal’s decision was revealed Helen Johnson (Cascob) stood and told the panel they had ‘sentenced 22 dogs to death’.

Her partner Mark Foster had walked out of the board room several minutes earlier.

At an A42 Disciplinary Sub-Committee meeting in May, Miss Johnson and Mr Foster were fined £1,500 in addition to the three-year ban and other penalties after a complaint against them was upheld. That complaint stated that they had behaved discreditably and prejudicially to the interests of the canine world in that over the course of a year they successively entered a number of licensed events with several unregistered dogs in overt disregard and breach of KC regulations.

DNA verified

The pair, of Fellbeck, Pateley Bridge, Harrogate appealed against the finding and the penalties, and the appeal hearing took place on Monday. Chairing the panel was Mike Townsend sitting with Dr Ruth Barbour and Gerald King. Representing the KC was barrister Robert Dalling, and Miss Johnson and Mr Foster’s counsel was Ben Williams. Both Miss Johnson and Mr Foster were present.

The background to the May hearing is that in June 2008, the KC’s General Committee instructed that all Ms Johnson’s future litters should be DNA verified. Subsequently, Ms Johnson said it was not possible to DNA test her current litter as the sire had died. But the KC’s case was that she continued to show the dogs despite the fact they were not registered.

The May hearing was told that dogs belonging to the pair – including C Vanilla Sky and C Crazy Candy – from litters born in October and December 2008 had taken part in nine shows. On the entry forms beside the name of Vanilla Sky were the initials NAF, TAF or RAF – name applied for, transfer applied for and registration applied for. There were errors on some of the forms – they were not signed, dates of birth were wrong, and more than one appeared to be a late entry. Miss Johnson claimed she had not submitted one entry form; the handwriting was not hers or her partner’s and there were errors. She said she accepted that she had entered the dogs at Leeds, although Vanilla Sky was not shown that day.

She also admitted showing Vanilla Sky at Midland Counties and C Crazy Candy at the breed club open show.

She said she had shown some of the dogs who had not been registered, and that she had put RAF when that was not the case. She said she took Vanilla Sky to Leeds but had not shown her because it was too hot.

The tribunal panel was told Ms Johnson had admitted that on six occasions dogs were entered and shown when no application had been made to register them. She also said that on other occasions she had not filled in the entry forms – she claimed they may have been forged – or shown the dogs. But despite that there appeared to be several rule breaches.

On Monday at the appeal hearing Mr Williams said the grounds of appeal were that the KC’s decision was made without reference to relevant factors; there was relevant new evidence; and the penalty imposed was disproportionate.

He explained that in 2008 Miss Johnson had been expecting twins whom she lost 20 weeks into her pregnancy.

“It is that background which covers the entire chronology of events because it caused great deal of anguish and upset,” he said. “Miss Johnson struggled and became depressed and withdrawn and having to deal with her passion and livelihood and to submit registrations in respect of litters and on going problems of running the kennels.

“She submitted the registration documents for eight puppies in October 2008. Because she was in and out of hospital and perhaps not of a clear mind there was limited correspondence, but there was written correspondence and a great deal of phone conversation throughout October 2008 onwards.
“There is a 12-month period in which to register puppies and that ran out in September 2009. Miss Johnson, as a result of the trauma, developed pneumonia that month and was hospitalised.”

Mr Foster had an ongoing illness, he said, which prevented him from coming to the last hearing.

Miss Johnson had not intended to admit showing any of the puppies, Mr Williams said, but because she was not of a clear mind she was ill prepared, and what she said was taken out of context.

Miss Johnson did submit a request to register the October litter but this was either lost or not received by the KC, he said. He produced a proof of postage document which bore a date but did not say what was being sent to the KC. He also produced a letter from Miss Johnson, sent to a puppy buyer, which said registration had been applied for.

All these problems were compounded by the DNA requirement which, Mr Williams said, had been unilaterally imposed without Miss Johnson being given an opportunity to state her case.

The second ground for appeal – new evidence – were character references which showed she was an honest individual and took her duties seriously, Mr Williams said.

The penalty had been disproportionate, he said, and a three-year ban ‘draconian’ and ‘entirely irrational’.

Mr Dalling responded to Mr Williams’ speech saying that Miss Johnson had understood the first hearing and had made admissions which were ‘clear and unequivocal’. She also gave contradictory evidence.

He stressed that in May the KC panel had understood her problems and when she had become distressed had offered her a break.

He was not convinced that Miss Johnson had been labouring under any misapprehension about what she was saying at the first hearing.

Mr Dalling added the proof of postage did not help as it was impossible to know what had been sent, but that if that had been the case it flew in the face of the rest of the evidence in the case.

Reduced

After deliberation, the panel said it had decided that all the previous penalties should stand and that costs should be awarded to the KC in the sum of £1,000. However, Mr Foster’s ban had been reduced to one year.

Mr Townsend said that with regard to the first ground of appeal it had been suggested that at the Disciplinary Sub-Committee hearing Miss Johnson had agreed and made admissions to facts which were not true in admitting to having shown certain dogs when no attempt had been made to register the dogs.

“Mr Williams stated that this was untrue, and that in fact an attempt to register had been made,” Mr Townsend said. “Mr Williams… gave us a picture of certain private serious difficulties which have caused an emotional strain on Miss Johnson such as to render her not sufficiently well prepared for a hearing either emotionally or in terms of preparation.

“It is this tribunal’s view that Miss Johnson was both sufficiently aware of the nature of the (May) enquiry… and that indeed she was sufficiently fit to give comprehensive and consistent responses to the questions being asked.

“We have heard nothing to persuade us that the admissions being (in May) were not full and complete admissions by Miss Johnson – and that she otherwise would have been able to indicate that a registration application had been made if that were indeed so.”

With regard to the second ground of appeal, relevant new evidence, the new evidence presented in the form of (the puppy buyer’s) letter suggesting he was advised that an application to register had been made appeared to be countered by a later, contradictory email.”

It had been suggested that the proof of posting dated December 3, 2008 could have been the litter registration for the October 2008 litter.

“This does not give the confirmation of the actual documentation being forwarded,” Mr Townsend said.

“However, it seems to us that for this to have been a litter registration application would be entirely inconsistent with a number of phone conversations with the KC beyond December 2008.

“As Mr Williams said, there are two sides to this story; the KC’s position is backed up by written evidence consistent with the position being that Miss Johnson had been concerned about making a late registration, indicating that no previous registration application had been made.

“We do not find the suggestion or interpretation that Miss Johnson meant that the registration had in some way not yet been completed and was only delayed, rather than not made at all, to be persuasive. We find Miss Johnson’s suggested current position to be rather confusing if not illogical and contradictory.”

The tribunal panel was not satisfied that sufficient evidence had been presented to confirm that a litter registration application was made by Miss Johnson prior to the entries and exhibition of Vanilla Sky to the number of events over a considerable number of months. This was not applicable to Crazy Candy… who was exhibited at a licensed event without any attempt to register the dog.”

Mr Townsend said the panel appreciated Miss Johnson and Mr Foster’s difficult personal circumstances.

‘Overt disregard’

“But we do not believe that this is sufficient to discharge them from the allegations and that the entry to events with unregistered dogs was indeed in overt disregard of the regulations,” he said.

“The tribunal has noted the lack of responsiveness by Miss Johnson until the last minute and noted her ability to attend and exhibit at events during the self-same period and find that to be an incongruous position.”

With regard to the appeal ground of disproportionality, Mr Townsend said that exhibition at licensed events by registered dogs was ‘a fundamental given’ and to proceed and act in contravention of that position was an ‘extremely serious’ matter.

“In all circumstances we consider the Disciplinary Sub-Committee decision to have been safe and have heard nothing to persuade us to remit the matter for a fresh hearing,” he said. “Nor are we persuaded that the penalty imposed was disproportionate in terms of Miss Johnson and that being so the appeal is not upheld.”

Go To Top Of Page


INVITE TO GO BEHIND THE SCENES AND DISCOVER
‘WHAT’S THE POINT OF THE KENNEL CLUB?'

BBC Radio 4’s programme on Tuesday 7th September, What is the Point of the Kennel Club, with Quentin Letts, explored the Kennel Club’s purpose and its relevance in today’s society.

The programme recognised that having the broad remit of ‘protecting and promoting the general wellbeing of dogs’ means that the Kennel Club is tasked with a wide range of functions. That is why it is inviting any interested parties to come along to the next tours of the Kennel Club on 22nd September and 15th October 2010 to discover more.

Aside from running the world’s greatest dog show, dfs Crufts, the Kennel Club has many other functions which people are invited to hear more about on the Kennel Club tour. This includes running the Kennel Club Charitable Trust, which invests money into health research and dog welfare charities, committing breeders to high levels of care through its Accredited Breeder Scheme as well as influencing the government on dog welfare issues.

The programme explored the important – and sometimes difficult - place that the Kennel Club occupies in guiding and influencing breed clubs in order to create the best outcome for dogs.

Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club Secretary, said: “As the programme recognised, at the Kennel Club’s heart are programmes and investments in education, training and health initiatives which help to ensure that dogs live healthy, happy lives with responsible owners.

“We have achieved many things over the years for the benefit of dogs, from influencing legislation and conducting vital research into dog health all the way through to encouraging people to be responsible dog owners and breeders to breed responsibly.

“Recent years have quite rightly seen a public spotlight shone on health issues surrounding pedigree dogs and the Kennel Club works closely with other organisations and individuals to ensure that these issues are addressed.

“We would like to invite people to come along to the Kennel Club and to talk to us about the exciting initiatives and projects that we are working on that will help to give dogs the healthy, happy lives that they deserve.”

Although not a statutory body, the Kennel Club can achieve its purpose of improving the health and welfare of dogs in a number of ways - through influencing, helping and working with breed clubs, breeders, dog buyers, the government and other organisations.

Breed Clubs - There is much mutual respect and understanding between the Breed Clubs and the Kennel Club to achieve the best outcome for dogs. For example, very many of the German Shepherd Dog Clubs have signed an undertaking to recognise that more needs to be done to address health issues within the breed. But where Clubs are intransigent the Kennel Club will – and has – used the threat of withdrawing its leading award, Challenge Certificates, until such time as it is satisfied that the appropriate steps are being taken to safeguard the breed’s health.

Government - The Kennel Club seeks to influence the government on numerous dog welfare issues. Most recently the Kennel Club has succeeded in influencing the Welsh Assembly to ban electric shock collars and it has been instrumental in developing Lord Resedale’s Dog Control Bill, which has just had its second reading in the House of Lords.

Breeders – Breeders register their puppies with the Kennel Club voluntarily and there are very many irresponsible breeders outside of the Kennel Club’s fold. But the Kennel Club Accredited Breeder Scheme was established in 2004 to help responsible breeders to join together as one recognisable group for the benefit of puppy buyers. They abide by certain conditions which ensure their dogs are given the best chance of leading healthy, happy lives, such as having the required health tests carried out on their dogs and allowing a Kennel Club inspector access to their premises. The Kennel Club encourages responsible breeders to join the scheme through a range of incentives, such as greater prominence on its online Find a Puppy Service. Dog show judges have been trained to ensure that only healthy dogs win and that is another way that all breeders are encouraged to breed healthy dogs.

Puppy buyers – The Kennel Club uses its annual Discover Dogs event at Earls Court, London to teach people about which breed is right for them and how to buy responsibly. It also provides and licenses services that will help people to properly look after their dogs. This includes the Good Citizen Dog Training Scheme, which is the largest dog training programme in the UK, and agility clubs which help people to ‘Keep Fit With Fido’ and give their dogs the physical and mental exercise that they need. It also uploads the health test results of every Kennel Club registered dog online to help puppy buyers to make responsible decisions.

Other organisations - The Kennel Club works closely with veterinary and charitable organisations. It runs health testing schemes in conjunction with the British Veterinary Association, and created a Canine Genetics Centre with the Animal Health Trust which will investigate 25 inherited diseases over the next five years and develop, where possible, appropriate health screening tests.

Go To Top Of Page


KENNEL CLUB ASKS SHOW SOCIETIES TO PUBLISH JUDGING TIMES

The Kennel Club is urging more General & Group Championship Show Societies to consider publishing a provisional order of judging times in advance of their shows.
The request follows a recent meeting of the Kennel Club Show Executive Sub-Committee, where it was suggested that exhibitors need to have better indication of when their breed(s) are to be judged at shows.

Many exhibitors travel great distances in order to exhibit their dogs at shows, and may be left in a quandary as to whether or not they should book overnight accommodation or face a long and late drive home, when having no idea as to what time their breed is likely to be judged.

Those General & Group Championship Show Societies which do not already do so, should consider sending out the list of breeds, the number of dogs entered and ring allocations with the exhibitor passes, allowing exhibitors to have some idea of when their breed might be judged. It was also suggested that those societies that were unable to post this information, should publish the information in the dog press.

The Kennel Club is aware that this may prove difficult for some societies, and that judging times may be subject to change on the day of the show. However, the Kennel Club believes that a provisional order of judging is of great assistance to exhibitors.

[This has been long overdue in the asking. For far too long the hard pressed exhibitor has been treated like mindless idiots by show societies] Editor.

Go To Top Of Page


WE MUST ACT NOW TO PREVENT ANOTHER TRAGEDY
SAYS KENNEL CLUB AFTER KILMARNOCK DOG ATTACK

The Kennel Club is saddened to hear of the dog attack involving a ten year old girl in Kilmarnock and believes that it reaffirms the need for new legislation to deal with such incidents across the UK. This is the second dog attack in Scotland this week, which have involved two different breeds.

The Kennel Club has long been campaigning for a change in the law regarding dangerous dogs and had considerable input into the Control of Dogs (Scotland) Act which recently passed through the Scottish Parliament but is not due to come into force until February 2011.

The Control of Dogs (Scotland) Act will place more emphasis on prevention of dog attacks by shifting the emphasis towards owner responsibility and tackling dangerous dog aggression at the earliest stage of bad behaviour. This is in contrast to current legislation which means that already overstretched police resources are wasted on seizing particular breeds that are labelled as dangerous, regardless of the dog’s behaviour.

It will also allow for prosecutions to be made in cases where an incident has occurred on private property, as is believed to be the case in this instance, as well as in public places.

Kennel Club Communications Director, Caroline Kisko said “We must act now and change the sadly ineffective Dangerous Dogs legislation across the whole of the UK if we are to prevent further tragedies from occurring like the ones which resulted in the deaths of John Paul Massey, Ellie Lawrenson and others.

“This dog attack is said to have involved a Japanese Akita, just days after another tragic attack involving a pair of Rottweilers. This simply proves that any breed of dog can be dangerous if it is in the wrong hands. People deserve to feel safe around dogs and the new legislation cannot come soon enough.

“This new legislation goes a long way towards protecting the public through tougher action at the first signs of dangerous behaviour. Owners of aggressive or violent dogs of any kind will be brought to account, which in turn will prevent a large number of attacks by dealing with problem behaviour at the first signs of aggression rather than when an attack has taken place.”

The Kennel Club continues to play an active role in lobbying against the injustices of the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 and runs the secretariat for the Dangerous Dogs Act Study Group (DDASG) which includes other organisations such as Dogs Trust, Blue Cross, Battersea Dogs and Cats Home and Wood Green Animal Shelter. The DDASG established objectives for a review of dangerous dog legislation and helped to draft the original Dog Control Bill which was taken up in Scotland initially by Alex Neill MSP and continued by Christine Grahame MSP.

The Kennel Club together with the DDASG are also supporting the Dog Control Bill, a similar piece of legislation in Westminster focusing on deed not breed, which is due to begin Committee Stage in the House of Lords later this year.
For further information on the Kennel Club’s campaign to change current dangerous dog legislation, visit www.thekennelclub.org.uk/kccampaigns.

Go To Top Of Page


Study group chairman gives thoughts on the proposed Dog Control Bill

The Dog Control Bill. The proposed piece of legislation to which many anti-Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 (DDA) groups are pinning their hopes – will still be alive and kicking in the Houses of Parliament following the summer recess.

Lord Redesdale’s Private Member’s Bill has received its Second Reading in the House of Lords and will enter the committee stage on Parliament’s return, ahead of a Third Reading in the Lords.
If all these stages are completed successfully they will be repeated in the House of Commons before the Bill becomes law.

Members of the Dangerous Dogs Act Study Group (DDASG), which includes the Kennel Club, are backing this Bill as a way to dispose of the hated DDA, and here DDASG chairman Chris Laurence reveals his thoughts on the subject.

It is generally accepted that the DDA is the most discredited piece of legislation on the Statute Book.

The DDASG has been considering how better legislation could be formulated since 2003 and has had considerable input to a carefully considered Dog Control Bill which has been introduced by Lord Redesdale as a Private Member’s Bill.

The Bill is based on the principle of ‘deed not breed’ as DDASG entirely accepts that a dog’s behaviour cannot be assessed simply by the way the dog looks. The Bill also seeks to ensure that owners behave responsibly and properly control their dogs while at the same time protecting dogs that behave as dogs. It seems to DDASG that dogs should be properly controlled wherever they are and that owners who fail to do so should be encouraged to do so.

In the Bill the primary requirements are that a dog is not allowed to be dangerously out of control, or encouraged to be aggressive to people or other animals, or to keep a dog who has actually attacked a person. That would all apply anywhere, not just in a public place. Other animals for those purposes are restricted to those protected by the Animal Welfare Act so a dog can still chase a rat. In many respects the Bill is similar to the new Dog Control (Scotland) Act which comes into effect next year.

Dogs are also protected from the over-zealous officer by writing into the Bill specific circumstances when a dog can be excused for being aggressive. A dog who bites a burglar or a mugger does not commit an offence as the burglar or mugger is the person in the wrong. Equally, police and service dogs are protected. If the dog is attacked by a person and bites back no offence is committed. These rules achieve a sensible balance between protecting the public from unwarranted dog attacks and allowing dogs to behave normally.

However, the Bill also expects an owner to behave responsibly. If a dog is known to be aggressive with strangers it is not unreasonable to expect an owner to ensure that visitors, such as the postman, can approach a property safely. Restricting the dog to the back garden is the responsible action to take.

Individual Needs

The primary means of ensuring owners are responsible is the ability of appropriate authorised persons to issue a Dog Control Notice. Although the format of the notice would be set out by the Government, the content can be tailored to the needs of the individual dog. It might be as simple as the use of a muzzle at appropriate times, or the maintenance of a dog-proof fence round a garden, or a requirement to undertake some training and proof of competence such as the Kennel Club Good Dog Citizen Scheme. Councils authorising people to issue such notices are required to ensure they know what they’re talking about in relation to dog training and control.

Any dog who is the subject of a Dog Control Notice will have to be microchipped to ensure that it can be identified in future. That will ensure that the correct dog is dealt with. The local authority will be required to keep records of dogs that are subject to notices and so repeat ‘offenders’ can be easily identified. If the person on whom the notice is served fails to comply with it he will be liable to prosecution and could be fined or, in extreme cases, imprisoned.

A comparison between the Bill and existing legislation is below. This shows that, if the Bill is passed it will completely change the manner in which owners of dogs who are out of control will be dealt with. The emphasis in the Bill is on the prevention of dog bites rather than criminalising dog owners after the dog has bitten and another child has been injured:

What constitutes a dangerous dog? 1871 Dog Act – any dog out of control can be ordered to be kept under proper control or be destroyed. DDA – section one, breed specific – 1991 mandatory destruction; section three, any dog, presumption of destruction for aggravated case. Dog Control Bill – any dog dangerously out of control.

Is the Act breed specific? 1871 – no. DDA – yes. Dog Control Bill – no.

Permanent identification? – 1871 – none specified. DDA – microchip and tattoo. Dog Control Bill – microchip for dogs who are subject to a control order.

Does the Act apply on private property? 1871 – yes. DDA – no. Dog Control Bill – yes.

Who is expected to implement the controls? 1871 – not specified but assumed to be the police and courts. DDA – police, persons appointed by a local authority and courts. Dog Control Bill – the Secretary of State will state those organisations she feels should implement the Bill. Courts will only be involved if an order is refused or breached.

Destruction orders? 1871 – optional. DDA – 1991 optional. Dog Control Bill – optional.

Dog control notices? 1871 – optional. DDA – not specified. Dog Control Bill – optional.

Civil or criminal? 1871 – civil. DDA – criminal. Dog Control Bill – criminal.

Proceedings against? 1871 – owner only. DDA – owner or person in charge. Dog Control Bill – owner or person in charge.

Protection for domestic animals against unprovoked dog attacks? 1871 – no. DDA – no. Dog Control Bill – yes.

Is there a defence where the dog was provoked by another person or animals? 1871 – open to the court. DDA – no. Dog Control Bill – yes.

Is there a defence where the person injured or threatened was in the process of criminal activity? 1871 – open to the court. DDA – no. Dog Control Bill – yes.

Go To Top Of Page


Licensing could solve UK’s dog welfare problems, claims RSPCA report

An annual dog licence fee of as little as £21.501 could help reduce the number of strays and help tackle irresponsible dog breeding, according to a new RSPCA report released today (1.9.10).

Owners would face a cost of less than 42p a week per dog – less than the price of an average chocolate bar – in order to provide huge improvements to dog welfare and dog control services.

The report – ‘Improving dog ownership – The economic case for dog licensing’ – reveals a licensing scheme could deliver resources to improve dog welfare worth in excess of £107.4 million1. With an estimated 10 million dogs in Britain2, this works out at £21.50 per dog with a compliance rate of 50 per cent1. A compliance rate of 75 per cent would work out even less at £14.30 per dog1.

The new report was written by the RSPCA’s director of communications David Bowles and is based on research by Reading University, which was commissioned by the Society.

It makes three recommendations in its conclusion:

· The government should establish a dog health and welfare strategy underpinned and funded by a dog licence scheme. This would fund resources to tackle the issues, such as strays, injuries caused by dog bites and the prevention of disease, as covered in the report.

· The scheme could be set at £20-£30 per dog annually, with discounts for selected dogs (e.g. assistance dogs, neutered dogs) and people (e.g. pensioners).

· Microchips would be used to identify the dogs, with details entered on a national database, improving dog ownership and reducing numbers of unwanted dogs.

David said: “Now is the right time to invest in the future health and welfare of Britain's dogs. A dog licence would raise money which could be targeted into improving enforcement of laws at a local level, improve the welfare of dogs and reverse the use of certain breeds of dogs as a status symbol or weapon.

“The dog licence would achieve three important goals. It would raise money for dog welfare, increase the numbers of responsible dog owners by getting people to think before they get a dog and start to reverse the surplus of dogs on the market by providing incentives such as reduced fees for neutering dogs.”

He added that the costs are given as an indication of what the licence fee could cover, and a dog licensing scheme could in reality be set at between £20-30 per dog per year – between only three and four per cent of the annual costs of owning a typical breed of dog.

Twenty-three countries in Europe currently have a dog licence or registration scheme3. In some countries, such as Germany, Slovenia and the Netherlands there have been improved dog control provisions and low numbers of strays with compliance rates of more than 50 per cent.

“The RSPCA believes that Britain has slipped behind other countries which have started to tackle and solve the problems of dog over supply and only the introduction of a dog licence could ensure we catch up.

“In countries which have a dog licence it is seen not as a tax, but as an important part of owning a dog. In Britain we know that a dog licence is welcomed by two out of every three dog owners, more than 70 per cent of who are happy to pay more than £30 for the pleasure and responsibility of owning a dog,” added David.

A full copy of Improving dog ownership – The economic case for dog licensing is available in PDF format by contacting the RSPCA press office on 0300 123 0244 or emailing press@rspca.org.uk

Interviews with David Bowles, the RSPCA’s director of communications and author of the report, are available upon request.

References

1. Figures taken from Table 2, p16, Improving dog ownership – The economic case for dog licensing (see below).

2. Murray, J.K., Browne, W.J., Roberts, M.A., Whitmarsh A. And Gruffydd-Jones T.J. (2010) Number and ownership profiles of cats and dogs in the UK. The Veterinary Records 166: 163-168.

3. Tasker, L. (2007) Stray Animal Control Practices (Europe). WSPA and RSPCA.

Go To Top Of Page


TOWNSEND HAS A PLAN

The Kennel Club is going to work with championship show organisers in a bid to make them more popular.

New people need to be attracted to the hobby, vice-chairman Mike Townsend said during his Welsh Kennel Club speech, and to do this the shows had to become a more pleasurable experience.

“The most important thing for such societies is to run a good show – good, that is, for the exhibitors,” he said. “It is clear that every show society could improve and expand what they do and make their show a more pleasurable experience for everyone.

“They could, in most cases, do more to popularise their shows.”

Societies needed to take up ideas ‘with gusto’ and thus ‘protect not only their own futures but all our futures in the showing, working and enjoyment of dogs’, Mr Townsend said.

Threats

He revealed that the KC was going to work with general and group championship show societies – ‘who may not be customer aware’ – to help them make their shows more popular, because new people needed to be attracted to the hobby and the existing participants kept.

Mr Townsend spoke about the threats to and dangers facing the dog world, and what people could do to reduce these within their hobby. Firstly there was the economy and the price of fuel, the increase in VAT – which he said, probably costs a championship show £5,000 – reduced interest and investment income.

“All these threaten the financial viability of shows,” he said.

At the mid-year point, entries at championship shows were about three per cent below 2009 at the same point: “While this is not a bad figure it does need to be turned round,” he said.

It is two years since Pedigree Dogs Exposed was broadcast. Mr Townsend criticised the film, alleging that it was biased and prejudiced, and said there was a possibility of a follow-up ‘which was likely to be just as outrageous given Ofcom’s weak and limited criticism of the editing of the first programme’.

Continuing his list of threats to the hobby, he said there was a danger of ‘attacks’ by the RSPCA: “They are opposed to shows judged on beauty alone” he said. “Then there is the bad publicity arising from dangerous dogs – and I don’t mean just the Dangerous Dogs Act but also the increasing numbers of trophy, fighting and even criminal dogs.”

The implication was that all bull-type breeds are dangerous, he said.

“Most of us know that when a Staffie shows his teeth he is genuinely smiling at you rather than threatening you,” he said. “But there are many people who don’t like or are afraid of dogs, and part of our population even thinks dogs are dirty, and so a hatred of dogs grows.”

Government action could not be ruled out: “And it might be unthinking and done without consultation or knowledge. It might, of course, be the reverse – knowledgeable, informed and favourable to us.
“We can hope so – and also that this applies to advice stemming from the Advisory Council on the Welfare Issues of Dog Breeding which is in the process of being established.”

The newly-appointed chairman of this council is KC member Professor Sheila Crispin.

“With these threats and others I really believe we cannot be complacent,” Mr Townsend said. “In many aspects of our hobby there is no position which is absolutely right and justifiable. We may have strong views, but others may have different views which could gain majority support. And some change is inevitable and may well prove beneficial.

“I am certainly not saying that we or you have to accept every idea that comes along – especially from those commentators who seem to think their every word is gospel, however way-out it is and however unremittingly critical.”

Mr Townsend then turned to what people could do to ‘reduce or avoid dangers’. He spoke of the Accredited Breeder Scheme which was seeking accreditation from the UK Accreditation Scheme.

“They are being encouraging, but doubtless we will have to make some changes to satisfy them,” he said. “These are likely to include wider inspection coverage, and we already have that in the budget…”

More than ten per cent of puppies being registered are now from accredited breeders, he said: “Our aim is to expand the scheme very significantly, but this doesn’t imply that we will neglect other breeders.”

The KC has received criticism for registering puppies from any breeder, including puppy farmers.
“It remains our firm view that we should accept onto our register as many dogs as possible,” Mr Townsend said. “This gives us information about more dogs and their breeders and owners, and retains a means of contact with – and, more importantly, influence over – such people.

“And let us not pretend that we won’t welcome the income, and use it to help dogs, whether they are purebred or not.”

The KC’s recent investment in a Genetics Centre at the Animal Health Trust will fund ‘eight to ten’ scientists for five years to work on developing DNA tests to identify carriers of inherited conditions in dogs. They are also working on establishing estimated breeding values using quantitative genetics to rank genetic desirability of potential mates, Mr Townsend explained.

“This is extremely complex science but will be presented in an easily followed format which we are calling Mate Select,” he said. “This will be purely advisory and will be aimed at eventually not only breeding away from particular conditions but also maintaining genetic variation in the breed.”
Mate Select is likely to be launched at Crufts 2011.

Concluding his speech, Mr Townsend gave a rallying call to those present, and the wider dog world.
“So let us work together, and at least be united,” he said. “I am convinced we all want the same objective of happy healthy dogs, showing what they are capable of and competing in honest and friendly rivalry, or being pets who bring pleasure to their owners. And we want to get pleasure and fun from our hobby as well.

“So, let’s do it. We do have something worth defending and worth supporting, and worth improving.”

Go To Top Of Page


Groups call on Prime Minister for improved dog laws

Some of the UK’s largest animal charities, law enforcement agencies and unions have today (Tuesday) jointly called on the leaders of the main political parties to work together to introduce improved and updated legislation to protect dog welfare and public safety.

The 20 groups have come together to demand action against irresponsible dog owners by the Government and the provision of necessary resources for those tasked with policing dog control laws.

It comes ahead of the summary of responses from Defra’s consultation on dog legislation which is expected this autumn. The consultation received more than 4,000 responses by the time it closed in June, indicating the scale of interest in the subject.

The statement will be sent to Prime Minister David Cameron MP, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg MP and acting leader of the opposition Harriet Harman MP.

The statement says: “We believe that irresponsible dog ownership, whether it is allowing dogs to stray, be dangerously out of control or indiscriminately breeding them, causes significant problems for the safety and welfare of both humans and animals. Current legislation is proving inadequate in many cases to ensure sufficient protection.

“We believe that both the provision of sufficient resources at a local level for local authorities and the police, and updated and consolidated legislation that has a genuine preventative effect, are needed to address this problem.

“We call on the coalition Government to act and bring forward legislation that addresses these areas effectively.”

Organisations signed up to the statement include:

Battersea Dogs & Cats Home, The Blue Cross, The British Horse Society, British Veterinary Association (BVA), CIEH (Chartered Institute for Environmental Health), Communication Workers Union (CWU), Dogs Trust, GMB, Guide Dogs for the Blind, IIRSM (International Institute of Risk and Safety Management), Kennel Club, The Mayhew Animal Home, National Dog Warden Association (NDWA), PDSA, Police Federation, Prospect, RSPCA, TUC (Trades Union Congress), UNISON, UNITE

Go To Top Of Page


Kennel Club Condemns Irresponsible Owners

The Kennel Club has renewed its plea for owners to pick up after their dogs, following reports of a child contracting toxocariasis in a children’s play area after irresponsible owners failed to clean up their dog’s mess.

Doctors are now fighting to save toddler Amiee Langdon’s left eye, and there are fears that her sight will be permanently damaged as a result of this rare infection.

The Kennel Club is disappointed to learn that the incident took place in a sign-posted dog exclusion zone. Dogs are prohibited from entering the playground in question under a ‘dog exclusion’ order, passed by Manchester City Council as part of the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005.

Kennel Club Communications Director, Caroline Kisko, commented: “We strongly condemn anyone who does not clean up their dog’s mess and, as a result, endangers a child’s sight. Such displays of irresponsible ownership are unacceptable.

“One of the Kennel Club’s primary aims is to promote responsible dog ownership. Our Good Citizen Dog Scheme, the largest dog training initiative in the UK, strives to educate dog owners to act responsibly in community spaces such as parks. The Kennel Club also actively campaigns on dog control orders and fouling issues through our KC Dog network, alerting dog owners to their rights and responsibilities.

”We remind all owners to comply with requests to keep dogs out of children’s playgrounds, and to ensure that their dog’s mess is always cleared up and disposed of at home or in assigned bins.”

KC Dog is an information network, free to join, whose members benefit from news and information on dog control orders across the UK. Visit www.thekennelclub.org.uk/kcdog for more information.

The Kennel Club Good Citizen Dog Scheme aims to promote responsible dog ownership and in turn, enhance our relationship with our pets and to make the community aware of the benefits associated with dog ownership. More information can be found via the Kennel Club website at: http://www.thekennelclub.org.uk/dogtraining .

Go To Top Of Page


KC Announce CC Allocation For 2013

The allocation of CCs for 2013 has been agreed by the Kennel Club’s General Committee resulting in an additional 23 sets being granted across all breeds and groups and a reduction of 34 sets, resulting in a net loss of 23 sets.

A KC spokesman said: “Where a breed which had previously been allocated a single BOB CC is now due an increase, the additional CC has been allocated to those societies which had lost a CC in the last round – thereby reallocating a full set of CCs at each of these shows.

Vulnerable breeds

The Basset Fauve de Bretagne and Norwich Terrier which were allocated single BOB CCs previously are due an increase to allow for full sets of CCs. As in previous years, the loss of CCs for vulnerable breeds has been deferred; for 2013 this affected the Clumber Spaniel, Field Spaniel, Irish Red and White Setter, Lancashire Heeler, Smooth Collie and Sussex Spaniel.

“The allocation of CCs to breeds is based firmly on the average number of entries which are achieved in the previous two years,” a KC spokesman said. “This is then compared to a scale to calculate the number of CCs available.

“Once the number available for each breed is decided then, in allocating its CCs to general championship shows, the KC tries to balance various issues such as geography, the show calendar and the number of CCs in any individual group at any individual show, as well as trying not to disadvantage a show by taking away too many breeds at any one time. Unfortunately it is not always possible to achieve all of these objectives.

“It is also considered inappropriate to remove CCs continually from those shows in the far reaches of the country. The allocation of CCs is a difficult process and becomes even more difficult when a breed has to lose a set of CCs.

“The alterations to the allocation have been considered carefully across the general, group and breed club allocations to ensure that there is minimal disruption to all concerned.

“The Committee also took into account a number of requests from breed clubs and councils to alter their breed’s distribution of CCs. The committee was pleased to be able to meet many of these requests; it welcomes comments and proposals from clubs and councils, and where a reasonable and a well-thought-through proposal is made with the majority support of the breed clubs, the committee generally accedes to the request.”

Go To Top Of Page


COMPANION ANIMAL HIGHLIGHTS AT BVA CONGRESS 2010

The British Veterinary Association (BVA) 2010 Congress boasts a packed agenda highlighting a wide variety of companion and small animal issues. The pivotal veterinary event will be held in Glasgow on 23-25 September under the theme ‘Vets and the Public Good’ looking at the role of veterinary surgeons in all aspects of society.

Particular companion animal highlights include:

Treatment too far?

For vets, unlike doctors, euthanasia remains an option in the treatment of patients, but at what point is it appropriate? Animal welfare should be the prime consideration but opinions differ on what might constitute under- or over-treatment, and how do you evaluate an animal’s future quality of life? In this session Noel Fitzpatrick from the BBC series The Bionic Vet will debate these issues with the BVA AWF Animal Welfare Lecturer Dr Dorothy McKeegan, with opposing views being presented. (Fri 24 Sept, 16.00-17.00)

Pets and society: turning a blind eye to abuse?

It is nearly a decade since attention began to be drawn to evidence of links between animal abuse and domestic violence towards humans. This session will examine the dilemmas confronting practising vets, asking at what stage should suspicions of abuse be reported and to whom? (Fri 24 Sept, 11.00-12.00)

Pets and society: dangerous dogs and the law

With contributions from vets and others who have to work at the sharp end of the dangerous dogs law as it stands, this debate will consider some of the practical difficulties currently being encountered and will assess what kind of approach is needed to better protect the public.

Speakers include Mark Callis, Dog Control Service Manager at Wandsworth Council and

David Grant, Director at RSPCA Harmsworth Hospital (Fri 24 Sept, 9.30-10.30)

Innocent until proven guilty

Vets are called on to give evidence in animal cruelty cases and this session will discuss the roles for both a witness of fact and an expert witness, together with possible pitfalls and what the roles entail. (Fri 24 Sept, 14.30-15.30)

There are also a number of clinical CPD (continuing professional development) sessions for delegates on companion animal issues, including heart failure, mast cell tumours, and cranial cruciate disease, which will be delivered by the combined expertise of Scotland’s research and academic institutes.

In addition to these small animal sessions there will be a wide variety of contentious issue debates and CPD, and a lively social and networking programme. Major highlights include the Wooldridge Memorial Lecture to be delivered by Prof Stuart Reid, Dean of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Glasgow on the theme of ‘Vets and the Public Good: a broader perspective’; and a panel debate between the UK’s four CVOs on current issues.

For more information on BVA Congress 2010 (including the full agenda and online registration) visit the BVA website www.bva.co.uk/congress

Registration for members of the media is free, but a registration form must be completed. See http://www.bva.co.uk/public/documents/Congress2010_media_registration.doc or email media@bva.co.uk for a registration form.

1. Download low and high resolution images of the BVA Congress 2010 logo from the BVA website: http://www.bva.co.uk/newsroom/454.aspx

2. For information on speakers and sessions or to request interviews, please contact the BVA Media Office on 020 7908 6340 or media@bva.co.uk

Go To Top Of Page


Organisations Have Their Say On Panorama Documentary

Panoram’s shocking documentary Britain’s Unwanted Pets made shocking newslast week for dog owners. The BBC programme revealed how rescue centres are mopping up the fall-out of irresponsible dog ownership and are now full of Staffordshire Bull Terriers, their crosses and other bull breeds, simply because society is discarding them at a rate never experienced before.

Many dogs can never be rehomed due to poor treatment and resulting illness or temperament issues, and last year nearly 3,000 were put down in the London sanctuary alone.

Battersea’s chief executive, Claire Horton, said the charity agreed to take part in the programme because of the unprecedented pressure on the home.

“We know that the programme made uncomfortable, viewing and that its content would shock a great many people, but in Britain’s inner cities in particular the plight of dogs bred, bought and sold as accessories, weapons and status symbols and the unrelenting pressure rescue organisations are all facing needs to be known,” she said. “And the cause is irresponsible ownership and back-street breeding.

“This is not just a Battersea’s problem; this is a bigger society problem affecting all animal welfare organisations, the police and all local authorities across the UK. It’s not necessarily just about dogs either; it’s often about crime, intimidation and anti-social behaviour.”

Biggest Challenge

Fifty per cent of Battersea’s intake comprises Staffords and bull breed crosses she said.
“Our biggest challenge is how to ensure we are able to give every single dog who comes into our care the very best possible chance of finding a loving and secure home,” Ms Horton continued. “Often, many of these dogs have been so badly treated from an early age that despite all our rehabilitation attempts it is simply just too late for these animals, and we could not in all conscience home them back out into the community for the risk they would pose.

“Battersea has worked and continues to work hard to reduce the number of dogs it has to put to sleep due to temperament through closer monitoring of an animal behaviour during its stay, a dedicated kennel enrichment programme to make their stay more relaxed and a quicker assessment procedure.”

Owning a dog was easier than ever before and back-street breeding and internet sales were creating a major problem, especially of so-called status dogs, she said.

“The responsibility of properly caring for a dog is simply not recognised by a growing section of society, and all too often dogs who either don’t live up to their aggressive reputation, grow too big, become too old or tired to breed from anymore, or are just seen as too much trouble, are simply thrown out onto the streets.

“For these dogs, apart from local authority pounds and rescue centres like Battersea, there is nowhere else for them to go. For the past 150 years we have been about second chances. We rely almost entirely on the generosity of the public to carry out the work we do.

“We receive no Government funding. We have cared for over 3.1 million dogs and cats, doing all we can to offer shelter, compassion and hope for a happy future, but in 2010 the situation shows no sign of improvement and the pressure on us is becoming critical. Action needs to be taken by the Government and local government to help tackle the problems at source.

“Battersea is working with other animal welfare organisations across the UK to be a voice for dogs, Ms Horton said.

“We would like to see changes in legislation which enforce a traceable connection between a dog and its owner. While we don’t want to see responsible owners penalised, we would like to see more onus being put on the owner to take responsibility for their animals and most responsible owners we know would welcome that.

“We would like all dogs to be easily traceable back to their owner - with this comes more accountability – and microchipping would help in this regard. More generally we would like to see some form of licensing scheme but it would need to be set up so that it did not merely put more pressure on existing responsible owners. We’d like to see more housing associations and local authority housing services build restrictions into individual tenancy agreements for numbers of dogs that can be kept and restrictions on breeding from these properties.

“We’d like to see a national dog control strategy so that all local authorities across the UK were set up to provide a consistent service which enables them to fulfil their statutory duties.”

In its long history, Battersea has survived two world wars, the Blitz, and a rabies epidemic, and has helped more than three million animals.

“In 2010 we’re facing our biggest challenge ever,” Ms Horton said. “With an average of 22 new dogs and seven cats coming through our doors every day, we are stretched beyond breaking point trying to ensure that every animal, including the 200 Staffords in our care today, get that second chance of a new life. And that those people looking to offer a home to a dog, come to us and make that dream a reality.”

DogsTrust has been campaigning for the introduction of compulsory microchipping of all dogs which it believes will speed up the process of returning lost dogs to owners and making irresponsible owners more accountable for their pets.

The charity surveys local authorities in the UK each year to identify instances of dogs straying. It recognises that there is still a problem of stray dogs in the UK – more than 107,000 instances of straying in 2009. It looks after 16,000 dogs a year and has a non-destruction policy It wants:

• A compulsory scheme to have all dogs microchipped ‘at first change of hands’ and to make it a legal requirement to keep the database up to date;
• A ban on dogs being sold in pet shops as it believes too many are sold on impulse;
• The Dangerous Dogs Act (DDA) to be repealed and replaced with more robust but fairer dog control legislation;
• Border crossings, particularly from the Republic of Ireland, to be more strenuously policed;
• The breeding of dogs legislation reviewed and for anyone breeding any litter to be registered or licensed.

“We believe that compulsory microchipping is the best way of permanently identifying a dog and is a more cost efficient and effective system than dog licensing, which the charity regards as a tax on dog owners,” a spokesman said. “We are also concerned about the large numbers of bull breeds being abandoned following increasing publicity associating them with dog attacks, crime and anti-social behaviour.

‘Unfairly Vilified’

“Breeds such as the Stafford, Bullmastiff and Rottweiler are being unfairly vilified and labelled dangerous dogs. Sadly, overbreeding and negative publicity has resulted in many of these breeds being abandoned both on the streets and at rescue charities such as us.”

The charity is working closely with local communities to give youths in urban environments the knowledge to be better and responsible dog owners. The project has been piloted in London and the intention is to roll out this model to other areas around the UK. It conducts more than 3,000 classroom presentations a year to educate the dog owners of tomorrow about being responsible; it neuters about 40,000 dogs belonging to people on low incomes and offers local authorities free microchips.
After seeing the programme the Kennel Club repeated its call for the DDA to be repealed.

“This Act makes certain breeds and types of dog illegal, such as the pit bull terrier, but fails to crack down on irresponsible owners,” said KC spokesman Caroline Kisko. “We and the other animal welfare charities which form part of the DDA Study Group have given our support to Lord Redesdale’s Dog Control Bill, which focuses on deed not breed and owner responsibility.”

The DDA had not reduced the number of dog attacks, Mrs Kisko said.

“It has simply made banned breeds and their look-alikes, such as Staffordshire Bull Terriers, more appealing among those looking for a dog that will boost their ego,” she said. “It is no coincidence that it is these dogs that are pouring into rehoming centres in their thousands.

“The current legislation ignores the overwhelming evidence that whether a dog is dangerous or well behaved is down to the owner. The priority must be to crack down on irresponsible owners who fail to train, care for and socialise their dogs, rather than wasting already overstretched police resources seizing banned breeds and their look-alikes simply because they are of a certain type.

“The Stafford, a breed loved by very many responsible owners but also suffering at the hands of those that are not, are gentle and loyal dogs often known as nanny dogs because of how affectionate they are around children. We sympathise with the situation that rehoming charities find themselves in, but too many dogs with excellent temperaments are being destroyed through no fault of their own. Something must be done to protect these animals and that is why we fully support Lord Redesdale’s Dog Control Bill.”

The KC believes that dog owner licences are not a solution.

“It will simply turn into a system for taxing responsible dog owners while irresponsible dog owners will continue to flout the law,” Mrs Kisko said. “While we support the principle of compulsory microchipping we believe this must be done in conjunction with changes to the law and a public education campaign.

“All too often people buy a designer crossbreed or a fashionable pedigree simply because it is the latest trend, without having a clue about that dog’s needs and some breeders, out to make a quick buck, will not vet that person’s suitability for dog ownership before they sell.” A public education campaign is vital, the KC believes.

“This will help people make informed choices about dog ownership which will result in lasting and loving relationships,” Mrs Kisko said. “We urge people who choose to buy a puppy rather than a rescue dog to go to a KC accredited breeder, who will socialise their puppies from a young age and ensure that the right dogs are matched to the right owners so that the home they go to is a home for life.”

Go To Top Of Page


RUSSIAN SCOTTIE CLEARED BY KENNEL CLUB

The awards won at Crufts by the six dogs from Russia whose names did not appear in the catalogue have been allowed to stand.

These include RBIS winner the Scottish Terrier Rus/Slo Ch Filisite Brash Celebration, and the Miniature Schnauzer Fin/Dan/Rus/Blr/Ukr Ch Djakartas Isn’t It who won best of breed.

The others were the Giant Schnauzer Gloris Shaking Force, who was reserve in limit bitch; another Giant Schnauzer, Gloris Blue Steel, who was not placed; the Miniature Schnauzer Gloris X-Mission, who was second in limit bitch, and the Rhodesian Ridgeback Charoskloof Gizan Buka, who was not placed.

Russian agency

They were among 26 dogs entered at Crufts by the Russian agency Sobakovoz acting on behalf of the owners.

This week, announcing its decision, the Kennel Club said some of the paperwork had been missing.
“Six dogs from Russia whose names did not appear in the catalogue were, as is normal UK show custom and practice, permitted to compete on the day of the show,” a spokesman said. “The Sobakovoz agency… was responsible for entering 26 dogs for the show in total, but while some of the official paperwork for six of these entries did arrive, other paperwork for those exhibits appears not to have been received.

“We have made extensive enquiries to check whether or not there was acceptable proof of entry for these dogs. The matter has been complicated by language and other cross-border problems and the thorough investigation of the issue has, therefore, been rather long and complex.

“From all of the evidence now received, we accept that the agency undoubtedly intended to enter all 26 dogs, albeit that only 20 proper entry forms appear to have reached the Crufts office. The agency subsequently appears to have taken reasonable steps to ensure that the dogs had been legitimately entered.

“Under these circumstances there is no justifiable reason why the entries and awards gained by the dogs should be prevented from standing, and all of the below entries and awards are therefore confirmed.”

The Scottish Terrier’s owner, Valentina Popova, said: “I am delighted to receive this long-awaited news. I had hoped that everything would be all right, as we did everything within the rules with regard to the entries and more.

“During the past five months, my dog achieved some extremely good wins, including the World Winner title, and became the best terrier in group at the World Dog Show in Denmark.

“I want to say a huge thank-you to all my friends around the world who were really worried for us and was hoping for a positive outcome, and I also want to thank the KC for making this decision.”

Go To Top Of Page


Vet charged with illegally docking 13 puppies

A Vet has appeared in court charged with illegally docking 13 Rottweiler puppies.

David Smith, who owns and practises at Lakeview Veterinary Centre in Folkestone, Kent, denied the charges when he appeared before Ashford magistrates last week.
The prosecution was brought by the RSPCA.

Tony Heldt, who works for a security company, of Hawkinge brought the puppies to Smith, 60, of Lower Farm, Finglesham, in March 2008, and the vet docked them, the court heard.

Rex Bryan, for the prosecution, told the court that some of the puppies cried out, and one bled. In the weeks which followed the wounds were sore, he added.

“The prosecution’s case is that this (docking) was unnecessary, and caused pain and subsequent hyper-sensitivity to pain.

They had been illegally docked, he said.

“We contend that they were not certified working dogs, used in law enforcement, the military, rescue work, the prison service or pest control or the lawful shooting of animals,” he told the court.

‘No medicine’

The dogs had been taken to the vets by Tracey Ralph, a friend of the family that owned them.

“Mr Smith took one of the dogs out of the box and snipped its tail,” she said. “No medicine was used and nothing was put on the tail.

“Some of the puppies were okay, a couple cried and one puppy’s tail bled.

“After he put them back in the box I took them back to their mother, Millie, who was in my car. They were just days old and she was fretting.”

Ms Ralph said she gave Smith a business card from Mr Heldt and he gave her a document to give to the owner of the dogs.

“I bathed the tails of the dogs for a couple of weeks after,” she said. “They had become sore and scabby.

“After two to three weeks they were all healed.”

All the puppies were sold.

The case was adjourned until November 10 at Folkestone Magistrates’ Court.

Go To Top Of Page


Kennel Club influences the debate on new dog laws in northern ireland

A series of meetings between the Kennel Club and Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLAs) in Northern Ireland have been hailed as ‘constructive’ by Kennel Club Communications Director, Caroline Kisko.

The Kennel Club’s Public Affairs team travelled to Stormont, Belfast last week to speak with members of the draft Bill team and MLAs sitting on the Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD) and Environment (DOE) Committees about a number of bills currently proceeding through the Northern Ireland Assembly. The Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Bill, the Dogs (Amendment) Bill and the Welfare of Animals Bill are all now at the Committee Stages of the legislative process.

The Kennel Club aired its concerns over the terms of the Dog Control Orders to be introduced under the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Bill, which will give local authorities the power to restrict access for dog walking within their jurisdiction. Proposals within the Dogs (Amendment) Bill to implement ‘control conditions’ and to extend existing legislation to include private property and dog-on-dog attacks were welcomed by the Kennel Club, but it opposed plans to increase the cost of the dog licence. The Welfare of Animals Bill was also discussed; the Kennel Club suggesting that the Bill does not go far enough to eradicate puppy farming or ban the use of electric shock collars.

Commenting on the talks, Caroline Kisko said: “The proposed legislation will have a significant impact upon dogs and their owners, so discussing our concerns with MLAs is essential to ensure that canine health and welfare is considered at every level.

“The Kennel Club feels that the dialogue was constructive and is hopeful that the members of the Committees can utilise the information discussed to develop a set of laws that best protects the rights of dogs, their owners and the wider public.”

The Kennel Club will return to Belfast in the autumn to generate further MLA support for the Bills, and to meet with other DARD and DOE Committee members.

For more information about Kennel Club campaigns in Northern Ireland, and to find out how you can get involved, visit the Kennel Club website: www.thekennelclub.org.uk/kccampaigns.

The Northern Ireland Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Bill will give local authorities the power to restrict dog walker access via a dog control order. The Kennel Club believes that:
The bill gives local authorities the power to be too restrictive, penalising responsible dog owners as well as those who are not.
The bill should contain a dog control order which requires irresponsible dog owners to keep their dogs on a lead, rather than issuing sweeping bans for all dog walkers.

The Dogs (Amendment) Bill looks to provide protection against dangerous dogs. Whilst the Kennel Club agrees with some of the measures proposed, such as compulsory identification and extending legislation to cover dog attacks on private property, it opposes:
Raising the cost of licensing, which should instead be abolished. This is simply a tax on responsible owners whilst irresponsible owners continue to flout the law. The money is not ring-fenced for animal welfare either, which defeats its object.
Breed specific legislation, which should be replaced by more emphasis on the deeds of individual dogs and owners’ responsibility.

The Welfare of Animals Bill aims to provide animals with protection from suffering. The Kennel Club broadly welcomes the proposals, but believes that the Bill:
Fails to include any proposals that will protect puppies from being bred for profit and without the required level of care for their health and welfare.
Does not go far enough to ban the use of electric shock collars.

Go To Top Of Page


CDB prepares its case in bid to repeal docking ban

The Council Of Docked Breeds (CDB) is gearing up to try to get the docking ban overturned.
The group has been spurred on by the change of Government and the recent veterinary study which revealed the number of injuries to the tails of traditionally-docked breeds in 2008/9.
The CDB is also planning to provide data on tail damage to the forthcoming review of the Animal Welfare Act.

“We have been quiet since the introduction of the Animal Welfare Act, but for good reasons,” said the CDB’s Peter Squires. “If you want to get legislation changed, timing is everything.
“We have been waiting for the necessary review of the Act and hoping for additional data to collaborate our views from breeders who have experienced tail damage and for a change of Government.

“Like buses, four have come along at the same time including the added bonus of the Government’s YourFreedom site where you can register, then rate the idea of repealing the ban.”
The veterinary study, which has shown that some 5,000 adult tail amputations took place in a recent 12-month period, will form part of the CDB’s submission to the review of the Act.

“We will also recommend setting up a ‘register of lay docking practitioners’ along the lines of the legislation recently introduced in New Zealand,” Mr Squires said.
The CDB is raising the subject with Northern Ireland’s Department of Agriculture and Rural Development which is currently considering the Welfare of Animals Bill which includes a docking ban.
The CDB has enough funds to launch its campaign without asking its members for fees.

“Unlike previous years when we accepted membership on a fee-paying basis, this has not been necessary for a number of years,” said CDB treasurer Lynne Smith.

Facebook

“By adopting prudent spending in the running of the CDB, we still have sufficient funds to campaign for the freedom of choice without reintroducing membership fees. Instead, we are hoping that all ex-members and other interested parties will sign up for our email newsletter at www.cdb.org/newsletter so they can stay abreast of all new developments. We are also now on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ukcdb.”

The Facebook site has attracted followers from both the show and the working fraternity. “We are hoping to unite all owners and breeders of docked dogs and those owning the formerly-docked breeds again,” Mr Squires said.

“We also look forward to working with the Kennel Club and the working dog associations, which will undoubtedly wish to promote the views of their respective customers, so we stand united in our approach to end the suffering of tail damage, in so many dogs.”

But Pauline Baines of the Anti-Docking Alliance suggested that people should ‘take stock’ of the injuries their dogs get most commonly.

“Then they should ask themselves would they have that part of the body removed to prevent a dog having that type of injury later in its life, or may never have,” she said.

“The most common injury that appears in the Kennel Gazette is to cruciate ligaments.

“The recent veterinary research report tells us that tail injuries, if they occur, tend to be across the breeds and in the home/kennel environment. This, the CDB has suggested, is reason enough to remove the tails of all puppies.

“It cannot go unsaid that the removal of a tail is, in itself, causing an injury - again, an injury the tail may never have. As was shown in the report, even docked dogs could get tail injuries but these, not surprisingly, are often never recorded.

“Those who want to repeal the docking ban (want)… to inflict a historic, out-dated, unnecessary mutilation on dogs. If the current unworkable exemptions are not repealed from the 2006 Animal Welfare Act, I would encourage the cash-strapped Government to tax all owners of docked dogs.”

Go To Top Of Page


Dog World Request To Use Photo From Terrier World

I was recently sent an email from an ‘ Assistant Editor to Dog World ‘ asking if they could use a photo that is on the front page Terrier World, of the Kerry Blue Terrier
Ch Perrisblu Kennislains Chelsey for a new Magazine called ‘Companion Dog’ that they are bringing out aimed at new people to the dog showing game. The photo is to be used to illustrate breed points.

Why in heavens name would you use a picture of a trimmed breed [when faults can be disguised] to illustrate breed points? If you throw a bucket of water over a Kerry Blue Terrier, they look like a freak.

When I enquired which photo they wanted to use - there are two on the front page one better than the other; they didn’t choose the better one.

This made me somewhat suspicious. Considering the fact that Dog World has a number of Professional Photographers that they use, why would they want to use an image [that wasn’t the best one displayed] from Terrier world?

So I went along with this and with the Assistant Editor to see where it would lead to. I sent him the image he asked for. It was a small resolution image [telling him this was the largest that I had] and I asked him if this would be good enough. He replied in the negative and said they could not use it. So, I sent him the same image in a very high resolution [one that you could print as large as a garage door without losing quality.] He said they would look at it and get back to me. The Assistant Editor did not reply until five days later after I had sent him a further two emails asking if there was a problem. His reply was that they were going to use a different photo from someone else.

My initial suspicions proved to be correct. After all, would they really use one of my photos – not even the better one – for their new Magazine with my name being credited to it? But, the question that begs to be asked is why they contacted me when they had no intention of using my photo. I have purposely not named the Assistant Editor to avoid him facing any embarrassment.

Many years ago I wrote up the Kerry Blue breed Notes. A sub editor at the time [who is still with Dog World] used to edit my notes to either make me look foolish or to appear nasty. [very easy to do when you control what is published]

This was one of the reasons that I decided to publish Terrier World in 1987. I still have a Solicitor's letter from Kingsford, Flower & Pain Solicitors that threatened legal action from Dog World in 1987. This letter was instructed to their legal team, at the behest of the late Stafford Somerfield, who didn't like what I was doing.

Go To Top Of Page


‘DANGEROUS DOGS ACT HAS FAILED BRITAIN’S DOGS’ SAYS KENNEL CLUB

The Kennel Club repeated its call for the Dangerous Dogs Act to be repealed in the wake of the Panorama programme “Britain’s Unwanted Pets” (2nd August 2010), which looked at the rising number of dogs that are abandoned every year.

The programme showed how dog re-homing centres are overwhelmed with bull breeds and their crosses which are often bought as so called ‘status’ dogs and trained for purposes of fighting and aggression. They are later abandoned when their owners have had enough or when the dogs are no longer able to fulfil their purpose.

The Kennel Club, whose Charitable Trust supports Breed Rescue and dog rehoming charities, believes that one solution to the problem must lay with the repeal of the ineffective Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 which makes certain breeds and types of dog illegal, such as the Pitbull Terrier, but fails to crack down on irresponsible owners. It and the other animal welfare charities that form part of the Dangerous Dogs Act Study Group have given their support to Lord Redesdale’s Dog Control Bill, which focuses on ‘deed not breed’ and owner responsibility.

Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club Secretary, said: “The Dangerous Dogs Act has not reduced the number of dog attacks. It has simply made banned breeds and their lookalikes, such as Staffordshire Bull Terriers, more appealing amongst those looking for a dog that will boost their ego. It is no coincidence that it is these dogs that are pouring into rehoming centres in their thousands.

“The current legislation ignores the overwhelming evidence that whether a dog is dangerous or well behaved is down to the owner. The priority must be to crack down on irresponsible owners who fail to train, care for and socialise their dogs, rather than wasting already overstretched police resources seizing banned breeds and their lookalikes simply because they are of a certain type.

“Staffordshire Bull Terriers, a breed loved by very many responsible owners but also suffering at the hands of those that are not, are gentle and loyal dogs often known as nanny dogs because of how affectionate they are around children. We sympathise with the situation that rehoming charities find themselves in but too many dogs with excellent temperaments are being destroyed through no fault of their own. Something must be done to protect these animals and that is why the Kennel Club has fully supported Lord Redesdale’s Dog Control Bill.”

The Kennel Club believes that dog owner licences are not a solution, as it will simply turn into a system for taxing responsible dog owners whilst irresponsible dog owners will continue to flout the law. Whilst the Kennel Club supports the principle of compulsory microchipping it believes that this must be done in conjunction with changes to the law and a public education campaign.

Mrs Kisko added: “All too often people buy a designer cross-breed or a fashionable pedigree simply because it is the latest trend without having a clue about that dog’s needs and some breeders, out to make a quick buck, will not vet that person’s suitability for dog ownership before they sell.

“A public education campaign is vital so people make informed choices about dog ownership which will result in lasting and loving relationships. We urge people who choose to buy a puppy rather than a rescue dog to go to a Kennel Club Accredited Breeder, who will socialise their pups from a young age and ensure that the right dogs are matched to the right owners so that the home they go to is a home for life.”

The Kennel Club has a range of services and guidance to help prospective dog owners to learn more about the breeds that they are considering and how dog ownership will alter their lives. Discover Dogs, which takes place on 13-14 November at Earls Court, is part of the Kennel Club’s public education campaign. The event allows prospective dog owners to meet and learn about different breeds and talk to responsible breeders and breed rescue organisations before they commit. For more information visit www.discoverdogs.org.uk

For more information about the Kennel Club’s lobbying campaigns and its work to get the ‘dangerous dogs’ legislation repealed visit www.thekennelclub.org.uk/kccampaigns

Go To Top Of Page


KENNEL CLUB TO MEET WITH MLAs TO DISCUSS NEW DOG LAWS
IN NORTHERN IRELAND


The Kennel Club travels to Belfast this week, to meet with Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLAs) at Stormont to discuss new legislation which will affect dogs as it enters into the Committee Stage in Northern Ireland.

The Assembly is currently considering three new bills, all of which will have significant implications for the health, welfare and rights of dogs: The Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Bill, the Dogs (Amendment) Bill and the Welfare of Animals Bill.

The Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Bill will give local authorities the power to issue Dog Control Orders. The Kennel Club is concerned that these provisions unfairly penalise responsible dog owners, could lead to a major reduction in public access for dog owners, and exclude the powers to direct an owner to put their dog on a lead if out of control.

The Kennel Club welcomes the proposals contained within the Dogs (Amendment) Bill to introduce compulsory microchipping and extend existing dangerous dog legislation to include private property and dog-on-dog attacks. However, it is opposed to dog licensing and sees the rising cost as a further tax on the responsible dog owners who annually renew and update their dog licence as required.

The Kennel Club is also concerned that the Welfare of Animals Bill fails to include any proposals that will protect puppies from being bred for profit and without the required level of care for their health and welfare.

Kennel Club Communications Director, Caroline Kisko, commented: “The Kennel Club has been campaigning for many years on issues including dangerous dogs, puppy farming and dog walking. We are hopeful that the Northern Ireland Assembly will utilise our knowledge and experience to ensure that all new legislation will better protect the rights of dogs, their owners, and the wider public.”

To find information on the Kennel Club’s campaign, suggested amendments and how to contact your MLA please visit www.thekennelclub.org.uk/kcdog.

The Northern Ireland Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Bill will give local authorities the power to restrict dog walker access via a dog control order. The Kennel Club believes that:
The bill gives local authorities the power to be too restrictive, penalising responsible dog owners as well as those who are not.
The bill should contain a dog control order which requires irresponsible dog owners to keep their dogs on a lead, rather than issuing sweeping bans for all dog walkers.

The Dogs (Amendment) Bill looks to provide protection against dangerous dogs. Whilst the Kennel Club agrees with some of the measures proposed, such as compulsory identification and extending legislation to cover dog attacks on private property, it opposes:
Raising the cost of licensing, which should instead be abolished. This is simply a tax on responsible owners whilst irresponsible owners continue to flout the law. The money is not ring-fenced for animal welfare either, which defeats its object.
Breed specific legislation, which should be replaced by more emphasis on the deeds of individual dogs and owners’ responsibility.

The Welfare of Animals Bill aims to provide animals with protection from suffering. The Kennel Club broadly welcomes the proposals, but believes that the Bill does not go far enough to eradicate puppy farming or end the use of electric shock collars.

Go To Top Of Page


I wonder Who Voted This Lot In? Strike Up The Bloody Band!


And The Band Played On As Brains Played An Ace Once Again

 

CHAIRMEN AND VICE CHAIRMEN OF THE COMMITTEES,
SUB-COMMITTEES OF THE KENNEL CLUB

General Committee
Mr W R Irving (Chairman)
Mr M Townsend (Vice Chairman)

Finance and General Purposes Committee
Mr W R Irving (Chairman)
Mr M Townsend (Vice Chairman)

Club Sub-Committee
Mrs A P Bliss (Chairman)
Mr S C Ford (Vice Chairman)

Crufts Sub-Committee
Mr G King (Chairman)
Mrs E A Macdonald (Vice Chairman)

Disciplinary Sub-Committee
Mr A W Young (Chairman)
Mr S A Croxford (Vice Chairman)

Disciplinary Sub-Committee (Scotland)
None at present

Breed Standards and Stud Book Sub-Committee
Mr F Kane (Chairman)
Mrs M J Purnell-Carpenter (Vice Chairman)

Field Trials Sub-Committee
Mr A C M Rountree (Chairman)
Mr A W Young (Vice Chairman)

Judges Sub-Committee
Mr S C Luxmoore (Chairman)
Mrs E A Macdonald (Vice Chairman)

Show Executive Sub-Committee
Mr K A W Young (Chairman)
Mr R Price (Vice Chairman)

Activities Sub-Committee
Mr S C Ford (Chairman)
Mrs S Garner (Vice Chairman)

Young Kennel Club Management Committee
Mrs V O Foss (Chairman)
Mrs P Dufty (Vice Chairman)

Good Citizen Dog Scheme Working Party
Mr M Cooke (Chairman)

Safe and Sound Working Party
Mr G King (Chairman)

Training Board
Mr G King (Chairman)

Accreditation Scheme for Instructors in Dog Training and Canine Behaviour Board
Mr P Rawlings (Chairman)
Mrs A White (Vice Chairman)

KC/BSAVA Scientific Advisory Group (Electronic)
Prof M E Herrtage (Chairman)

Go To Top Of Page


Kennel Club welcomes home secretary’s criticism of dog control orders

KC Dog, the Kennel Club’s group in place to help responsible dog owners protect their rights, has today welcomed the comments made by Home Secretary, Theresa May, criticising dog control orders.

During a speech in London denouncing existing anti-social behaviour legislation, Mrs May echoed the Kennel Club’s belief that dog control orders are largely ineffective and do not act as a deterrent for irresponsible owners, calling the sanctions “ludicrous”.

Dog control orders were introduced under the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005, giving local authorities the power to place restrictions upon dog walkers and issue penalties for failure to comply.

Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club Communications Director, said: “The Kennel Club is encouraged that the Home Secretary has recognised the failings of dog control orders and we are hopeful that the government will take this forward.

“KC Dog has worked closely with local authorities and dog walkers across the UK, and our experience shows that councils can combat irresponsible behaviour by discussing problems and developing solutions alongside the local community, without resorting to restrictions.”

Go To Top Of Page


SUBMISSION OF SHOW CATALOGUES

All Secretaries are reminded that Kennel Club Regulations require every show/trial to submit a copy of the Catalogue, fully marked up with the results, within fourteen days (7 days for Working Trials) of the event. The timely submission of Championship show catalogues in particular aids quick turn around in issuing Certificates and Stud Book numbers to dog owners.

Stud Book numbers and Challenge Certificates are issued in strict show date order sequence. Consequently, if a Society fails to submit its Catalogue to the Kennel Club within fourteen days of the show, it considerably delays the dispatch all of the awards made at subsequent events. Obedience, Agility and Working Trial societies are also reminded that they have to send the Kennel Club additional information over and above the catalogue; failure to send this information also delays the issuing of certificates.

Last year, there were a total of 159 Championship Show/Trial Societies which were in breach of the Regulations, despite reminders being issued. Therefore, as the late submission of a catalogue delays the issuing of certificates and contravenes the regulations, societies will now be routinely referred to the Committee for consideration; such consideration could result in the society being issued with a warning or fine and in extreme cases could effect their future championship status.

Go To Top Of Page


Statement from the British Veterinary Association
British Small Animal Veterinary Association and Society for Practising Veterinary Associations.

Veterinary associations’ response to BBC Panorama ‘It shouldn’t happen at a vet’s’

The veterinary professional associations have expressed concern and disappointment at the incidents revealed in the undercover footage in the BBC’s Panorama programme ‘It shouldn’t happen at a vet’s’ and are calling on the BBC to provide all of the evidence to the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) for a full investigation.

One of the main issues raised by the programme is the lack of support and supervision for younger and less experienced vets and veterinary nurses, as well as other staff who are not qualified (referred to as “trainees” in the programme). Ultimately it is the veterinary surgeon who must take responsibility for the animals in his/her care. Vets are robustly regulated by the RCVS, as revealed in the case of Kfir Segev who was struck off by the RCVS.

The programme also highlighted a number of concerning incidents of alleged fraud, dishonesty and bad practice that pet owners and the general public will have found very distressing. The BVA, BSAVA and SPVS cannot condone any bad practice. Some of these incidents featured are clearly unacceptable; others will require further investigation and it is vital that the RCVS is given the evidence to take this forward.

The veterinary associations are very concerned that viewers may now have concerns about their own vets. It is vital that the relationship of trust between a client and their vet is maintained. As was made clear in the programme, the vast majority of vets provide a high quality service and have the best interests of their clients and patients at heart.

We would advise pet owners to talk to their vet, as well as the rest of the practice team, if they have any concerns. We are advising our members to spend extra time dealing with clients’ questions and concerns following the programme, as well as offering the opportunity to meet the whole veterinary team and see behind the scenes in the practice.

Professor Bill Reilly, President of the British Veterinary Association, said:

“There will be concern amongst pet owners following the programme, but it is vital to remember that the vast majority of vets enjoy a high level of trust from their clients because they are incredibly hard working and caring.

“It is essential that every member of the veterinary team feels supported and well supervised to ensure they are only asked to carry out tasks that they are qualified, trained and competent to do.”

Grant Petrie, President of the British Small Animal Veterinary Association, said:

“We would urge the profession and public alike to continue reporting issues of concern. The BSAVA believes that the inappropriate actions and breach of trust of a few should not tarnish the true endeavours of the majority of veterinary surgeons who provide a dedicated and professional service.”

Jacqui Molyneux, President of the Society of Practising Veterinary Surgeons, said:

“SPVS would never condone leaving junior staff to sink or swim. In fact we help run a Final Year Seminar for veterinary students each year where we stress over and over again that students should not take jobs where they are not given adequate support. It is imperative that young vets should have the support of more experienced vets to help when things are not going according to plan.”

For more information, please call the BVA media office on 07503 190 247

Go To Top Of Page


Crispin Says It's Time To Work Together

The World Of Dogs is riven by arguments, but now is the time to work together, according to the founding chairman of the new advisory council on the welfare issues of dog breeding.

Professor Sheila Crispin has been chosen to lead the council’s work, but to be successful, she says, arguments must be put aside and everyone must pull together for the good of dogs.

Advertisements for council members – eight at first with the potential to become 12-strong – will go out in September, and a wide range of expertise is being sought. There must be someone knowledgeable about dog breeding, including breed Standards, canine reproduction and wider aspects of the subject. Second, a knowledge of legislation, particularly with regard to how to impose enforcement schemes. Expertise is needed in epidemiology of inherited disorders in dogs, environmental influences and other relevant factors.

There should be knowledge of genetics of disorders in dogs, and there must be a member with experience of small animal veterinary practice.

A dog behaviourist who has experience in socialisation issues is also required, and a dog owner who is knowledgeable and experienced – ‘possibly a pet owner, working dog owner or could be a show dog person’.

“I’m very open on this,” the professor said.

Skills From Outside

Prof Crispin said there was provision for someone ‘possibly outside the world of dogs’ who brought skills which would allow them to recognise what needed to be changed.

“Sometimes it’s easier to see from the outside,” she said. “We will also want a minimum of two lay people – I don’t like that term as it sounds derogatory – but who will bring good skill-sets and be not so heavily immersed in the subject.”

Prof Crispin herself is an academic, a veterinary ophthalmologist, past president of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, an honorary life member of the KC who has sat on various KC committees and took part in the recent review of breed Standards and a life member of the International Sheep Dog Society. She has a 16-year-old working sheepdog and a Border Collie/Bearded Collie cross of four.

Anyone can apply to be a member – including members of stakeholder groups such as the KC, RSPCA, and others who were members of the review board formed after Prof Bateson’s enquiry. But Prof Crispin emphasised that they must not represent an organisation.

“If necessary they will need to leave their parent organisation behind and work for the good of dogs in general, that’s very important,” she said. “They will be appointed for their individual skills.

“It is also very important that they recognise that there might be conflicts of interest and that they will have to step aside from any discussion if necessary. That means we will also appoint a deputy chairman so if I need to step aside I can do so and the council can continue to function.”

It is almost certain that there will be a high-profile, celebrity-led launch of the council. And it will raise its own funding.

“If everyone who owns a dog donated £1 that would solve our problems,” Prof Crispin said.
“There is no point in applying to the Government for funds because there are no funds there. But because of that it will be more exciting and help us be more independent.”

The First Duties Of The Council Are As Yet Unknown.

“Nothing is set in stone,” Prof Crispin said. “We know there are various issues regarding inherited disease in certain breeds.

“There is also huge public concern about puppy farming and the dangerous dogs situation – these are three areas we know will be high-profile matters which people are unhappy about.

“The most important thing is to make the public feel they can help us, and tackle problems together so that people feel they are partners in it. It is very important that we feel we have public support.
“No-one should underestimate the capacity of the dog owner, breed club etc to make a huge difference in terms of input on what are often very scientific matters.”

But it was important that differences and dissension are put aside, the professor said.

“For reasons that are never entirely clear to me, the dog world – and I suspect other worlds of animals – is riven by arguments, and by very nasty arguments on occasion,” she said. “I have read quite a lot of pretty pungent criticism of my appointment already, quite a of lot of which is not just wrong but verging on libellous.

“It is stupid; we should all be working together for dogs and if we can do that the arguments would begin to disappear. That would be my greatest desire, because I am an optimist. We can do this by working together, with everyone trying, initially at least if not for the long term, to put aside our differences and say, ‘Yes, we’re working for dogs’. If we can do that I will be delighted.”

Go To Top Of Page


Panorama To Conduct Undercover Investigation Into vets

The Veterinary profession was due to be the subject of an undercover investigation by the Panorama team this week.

The exact content of the programme is not known, but the synopsis of ‘It shouldn’t happen at a vets’ said it covered questionable bills, poorly treated animals and a vet struck off for dishonesty.

It was also due to scrutinise regulation of corporate practices, alleged overcharging in relation to insurance, unqualified nursing staff and support for new graduates.

The College is expecting that there will be increased public interest in the self-regulation of the profession. Currently, the RCVS receives about 700 complaints a year.

“This is about one every 15 years of a member’s practising life,” the spokesman said. “It’s a record to be proud of.

‘Areas Of Concern’

“However, if the programme raises areas of genuine concern we will do all we can to act on them, and we have already made it clear to the BBC that we would expect their support in this.

“Following the programme, we will work with the British Veterinary Association and other organisations to ensure that the robust nature of the regulatory system is communicated to the public, from undergraduate degrees through the professional development phase and the Guide to Professional Conduct, to mandatory, continuing professional development and the voluntary Practice Standards Scheme and register for veterinary nurses.”

Anyone with concerns should either speak to their own vet or contact the College, which was due to post a statement on its website on Thursday evening after the 9pm show. Questions can be posed to the College via its advice line on 020 7202 0789 or the communications department on 020 7202 0725.

Go To Top Of Page


KC Comes In For Criticism Over Support For Puppy Farm Awareness Day

The Kennel Club has been accused of hypocrisy in its support of the puppy farm awareness day
PUP AID.

The event, taking place in Brighton in September, is said to aim at raising awareness of how puppy farmers operate.
It is organised by www.ThePet.net which provides information on companion animals.
But Ronnie of Puppy Love, which campaigns against puppy farmers, who wanted her surname withheld, said that the KC – which is having a stand at the event – should check who is breeding the puppies they register.

Pedigree Dogs Exposed’s writer and producer Jemima Harrison agreed, calling the KC’s involvement with PUP AID ‘rank hypocrisy’. She said it was time the KC cleaned up its registration system and to police not just the Accredited Breeder Scheme (ABS) but the general register too.

‘Cruelty’

But ThePet.net’s co-founder, vet Marc Abraham, who is the KC’s veterinary advisor, said he hoped that PUP AID would help people understand how to choose a ‘happy and healthy puppy, rather than a ill or diseased farmed one’.

“The aim of the event is to help dog buyers everywhere be aware of the cruelty involved in this side of dog breeding, and hopefully reduce the demand for pups bred in this way,” he said. “My hope is that the event will help put a stop to puppy farming in this country.”

Representatives of Dogs Trust will be at the event and those from puppy farm campaign groups ‘Be Puppy Farm Aware’ and ‘Stop Puppy farming, End the Cruelty’. There will also be a parade of ex-breeding bitches, Mr Abraham said.

This week the KC announced its support for PUP AID. But Ms Harrison said: “The KC knows full well it registers puppy farm dogs,” she said. “When challenged, the KC says that it can’t do anything about it because it has no choice but to register dogs whose parents are themselves KC registered.

“But it’s time now for the KC to clean up its registration system – to police not just the ABS but the general register too. Complaints against breeders – all breeders – need to be followed up and registration refused from those who breed pups without due care to their health and welfare.

“The vast majority of KC-registered dogs – 90 per cent – are bred outside of the ABS, with no health or welfare requirements a condition of registration. That’s around 200,000 puppies a year. Of course, there are many responsible breeders within that 90 per cent, but the system as it stands is totally abusable by those who use KC registration as a tool to sell poorly-bred dogs to unsuspecting customers who pay the price in heartache, pain and often enormous vet bills.”

Ronnie said if the KC wanted to end puppy farming it should not register their puppies.
“Why doesn’t it check out just who is registering pups with them?” she said. “We feel that PUP AID is more about the ABS than puppy farming. Although Puppy Love welcomes anything that raises awareness of puppy farms we cannot support (this event)... Many puppy farmers have a KC affix.”

Mrs Kisko spokeswoman for the Kennel Club said:

“We are committed to doing everything we can to help stamp out puppy farming, and our ABS is key to this,” she replied. “By registering breeders rather than puppies, as we do under our normal registration system we are able to ensure that they abide by certain conditions and can remove those whose standards are found to be wanting.

“By contrast, the registration system is a record of births only. The KC is not a law enforcement agency. Local authorities and the RSPCA are charged with the task of monitoring and taking action against unscrupulous breeders. However, should a breeder’s standards be found to be wanting, and there is a conviction under the Animal Welfare Act against a breeder, then the KC can disqualify them from future registration,” she said.

‘Under the radar’

“It is important to remember that puppy farmers tend to operate under the radar and choose not to register their litters with the KC. In fact, the vast majority of those who register with the KC breed in small numbers – often just one or fewer litters a year. Only two per cent breed more than five litters per annum,” Mrs Kisko added.

The KC’s health and breeder manager Bill Lambert also addressed the criticisms.
“Our registration system is a database which is open to all, but it is only those who register with us that we can hope to have any influence over whatsoever; to restrict registration would simply drive people away where they could breed without any controls whatsoever,” he said.

PUP AID takes place at Stanmer House, near Brighton on September 19 and comprises a ‘celebrity-judged dog show and boutique music festival’. The PetNet website stated that there would be a small admission price with ‘a proportion’ of it donated to Dogs Trust.


Go To Top Of Page


Championship Status – German Shepherd Dog 2012

The General Committee met on 6th July 2010 to agree the allocation of Challenge Certificates for 2012.

The decision followed the receipt of the Undertakings issued at the beginning of this year, assigned to all breed clubs and championship show societies that had previously been allocated Challenge Certificates for German Shepherd Dogs.

The following clubs and societies have therefore been allocated Challenge Certificates:

Bolton & District GSD Club
GSD Club of Essex
GSD Club of Scotland (Joint Show)
Midland Counties GSD Association
Preston & Fylde GSD Club
Sheffield GSD Society
South of Scotland GSD All Breed Training Club
South Western GSD Club
British Association for GSDs
North Wales Alsatian Club
Birmingham & District GSD Association
Southern Alsatian Training Society
GSD (Alsatian) Club of the UK
Crufts
Manchester Dog Show Society
West of England Ladies Kennel Society
Birmingham Dog Show Society
Scottish Kennel Club (May & August)
Southern Counties CA
Three Counties Agricultural Society
Border Union Agricultural Society
Blackpool & District Canine Society
East of England Agricultural Society
National Working & Pastoral Breeds Dog Society
Welsh Kennel Club
City of Birmingham Canine Association
Richmond Dog Show Society
Working & Pastoral Breeds Association of Scotland
The breed club listing has been compiled upon the established rotation of breed club championship shows, with additional clubs brought forward from the 2013 list. Future allocations for 2013 and beyond will be based on each club/society’s adherence to the conditions included in Undertaking.

Go To Top Of Page


KENNEL CLUB SEEKS AMENDMENTS TO NEW DOG BILL

The Kennel Club has today welcomed some changes but raised concerns about the Dogs (Amendment) Bill as it proceeds to Committee Stage in the Northern Ireland Assembly.

Proposals contained within the Bill include:
· The introduction of compulsory microchipping of dogs;
· An increase in the cost of the existing dog licence;
· Amendments to existing legislation on dangerous dogs to include attacks taking place on private property and dog on dog attacks; and
· The introduction of a range of dog ‘control conditions’ which can be imposed on dog licenses.

The Bill seeks to increase the cost of the existing dog licence, despite reports that a large percentage of owners in Northern Ireland currently flout the law by not obtaining one. The Kennel Club opposes licensing and sees the rising cost as a further tax on the responsible dog owners who annually renew and update their dog licence as required. The licence fee is also not ring fenced therefore giving no guarantee that the money will be put back into animal welfare.

The Kennel Club does, however, welcome the extension of current legislation to include attacks on private property given that a large proportion of dog attacks occur in the home and involve a dog known to the victim. This will place greater responsibility on owners to ensure that their dogs are not out of control in any place (subject to various exemptions such as provocation).

The Kennel Club is also part of the Dangerous Dogs Act Study Group (DDASG), made up of the leading animal and veterinary organisations, and has been campaigning for changes to current dangerous dogs law for many years. DDASG continues to lobby to remove the emphasis on demonising particular types or breeds of dog and instead focus on deed and irresponsible dog ownership.

Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club Communications Director, said: “Whilst we welcome the Assembly’s actions in updating largely ineffective and out of date legislation in respect of dogs, we have a great number of concerns regarding the Dogs (Amendment) Bill in its current form. The Kennel Club welcomes new offences covering dog on dog attacks and the extension of current ‘dangerous dogs’ legislation to private as well as public land, however we wholeheartedly oppose breed specific legislation which has already been proven not to reduce dog attacks or better protect the public.

We will be contacting MLA’s to discuss our concerns and suggest amendments to ensure the fairest outcome for both the general public and the dogs themselves.”

The Kennel Club responded to the consultation on proposals for changes to dog control legislation highlighting their concerns.

Go To Top Of Page


GUIDANCE FOR JUDGES – EXCLUDING OR WITHHOLDING

Since the Kennel Club introduced the regulation giving judges the authority to exclude a dog from competition due to health and welfare related conditions, various questions and comments have been received from judges and exhibitors. Therefore, to better explain the situation, the following guidance note has been prepared to assist judges.

It is important that if judges encounter problem dogs at shows, they are clear about when it is appropriate either to exclude the dog from competition on the one hand, or to allow it to compete and then withhold an award due to lack of merit on the other.

EXCLUSION FROM COMPETITION
Kennel Club Regulations provide only two grounds for a dog to be excluded from competition;
If it behaves in an unacceptable/aggressive manner, or
If it shows clearly visible evidence of infectious disease, or some other condition(s) which adversely affects its health or welfare
Regulation F(1) paragraph 15 refers.

Dogs are therefore excluded from competition for reasons which are unrelated to the judge’s perception of the quality of the dog in so far as it may appear to be of excellent breed type and quality, but it nonetheless shows clearly visible evidence of unacceptable behaviour, infectious disease, or some other condition which adversely affects its health and welfare.

A judge should therefore consider excluding a dog from competition when he/she believes that a dog shows visible evidence of one or more of the following signs:
· Lameness – including ‘hopping’
· Inappropriate temperament – refusal to be handled, timidity or aggression
· A discharge from one or both eyes or any signs of discomfort in either eye
· Obvious breathing difficulty
· Obvious skin or ear irritation
· Significantly over or under weight

Before excluding a dog from competition for any of the above reasons, a judge should carefully consider whether the problem is obvious enough to leave no room for doubt or debate as to whether or not the decision to exclude from competition is justifiable.

Even in a large class with a sufficient number of acceptable dogs present, judges still have a duty to exclude any dog in the class that clearly displays one or more of the signs that require exclusion from competition.

When a dog is in fact excluded from competition, the reason for the action taken must be explained to the owner/handler, the show management must be notified and a report must be submitted to the KC within seven days of the show.

Judges are not expected to, nor should they, make or express a veterinary diagnosis when excluding a dog. The duty of care that the Kennel Club expects from judges is that of the experienced dog breeder who would be aware of deviation from normal conditions in their own dogs.

Any decision to exclude a dog from competition is final and is not open to appeal.

N.B. Judges should also keep in mind that a dog to which they give an award may, at the instigation of a show official or KC-appointed observer and following veterinary examination, subsequently be excluded from further competition at the show.

WITHHOLDING OF AWARDS
The circumstances when a judge may need to consider the withholding of an award are somewhat different to those that apply to exclusion from competition.

An award should be withheld if a dog fails, in the opinion of the judge, to meet the minimum quality standards that determine if a) it is breed typical; and b) it is of sufficient merit to justify the award.

There is likely to be room for debate between judges over the perceived merits of an individual dog with respect to interpretation of the breed standard whereas individual judges should be able to agree easily when a dog displays the signs that justify it being excluded from competition because it presents with aggression/timidity, infectious disease, unsoundness, or its health and welfare is otherwise visibly impaired.

When an award is withheld no further action is necessary on the part of the judge or the show management, however it preferable that the judge explains the reason for his/her decision to the handler in a polite and courteous manner.

Go To Top Of Page


NORTHERN IRELAND ASSEMBLY INTRODUCES
CLEAN NEIGHBOURHOODS & ENVIRONMENT BILL

A proposed new law giving local authorities the powers to restrict access for dog walkers has been introduced to the Northern Ireland Assembly.

Should the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Bill become law, local authorities will be given the power to issue Dog Control Orders. This means that councils will be able to make an order for a standard offence to apply to land within their area. Proposed offences contained in the Bill are:

(a) fouling of land by dogs and the removal of dog faeces;
(b) the keeping of dogs on leads;
(c) the exclusion of dogs from land;
(d) the number of dogs which a person may take on to any land.

The Kennel Club is concerned that these provisions unfairly penalise responsible dog owners, could lead to a major reduction in public access for dog owners and exclude the powers to direct an owner to put their dog on a lead if out of control – one of the most sensible aspect of the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005 already in force in England & Wales. Furthermore the Kennel Club is concerned that fines will be invoked too frequently to raise revenue for cash-strapped local authorities.

The Kennel Club established a group called KC Dog in 2005 to monitor the restrictions in England & Wales, campaign for better access and promote responsible dog ownership. Evidence accumulated by the Kennel Club over the last five years suggests many local authorities apply the most draconian restrictions as a disproportionate response to the irresponsible behaviour of a minority of dog owners.

Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club Communications Director, said: “The Kennel Club actively promotes responsible dog ownership and believes that a fair balance must be struck between the needs of both those with dogs and those without.

“Unfortunately our considerable experience shows that local authorities considering dog control orders often take the most restrictive line, ignoring the needs of dog owners who are an equally important section of society.

“Chief among our concerns is the lack of a dog control order to require an owner to put his or her dog on a lead. This is a common sense approach which allows those with control of their dog the freedom to enjoy off-lead access, whilst ensuring local authorities have the powers to deal with irresponsible owners.

“Often problems such as dog fouling can be resolved easily and at minimal cost through better engagement with the dog owning community.

“Now is the most effective time for dog walkers to make their views known. We would therefore urge all responsible dog owners in the local area to lobby their MLA in order to ensure the best possible result for all concerned.”

Members of the public can find information on the Kennel Club’s campaign, suggested amendments and how to contact their MLA by visiting www.thekennelclub.org.uk/kcdog.

The Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Bill received its second reading on 30th June and will now be examined in detail by members of the Agriculture & Rural Affairs Committee.

Members of the public can find and contact their MLA in Northern Ireland by going to http://www.theyworkforyou.com/

Go To Top Of Page


MPs BACK COMPULSORY MICROCHIPPING OF DOGS

Members of Parliament have recognised the British Veterinary Association’s contribution to the promotion of microchipping dogs and the campaign for compulsory microchipping through an Early Day Motion (EDM) tabled by Andrew Rosindell MP (Conservative, Romford).

The EDM is gaining signatures from across all political parties as MPs show their support for a compulsory microchipping scheme that would have a significant and positive welfare impact on dogs by:

assisting in the return of stray and stolen dogs to their owners;
improving traceability of puppy-farmed dogs; and
providing a lifetime of security for a one-off payment.

The EDM is also supported by Dogs Trust (who coordinated the EDM), Cats Protection, Blue Cross, and NOAH (National Office for Animal Health).

Earlier this week Welsh Rural Affairs Minister Elin Jones AM announced proposals for the compulsory microchipping of all dogs and puppies sold or homed by licensed breeders, to improve traceability.

Commenting, Professor Bill Reilly, President of the British Veterinary Association (BVA), said:

“Microchipping is part of responsible pet ownership and the BVA believes that all dogs should be permanently identified by microchip before the first change of ownership or at the first veterinary examination.

“Compulsory microchipping allows stray dogs to be reunited with their owners and would help the authorities to crack down on shameful puppy farms, where the health and welfare of both puppies and bitches is compromised, by improving the traceability of the animals.

“It could also assist with the reporting of hereditary health problems and surgical procedures to help us gain as much knowledge and research as we can to improve the health of all dogs.

“I would urge all Members of Parliament to show their support for dogs and their owners by signing this EDM.”

That this House recognises that the introduction of a compulsory microchipping scheme for dogs would have a significant and positive welfare impact, including the return of stray and stolen dogs to their owners and the improved traceability of puppy-farmed dogs; congratulates Dogs Trust, Cats Protection, Blue Cross, National Office of Animal Health and the British Veterinary Association on their efforts to raise public awareness of microchipping and their campaigning for a mandatory scheme; acknowledges that microchipping provides a lifetime of security for a one-off payment; agrees that a compulsory microchipping scheme is currently the preferred alternative to a dog licensing scheme, which would potentially create unnecessary bureaucracy and expense for local authorities; and believes that this would not represent a barrier to dog ownership for vulnerable groups.

1. For more information, please contact the BVA Media Office on 020 7908 6340 or media@bva.co.uk

2. Visit the Parliament website for up-to-date information on the MPs who have signed the EDM

3. The BVA policy position on the compulsory microchipping of dogs:

In February 2009, the BVA called for the compulsory identification of all registered pedigree dogs to facilitate the reporting of hereditary health problems and surgical procedures resulting in conformation changes, and added that the introduction of a ‘pet passport’ database, which would be linked to a microchip, would allow information such as parentage, DNA and health test results to be known for a particular animal.

Permanent identification, particularly by microchip, has become increasingly common over the past decade, and is the most effective means of reuniting a stray dog with its owner. It has a number of advantages over the use of a collar and tag which are often left off or slip off. Collars can also be easily removed from stolen dogs. Permanent identification is effective at all times and is virtually impossible to alter or remove.

The veterinary profession promotes responsible pet ownership and can explain to owners the benefits of permanent identification for dogs. However the BVA considers that legislation should be put in place to require all dogs to be permanently identified before the first change of ownership or at first veterinary examination if earlier. Such identification should be through microchipping.

The new legislation should include a requirement to keep the information on a microchip and/or relevant database up to date with the current name and address of the owner. Owners should be issued with a certificate to show the details registered on the database. The format of the certificate should include a tear-off section to notify changes of ownership to the database.

Go To Top Of Page


Changes To Accredited Breeder Scheme

The Kennel Club has announced the following changes to its Accredited Breeder Scheme’s breed-specific requirements and recommendations, including health screening:

Alaskan Malamute – add recommendations; bitches not to be mated before third season; bitches under two years of age not to produce a litter; bitches not to produce more than one litter within a 12 month period.

Australian Shepherd – add requirement: DNA test HC-HSF4. add recommendations: elbow grading; DNA test CEA/CH; DNA test MDR1; DNA test prcd-PRA; DNA test Cobalamin Malabsorption; blood test for Pelger-Huet Anomaly. Downgrade eye testing to a recommendation.

Bavarian Mountain Hound (imp) – add recommendations: hip scoring; breed club aptitude test; bitches under two years of age not to produce a litter.

Bedlington Terrier – eye testing stays as a requirement but will now be ‘eye testing (once)’.

Miniature Bull Terrier – add requirement: DNA test PLL. Downgrade eye testing to a recommendation.

Miniature Smooth-haired Dachshund – add requirement: DNA test GPRA (cord 1).

Miniature Wire-haired Dachshund – add recommendation: DNA test Lafora’s disease.

German Spitz Klein – add recommendation: eye testing.
German Spitz Mittel – add recommendation: eye testing.

Great Dane – add recommendation: bitches under two years of age not to produce a litter.

Italian Spinone – add recommendation: DNA (linkage) test – Cerebellar Ataxia.

Newfoundland – upgrade DNA test cystinuria from a recommendation to a requirement.

Norwegian Elkhound – add requirement: DNA test prcd-PRA. Downgrade eye testing to a recommendation.

Parson Russell Terrier – add recommendation: DNA test PLL.

Rottweiler – add recommendations: bitches under two years of age not to produce a litter; bitches not to produce more than one within a 12 month period.

Sealyham Terrier – add requirement: DNA test PLL. Downgrade eye testing to a recommendation.

Cocker Spaniel – add requirement: DNA test FN. Upgrade DNA test prcd-PRA to a requirement.

Field Spaniel – add recommendations: heart testing; eye testing; bitches under two years of age not to produce a litter; bitches not to produce more than one litter within a 12 month period.

Welsh Springer Spaniel – gonioscopy stays as a requirement. Downgrade eye testing to a recommendation.

Spanish Water Dog – add recommendation: DNA test prcd-PRA.

Tibetan Terrier – add requirement: DNA test PLL.

These changes became effective on July 1, 2010 and existing accredited breeders have six months’ grace in order to come in line with these requirements and recommendations.

“All these changes have come about as a direct result of a request to the KC from breed clubs and breed councils,” said Bill Lambert, KC health and breeder services manager. “The ABS was designed and has been developed to work closely with breeds in order to tailor the scheme to their specific needs. We are delighted that so many breed clubs and breed councils have chosen to work with us in order to develop further this important KC initiative.”

Breed-specific requirements and recommendations are updated twice a year. The next round of changes will be announced in January. Breed clubs and breed councils wishing to make a proposal for their breed should write to Accredited Breeder Scheme, the Kennel Club, 1-5 Clarges Street, London W1J 8AB.

Go To Top Of Page


BVA puts science at heart of annual Welsh dinner speech

The British Veterinary Association (BVA) reiterated its support for the Welsh Assembly Government’s proposed badger cull to tackle bovine Tuberculosis as part of a keynote speech highlighting the importance of science-based policies at the annual BVA Welsh dinner, held at Cardiff City Hall on Tuesday 6th July 2010.

BVA President Professor Bill Reilly also praised the Welsh Assembly Government (WAG) for taking the lead on companion animal health and welfare issues at the dinner attended by Rural Affairs Minister Elin Jones AM, parliamentarians, key representatives of animal health and welfare organisations and the agri-food industry, senior members of the veterinary profession, and members of the media.

Professor Reilly also challenged the WAG on a number of key issues, including the future of Official Veterinarian (OV) services, funding for a UK-wide advisory group on dog welfare, and the WAG’s commitment to improving the welfare of animals before slaughter.

Minister for Rural Affairs Elin Jones AM responded on behalf of the guests.

On bovine TB, Professor Reilly said:

“During the Welsh Assembly debate on the motion to annul the TB Eradication Order Mark Isherwood AM referenced the views of the BVA in support of the proposed cull. In summary he said, ‘Who do you think knows best, the British Veterinary Association or a bunch of politicians?’

“It was perhaps a flippant remark, but it is also one that underlines the importance of science, expertise, and research being at the centre of policy making. The BVA, and its 12,000 members, don’t support a cull for political reasons, but because of our scientific understanding of TB and the way it spreads.”

Following the Welsh Assembly Government announcement on the Court of Appeal, Professor Reilly added:

“Right now, the future of the TB Eradication Programme rests with the Court of Appeal. We noted with interest your announcement yesterday, Minister, of the decision not to go ahead on a whole-Wales basis at this stage, but to focus on the intensive action pilot area in west Wales in order to address one of the grounds for appeal. This seems to be a very pragmatic and sensible approach, which should not impact on the overall eradication programme.”

On Official Veterinarians, Professor Reilly said:

“The threat of exotic disease looms large at all times and one of the major ‘public good’ functions of the veterinary profession is in disease surveillance. But I’m afraid that function is in jeopardy as the work of Official Veterinarians (OVs) is at risk of being undermined by Animal Health.

“This shock announcement [that OV work will be put out to tender] has left the veterinary profession with a number of grave concerns, not least the significant potential for loss of goodwill and a decision by veterinary practices to no longer provide OV services.”

On companion animal issues, Professor Reilly said that Wales is leading the rest of the UK. He said:

“Here in Wales the Task and Finish Group on dog breeding has already made enormous headway in tackling the problems associated with puppy farms. I am delighted that you have today, Minister, announced your intention to amend existing controls on dog breeding and introduce microchipping of all puppies sold or homed by breeding establishments.

“The significant health and welfare problems of bitches and puppies in puppy farms are shameful and I hope that the new measures will go a long way to tackling these rogue traders.”

Professor Reilly also called for more government funding for dog health and welfare:

“Although we have been pleased to work with the Welsh, Scottish and UK Governments through the Dog Review Board, we remain disappointed at the level of commitment from ministers to properly resource an official independent advisory body that would be afforded the status of the Farm Animal Welfare Council, for example, and we are concerned that the new body could simply be ignored.”

Finally, on welfare labelling, Professor Reilly said:

“I applaud your commitment to locally-sourced food, Minister, but we were disappointed that no mention of promoting better animal health and welfare was made in the food procurement framework. We need public bodies to take the lead in promoting higher standards of animal welfare if we want consumers to follow.

“We are campaigning for one clear EU-wide label that indicates higher animal welfare throughout the process, including birth, production, transport and slaughter. The current range of labels is confusing for consumers who want to make a positive, pro-welfare choice in the shops and supermarkets, and who are prepared to pay a little extra to do so.”

Go To Top Of Page


TOUGH NEW BILL TO REPLACE ‘FAILED’ DANGEROUS DOGS ACT

Animal welfare organisations, veterinary professionals and local authorities today joined forces to condemn the much-criticised Dangerous Dogs Act, demanding that it must be replaced by a hard-hitting new Dog Control Bill focusing on prevention rather than cure.

Existing legislation has failed to reduce the number of dog bite incidents in the UK, which have risen in the past five years by 79% in London and 43% nationally*. Meanwhile costs have continued to rise; it was revealed that 10 million pounds has been spent by the Metropolitan Police alone in the past 3 years simply to implement Section 1 of the Dangerous Dogs Act, relating to the seizure, kennelling and euthanasia of banned breeds.

The Dangerous Dogs Act Study Group (DDASG) has lobbied against the inadequacies of the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 for many years and members of the group are now backing a new Dog Control Bill proposed by Lib Dem Peer Lord Redesdale, which will receive its second reading in the House of Lords on Friday (9th July). This Bill would consolidate previous legislation and better protect the public by targeting the cause of dog attacks – dog owners themselves.

Lord Redesdale commented: “People deserve to feel safe around dogs and this Bill goes a long way towards protecting the public through tougher action against irresponsible dog owners. The current law has done nothing but make banned breeds and their lookalikes more appealing and created the issue of status dogs because they are a status symbol.

“Owners of aggressive or violent dogs of any kind would be brought to account with this Bill, which in turn will prevent a large number of attacks by dealing with problem behaviour at the first signs of aggression rather than when an attack has taken place, as in current legislation”.

If passed, the Bill will introduce major changes to current dangerous dog legislation, which is widely considered to be one of the most ineffective pieces of government legislation ever brought into force. These changes include:

· More emphasis on the owner’s responsibilities – the Bill supports the principle that it is the owner who has the potential to make a dog either well-behaved or badly-behaved. It gives authorised officers the powers to place Dog Control Notices on irresponsible owners at the first signs of dog aggression.

· Attacks which take place on private property would also become a criminal offence – a large number of dog attack incidents occur within the home and on private property. The Bill includes various exemptions such as being attacked by another animal, provocation, and attacks on individuals committing an offence for which they could be imprisoned.

· Legislation will no longer be breed specific – since the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991, public money and resources have been wasted by already overstretched police authorities seizing dogs simply for being of a particular breed or type. Research now overwhelmingly supports the principle of ‘deed not breed’, and proves that genetics (breed) play only a limited part in the temperament of an individual dog, with environment and training having a far greater effect.

The DDASG has been working closely with Lord Redesdale in support of his Dog Control Bill and has long been calling on the government to repeal the current legislation. The Group believes that the breed specific nature of current legislation has caused it to fail, and that focusing on individual breeds has failed to prevent a large number of dog attacks, or reduce the number of Pit Bull Terriers in the UK.

DDASG Chairman Chris Laurence, Veterinary Director of Dogs Trust, said: “We firmly believe that the Dangerous Dogs Act needs to be overhauled to better protect the public and that a new dog control regime that emphasises responsible dog ownership should be introduced.

“The Dog Control Bill supports the principle that it is people, not the dogs themselves that make dogs dangerous. Lord Redesdale’s Bill would allow people to be better protected from dangerous dogs with tougher action taken against irresponsible dog owners.”

The Dangerous Dogs Act Study Group has also launched a petition supporting Lord Redesdale’s Dog Control Bill which already has almost 10,000 signatures. The petition can be found at http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/repeal-and-replace-the-dangerous-dogs-act.html

*Figures quoted from London Dangerous Dog Forum Evidence Base Research Paper and available on request.

The Dangerous Dogs Act Study Group

The Dangerous Dogs Act Study Group (DDASG) is a wide-ranging group representing animal welfare, local authorities and veterinary professional organisations and includes representation from:

Battersea Dogs & Cats Home
Blue Cross
Mayhew Animal Home
British Veterinary Association
Dogs Trust
Kennel Club
Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons
Wandsworth Borough Council
Wood Green Animal Shelters

The DDASG considers that the Dangerous Dogs Act needs to be overhauled to better protect the public and that a new dog control regime which emphasises responsible dog ownership should be introduced.

Lord Redesdale’s Private Members Bill provides for the following:

Repeal of the Dogs Act 1871, the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 and the Dangerous Dogs (Amendment) Act 1997 including breed specific legislation
The police expend significant resources on enforcement of the Dangerous Dogs Act, with large amounts of money being spent on the seizure and kennelling of dogs simply because of their breed type - many of these dogs are returned to their owners once proved to be of good temperament. Removing breed specific legislation would allow resources to be used more effectively elsewhere, and preferably concentrated on those dogs showing unprovoked aggression.

Introduce Dog Control Notices
The vast majority of dog attacks are a result of the irresponsible actions of dog owners, who have either not taken the time and trouble to train their dog correctly, or have indeed trained the dog to behave aggressively. Dog Control Notices will apply to all types of dog that have acted dangerously without provocation, caused an injury to another animal, caused harm, or caused a person to reasonably believe it will cause harm and aims to prevent serious incidents of aggression occurring by allowing preventative action.

Apply to both public AND private places
A large proportion of dog attacks occur in the home and involve a dog that is known to the victim. The Dog Control Bill will make attacks that take place on private property a criminal offence. Greater responsibility is therefore placed on owners to ensure that their dogs are not out of control in any place.

Full wording of the DDASG petition:

http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/repeal-and-replace-the-dangerous-dogs-act.html

We, the undersigned, call on the government to repeal the Dogs Act 1871, the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 and the Dangerous Dogs (Amendment) Act 1997.

We petition the Government to repeal the Dangerous Dogs Act and replace it with alternative legislation that;

· Protects the public against dogs dangerously out of control without compromising any individual dog’s welfare.

Embodies the principle of ‘deed not breed’ and opposes breed specific legislation on the grounds that a dog’s behaviour is influenced more by its environment, the training it receives and the responsibility of its owner, than it is by genetics (i.e. its breed or type).

We support the Dog Control Bill which seeks to better protect the public, place greater responsibility on dog owners and remove the huge welfare implications affecting dogs deemed to be of a certain type.

Go To Top Of Page


A Meeting Took Place Between KC And The German Shepherd Association

Decisions that were made at a recent meeting between the Kennel Club and the British Association for German Shepherd Dogs (BAGSD) have now been revealed.
The KC said it had no objection to British Sieger or other events being held under World Union of GSDs (WUSV) rules but wanted to be kept informed about them.
Representatives from the Kennel Club present included chairman Ronnie Irving and former vice-chairman Bill Hardaway. BAGSD representatives included president Doreen Gater, chairman Bob Honey, vice-chairmen Andrew Winfrow and Wayne Lacey. Breed council representative Brian Wooton was also in attendance.

The following points were discussed regarding BAGSD’s involvement:

1. WUSV/SV relationship
a. The structure and aspirations of the WUSV/SV.
It was discussed that the WUSV, having started as an ‘informal talking shop’, had developed into a more formal coalition with a constitution. It was noted that the WUSV constitution specifically declared its object and function as ‘the worldwide implementation of the uniform breeding and training of German Shepherd Dogs’.
b. The British Sieger Event (WUSV working party/breed council).

No objection

The KC stated that it had no objection to British Sieger or other events being held under WUSV rules, but asked that KC-registered clubs should tell the KC about such events and allow it the opportunity to comment.
c. Regional events (BAGSD)
The KC asked that if BAGSD held such events billed as a ‘special event recognised by the KC’ competition structure and management should be declared. This was necessary, it said, because the KC had a legal duty of care to ensure that all dog events it recognised met certain criteria with respect to health and safety and other considerations.

As these events were of a similar structure to the British Sieger show, the KC could foresee no objections.
2. Outside attraction
The KC said it had made its policy ‘very clear’ on this subject and on the detrimental effects it believes the practice brings.
3. Mandatory health testing
This is be an ongoing concern, the KC said, and both parties could contribute ‘to the betterment of the breed via the Accredited Breeder Scheme and BAGSD special events respectively’.
4. VPG branches
The KC has agreed to change the branch term VPG to IPO and with immediate effect such branches will now be called BAGSD IPO, standing for international working test branches.

Go To Top Of Page


GERMAN SHEPHERD DOGS: CONSULTATION ON BREED NAME CHANGE


At the first meeting between the Kennel Club and the German Shepherd Dog breed clubs which had signed the formal Undertakings, the question of the nomenclature of the breed was raised. At this meeting the Kennel Club gave a commitment to consult on whether the word (Alsatian) be dropped from the formal title of the breed.

Before considering this proposition, the General Committee would like the benefit of the German Shepherd Dog community’s views on removing ‘(Alsatian)’ from the name of the breed.

The Kennel Club has asked all KC registered German Shepherd Dog clubs to consult their members on this matter before submitting their responses by the end of August 2010. If you would like your opinion considered you should contact your GSD club as soon as possible.

Go To Top Of Page


Breeders Banned For Three Years

Two breeders and exhibitors of Dogue de Bordeaux's have been banned from all activities to do with dogs for three years for showing unregistered dogs.

Helen Johnson and Mark Foster (Cascob) were the subject of a Kennel Club A42 hearing at which a complaint was made that they had behaved discreditably and prejudicially to the interests of the canine world in that over the course of a year they successively entered a number of licensed events with several unregistered dogs in overt disregard and breach of KC regulations. The complaint was upheld and the pair – of Fellbeck, Pateley Bridge, Harrogate – were fined £1,500 in addition to the ban and other penalties.

The Disciplinary Sub-Committee, which met last Thursday,  comprised chairman Wilson Young, Steve Croxford and Ian Kettle. The KC was represented by barrister Robert Dalling. Ms Johnson was not legally represented and Mr Foster did not appear at the hearing. Ms Johnson explained that her partner was about to go into hospital for surgery.

Outlined

Mr Dalling outlined the case, saying that dogs belonging to the pair had taken part in nine shows run under KC regulations, which says they must be registered.

“The dogs were entered by Ms Johnson either on her behalf or jointly for her and Mr Foster,” he said.
The shows in question were the Dogue de Bordeaux Club of GB limited show on May 3, 2009, at which Cascob Vanilla Sky received a VHC in minor puppy bitch; East of England championship show on July 10 the same year, where Vanilla Sky won puppy bitch and best puppy; Leeds championship show on July 26 at which Vanilla Sky was second in open bitch; and Welsh Kennel Club on August 22 where she was first in puppy bitch and best puppy.

Vanilla Sky was entered at Scottish Kennel Club on August 29 and South Wales KA championship show on October 10. At Driffield on October 1 she was reserve in puppy bitch, and at Midland Counties on October 22 she won puppy bitch. Also present was C Crazy Candy, who was not registered. At the Dogue de Bordeaux Club of GB open show on October 31, Crazy Candy won puppy bitch, best puppy bitch and was reserve best puppy in show.

In June 2008, the KC’s General Committee instructed that all Ms Johnson’s future litters should be DNA verified. Subsequently, Ms Johnson said it was not possible to DNA test her current litter as the sire had died. But the KC’s case was that she continued to show the dogs despite the fact they were not registered.

“It is clear from the top of the entry form to the breed club show in May 2009 that the show was held under KC rules and regulations and it is clear that all dogs must be registered under KC rules,”
Mr Dalling said.

He pointed out that beside the name of Vanilla Sky were the initials NAF/TAF – name applied for and transfer applied for, when this was not case. Also, that the dates of birth of two of the dogs were eight days apart despite the fact that the dam was said to be the same. There was no date on the entry form.

At East of England, RAF was written next to Vanilla Sky’s name and the entry form appeared to be a late entry, the original entry being lost in the post, Mr Dalling said.

Leeds was a late entry too, cash paid with proof of posting given; at SKC, Vanilla Sky had ‘NAF’ beside her name, and again it appeared to be a late entry. South Wales’ entry form was undated, as was Driffield’s, and at the final club show King Of The Ring’s date of birth and sire and dam were different to that given previously.

“In the case of all the dogs and entries, not only was it the position at the time that none of those dogs were registered, but no application had been made for those dogs to be registered, and therefore whether or not the forms said NAF/TAF or not, those dogs were entered in breach of the regulations because no application had been made for registration,” Mr Dalling said.

“In June 2008, Ms Johnson was made subject by the ratification of the General Committee to a requirement that she had to confirm the identity of any dogs she sought to register with the KC by DNA verification. That requirement was in place for the entirety of the period we are concerned with.”
Ms Johnson was asked to state her case. She turned to the entry form for the first breed club show and said she had not submitted it.

“It is not my handwriting nor my partner’s,” she said. “It isn’t signed and there is no date.”
She said there were errors in the names, dates of birth and other details on the form.

With regard to East of England, Ms Johnson said she entered and exhibited two dogs and that the letter RAF was written because she made provisions to register the dogs although the applications had not been submitted.

She said she accepted entering the dogs at Leeds, confirming that it was her signature and handwriting, although Vanilla Sky was not shown that day. She said that although the complaint stated that she had got second in open bitch, she said she had not shown her in that class.
“There are discrepancies,” she said.

Ms Johnson said she entered WKC online and admitted entering for SKC, but said Vanilla Sky was not at the show; she took three older dogs. The South Wales entry form had not been filled in by her, she said; the handwriting was not hers and it was not signed. She pointed out that a box had been circled indicating that she was disabled.

“I have never asked for disabled parking,” she aid. “I think this is relevant to the fact that the form was not filled in by myself.”

She admitted taking and showing Vanilla Sky at Driffield but said that it was not her signature on the entry form and that it should have shown she and Mr Foster as owners, not just herself.
Ms Johnson also admitted showing Vanilla Sky at Midland Counties and C Crazy Candy at the breed club open show.

“I understand that I have been in breach of some of the rules and regulations put down by the KC, and I wish to say on behalf of me and my partner that at no point did I ever want to put the reputation of the KC into disrepute or do any wrong doings by the acts which I obviously have done,” she said.
“However, I think part of the reason I have filled out some of the entry forms with name and transfer applied for was because I was subject to restrictions with two of my dogs, which had to be DNA tested, and I feel I have been treated very unfairly by the KC.”

She spoke about events leading to the restriction being imposed and said that the KC had cleared her of any wrong doings with regard to this.
“I have done a huge amount for the breed and I health test my dogs,” she said. “I have tried to promote this breed.
“I wanted to fight these restrictions because I thought they were unfair and prejudicial to me. However, my personal circumstances with my health and the fact that I have lost a child...” There was a break while Ms Johnson became quite distressed.
“This is why I find it very difficult,” she resumed. “Every day is a struggle. Even though I love my dogs very dearly they have had to take a back seat when it comes to trying to deal with such a thing. That is why even though the application is filled out at home I have never had the state of mind and finances to fight this.
“I would like you to consider all these things today.”

Cross-examining her, Mr Dalling turned to the first breed club show
“You claimed you did not fill in the entry form,” he said. “But you agree you were at the show?”
Ms Johnson said she took two of the dogs listed but not the other two.
“Vanilla Sky was at the show but she was not registered?” Mr Dalling asked.

“Yes, I do admit that,” Ms Johnson replied.

Mr Dalling said: “I understand you were going through a stressful time and wanted to challenge the DNA requirement, but did you think that until you challenged it you had better not show any unregistered dogs?”

“I have to say I am aware that dogs should be registered, however sometimes we don’t always do the right thing and it’s just a little bit of a release to do something different,” Ms Johnson replied. “I have shown some of the dogs that have not been registered and I do admit that it’s wrong.”

Mr Dalling asked what she had meant when she said she had made provisions to register Vanilla Sky.

“I filled out the forms; they were at home, but I didn’t want to submit them and the DNA forms because I wanted to challenge the previous restrictions put on me when I think they’re unjust and unfair,” Ms Johnson said.

“But you put the initials RAF and that was not the case,” Mr Dalling said.

“I had filled out the forms (to register the dogs) but not sent them off,” Ms Johnson said.

In answer to Mr Dalling’s question, she said she had taken Vanilla Sky to Leeds but had not shown her because it was too hot.

“You had gone to the trouble of taking her along and filling in the form and paying your entry fee. Are you sure you did not go and enter her?” Mr Dalling asked.

“She was definitely not shown that day,” Ms Johnson said, adding that Vanilla Sky had not taken to SKC.

Mr Dalling pointed out that during the months preceding the hearing Ms Johnson had been given an opportunity to respond in writing to the complaint but had not done so.

“There are so many other things to try to get through,” Ms Johnson said. “I have spoken to (the KC) and I have tried to explain everything.”

Turning back to the shows, Mr Dalling asked Ms Johnson if she took Vanilla Sky to Driffield.
“Yes I did,” she said.

At Midland Counties she showed Vanilla Sky but not Crazy Candy, she said.
“Crazy Candy was being shown, even though there was no application made to register her?” Mr Dalling asked.
“Yes.”

Summing up, Mr Dalling said it was clear that Ms Johnson had admitted that on six occasions, dogs were entered and shown when no application had been made to register them. Ms Johnson had also admitted breaching KC regulations. In certain instances Ms Johnson had said she had not filled in the entry forms or exhibited the dogs in question, he went on, but despite that there were six instances when she admitted being in breach of the rules.

Ms Johnson said she had admitted some things and could not deny them.
“But I hope that you will see that nothing was done with any intention of fetching the KC into disrepute or doing anything where we would gain from it,” she said.

Sub-committee chairman Wilson Young asked what her occupation was.

“I am an animal breeder,” she said. “We have dogs, pigs and cats.”

“Does dog breeding provide a significant part of your income?” Mr Young asked.

“Yes, it’s part of what allows us to live where we do, certainly, although it’s not a profitable business – breeding dogs isn’t, as you are probably aware,” Ms Johnson said. “We have spent several years going to Europe to promote the breed – and our kennels, obviously – and the amount we have spent far outweighs anything we have got out of it. But it has to be run as a business even though we have never abused that or had a huge amount of litters or different breeds of dog.

“I am trying fit in with the recommendations and guidelines set down by the KC. It has never been my intention to breed to make an income, because if so I would have chosen a completely different breed.”

After deliberating, the sub-committee upheld the complaint and  imposed the following penalties:

1.    To warn Ms Johnson and Mr Foster as to their future conduct A42j(1);
2.    To censure them A42j(2);
3.    To fine them £1,500 A42j(3);
4.    To disqualify them from exhibiting at, taking part in, attending and/or having any connection with any event licensed by the club A42j(4). If anyone disqualified under this sub-paragraph attends a canine event while disqualified, the General Committee has the power to increase the period of disqualification;
5.    To disqualify them from being or becoming a member of ay canine club or society registered with or affiliated to the KC A42j(5);
6.    To disqualify them from acting as an officer or serving on the committee of any canine society A42j(6);
7.    To disqualify them from taking part in the management of any event licensed by the club A42j(7);
8.    To disqualify them from judging at any event licensed by the club A42j(8);
9.    To disqualify them from effecting registration of any or all dogs and/or progeny of such dogs who are owned and/or registered by them, whether or not jointly owned and/or whether or not owned and/or registered in the name of a nominee A42j(9).

The disqualifications are for a period of three years from May 27.

Mr Young said: “We would make the following observations and comments. It was noted that Mr Foster did not attend the hearing today and that Ms Johnson did explain his absence due to forthcoming surgery. Ms Johnson has today spoken on behalf of herself and Mr Foster and the committee has therefore made this decision in respect of the both of them.

“It was noted that Ms Johnson has admitted six separate occasions where the dogs in question have been entered and exhibited over a period of five months, and for Mr Foster this applies to four of those six occasions.

“It was noted that there were three events at which discrepancies have been raised by Ms Johnson and we make no finding in respect of those events.

“However, the repeated failure to observe KC regulations when being experienced in dog breeding and showing and being obviously aware of the regulations is sufficient to satisfy the committee that this complaint should be upheld.

“It goes without saying that it is an absolute and fundamental requirement that dogs entering any licensed event be registered and that this conduct undermines the whole basis of KC canine competition and is being treated as very serious by the committee.

‘We have noted Ms Johnson has had some personal difficulties and we hope perhaps that in the ensuing period of disqualification she is able to resolve and improve her situation.”

Afterwards, Ms Johnson said she intended to appeal against the finding.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

28 May 2010: A Drink Driving Case

AN unqualified motorist from Selkirk was banned from driving for two years and fined £485 when he appeared at the town's sheriff court this week.
Dean Pringle, 20, of Tower Street, admitted driving a car in Scott Street, Galashiels, on May 1, with a breath/alcohol reading of 51mcg – the legal limit being 35.

He also pleaded guilty to driving without displaying L plates and having no insurance.

The court heard how Pringle lost control of the vehicle which then collided with a lamp post before flipping on to its roof.

Fiscal Tessa Bradley described how police found the car in the middle of the road with the accused, smelling strongly of drink and slurring his speech, standing nearby.

Before sentencing, Sheriff Kevin Drummond told Pringle: “It could have been a person you hit and you would then have been standing in the High Court facing years of imprisonment.”

 

Go To Top Of Page


Better Placed Emergency Signs Needed

A Champion Standard Poodle had to be put to sleep after suffering bloat at Southern Counties championship show.

Linda and Mick Lee’s Ch Elledina Evilicious was one of two Standard Poodles who have become ill under similar circumstances at championship shows recently.The other, Glenys and Mick Brekkerud’s Montravia Stage Rumour, recovered after bloating at Bath.

The Lees’ 15-year-old bitch became ill in the middle of the night at the successful and well-organised Southern Counties, and her condition deteriorated quickly. The couple were forced to pack up their motorhome to get her to the vet. They had trouble finding any emergency numbers and when they woke the caravan site warden they were directed to an emergency exit which they had trouble navigating their way through.

Their bitch was so ill by the time they got to a vet five miles away they decided the best option was to put her to sleep. Mrs Lee said the incident was made more traumatic by her being unable to find any emergency numbers at the caravan site and their difficulty in getting through the emergency exit.

More Prominent Positions

She later made her feelings known to Southern Counties chairman David Cavill and he is to place vital information in more prominent positions next year. Mrs Lee described what happened: “My bitch didn’t seem quite right, but I didn’t think much about it because at her age she has her off days, but she woke us in the middle of the night crying and I saw she was bloated.

“My husband had to run to the other side of the site to wake the warden to get an emergency vet’s number, and we then rushed her to the vets, who said she was fully twisted. We decided it was kinder to just let her go.

“It was so hard because she was my baby, a dog of a lifetime – with 14 CCs and nine RCCs – and it made the trauma worse because we were away from home.”

The couple had to wake both wardens – first at the campsite and then at the main showground exit. “The woman at the campsite directed us to the emergency exit,” Mrs Lee said. “We squeezed through, but if the conditions had been worse and the ground muddy it would have been quite difficult. I went to see David Cavill the next morning about what had happened.”

Mr Cavill said that he would ensure for the future that the emergency exit was more clearly marked:

“Mrs Lee was clearly very upset and we were very concerned as well. If we allow the caravan park gate to stay open people turn up from pubs and clubs and drive around, so we always lock it overnight. I understand that the warden directed the Lees to the emergency exit, but in future the sign to the emergency exit will be more prominently placed.

“We are taking steps to make sure it doesn’t happen again – but it is something that hasn’t happened before. We will also make sure that emergency numbers for vets and doctors etc will be easily found. We might distribute leaflets with the necessary information on.”

It was a happier ending for the Standard Poodle who became ill at Bath, and Mr and Mrs Brekkerud have thanked everyone who helped them. Montravia Stage Rumour (Tyler) collapsed in the car park in heavy rain.

“We were caravanning and could not find a vet and had to wait until the vet arrived at the show the next morning,” Mr Brekkerud said. “I would like to see all wardens carry emergency vet telephone numbers in future.”

Tyler was operated on and remained at the vets for the weekend. “It was touch and go but eventually he was stable enough to travel home, and he is now making a good recovery,” Mrs Brekkerud said.

Go To Top Of Page


Effectiveness of Animal Welfare Act questioned

What should vets do to advise their clients about responsible breeding and pet ownership?

And, is it right to expect vets to put right ‘problems not of their making’?

These were two questions raised at the British Veterinary Association’s (BVA) recent discussion forum at the Royal College of Physicians. According to one senior vet, there is still a long way to go to improve the lot of companion animals.

There was also a debate on whether the Animal Welfare Act was working; as reported in this week’s Veterinary Record, delegates were asked to vote electronically and anonymously on this. Once three speakers had given presentations on the topic the votes were taken again and the results compared.

Responses

Before the session the results were 25 per cent ‘yes’, 22 per cent ‘no’ and 53 per cent ‘don’t know’; at the end of the session when the vote was retaken the responses were 31, 45 and 53 respectively.

During the debate, David Pritchard, a senior veterinary consultant in animal welfare for DEFRA, explained that the Act was aimed at consolidating legislation on cruelty and to extend the duty of care to all animals kept by man. It also introduced new powers and offences and created a framework for the development of secondary legislation, licensing, registration and welfare codes.

Mr Pritchard stated it had revolutionised things in terms of producing a duty of care to the companion animal world and that had changed the way in which society and the veterinary profession thought about animal welfare.

Concluding Mr Pritchard said: “We’ve achieved quite a lot but we’ve still got a lot more to do.”
BVA past president Nicky Paull said she felt there was a long way to go to improve welfare for companion animals.

“Has there ever been a better time to act to improve the lot of companion animals following the fall-out from Pedigree Dogs Exposed?” she asked.

She also wanted to know who should be responsible for leading the change.

“In this game is the veterinary profession playing referee, the coach, the player or simply the enthusiastic spectator?” she asked.

Mrs Paull also questioned what vets could do to advise their clients about the importance of responsible breeding and pet ownership.

“Is it right to expect the practising arm of the profession to put right the problems that many would consider are not of their making?” she said.

She added that the law should decrease the likelihood of welfare issues occurring ‘be it by education or just simply as a deterrent’.

Another important outcome of the Animal Welfare Act should be that those who fell short of the terms of the legislation could be prosecuted more easily, she said.

But in her opinion, she said, the Act had not been effective.

“Is it the fault of society as a whole?” she asked. “Is it fashion, expensive vets’ fees, dog breeders, status dogs, the credit crunch, ignorance, laws on negligence?” she said. “If the Act has not impacted, then how much is it a failure of the legislation and how much is it a failure of us all?”

Go To Top Of Page


Mike Townsend New Vice Chairman

Mike Townsend has been appointed the new vice-chairman of the Kennel Club, replacing Bill Hardaway who has retired. Mr Townsend has been a KC member since 1988, and in 1998 became a trustee of the KC Charitable Trust, of which he became chairman in 2002.

He has been a member of the KC’s General Committee, Finance and General Purposes Sub- Committee and the audit panel since 2002. He had also been a member of KC Services Ltd board since 2004, and a trustee of the KC Staff Pension Scheme since July 2002.

Rolls Royce

Educated at Harrogate Grammar School and Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge, he qualified as a chartered accountant in 1966, and worked subsequently for a number of engineering companies before joining Rolls Royce plc, becoming its finance director in 1991, retiring at the end of 1999.

Since 1970 Mr Townsend has had Irish Setters, which are owned by his wife who judges, shows, and breeds under the Follidown affix.

Mr Townsend was a committee member of the Irish Setter Association from 1985-2001 and its secretary between 1995-2001. While involved with the Association he was closely involved with the administrative aspects and ramifications associated with the development of the DNA tests for the RCD-1 form of PRA and CLAD in the breed.

He was a committee member (1986-95) and chief steward (1990-95) of the Mid-Western Gundog Society, and has been treasurer of Birmingham Dog Show Society Ltd since 2004.

Go To Top Of Page


The Russian Scottie May Be Disqualified...Who Cares!

The Kennel Club is asking for proof of postage from certain Exhibitors from Crufts 2010.
This is in accordance with KC Regulation F(1)9.e.

The main 'antagonist' in this Kennel Club investigation is the Scottish Terrier:
CH RUS/SLO/EUR FILISITE BRASH CELEBRATION.

I am certain that if the Scottie Does get Disqualified, the owners won't be that bothered. You can take away the award but the Glory that went with it will remain forever.
It was by far the best Terrier at the show and in my view should have been Best In Show.

At Crufts 2003 the Best In Show Winner was The Pekingese Ch Yakee A Dangerous Liaison.
Owned by Albert Easdon and Philip Martin.

A complaint was made to the Kennel Club stating that the Peke had been operated on and that the surgery broke KC rules. This complaint proved to be unfounded.

There was wide speculation as to why the complaint was made and it was rumored that this was to elevate the Kerry Blue Ch Torum's Tunde Bayou to Best In Show by Disqualification, thus giving his handler Geoffrey Corish another Crufts BIS.

And anyway, let's face it, reserve at any show means you got beat. The Reserve Challenge Certificate
means you have been beaten by the CC winner and you have the Certificate to prove it.
It's not worth the paper that it's printed on.

Go To Top Of Page


DFS CRUFTS – ENTRIES ON THE DAY

The Kennel Club wishes to confirm its position concerning the exhibitors that entered dogs for DFS Crufts 2010 claiming undelivered entries, in particular Scottish Terrier
CH RUS/SLO/EUR FILISITE BRASH CELEBRATION which won 1st in Open Dog, Best of Breed, Terrier Group 1 and Reserve Best in Show.

Kennel Club Regulation F(1)9.e. states:
Entries from exhibitors claiming that undelivered entries have been correctly posted must be accepted on the day of the Show, subject to the conditions of Regulation F(1)9.c. Such claims will have to be substantiated to the Kennel Club which will request documentary evidence, subsequent to the Show.

The Kennel Club has written to all parties connected with the dogs concerned and has asked that they submit proof of their entries. However, the Club is disappointed to note that some exhibitors have not responded to the request for further information.

As a result, this matter will be referred to the next available Committee for consideration and could result in the disqualification of awards gained.

A further announcement on the outcome of this matter will be made in due course.

Go To Top Of Page


The Kennel Club’s AGM; It Wasn’t Irving’s Waterloo

This years AGM for the Kennel Club Members proved to be a damp squib for the controversial
[to those in power] proposal put forward by Robin Searle.

But, does this show the Kennel Club to be a forward thinking organisation? I think not.
It is very clear to anyone who is a forward thinker that once acquired, power is never ever readily relinquished.

It is the general consensus of opinion that the incumbent Chairman, would have to be dragged away kicking and screaming, for him to relinquish his position. General Committee member Simon Luxmoore was also extremely agitated at Searle’s proposal.

Does all of this tell us something? Why would the Chairman [Irving] want the agenda for the AGM kept a secret? His attack on the Dog Press speaks volumes about his determination to cling to
[the aphrodisiac of] power.

A ‘TSUNAMI’ of public criticism hit the Kennel Club after the broadcast of Pedigree Dogs Exposed, according to the report presented by KC chairman Ronnie Irving at the AGM 2009. This was undoubtedly fuelled by his crass remarks. When under pressure in the program [without a prepared speech] he blustered:

"No scientist is going to tell me how to breed dogs when I've been doing it for 40 years.”

That sentence told us a lot about Ronnie Irving. Did he take honourable course of action?
Obviously no he didn’t.

We, that is every society in the UK, should ask the questions; why do we have to pay a License fee to The Kennel Club if we want hold a show? Yet, in these times of recession every small society and all of the breed clubs are finding that the ever increasing costs in running shows are becoming more difficult.

Question: Why can’t we run our shows without a Kennel club license?

Answer: Because the KC will exclude you from running further shows if you hold a show unlicensed.

Furthermore, they send out their pompous ‘Field Officers’ to inspect. What are these so called ‘Field Officers’ for; to inspect the Grass? Or to grass on the club should the ‘Cack’ area not be large enough? Etc etc.

The Kennel Club has a Monopoly on the running of shows in the UK and this cannot be a good thing. We really should have an alternative.

Hypothetical Question: Why don’t we all exclude ourselves from entering Crufts in 2011?
Now this would make the very ‘exclusive’ Kennel Club’s membership pay attention.
"No Show Without Punch?"

Another question that should be asked is: Why doesn’t every breed club and society in the UK have a vote/s depending on the size of the club/s on who is The Elected Chairman of the Kennel Club?

But, this would be a step too far towards a democratically run Kennel Club.

Go To Top Of Page


Proposal to change length of chairmanship withdrawn following ‘lively debate’ at AGM

The proposal that chairmanship of the Kennel Club should be limited to a six-year term gave rise to much discussion at the AGM.

Robin Searle’s proposal that the KC’s rules and constitution should be changed drew a fierce response from General Committee member Simon Luxmoore, who called it ‘totally insulting’.
Even when Mr Searle said that he admired Mr Luxmoore’s speech and that the pair should do business together, the General Committee member looked away, stony-faced.
Mr Searle went on to withdraw his proposal.

Winds Of Change

He had suggested – and was seconded by Anthony Taylor – that while he was a keen supporter of the KC ‘the winds of change were sweeping over dogdom’ and the rules were getting a little out-of-date and Edwardian.

“This is the 21st century and we are already ten years into it,” he said. “Surely six years is long enough to get through specific points and tackle opponents of dogdom. Even the Government of the day and prime minister have only five years in which to do this.

“KC members have a huge amount of experience and knowledge, and this should be utilised. Recruitment to the General Committee would mean that those with ambition would have the green light and the committee would have new blood, and fresh ideas and aims. Our world would benefit greatly.”

Mr Taylor said that this was an issue about what was good corporate governance; how the KC could be accountable to its broader constituency – the people it represented in the world of pedigree dogs.

“It seems to me that many are very dissatisfied about the way things are moving,” he said. “With a fixed term of office, at the end of six years, and the chairman goes, you lose expertise, I accept that, but he could spend a year on sabbatical, in the real world of dog showing and talk to people we represent and come back.”

Mr Taylor said it was a ‘tragedy’ that no new people had put their names forward for the General Committee.

“I think that is the issue of succession we need to look at,” he said.
Concluding, he said: “People should look back to the ancient Greeks and look at the problem of Hubris.”

Les Crawley said he had served several organisations in various capacities, including three charities, and that if a chairman outstayed his welcome it could cause problems.

“I am not suggesting we are in that situation, but the main benefit (of a new chairman) is fresh ideas, a fresh look at systems, fresh enthusiasm and seeing things others haven’t seen, and I would wholeheartedly support this proposal,” he said.

Mr Luxmoore said he had been surprised when he saw the proposal.

“I took time to consider what might lie behind it, what was the motivating factor giving rise to it,” he said. “I decided the reasons concerned the general governance of the KC.”
He quoted the KC’s rules and regulations regarding how the chairman and General Committee are elected.

“These extracts could not be clearer in amplifying that you all as members have the right to stand for the General Committee, to vote for those standing for General Committee and that the General Committee in turn has the responsibility annually to elect a chairman from within its number,” he said.

“Trustees are both appointed by and can be removed by General Committee.

“In the ongoing pursuit of good general governance there is absolutely no good reason for any upper limit in terms of period of tenure for anyone holding the position of chairman. Each and every year the General Committee considers very carefully and reconsiders the position of chairman within its number to let the right person in their view carry out that position.”

He said limited terms of office were once thought fashionable and politically correct.

“Time and business have moved on from this ill-considered thinking,” he continued. “It is now believed to be outdated, outmoded and irrelevant. Most organisations are against a limited term.”

He went on: “I have experience in running national and international businesses. Ultimately term limits have the effect of destroying the continuity and long-term planning of any effective organisation. It is bad practice. I and the rest of the General Committee totally reject a term limit for position of chairman.

“You allowed the General Committee to represent you and we elect a chairman on your behalf, the person we believe is the best individual to represent your club as chairman. The proposition by Mr Searle, that the responsibility currently invested in the General committee to elect a chairman be obstructed I feel is totally insulting, as it is clearly suggesting that the General Committee is no longer capable or competent to make that decision.

Fit-For-Position

“Do you the membership really believe that we can no longer make that decision and that a more suitable candidate is standing in line and being denied the opportunity? We the General Committee believe we should be empowered to act in your best interests on an annual basis on a fit-for-position basis whosoever that might be.

“The implication that a 24-strong General Committee might be a cowering, brow-beaten group of individuals is absurd. If we felt at any stage that the right person for the job was not in that position, there would be a change in a heartbeat – or more likely in a year. This committee is not group of shrinking violets, trust me.

“The role of chairman is very challenging in this day and age, and more so now than in the past. Special qualities are required to successfully fill the position. It is a serious leadership role for someone with excellent communication and good management skills, who can get the best from the staff and a number of volunteers.

“I put it to you in the clearest possible terms I believe that a (limited term of office) is a completely inappropriate way forward for an organisation which aspires to pursue best practice, and would undoubtedly mean the General Committee elected by you would be unable to appoint the person it considers to be the best within its number. Absence of a term limit means that accountability remains in place throughout the term of tenure; a term limit removes that accountability and responsibility. The General Committee believes the proposal is completely ill-founded and misguided, and seeks the support of all of you to vote against it.”

Former KC chairman Peter James said that if the proposal was adopted it would mean the ‘immediate removal’ of the present chairman, Ronnie Irving, and that that would be interpreted widely as a vote of no confidence in the policies of the KC.

“Both of those results, in my opinion, would be wholly unfortunate, and I urge you to reject this proposal,” he said.

Geoffrey Davies said that having a limited term of office would be restrictive.

“Why impose a restraint which would rid the club of a chairman after six years while there is still a lot more service to be done by that individual?” he asked.

He continued: “The position of chairman doesn’t carry a six-figure salary – it brings stress and hassle. I feel we are at a crossroads with regard to the problems facing the world of pedigree dogs, and continuity and unity are absolutely essential at the moment.

“I would say, though, with regard to Mr Luxmoore, I found part of his presentation belligerent. I have known Robin for a long time. he speaks his mind and is entitled to do so, and I think his proposal - while I don’t support it and am against it - is not intended to be insulting.”

Judith Robin-Smith said the KC had a long list of eminent chairmen.

“Why change every six years?” she asked. “They have to deal with the Government, the press and sometimes antagonistic charities. If we want them to give up the position every six years then what?
Julia Iles-Hibbert asked whether, due to the sensitivity of the proposal, a paper vote should be taken. Mr Irving asked: “Do you want that, ladies and gentlemen?” This was greeted by shouts of ‘No!’

Tessa Gaines said it was difficult to get new people to pursue more senior positions within the club.

“This year we have had no one standing against any of the General Committee, who were re-elected without any opposition,” she said. “Is it apathy in members or are they satisfied by what the General Committee is doing for us in the KC?

“One gentleman who spoke said continuity was important; it is, but it is also important to try to bring along younger members, and that is hopefully what we are doing with the Young Kennel Club.”

She concluded: “If the general feeling is that we could move forward more quickly or differently in the future, then it is up to us to vote on the General Committee to get them to move forward themselves and bring on other new people if we don’t agree with what they are doing. Or we can just sit back and do nowt as so many people do.”

Bill Harding said the proposal should be depersonalised.

“The present constitution works to the satisfaction of members and that should be our guide,” he said. “I am not really concerned about the constitution of other organisations, only this club, and we should judge on the success or otherwise of our constitution.”

A Lack Of Candidates

He said there was no point bemoaning the fact there were few new people coming forward.

“In my years as a member I can remember many occasions when competition has been very robust. But I am sure, if anything, that a lack of other candidates this year indicates satisfaction in the way our club is being run.

“I would just add this, that in general I believe it is a bad practice if we hem ourselves in with unnecessary changes to our rules. If it works, don’t mend it. I beg to oppose the motion.”

Mike Mullan said that what had happened in the world of dogs over the past 18 months should make KC members act as a unit.

“We have a hard-working General Committee and a good leader,” he said. “It’s been a tough time for world of dogs, particularly pedigree dogs, which are now thought of as bad news. Anything that rocks the boat will be picked up by the press.

“If you have a good team support it and let them get on with the job they were elected to do originally.”

Mr Searle stood again and said: “Well, at least one thing has been achieved by this, and that’s a debate. This meeting has come alive hasn’t it?

“You and I, Mr Luxmoore, should do some business dealing; I rather admire the way you did that. I didn’t mean to insult anyone, I just felt the rules were old-fashioned and needed modifying.

“I think the best thing is if I withdraw my motion. Thank you.”

“Do you seriously want to?” Mr Irving asked.

“I wouldn’t have said it otherwise,” Mr Searle replied, smiling.

Go To Top Of Page


YOUR DOG NEEDS YOU

It is with grave concern and URGENCY that we felt it crucial to contact you and ask you to spread the word.

Are you aware of the Dog Control Bill that is currently on its second reading in the House of Lords and the effect it will have on all our dogs?

We believe this Bill is aimed at status, illegal and dangerous dogs but it actually affects every dog in the country.

It is intended to replace the Dangerous Dogs Act (DDA) and other legislation but actually extends the power of the law into your home and gardens.

SO WHAT?

Having taken legal opinion it is imperative that you visit the Defra website and complete their online questionnaire which addresses a number of dog issues as well as this Bill.
www.defra.gov.uk/corporate/consult/dangerous-dogs

If you want to read the proposed Bill go to
www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld200809/ldbills/009/09009.i-i.html

WHY?

As the Bill stands there would be a far greater chance of your dog committing an offence that would be subject to the law, seizure and possible destruction.
For example

• Any act of aggression by your dog towards another animal or person can be deemed a reportable offence with potentially fatal consequences.
• How is your dog to know the difference between a trespasser and a burglar?
• If your dog chases a cat that could be deemed an offence
• Should your dog react to a child entering your garden to retrieve a lost ball is that an offence?

This Bill would remove your right to a trial by jury in a dog biting case, as it would seem that such offences could only be tried in the Magistrates' Court. Also, if you wanted to appeal against a Dog Control Notice, then there would be no form of Legal Aid available to do so.

Even those responsible for the most serious dog biting incidents would only face a reduced maximum fine of £5000 instead of the current unlimited fine and a maximum of 6 month jail as opposed to the current 2 years. Although the Bill refers to a maximum 51-week sentence Magistrates are currently only able to impose a maximum 6 month sentence.

It is great that this Bill would rescind breed specific legislation. However, the worst case scenario would be that during the committee stages this is reintroduced and so leaving us with both BSL as well as the increased powers permitted by the Bill. DEFRA is currently consulting on dangerous dog related matters. Whilst not specifically looking at this particular Bill, DEFRA does ask for opinions on the law on breed specific legislation, dangerous dogs cases, Dog Control Notices as well as microchipping and insurance matters. It is vital that as many of us as possible make DEFRA aware our views on these matters, especially as this Bill is already before the House of Lords.

AND WHO WILL ENFORCE THIS BILL?

In all likelihood a local authority employee who may have had a few days training

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE YOU ONLY HAVE UNTIL 1ST JUNE
TO MAKE YOUR VOICE HEARD
.

Defra is conducting a consultation on this Bill and other dog related matters. It is vital that as many of us as possible make Defra aware how seriously this Bill could affect us, the responsible dog owners.

Get involved and forward this to as many people as possible.

Original source the SCSBTS Dog Control Bill sub-committee.

NOTE

When completing the Defra questionnaire be aware that when you reach the end and press ”DONE” it will close so make sure you have said all you want before pressing “DONE”.

There is no “print” option so if you want a record of what you have said try to “screen print” as you go.

Go To Top Of Page


PEER SAYS IT'S CHEAPER TO KILL DDA DOGS

Animal welfare groups have reacted angrily to a suggestion that dogs seized or held by police under section one of the Dangerous Dogs Act (DDA) should be put to sleep immediately. Lord (Toby) Harris’ remarks were made at a Metropolitan Police Authority (MPA) meeting at which it was revealed that plans to outsource kennelling to the private sector and care of ‘dangerous’ dogs would cost up to £10.6 million over four years.

The number of dogs seized has increased by over 110 per cent in the last three years to 1,152 per annum.

In his blog, Lord Harris, former MPA chairman, said that the ‘quiet going on boring’ meeting of the strategic and operational policing committee ‘burst into life’ when the funds were authorised to provide kennelling for ‘another 400 dogs’ seized under the DDA. He admitted saying that it would be a lot cheaper to shoot the dogs rather than ‘cage’ them while the legal procedures ‘grind their way’ through the court.

“We seem to be spending an enormous amount of money on keeping weapons for other police,” he said.

Fast-Track Culling Powers

“Much to my surprise, the sentiment attracted support from other committee members,” he alleged afterwards. “It was agreed that (deputy mayor Kit Malthouse) should write to the new Home Secretary, Theresa May, asking her to agree fast-track culling powers for the police in relation to the animals.

“However, even though everyone knows that the new Con/Lib coalition Government walks on water, it was decided to authorise the money just in case the new powers take a bit of time to come through.”

A record 1,146 dogs were seized in London last year, and 451 held currently in police kennels. The number of dogs seized by police often surges after high-profile incidents such as children being attacked.

Supt Julia Pendry, who was present at the meeting, has been quoted widely as having said at the meeting: “It would be absolutely fantastic if we could destroy these dogs. Unfortunately, it is a criminal offence because the property belongs to other people. Secondly, the RSPCA would probably prosecute me and people like DEFRA and the national press would have a field day if we started killing dogs that were people’s pets.

“However frustrating it is, there is a criminal justice procedure we have to go through.”
The Superintendent told DOG WORLD afterwards that her words needed to be put in context.

“This discussion was about budgeting and kennelling,” she said. “The Metropolitan Police Service was requesting £10.4 million in kennelling fees over four years and it caused an outcry at the meeting. That’s an awful lot of public funds, not including the £2.6 million it costs yearly.

“The average time a dog spends in custody before its case went to court used to be 180 days and we have speeded it up to 70 days, although at the moment it is about 90. The court may decide at the end of it to impose a destruction order, and if the dog stayed on death row awaiting death for, say, six months while appeals and court processes are gone through that can’t be good for the dog.

“And if there is no destruction order, it is not unusual for the dog’s owners not to be there to take the dog back at the end of it, and it is impossible to rehome the dog because it has become institutionalised while in kennels.

“Surely by extending the awfulness for another six to nine months before the dog is put to sleep is no good for the dog. The whole process needs to be speeded up; a resolution needs to be as quick as possible. We have to fast-track these cases so that they can be sorted out by a court in 72 hours.”

She said the 451 dogs the Metropolitan Police had in kennels currently was ‘only scratching the surface’.

Members of the Met’s Status Dogs Unit have been in discussion with Government officials in a bid to redraft the DDA, and DEFRA is currently undertaking a full review of it. The unit raided 300 homes last year to seize suspected dangerous animals and is overseeing 370 outstanding court cases.

A proportion of the imprisoned animals will have been seized under section one of the Act, simply because it is thought they resemble a pit bull type and not because they pose any threat. And many distraught owners will currently be going through the lengthy legal process of bringing the matter to court in a bid to save their dog’s life.

Huge Expense

After details of the meeting were publicised, several groups voiced their concerns. Professor Bill Reilly, president of the British Veterinary Association (BVA), said: “Lord Harris’ comments underline the failure of current legislation on dangerous dogs. He rightly points out that it is a huge expense to taxpayers, but his recommendation that all dogs seized under the Dangerous Dogs Act be euthanased does not address the fundamental problems of breed-specific legislation.

“Thousands of dogs are seized every year and many of them are targeted simply because of the way they look, not because of their behaviour. This means that well-loved and well-trained family pets spend months in police kennels, which can be detrimental to their welfare, only to be returned.

“We need to move to a system that allows the police and other officials to target a dog’s behaviour and its irresponsible owners and this is something the BVA will continue to campaign for.”

Dogs Trust said it was appalled by Lord Harris’ suggestion that dogs should be shot to save the the cost of kennelling them.

“We believe that euthanasia should always be the last resort with any dog,” said the charity’s chief executive Clarissa Baldwin. “We have long campaigned against the DDA. This breed-specific legislation stipulates that the ‘type of dog known as a pit bull terrier’ and three other breed types – Japanese Tosa, Dogo Argentino and Fila Brasiliero – are banned in the UK. Identification of these banned breed types is based on appearance which is an imprecise and discriminatory way of identifying a supposed ‘dangerous dog’. As a result, hundreds of family pets with no history of aggression have been needlessly seized since the introduction of the Act and held at the taxpayer’s expense.

“We believe that the DDA needs to be completely overhauled. The use of dog control orders is a better way of preventing attacks, promoting responsible dog ownership, and will both save money and reduce the unnecessary suffering and destruction of dogs. Early identification of problem dogs and problem owners is the way to better protect the public.”

The RSPCA said it was ‘extremely concerned’ at comments about the suggestion of a ‘blanket euthanasia’ of dogs seized by the Metropolitan Police.

“Approximately 50 per cent of dogs seized under this legislation by the Met are currently returned to their owners without further problems,” a spokesman said. “We would urge the Government to look at implementing a licensing scheme, as we recently suggested. Not only would this help to tackle this issue but it would raise much-needed funds at a local level which could help to improve dog health and welfare more proactively and actually prevent serious incidents from occurring.

“This has been successfully rolled out in other countries and has helped to tackle this very serious issue. A poll carried out for us showed that there is clear support for a licensing scheme from the majority of the public.

“Any suggestion of speeding up the process of dealing with these cases, thereby shortening the time that dogs are kennelled, would be fully supported by us.”

The Blue Cross said it was shocked to hear the suggestion that certain types of dog should be shot to save on kennel costs.

Rightly Returned To Their Owners

Chief vet at the charity’s Hammersmith animal hospital, Richard Green, said: “Many dogs seized and kennelled by the police under section one of the DDA have committed no greater offence than looking a certain way. While some may be a danger to the public, many are not, and will be rightly returned to their owners.

“I share Lord Harris’ concerns about the lengthy process for courts to decide the fate of these dogs, not least because kennelling them for protracted periods of time is a serious compromise to their welfare as well as a burden to the public purse. But I fail to see how allowing police to act as judge, jury and summary executioner would in any way improve the current situation.

“I would urge Lord Harris to support these efforts to establish a clearer, fairer, more practical and enforceable legal framework for dealing with dangerous dogs, without the need for a firing squad.”

A PDSA spokesman said: “We feel that the law should focus on social issues, such as why dogs are used as aggressive ‘weapons’ rather than concentrating solely on specific breeds or types of dog.

“It can be a difficult and lengthy process to confirm whether a dog is one of the specified types within the Act, which involves a great deal of police and court time. In addition, after being seized the dog can be kept in kennels for many months. This has serious welfare implications for the dog, as well as being costly for the authorities involved. The police can only act within the law, but looking at ways to speed up the process would cut the associated costs and reduce the distress it must cause to the dogs who are kennelled in isolation for many months.”

“It can be a difficult and lengthy process to confirm whether a dog is one of the specified types within the Act, which involves a great deal of police and court time. In addition, after being seized the dog can be kept in kennels for many months. This has serious welfare implications for the dog, as well as being costly for the authorities involved.

“The police can only act within the law, but looking at ways to speed up the process would cut the associated costs and reduce the distress it must cause to the dogs who are kennelled in isolation for many months.”

Lord Harris was unavailable for comment.

A spokesman for the police said: “Our status dog unit provides an immediate 24-hour response to all incidents involving dangerous or potentially-dangerous dogs. They are able to seize dogs when necessary.

“There is a current need for 400 kennel spaces for seized animals. Officers can complete the paperwork needed for the Crown Prosecution Service within 72 hours, however court cases can take some time to conclude.

“The cost is a continuing concern but we have taken measures, including working with a number of other agencies, to streamline processes and reduce costs. The Status Dog Unit plays a vital role in tackling the problem of dangerous dogs and we are committed to finding and prosecuting the irresponsible owners of banned or dangerous dogs. The animals are treated humanely and kept secure while the due process takes place.”

Go To Top Of Page


Double handling discussed at ‘congenial’ meeting beween KC and GSD breed clubs

Representatives of 14 clubs and the German Shepherd breed council – all of which have signed the Kennel Club’s ‘undertaking’ – have got together for a meeting.

The morning session, led by KC vice-chairman Bill Hardaway, covered double handling and how this should be managed at shows. This was followed by a presentation by Crufts chairman Gerald King and GSD exhibitor Gary Gray on the importance of educating judges.

Education programme

In the afternoon, Professor Mike Herrtage gave a presentation on canine conformation and movement in regard to the GSD.

It was agreed that the KC would continue to work with the club representatives to ‘establish and improve’ a judges’ education programme.

Items to be discussed at the second meeting will include mandatory health testing, registration of untested stock, development of new tests for the breed, health testing, and the Accredited Breeder Scheme.

“Both presentations were well received and attracted active and constructive debate on all aspects, resulting in the achievement of a consensus on the way forward,” Mr Hardaway said.

“The representatives are to be congratulated on achieving a very positive and successful day. Many viewpoints were aired in a constructive and positive way, which resulted in an interesting and informative meeting.

“I was very pleased that the KC was able to give reassurance to those who were concerned as to how to deal with potentially difficult situations. Also, I am hopeful that there is now a significant degree of trust in the motives and intentions of the KC.

“I believe that if we can keep the momentum going, progress can be made for the good of the breed.”

Breed council chairman John Cullen said afterwards: “It was a congenial meeting of members of breed club which had signed and representatives of the breed council – namely myself and vice-chairman David Hall.

Proposal

“We were on hand to put the views of the clubs that had not signed.

“The meeting finished with a proposal that the KC would ask all clubs their views on dropping the name Alsatian.

“There are to be more meetings in the future.”

Go To Top Of Page


The End Of The Line For Irving?

A bid to limit the Kennel Club chairman’s term of office is to be made at next week’s AGM.
Robin Searle will propose that ‘no chairman/chairperson of the KC, or of the General Committee, should serve more than six years consecutively in that office’.

Current chairman Ronnie Irving took over in June 2002 from Peter James who served five and a half years. Before that, John MacDougall was in the post for 15 years.

At present, the KC rule – which has been in force for many years – states ‘The General Committee at its first meeting held after the AGM in each year shall elect a chairman and vice-chairman from its own number who shall be, ipso facto, chairman and vice-chairman of the KC. The election shall be by secret ballot if more than one nomination is received for either post’.

Before last year’s AGM, attempts were made to get several members to withdraw proposals they had wanted included on the agenda. Mr Searle received calls from the KC recently but would not reveal what they were about.

Phone Calls

He said: "I had some phone calls and emails – which was quite irritating. Things got a bit over the top, especially as members are supposed to be the backbone of any club.
“Not enough attention is given to the members and I think they have worries about what could happen if they stand up and be counted.”

If his proposal is agreed at the meeting its provisions would come into force next year. Asked whether he would rather the general membership voted in a chairman rather than the General Committee as the rule states currently, Mr Searle said: “Really, we have to start somewhere. We need to get change instigated first of all, and then tinker with it and get it improved next year.
“It will certainly cause an uproar.”

Mr Searle said he did not want to discuss the proposal in any detail but hoped its intention was clear.

“There should be, like most societies in this country, in the rules that after a three-year period the post has to come up for re-election,” he said. “In some ways we have been very lucky over the years with some of our chairmen; some have been brilliant and some not so good, and that is the same in most organisations.”

KC secretary Caroline Kisko said that the calls to Mr Searle were ‘categorically’ not to talk him out of his proposal but to amend – with his agreement – the wording ‘in common with all the submitted agenda items’.

Jean Lanning was one of the members who last year was subjected to a prolonged bid to dissuade her from putting forward her proposal, that members be given the opportunity to discuss ‘the many important changes the KC had implemented since August 2008’, following the programme Pedigree Dogs Exposed. But she had insisted, and on the day took to the stage to make her speech, exercising her right ‘as an ordinary member of the KC’ to have an item on the agenda.

She has managed to get another proposal placed in next Wednesday’s agenda – to reinstate the bi-annual general meeting, which was dropped in 2008, at which she would like the General Committee to report on the KC’s activities in the past six months, and discuss other items of general business.

This year no attempts were made to talk her out of the proposal.

“I had some phone calls about the way in which it was to be drafted – they wanted me to put it slightly differently – but nothing major,” she said. “In the end I was quite happy with it. However, I think other people were cross-examined.”

She said she believed that losing the bi-AGM had been ‘a retrograde step’.

“It coincided with – and no one could have foreseen this – the film (Pedigree Dogs Exposed), and it did seem that it should have been for the members to have had an opportunity to have a meeting and discuss the film. It would have been appropriate,” she said.

“But I didn’t have a problem with that, and it (dropping the bi-AGM) was all done above board; we voted on it. But it doesn’t mean it can’t be brought back.”

It was clear at last year’s AGM that some members felt there should have been more consultation about the changes made by the KC following the film. One said the KC’s stance had made them feel disenfranchised and put them in a difficult position, and former General Committee member Miss Lanning said she had never witnessed such a ‘mood of disquiet and discontent’ among members.

She added that the KC had been ‘shaken to its roots’ by the aftermath of Pedigree Dogs Exposed and that a special meeting should have been called so discussion and consultation could have taken place.

Chinese Crested breeder and exhibitor Barrie Jones was talked out of his proposal for last year’s agenda, which had been about the BBC film and its effect on the KC.

“I was called to the KC to discuss it and I was asked to withdraw it and I did,” he said. “They made arguments about pressure on the club’s officers, so I withdrew it, thinking I was on my own.

“But it turned out that three other people had made similar proposals and all in isolation withdrew them; all of them had died before we got to the AGM.

“We are concerned about the administration of the club. A lot of people are unhappy about the way things are going. More and more people are complaining because members are being railroaded by a small management team and the administration. They are our servants but they don’t realise that; they think they are the KC.”

Mr Jones, who has been a member since 1984, is concerned that the item in which the accounts and balance sheet are approved are sinking down the agenda and believes they should be nearer the top of the list of business. He has been in correspondence with the KC about it but is not satisfied by the response. He also notes that in 2009, unlike other years, the accounts were not presented by the auditor, although he was present last year.

“I am concerned,” he said. “I used to be chairman of the Chinese Crested Club of GB so I know the rules, and we had to stick to a particular order. If I had to jump through hoops, surely the KC should too.”

Mr Jones’ ‘item for discussion’ on this year’s agenda is that the KC AGMs be held at the club’s building at Stoneleigh, Warwickshire, ‘or at any other suitable venue identified within the showground site’.

Item 17 – the last before ‘general business’ – is American Cocker Spaniel breeder and exhibitor Yvonne Knapper-Weijland’s proposal that breeds with hereditary eye defects should have test results and status logged on KC health registers, databases and registration certificates. When she proposed a similar item last year, Mrs Knapper-Weijland received several phone calls from chairman Ronnie Irving and Mrs Kisko and she agreed to drop it.

This year’s proposal – slightly stronger than its predecessor – states that the KC will include:
On the KC health register/database – the results of ALL specialist certificated eye examinations undertaken by the Animal Health Trust (AHT, ECVO, ISDS, etc) in addition to those of the KC/BVA; specialist certified eye examinations recognised by the FCI, the AKC and by all overseas kennel clubs with which the KC has reciprocal agreements;

On KC registration certificates – the current eye status of the dog as evidenced by the certificated results of specialist eye examinations undertaken by the KC/BVA, Animal Health Trust (AHT, ECVO, ISDS, etc); specialist certified eye examinations recognised by the FCI; specialist certified eye test recognised by the AKC or by overseas kennel clubs with which the KC has reciprocal agreements;

On KC puppy registration certificates – the eye status of sire and dam (identifiable by microchip/tattoo) as evidenced by the current data provided by the KC/BVA, AHT, ISDS, ECVO in the UK or by the current specialist eye certificates issued by overseas authorities recognised by the FCI, AKC or kennel clubs with which the KC has reciprocal agreements;

With the exception of KC/BVA certificates, the onus will be on the owner/breeder to provide the KC with copies of the current and relevant certificates provided by the AHT, by the FCI, AKC or by overseas kennel clubs in reciprocal agreement with the KC for identifiable (microchip/tattoo) dogs.

“I had the backing of three breed clubs last year but I was asked to drop it and I agreed,” Mrs Knapper-Weijland said. “I was told that the whole of the General Committee was against it. In hindsight (dropping it) was a big mistake.

“This time I reworded it, and I have had quite a few calls from people who want to second the proposal, and I think that’s very good. The KC has to accept that if it wants to be seen to be encouraging dogs to be fit for function etc...

“It’s interesting that this year I got no phone calls (from the KC). Perhaps they now agree with it or heard that I was quite hurt that I had so many calls from them pleading with me to drop it.”

Rosemary Wilcock has had a proposal included which would change the way in which honorary life members are elected. The current rule, with Miss Wilcock’s proposed deletions in bold and inclusions underlined, is: “A person may be elected an honorary life member of the club at a general meeting on the recommendation of the General Committee (‘A member who has paid his subscription for 40 or more years may be proposed as an honorary life member by any member of the club (subscriptions paid to the former Ladies Branch shall be counted for the purpose of this rule) or of an ordinary member. Notice of a proposal to elect an honorary life member must appear on the agenda of a general meeting together with a brief rationale – eg longevity of membership, significant contributions made to the world of dogs, etc – of factors underpinning the proposal. Honorary life members shall have the rights and privileges of membership but shall not be liable to pay subscriptions’.

Another source suggested that some prominent members – including two who had been on the General Committee – had been denied the honorary accolade without reason being given, and that there had been other occasions when members had suggested names which had been rejected out of hand.

Mrs Kisko said: “We do not believe it is right to discuss the KC AGM agenda in advance of the meeting and thus pre-empt in any way the right of members to express their own views at the meeting, so we do not intend to comment on individual issues in advance of the meeting.”

In recent years, it has been necessary to crack on with the AGM’s business, as the Curzon Street Cinema in London in which it has been held has been booked only for the morning. Perhaps anticipating a more lengthy meeting it appears that it has been booked for longer this time, as on the front of the agenda it states, ‘Due to the number of items on the agenda, we would like to make all members aware that a short break for lunch may be required so that the meeting can be resumed in the afternoon. If, however, it seems likely that the meeting will be concluded in reasonable time, then we will continue and take a late lunch’.

The sub-text could be that for those who relish the leisurely lunch in the KC’s restaurant, it would be prudent to move swiftly through the agenda.

Go To Top Of Page


Cavalier Breeder's Complaint Bid Fails

Dave Moger a Cavalier breeder who has spent nearly two years pursuing his complaint against Pedigree Dogs Exposed has heard that once again his grievances have not been upheld.

Mr Moger of the Gayhalo Cavaliers, King Charles and Japanese Chins has protested to every layer of the BBC’s complaint and appeals process until it reached the corporation’s governing body only to see it overturned once again.

This final ruling has come from the BBC Trust, which is viewed as the corporation’s highest ‘court’.
Mr Moger is health representative of the South and West Wales Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Club, and his partner Sandra Ireland is chairman and health representative of the West of England Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Club.

Mr Moger said; “I don’t think I have anything further to say about it. I have an opinion about the BBC now, having been through five layers of their complaints process, and now for the goodness of my health and sanity I’m just going to leave it alone. I took a stance for the breed, specifically over syringomyelia (SM) – none of the rest of it; that’s what my complaint was about.”

Shocking

Immediately after the programme aired in August 2008 Mr Moger contacted the BBC to lodge a complaint. The executive producer replied saying that while the programme’s contents were shocking, everything said in the film was factually accurate.

The following month Mr Moger wrote to the BBC’s editorial complaints saying that parts of the programme which dealt with Cavaliers were ‘not factual but loosely connected, sensational statements which when connected made it appear that Cavalier breeders had deliberately bred dogs with ‘size ten brains in size six skulls’, a reference to SM.

He said the comment that breeders created dogs with oversized brains was sensationalism. And among other things he alleged that there was no scientific proof to substantiate some of the claims made by the programme.

He also said there was little or no scientific proof to back the programme’s claim that 30 per cent of Cavaliers could be affected by SM, that it caused scratching, or that SM was a genetic disease, and that no scientists had claimed it was caused by inbreeding.

Again his complaints were not upheld.

After delays, including a wait while Ofcom ruled on the Kennel Club’s and others’ complaints about the programme, in December Mr Moger appealed to the BBC’s editorial standards committee reiterating his previous complaints and lodging others, for instance that breeders knowingly bred affected dogs.

He also complained that the programme had been unfair in that it relied too heavily on the views of one expert and that it had been unfairly made and edited because the programme maker was not impartial.

Last week the committee made a final ruling on behalf of the BBC. It did not uphold the complaint and concluded that:

With regard to accuracy, it was clear the claim that a third of Cavaliers could be affected by SM was the view of the vet featured in the programme and not a proven fact;
Data on the incidence of the disease was inconclusive and this had been stated in the programme;
The vet featured in the programme was sufficiently expert in the disease to express a view and this was not a breach of the accuracy guidelines;

While the cause of SM was unknown there was a broad consensus that inbreeding played a role in spreading the disease.

The views of a number of well-qualified experts in their scientific fields interviewed in the programme had supported the overall argument of the programme about the relationship between breeding practices and the health problems of pedigree dogs.

The programme had demonstrated its content was well sourced and based on sound evidence, and that there was no breach of the accuracy guidelines with regard to the way the programme had dealt with the relationship between breeding practices and the health problems of pedigree dogs.

The programme made the allegation regarding knowingly breeding affected dogs about a single breeder only.

There was evidence to support the allegation that a breeder’s dog had the syndrome but had been used at stud regardless, and that other breeders had been aware of this situation;
The facts had been cross-checked by the programme team and that there had been no breach of the accuracy guidelines.

Impartiality

In regard to impartiality, the editorial standards committee found that:

Contrary to the claim, one particular vet had not been over-used in the programme and that other scientific experts had been interviewed as well.

The credentials of the vet in question as an expert in the field were sound and that in reporting her views the programme had not breached the guidelines on impartiality or accuracy.

Any charge of a failure of due impartiality would be assessed in relation to the content of the programme and not in relation to the alleged opinions of the programme maker.

The complainant had produced no evidence that the programme maker’s experience as an owner of pedigree dogs had caused bias in the programme.

The purpose of the programme was to investigate health problems in pedigree dogs and not to tell the general story of a particular breed.

The guidelines on impartiality allow programme makers to report on a specific aspect of an issue or provide an opportunity for a single view to be expressed as long as in doing so opposing views are not misrepresented.

There had not been a breach of the guidelines on impartiality.

Pedigree Dogs Exposed’s writer and producer, Jemima Harrison, said: “I am really pleased with the finding, which is a very robust defence of the film’s accuracy and impartiality.”

Go To Top Of Page


SUCCESSFUL FIRST MEETING WITH
GERMAN SHEPHERD DOG REPRESENTATIVES HELD

The first meeting between the Kennel Club and representatives from those German Shepherd Dog Breed Clubs which signed the Kennel Club Undertaking was held on Friday 30th April at the Kennel Club. Representatives of 14 breed clubs and the GSD Breed Council attended a very positive and informative day focused on the future development of the breed.

The morning session, led by Kennel Club Vice Chairman Bill Hardaway, saw discussion of key areas such as ‘double handling’ and how this is to be managed at shows. The importance of effective and appropriate judges’ education was also explored in detail with a presentation by Gerald King and Gary Gray. Both presentations were well received and attracted active and constructive debate on all aspects, resulting in the achievement of a consensus on the way forward.

In the afternoon, Professor Mike Herrtage gave a very well received and informative presentation on canine conformation and movement as it relates to the German Shepherd Dog. Much common ground was established in the crucial area of ensuring absolute soundness in the breed.

Some key action points were agreed at the meeting. Firstly, the Kennel Club will continue to work with the representatives to establish and improve a judges’ education programme to be put into action as soon as possible. Secondly, a further meeting will be held to discuss:

Mandatory health testing
Registration of untested stock
Development of new specific tests for the breed
Health testing
The Accredited Breeder Scheme

Bill Hardaway commented after the meeting: “The representatives are to be congratulated onachieving a very positive and successful day. Many viewpoints were aired in a constructive and positive way, which resulted in an interesting and informative meeting. I was very pleased that the Kennel Club was able to give re-assurance to those who were concerned as to how to deal with potentially difficult situations. Also, I am hopeful that there is now a significant degree of trust in the motives and intentions of the Kennel Club. I believe that, if we can keep the momentum going, progress can be made for the good of the breed.”

Go To Top Of Page


IRVING OFFERS AN OLIVE BRANCH

Intimidation And Vendetta Have not Reined Every Club In.

The Kennel Club Chairman has asked the German Shepherd Dog League of GB to reconsider its decision not to sign its official ‘undertaking’.

Chairman Ronnie Irving said it was time ‘to put acrimony behind us’.
After reading details of the League’s plans in last week’s DOG WORLD, the KC said it believes that both groups want the same thing.

“By issuing these statements it would seem to us that the League has now accepted the major matters of principle proposed in the KC undertaking,” a spokesman said.

“We would, therefore, invite the League to consider reviewing its decision against signing the undertaking, thus enabling it to again be eligible, along with the other 21 clubs who have signed up, to receive CCs in 2012 and beyond and, just as importantly, to work with these other clubs and the KC for the future benefit of the breed.

In his ‘From the chairman’ piece in the forthcoming May Kennel Gazette, Mr Irving said that ‘more than two-thirds’ of the breed clubs had made themselves eligible for CCs by signing the undertaking and recognising ‘that hindquarters in the breed do need to be tackled’.

“Let me assure those who have accepted that the problem exists that the KC will now work hard with them to try to find ways of solving it,” he has written. “As a first step in this process, a meeting will be held to identify the source of the problem and obtain a consensus on the way forward.”

Continuing on he said: “A very vocal minority of show GSD people have decided to bury their heads in the sand and they purport to talk for the majority. But the majority has now decided not to go on letting this happen.

“Let me repeat to those who have accepted that the problem exists, that the KC will now work hard with them to try to find ways of solving it.

The German Way

“The minority has decided to relinquish their CCs and that is their prerogative. They have chosen the German route of demanding that dogs are health tested before being allowed to be shown, while the KC believes that health testing should be applied to breeding decisions and that shows and judges should then in their turn be used to tackle visible health and conformation issues such as poor hocks and hindquarters...”

Mr Irving said the KC would work with the clubs ‘to try to improve things’.

“We must now put the acrimony behind us and think of the future,” he wrote. “The first requirement in solving any problem is recognising and accepting that the problem exists. That is where the KC and the 21 breed clubs who have signed the undertaking have the advantage.

“That step is the start of a programme on which we must now move forward together. It is just a pity that the few dissenting clubs have chosen to exclude themselves from taking part in this work.
“Let us hope that, overall, the beneficiary will be the German Shepherd Dog and that it will soon regain its previously highly-respected public acclaim.”

League chairman Nikki Farley declined to respond to the KC’s statements.
“We have no intentions of entering into talks with the KC via the media,” she said. “We have always wished that discussions between us and the KC could be carried out in a normal manner, where people sit and voice their concerns in a sensible forum.

“We are still waiting to hear from the KC so we can continue the discussions which started in November 2008 concerning all these issues.”

Go To Top Of Page


THE KENNEL CLUB URGES BREED RESCUES TO JOIN
THE ASSOCIATION OF DOGS AND CATS HOMES


The Kennel Club is urging breed rescue organisations and re-homing shelters to join the Association of Dogs and Cats Homes (ADCH).

The Association of Dogs and Cats Homes has helped to improve the standard of care for rescued dogs and cats and historically, as a full member of the ADCH, the Kennel Club has represented the interests of breed rescue organisations. However, the ADCH is now introducing a new category of Associate Membership to enable even more charities to benefit from its membership.

It is particularly important for breed rescue organisations to join the ADCH if they want to apply for a grant from this year’s Pedigree® Adoption Drive™, as only ADCH members will be eligible to apply for grants.

Last year over 100 UK-based rescue organisations benefited from Adoption Drive™ grants, totalling in excess of £450,000.

Caroline Kisko, Communications Director of the Kennel Club, said: “To be eligible for grants from this year’s Pedigree® Adoption Drive™, breed rescue organisations need to join the Association of Dogs and Cats Homes.

“We want as many dog rescue organisations to benefit from the support and advice of the ADCH as well as having the opportunity to apply for a grant through the Pedigree® Adoption Drive™. We strongly encourage breed rescues to become Associate Members.”

For a membership fee of £25 per annum, Associate members will benefit from access to the ADCH Forum, which provides members with the opportunity to exchange knowledge and experience and provide mutual support. Associate members will also be able to attend meetings where specific topics are discussed with professionals in their field, and glean advice from top UK experts.

Breed rescue organisations who would like to apply for Associate Membership of ADCH should visit: www.adch.org.uk For further details of this year’s Adoption Drive™ visit: www.pedigreeadoptiondrive.com.

The Association of British Dog Homes was founded in 1985 by Mr Tom Field-Fisher who at the time was the Chairman of the Committee of the Dogs Home Battersea. Through the Association, members would exchange ideas and information about the collection, shelter and re-homing of lost and unwanted dogs.

In 1999 the Association changed its name to the Association of Dogs & Cats Homes (ADCH) due to the large proportion of members who were also dealing with the welfare of cats. Since its foundation, it has grown immensely and now has four very productive meetings a year and an annual conference for its members and staff.

Go To Top Of Page


Twenty One GSD Clubs Will Meet KC At Clarges Street

A meeting is to be held at the Kennel Club with representatives of the 21 German Shepherd clubs who have signed its undertaking.

The meeting will take place next Friday at the KC’s London offices.

Two people from each club have been invited in addition to representatives of the breed council and Brian Wootton, the KC’s breed liaison representative. Speakers will be Mike Herrtage, professor of small animal medicine at Cambridge University and dean of Cambridge Veterinary School; KC vice-chairman Bill Hardaway, Gerald King, chairman of the KC’s training board; and GSD breeder and judge Gary Gray.

“It will be a full day meeting covering canine conformation and movement as it relates to the GSD and a presentation on the education of judges,” said a KC spokeman. “There will also be plenty of opportunity for discussion between the delegates and speakers.

Cohesive Actions To Improve Soundness

“It is intended that this will be the first of a number of meetings/seminars with the aim of putting in place sensible, effective and cohesive actions to address and improve soundness in the GSD.”

Meanwhile, the German Shepherd League of GB is holding a review of its strategy, aims and objectives.

“Times have changed, and the League must change with them by confirming and demonstrating our commitment to both the KC and the WUSV,” a statement from the League said this week.

The League’s council is considering the creation of the title League/World Union of German Shepherd Dogs (WUSV) champion, which could be gained at such events.

“We are making considerable progress on this important matter, and we also recognise this will have considerable attraction for GSD exhibitors, and for clubs which will host these events,” the statement said.

The League also hopes that ‘meaningful dialogue and progress’ can be made with the KC.

“To this end we will continue to play our part, both as a national GSD club and alongside all other GSD breed clubs,” the statement said.

The ‘fundamental principle’ of incremental mandatory health tests had proved unacceptable to the KC, it continued.

“When the discussions with the KC ended it became obvious that another approach had to be developed and introduced for the future health and welfare of our breed here in the UK...

“The League had hoped that moves would be made by the KC towards imposing mandatory health tests. The most significant progress was made when the British Sieger event, based on WUSV rules and regulations, was introduced five years ago and held annually since then. This included identification and health screening requirements, as well as appropriate working qualifications for entry into the working classes...

“When discussions with the KC failed to achieve any meaningful progress, our attention turned to GSD events based on WUSV rules and regulations, as a proven template for progressing improvements to the health and welfare of our breed.

“The League, as a member of the WUSV for about 40 years, has seen the progression of the WUSV philosophy of continual mandatory health checks supported by major research into hereditary diseases, their breeding and working qualifications and their detailed attention to the GSD as a whole.”

It continued: “We are in the unique position of being able to organise GSDL/WUSV GSD events and fall into line with the SV/WUSV breed Standard (which is also the FCI breed Standard) for all GSDL/WUSV events.

“We need to make it very clear, the League, as a KC-licensed breed club, fully recognises its responsibility to the KC. All shows and events organised under a KC license will strictly adhere to the KC’s rules and regulations, and judges at breed shows will be expected to judge under the KC breed Standard.

“The League recognises the need to identify all aspects of conformation in our breed in Great Britain, some of which have strayed to an unacceptable degree from the WUSV/SV breed Standard. Such deviation will require the particular attention of our judges at all GSDL/WUSV events and KC shows.”

The League also intends to give particular attention to ‘unsoundness of hindquarters/looseness in hocks’ and ‘oversize’.

“We are aware that these two faults need to be addressed here and we intend to monitor the opinions of the SV and our judges in respect of any breed fault which may appear at an unacceptable level of frequency at our GSDL/WUSV events and KC shows,” the statement said.

“The League will take necessary steps to correct any apparent developing departure from our GSD breed Standard, particularly if the health and welfare of our GSD breed is considered at risk.

“We will continually monitor information relating to the health and welfare of our breed, paying particular attention to new health screening tests as and when they become available. We fully intend to liaise both with the KC and the WUSV on such matters.

“We will be equally concerned about apparent visible defects as well as the less apparent invisible defects in our breed. Unsoundness in the hindquarters as well as hip dysplasia are two clear examples of what we mean by this statement.”

The League is to hold a judges’ seminar to promote its ‘health and wellbeing’ policy.

Go To Top Of Page


Warning From Former Chairman

The Dangerous Dogs Reform Group's former chairman has warned that repealing the current legislation might not be in the interests of animal welfare.

The Government is currently holding a public consultation on what action should be taken with regard to dangerous dogs, and has proposed various options including repealing the Dangerous Dogs Amendment Act 1997.

The problem with this course of action is that the 1991 Act made it mandatory that dogs of banned breeds be put to sleep, whereas the amendment to the Act in 1997 gave courts the option of taking other action, such as, if the dog was no danger to the public, adding its name to the index of exempted animals.

Prohibited dogs

Vet Paul DeVile, who was chairman of the Reform Group and is vice-president of Dogs Trust, said that repealing the 1997 Act without repealing the 1991 version would reinstate compulsory destruction and prevent any more prohibited dogs being registered on the index.

“This was the whole purpose of the amendment, which was drawn up in the interests of animal welfare,” he said.

Mr DeVile’s Reform Group drew up alternative legislation – the Dog Control Bill – which repealed both Acts. It said that if a dog owner was charged under section 1 the court could allow the owner to register their dog, providing it was satisfied that the dog did not constitute a general danger and, if the dog was born before November 1991, that the owner had a good reason for not having registered it before this date.

In cases where a destruction order was placed on a dog before the amendments were introduced the destruction order would no longer have effect. The case should be returned to court for the magistrate to consider whether or not to exercise discretion. However, the emphasis would remain on destruction.

The Bill also said that if a dog owner was charged under section 3, the court could exercise discretion as long as it was satisfied that the dog did not constitute a general danger to the public.

Writing recently in the Veterinary Record, Mr DeVile said that the Dangerous Dogs Reform Group met in the House of Commons and included several members of both Houses of Parliament, representatives of animal welfare groups, the KC, the Metropolitan Police and the British Veterinary Association.

“The group was formed to combat the iniquities of the 1991 dangerous Dogs Act, passed as a knee-jerk reaction by Parliament and drawn up by the Home Secretary at the time, Kenneth Baker,” he wrote.

“In particular, the group targeted the mandatory destruction of dogs seized by the police whose owners were prosecuted for owning, after November 1991, one of the proscribed breeds, including ‘the type known as the pit bull terrier’ with all the problems of breed identification that the clause engendered.

“Thanks to the good offices of MP Roger Gale, the Amendment Bill was accepted by Parliament on the very day the House of Commons was dissolved before the 1997 General Election. I see now that DEFRA is proposing among other things to repeal the 1997 Dangerous Dogs Amendment Act. I would remind (DEFRA) that the Amendment Act was driven entirely in the interests of animal welfare, and to repeal the Amendment Act without repealing the 1991 Act is not within the interests of animal welfare, which DEFRA is alleged to protect.

“I quite accept that the increase in dogs obtained and trained for criminal purposes is a worrying trend that needs to be addressed, but the proposed repeal of the Amendment Act is not the way to go about it.”

Needlessly Destroyed

Dog law expert Trevor Cooper agreed.

“If the Government repeals the 1997 Amendment without repealing section 1 we would be going back in time from 1991 to 1997 when so many dogs were needlessly destroyed,” he said.

“Although that is one possible option from this consultation exercise, I hope that once DEFRA considers the full facts it will be apparent that this would not be a sensible way forward.

“The 1997 Amendment allows the courts to let a prohibited type of dog live provided it isn’t a danger to public safety. To destroy a dog even though a court has found it is not a danger to public safety would be perverse.”

The Government’s public consultation document on dangerous dogs suggests various options:

• An extension of criminal law (ie section 3 of the 1991 Act) to all places including private property. This would mean that dogs could be accused of being dangerously out of control in their own homes;
• Additions or amendments to (including possible repeal of) section 1 – concerning the breed of dog – of the 1991 Act;
• Repeal of the 1997 Dangerous Dogs (Amendment) Act to prevent any more
dogs being added to the index of exempted dogs.
Other options for consideration are:
• The introduction of dog control notices;
• Requirement that all dogs are covered by third-party insurance, and that all dogs and puppies are microchipped;
• More effective enforcement of the existing law, including a consolidation of existing statutes into one new updated Act.

It is important that people give their views before June 1. It is a fairly simple process through DEFRA’s website at www.defra.gov.uk; click on ‘wildlife and pets’ and then on ‘dangerous dogs’.

Go To Top Of Page


MEETING WITH REPRESENTATIVES FROM GERMAN SHEPHERD BREED CLUBS

Now that the deadline for receipt of the signed Undertakings from those clubs wishing to be considered for 2012 CCs has passed, a meeting with representatives from those clubs which signed the Undertaking has been planned for Friday 30th April 2010 at the Kennel Club.

The Kennel Club has invited two representatives from each of the 21 breed clubs which signed the Undertaking, along with representatives from the GSD Breed Council and Mr Brian Wootton, the KC Breed Liaison representative.

It will be a full day meeting covering canine conformation and movement as it relates to the German Shepherd Dog and a presentation on the education of judges. There will also be plenty of opportunity for discussion between the delegates and speakers. The speakers will be;

§ Mike Herrtage, Professor of Small Animal Medicine at Cambridge University and Dean of Cambridge Veterinary School
§ Bill Hardaway, Vice Chairman of the Kennel Club
§ Gerald King, Chairman of the Kennel Club Training Board
§ Gary Gray, Breeder, Judge & breed enthusiast

It is intended that this will be the first of a number of meetings/seminars with the aim of putting in place sensible, effective and cohesive actions to address and improve soundness in the GSD.

Go To Top Of Page


Jemima Harrison In The Frame?

A Chairperson is being sought for the advisory council which will provide advice on dog breeding.
Three separate enquiries in the last 18 months – by the Associate Parliamentary Group for Animal Welfare, the RSPCA, and Professor Sir Patrick Bateson’s, funded by the Kennel Club/Dogs Trust - have recommended the creation of such a council to provide advice regarding the welfare issues of dog breeding.

In February a consortium of organisations concerned with the welfare of dogs formed a ‘review board’ to take forward the key recommendations of the three enquiries, their unanimous view was that the most important first step was the formation of the independent advisory council.

Applications are now being sought for the post of founding chairman of the council. The successful candidate will have an ‘unparalleled opportunity’ to influence the future welfare of dogs and to spearhead the provision of advice given, so as to achieve major improvements in the welfare impact of dog breeding.

Sir Patrick said today: “The health and welfare problems caused by dog breeding were first identified more than 40 years ago. We know the problems and we can find the solutions. Advances in science are improving our understanding of the issues and the potential solutions daily.

“The appointment of the first chairman for this council is critical and he or she will play a key role in developing a strategy for resolving the problems and making a step change in the quality of life for millions of dogs.”

The organisations forming the review board are the British Small Animals Veterinary Association, the Blue Cross, the British Veterinary Association, the Companion Animal Welfare Council, DEFRA, Dogs Trust, the Kennel Club, PDSA, Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, RSPCA, Scottish Government and Welsh Assembly.

The deadline for applications is May 14 and interviews will be held on June 14 in Cambridge and June 16 and 17 in London

Go To Top Of Page


VETS ISSUE ADVICE TO PET OWNERS ON VOLCANIC ASH

Following the Health Protection Agency’s advice to the public on the possible health effects of the Icelandic volcanic ash reaching ground level, the British Veterinary Association (BVA) has issued some simple advice to pet owners in the UK.

The HPA has suggested that people who experience symptoms such as itchy or irritated eyes, runny nose, sore throat or dry cough and those who notice a dusty haze in the air or smell sulphur, rotten eggs, or a strong acidic smell, may wish to limit their activities outdoors or return indoors. The HPA also suggests that people with respiratory problems may notice the effects more than others. The HPA stresses that the concentration of particles which may reach ground level is likely to be low and should not cause serious harm

The BVA advice to pet owners is:

- if you notice any symptoms or smell sulphur, rotten eggs or a strong acidic smell take reasonable action to protect your pets by limiting their time outdoors;

- any pets with respiratory problems should be well protected from the atmosphere;

- cover outdoor aviaries to protect birds; and

- find suitable shelter for any pets that usually live outdoors.

Commenting, Professor Bill Reilly, President of the British Veterinary Association, said:

“At this stage we don’t know for certain what the impact of the volcanic ash on human and animal health will be but we know that dusty particles can cause irritation to eyes and the respiratory system so it makes sense for everyone to take sensible precautions for themselves and their pets.

“Pet owners should limit the amount of time that they and their animals spend outside if they detect the ash and consult a vet if they have any concerns about the health of their pets.”

The Health Protection Agency is monitoring the situation and providing advice to the public. For more information visit the HPA website: www.hpa.org.uk

Go To Top Of Page


Conflict With KC Heralds Bright Future For German Shepherd Clubs

In a letter to the KC’s executive – canine activities Kathryn Symns, acting chairman Nikki Farley said the League still intended to hold its championship show and possibly other events that year ‘strictly adhering to KC rules’.

However, the League has disclosed that it has organised its first event under World Union of German Shepherd Dogs (WUSV) rules. The 12-class ‘regional event’ will take place on April 25 in Markfield, Leicestershire, with judges Dirk Gabriel and Terry Hannan.
It is labelled as ‘the only dog show in the UK to actively promote health-tested dogs’. Its literature states, ‘All dogs over the age of 18 months will have been hip screened; all males are required to be clear of haemophilia; all dogs over two years will have been assessed by a breed specialist to be sound in both body and mind’.

Breed clubs and societies were told in January they would have to agree to the undertaking before they would receive 2012 CCs.
One particularly unpopular clause is one which insists that clubs do not run any events under the rules or regulations of any organisation other than the KC without the KC’s permission.

Unsoundness

Clubs must also agree ‘that there is a degree of unsoundness in the hindquarters of the breed and in particular in the hocks of some dogs and that these problems are to be penalised at shows’. The British Association of German Shepherd Dogs has agreed to sign but, as already reported, many feel that the Association – and many other clubs – have done so because they value their obedience CCs so highly.

Shortly before the deadline the League’s Mrs Farley wrote to the KC: “We had hoped that there would be some central ground upon which discussion could take place, but after all attempts by the GSD Partnership it failed to achieve another meeting with the KC, and all further negotiation appeared to take place only through the media and our letter to you dated December 2009.

“We received no reply other than an acknowledgement of receipt and it was decided that there was no other option but to take this stance.

“Our membership decided that the health of our breed should be paramount in everything that is required both in showing and breeding, and that is an area which we appear to have difficulty reconciling with those requirements asked for by the KC.

“We have long advocated for our members that all animals should be identifiable through tattoo or microchip and that any health test has no relevance if the animal cannot be identified, an area which the British Veterinary Association has now covered. We also feel that DNA testing for parentage should be implemented at the earliest opportunity to ensure accuracy of pedigrees for future generations.

“We have also for a long time advocated that all animals should be health tested before breeding, an area still to be covered by the KC even in its own flagship the Accredited Breeder Scheme.”
“One part of the undertaking our members found abhorrent was having asked, what in our opinion are top specialist judges, to judge our shows we were then expected to tell them how to judge. This was highlighted most emphatically in the last few weeks where trial by television took place on not only our best of breed winner at Crufts but the judge – appointed by yourselves – who gave him this award.

“This should never have been allowed to happen and we hope that a full and unconditional apology will be sent to both the dog’s owner and breeder and the judge Robert Kinsey. It should be accompanied by an apology to one of our senior citizen members who was asked to remove herself and her puppy from not only the display team she was asked to work in but the show itself.

“It was humiliation in the extreme.
“We will continue to hold events under the rules and regulations of the WUSV in order to promote healthy German Shepherds both in show and work, which we feel are of more importance and mean more than a CC which can be awarded to any animal whether or not it has had any health checks or even had them and received poor results. We also consider that the awarding of CCs to puppies can only have a detrimental influence on our late developing breed.
“We do however feel that there is still room for discussion on the way forward for our breed, the German Shepherd Dog, and would always be willing to talk to the KC in the future.”
Ms Symns replied to Mrs Farley saying that 19 GSD clubs and most of the general championship shows had agreed to sign the KC’s undertaking – a few have not yet replied – and that the KC would be ‘working with these clubs to go forward to protect the interests of the majority of the GSD breed in the UK’.

“We would not normally wish to engage in further protracted correspondence with you on this matter except to say that, in the interest of the GSD breed, we of course regret that you have made this decision,” Ms Symns wrote.

“On this occasion, in view of some of the detailed comments in your letter, we feel that we must respond.”

She said the KC had noted that the League intended to adhere to KC rules at its KC championship show, and its complaint that the GSD Partnership had not had a meeting with the KC and there was no response to the League’s letter.

“In fact, the reason for the former was the failure of the Partnership to accept issues previously agreed and recorded in the minutes of our previous meeting,” Ms Symns wrote.

“On the second point we believe that the issuing of our undertaking letters obviated and stood in place of any need for us to respond to your December 2009 letter.

“The KC too is deeply committed to improving the health of all breeds and the difference between us on these issues is not large. We have consistently indicated how we wish to improve the uptake of health screening, identification etc. The major difference between us is that we believe that the poor hindquarters of many GSDs constitute a welfare hazard while you appear not to do so.

“The paragraph above indicates why we are at odds with you on your contention that judges at your shows should not be required to recognise that there are hindquarter problems in the breed when judging.

Lessons

“We agree with your comment that the More4 TV programme highlighted this difference between us, but we believe that the lesson to be learned from that happening is the opposite one to that which you have chosen to accept. Our view is that More4’s independent decision to criticise the conformation of the winning GSD at Crufts was symptomatic of the problem that the world at large recognises but that you do not. The KC will make no apology for something that happened on the More4 Crufts programme at the choice of More4 and its presenter. You must seek any apology for that from More4 and not from us.

“The other issue of a young GSD being asked to leave the display was an independent decision taken by the show vet acting in his capacity as a vet, and we would not presume to interfere with that decision. Incidentally, the dog was only five months of age at the time and should not have been taking part in a display.

“Finally we reject your comments that there should be different... rules on what should be required of show exhibits by way of pre-exhibition health tests and the banning of puppies from winning CCs. We believe that the show ring should be used to help promote the elimination of visible conditions by judges. We believe that it is within the area of the control of breeding practices that screening for non-visible conditions should be targeted.

“It is that fundamental difference between us that we believe is the main reason why the general public has become so disenchanted with the GSD breed in the show ring – by simply looking at its current appearance. We believe that is the reason why registrations of GSDs declined by over 40 per cent in the 15 years to 2008 while overall KC registrations increased in the same period by over 15 per cent.

“We are glad that you feel that there is ‘still room for discussion on the way forward’ for GSDs and we look forward to hearing your suggestions on the subjects where you think that there is likelihood of agreement between us.”

The German Shepherd Dog Club of Devon is another which has decided not to sign. On its website, chairman James Apps has written: “At Crufts it became clear that most of the clubs which had signed had done so to protect their obedience CCs, and while at the show we had a glimpse of the future – the judge for GSDs had four stewards sitting at the side of the ring with clipboards making notes on his performance and apparently the soundness of each dog’s hindquarters.

Singled out

“The BOB at Crufts was Clokellys Lagos, owned and bred by Carol Keen, a member of our club. Lagos had been trained at our club since he was a puppy and we all knew him and his siblings well. He was a deserving winner and we were all very happy for Carol. This was short-lived, as on the Crufts programme … they showed slow motion footage of Lagos moving absolutely correctly...”
He continued: “The KC has singled out the GSD from all of the breeds mentioned in Pedigree Dogs Exposed and has taken no action against other breeds such as the Cavalier and Boxers which have serious even life-threatening genetic problems.

“In our opinion the KC wants to revert to the old Alsatian type with all its problems in health and temperament despite the Alsatian’s dwindling gene pool... at the expense of the German or international type which is recognised worldwide. The Alsatian is laughed at in Germany, the home of the breed, due to its swan neck, sagging back and over-angulation.

Vendetta

“The KC refuses to drop the incorrect name Alsatian from its name for our breed; it is German Shepherd Dog worldwide, not German Shepherd Dog (Alsatian).”
Joe Summerhill of the GSD Partnership accused the KC of a vendetta.

“It seems that the recent conflict between the KC and its soundness/type issue and the section of GSD Community intent on introducing mandatory health and working qualifications has reached an interesting and positive position for the GSD community,” he said.

“The KC’s executives have been single-minded in pursuing a thinly-veiled vendetta against the international type of GSD and those who exhibit but have unwittingly created an alternative to showing at KC-licensed shows. This amazing lack of foresight and intellect by the KC has got it into a position it least wanted and created an alternative showing regime to the lamentable KC shows where champions who have no health test done whatsoever can be made up and are promoted for breeding totally uncontrolled – and in fact promoted by the KC with the issuing of Stud Book numbers.

“The first of a series of shows totally outside the KC suppression is on April 25, and more are planned by GSD enthusiasts who will proudly show and declare their health-tested GSDs, letting the judge see the grades of pass for health tests, presenting where appropriate their hard-earned working qualifications, and competing against their peers on equal health terms.

“The shows will be judged by international WUSV judges and British judges who are fully qualified through experience and rigorously tested by formal examination under the custodianship of the GSD League of GB supported by the WUSV.

“This empowerment of a national breed club will no doubt set a precedent for other breeds totally dissatisfied at the KC’s current administration, lack of vision and flawed leadership... Even people in the margins of this conflict are seriously questioning the tactics of the KC, and other breeds are following developments with great interest...

“The irony of it all is that healthy, international type GSDs can attend both the alternative shows and the KC shows, and the KC-promoted GSD can only attend one simply because they cannot meet the health and working criteria of the national breed club’s WUSV-style shows. Where does this put the KC’s ‘fitness for purpose’ initiative?

“We will now see the emergence of the GSD League as the only national GSD club supported by regional breed clubs within a well-worn WUSV system.

Ignored

“So what of the GSD Partnership specifically formed to work with the KC and to introduce mandatory health testing for all KC registered GSDs? The KC has ignored its representation so far and successfully bypassed the breed council and gone direct to the 30-odd clubs to seek to impose its will...

“The GSD League however has a sustainable vision and legacy left by Graham Stephens and a strong and harmonious committee of individuals fully involved in the breed with an ever-expanding membership and a will and a plan to make tomorrow’s GSD a healthier and more intelligent dog than the type the English KC executives want. The future of the GSD has never been brighter with the emergence of the GSD League as the national club for GSDs... .

“Details of the April 25 show can be found at www.gsdleague.co.uk Other regional shows will follow during the year culminating in the British Sieger Show in September...”

He concluded: “Unwittingly this has given a bright new dawn for healthy GSDs which will gather momentum until the national GSD breed club and its regional partners have total control on the direction of tomorrow’s GSD.”

Go To Top Of Page


Brief Biography Of Dr Hawley Harvey Crippen

Crippen was born in Coldwater, Michigan, to Ardesee Skinner and Myron Augustus Crippen, a merchant. Crippen graduated from the Michigan School of Homeopathic Medicine in 1884Dr Crippen In Madame Tussauds LondonCrippen's first wife, Charlotte, died of a stroke in 1892, and Crippen entrusted his parents, now living in California, with the care of his two-year-old son, Hawley Otto. Crippen became a homeopathic doctor and started working for Dr. Munyon's, a homoeopathic pharmaceutical company. His second wife was Corrine "Cora" Turner (stage name: 'Belle Elmore'), born Kunigunde Mackamotski to a German mother and a Polish-Russian father. She was a would-be music hall singer who openly had affairs. In 1900 Crippen and his spouse moved to England. His US medical qualification was not sufficient to obtain a doctor's position in the UK. After living at various addresses in London, the couple finally moved to 39 Hilldrop Crescent, Camden Road, Holloway, London, where they took in lodgers to augment Crippen's meagre income.

Murder

After a party at their home on 31 January 1910, Cora disappeared. Hawley Crippen claimed that she had returned to the US, and later added that she had died, and had been cremated, in California. Meanwhile, his lover, Ethel "Le Neve" Neave (1883–1967), moved into Hilldrop Crescent and began openly wearing Cora's clothes and jewelery. The police were informed of Cora's disappearance by her friend, strongwoman Kate Williams, better known as Vulcana, but began to take the matter more seriously when approached by John Nash, the husband[clarification needed] and manager of Lil Hawthorne.[clarification needed] The house was searched, but nothing was found, and Crippen was interviewed by Chief Inspector Walter Dew. After the interview (and a quick search of the house), Dew was satisfied. However, Crippen and Le Neve did not know this and fled in panic to Brussels, where they spent the night at a hotel. The following day, they went to Antwerp and boarded the Canadian Pacific liner SS Montrose for Canada.

Transatlantic arrest

Inspector Walter Dew (extreme right) searching the garden at 39, Hilldrop CrescentTheir disappearance led the police at Scotland Yard to perform another three searches of the house. During the fourth and final search, they found the remains of a human body, buried under the brick floor of the basement. Sir Bernard Spilsbury found traces of the calming drug scopolamine. The corpse was identified by a piece of skin from its abdomen; the head, limbs, and skeleton were never recovered. Crippen and Le Neve fled across the Atlantic on the Montrose, with le Neve disguised as a boy. Captain Henry George Kendall recognised the fugitives and, just before steaming out of range of the land-based transmitters, had Telegraphist Lawrence Ernest Hughes send a wireless telegram to the British authorities: "Have strong suspicions that Crippen London cellar murderer and accomplice are among saloon passengers. Mustache taken off growing beard. Accomplice dressed as boy. Manner and build undoubtedly a girl." Had Crippen travelled 3rd class, he would have probably escaped Kendall's notice. Dew boarded a faster White Star liner, the SS Laurentic, arrived in Quebec, Canada ahead of Crippen, and contacted the Canadian authorities.

As the Montrose entered the St. Lawrence River, Dew came aboard disguised as a pilot. Canada was then still a dominion within the British Empire. If Crippen, an American citizen, had sailed to the United States instead, even if he had been recognised, it would have taken an international arrest warrant followed by extradition proceedings to bring him to trial.

Kendall invited Crippen to meet the pilots as they came aboard. Dew removed his pilot's cap and said, "Good morning, Dr Crippen. Do you know me? I'm Chief Inspector Dew from Scotland Yard." After a pause, Crippen replied, "Thank God it's over. The suspense has been too great. I couldn't stand it any longer." He then held out his wrists for the handcuffs. Crippen and le Neve were arrested on board the Montrose on 31 July 1910. Crippen was returned to England on board the SS Megantic.

Go To Top Of Page


The Kennel Club's ‘regret and concern’ at GSD treatment

The Kennel Club has complained to the ITV about the way in which German Shepherds were treated during the TV programme The Door, which was shown over Easter.

In the two-part show, celebrities competed against each other by undertaking bushtucker trial-type challenges. Hosting the show were Chris Tarrant and Amanda Holden.

The first episode featured German Shepherd Dogs in cages. In a letter to ITV director of entertainment and comedy Elaine Bedell, KC secretary Caroline Kisko expressed ‘regret and deep concern’ about the way the dogs were treated.

Distress

“They were clearly experiencing distress as a direct result of being kept in very small cages, an alien environment and teased by the presence of raw meat outside their cages,” she wrote.

“This resulted in them barking, pacing and showing other distinct signs of stress which would have been interpreted by many viewers as aggression.

“Host Chris Tarrant went so far as to describe them as ‘rancid’ in an interview about the programme.

“This has served to send out a very negative image about the breeds that were featured on the programme, particularly German Shepherd Dogs, which is not at all representative of the true nature of the breed.

“We hope that dogs will never be used in this way again on the programme, and would like an apology to be made to dog lovers and those within the breed who are worried about the welfare of the animals concerned and the negative impression that has been left of the breed as a result of the programme.”

An ITV spokesman said: “The dogs featured in The Door were ones that are supplied for TV and film work and are used to being in a studio environment. They were supplied by a reputable company that the production company has used before and their wranglers were present on set throughout filming.

“The contractor used is affiliated with Performing Animals Welfare Standards International. At no time did the dogs show any sign of discomfort.

“This is an environment that they are used to being in and the dogs are trained to bark when they see people.”

Go To Top Of Page


Dog Licences are ‘a tax on dog ownership’

At Odds With RSPCA

The DogsTrust does not believe that a return to the dog licence would provide a welfare benefit for dogs, as the RSPCA has suggested.

Last week the RSPCA said that a survey had shown there is ‘huge’ public backing for bringing back licences. Sixty-six per cent of those asked were in favour, the charity said, and a total of 76 per cent said that a licence would tackle a range of dog welfare problems such as puppy farms, strays, and stolen or abandoned animals.

But Dogs Trust said it was very surprised that the RSPCA thought it could be beneficial to animal welfare.
“A dog licence is simply a tax on dog ownership,” a spokesman said. “This view is extremely naïve; responsible owners might struggle to pay what is likely to be a punitive annual licence.

Ineffective measure

“The dog licence has also been shown to be an ineffective measure in the UK. In Northern Ireland, where the dog licence is still a requirement, only an estimated one-third of all dog owners currently have their dogs licensed. Northern Ireland still has the highest number of stray dogs per head of population of any region in the UK and the number of dogs put to sleep in the region represents a staggering 34 per cent of the total UK figure.”

Dogs Trust is still in favour of compulsory microchipping and believes it is the most effective means of registration as well as identification of a dog.

“Unlike the licence, which involves an annual fee, microchipping involves just a small one-off fee,” the spokesman said. “We offer microchipping at our centres for £10. The benefit to responsible owners and their dogs is therefore relatively cheap and effective.

“Microchipping a dog reinforces the responsibilities of the owner under the Animal Welfare Act. The introduction of compulsory microchipping would allow stray dogs to be quickly returned to their owners, make easier the identification of owners who persistently allow their dogs to stray or cause nuisance, and make all puppies traceable to their breeder, helping to reduce the widespread problem of battery farming of dogs.

Not In Favour

The Kennel Club is not in favour of licences either. Spokesman Caroline Kisko said: “Some people believe that the solution to all the problems created by irresponsible dog ownership is the compulsory registration of dogs.

“This view fails to take account of facts. Nine million motor vehicles out of a total of 34 million do not have road tax. The take-up of dog licensing in Northern Ireland is less than 50 per cent of the estimated dog population. The responsible dog owner, who has committed no offence against society, would be penalised in order to raise money to provide the means, other than the police force, to enforce the law that already exists and to educate the irresponsible dog owner.

“Dog owners are currently paying, on dog food alone, a tax bill of £220,000,000 over and above their normal taxes.

“We do however support the principle of permanent identification of dogs. Through all our activities and particularly through our Good Citizen Dog Scheme we seek to educate all dog owners to the benefits, both to themselves and to society, of responsible dog ownership.”
The RSPCA said it would be submitting the results of its survey to the consultation on dangerous dog legislation launched recently by the Government.

Urgent action Needed

“We believe that a licence would be beneficial in addressing animal welfare concerns stemming from ‘over breeding to a lack of traceable ownership’,” a spokesman said. “The survey’s findings are backed by the results of Professor Bateson’s report into breeding which called for urgent action to be taken to safeguard animal welfare.

“The income from licences should be ring-fenced and ploughed into services such as an effective local dog warden service which could make a real difference to both dogs and their owners at a local level.

“An annual scheme would also help to ensure that contact details of owners are kept up-to-date so they can be reunited with their dog more easily if it is lost or stolen.”

The RSPCA believes that there could be a reduction in the licence fee for more responsible owners ‘such as those who have their dogs neutered’.

The survey was conducted by Reading University.

Go To Top Of Page


Irish government told commercial breeders should be supported

Dog breeding that is done Commercially is worth a total of 300m Euros a year to the Irish economy and should be supported by the Government, not penalised, a parliamentary committee has been told.

The secretary of the Canine Breeders of Ireland, David Hamilton (CBI), said that like other businesses it paid taxes, provided employment and contributed to the economy. However, unlike them, he said, it did not receive any state grants, although there was a strong case for the provision of such funds to help with exports, marketing, veterinary costs, and kennelling.

He told the committee, which was holding hearings on the Dog Breeding Establishments Bill, that the CBI had more than 600 members and operated a strict code of ethics, insisting that those seeking to join must first have their kennels certified by a vet.

“We are not puppy farmers,” he said, “and we find the term offensive. We detest animal cruelty.”
On the legislation, he said they felt the proposed lead-in period of three months to allow breeders meet the new standards was much too short. The original working party had proposed 12 months, which was the minimum needed, he said.

He described the registration fees proposed by Environment Minister John Gormley, which range from 1,000 euros to 3,000 euros for breeders with 100 to 200 bitches, as ‘the highest in the world’.

At A Disadvantage

Fees in Northern Ireland were only a fraction of such amounts, which would put breeders from the Republic at a serious disadvantage in Irish and export markets.

Mr Hamilton, who headed a three-member delegation, said the CBI also objected to the one-litter-a-year restriction, which he believed stemmed from ‘a lack of basic knowledge or veterinary advice’. It also felt that the proposed range of penalties, including six months’ imprisonment, was harsher than sentences given to muggers.

At the meeting, Mr Hamilton appealed for a direct meeting with the minister, which he claimed has been denied so far.

“We want to bring dog breeding out of the shadows and ensure it is recognised as a legitimate business,” he said. “It is vital that the minister listens to us so that the process can be done properly and the problem fixed once and for all.”

Meanwhile, other pressures are piling up on the minister. Hundreds of demonstrators turned up at his Green Party annual conference to protest over his animal welfare agenda, including his refusal so far to exempt Greyhounds and hunt kennels from the scope of the new legislation. Some government backbenchers are threatening to vote down the bill unless changes are made.

Go To Top Of Page


Vets ‘Can Lead The Way’ With National Microchipping Month

Petlog, the UK’s largest pet reunification service, will be outlining the importance of microchipping at their stand at the BSAVA conference from the 8th April at the ICC/NIA in Birmingham as National Microchipping Month approaches.

The seventh annual National Microchipping Month, sponsored by Petlog, falls in June this year and is a unique opportunity for veterinary surgeons and nurses to highlight the benefits of permanent pet identification and the importance of aftercare service to their clients.

Petlog is the UK’s largest microchip database, and this year celebrates 15 years of looking after pets and their owners. With over 4.3 million animals registered, Petlog takes this responsibility seriously and understands the need for both a reliable microchip and a robust, quality, customer focused aftercare service to support veterinary surgeons.

Petlog has worked in conjunction with the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons to provide a set of guidelines which supports veterinary surgeons in using microchips, scanning and, occasionally, resolving ownership disputes. These can be found on the RCVS website www.rcvs.org.uk. Petlog also offers online registration through a new web portal and is working with the Vet Consortium on Vet XML – which will allow veterinary surgeons to register microchips straight from the practice almost instantly.

Celia Walsom, Petlog executive, said: “Microchipping is a great way to bond clients to your practice – and when supported by the Petlog aftercare service you can be sure that you really do offer a ‘lifetime’ service. Petlog is an independent database and a not for profit service, and we look forward to meeting vets at the show – who can champion the benefits of microchipping to their clients.”

Also available on the stand will be the Kennel Club’s Guide to Pedigree Dogs, sponsored by Royal Canin, available as a free handout that gives a guide and illustration of all breeds recognised by the Kennel Club in the UK which can go straight on the surgery wall.

Go To Top Of Page


RSPCA Welcomes Introduction of Animal Welfare Codes

The RSPCA welcomes new government guidelines for pet owners on how to look after their dogs, cats, horses and primates, which come into force today.

The welfare codes of practice have been introduced by the government in England to help make sure the needs and requirements of people’s pets are met.

The charity has long backed the plans for the introduction of the codes in England to provide clear information to help owners protect animal welfare.

Claire Robinson, government relations manager, said: “The RSPCA welcomes the introduction of the codes and hopes that they will make a great difference to help owners understand what their pets need.

“The Society has been working closely with the government to develop the codes to ensure that they are appropriate, effective and workable and we think that they are succinct enough for owners to read and comprehend.”

The RSPCA has been campaigning for a ban on keeping primates as pets which the charity believes would be the best way to protect these animals.

However, in the absence of a ban, the Society supports the code as it provides a step in the right direction by helping people to appreciate how challenging it can be to look after primates properly.

The RSPCA’s 300 inspectors will be using the codes on a regular basis to help in their day to day work throughout England.

Separate welfare codes for dogs, cats, equines and rabbits are currently in operation in Wales.

Whilst breaking the codes will not be an offence, the information in them can be used by a court to illustrate whether an owner was complying with the Animal Welfare Act.

RSPCA superintendent Tim Minty said: "The codes will first and foremost be an invaluable educational tool for everyone involved in animal welfare but they will also play a vital role to help RSPCA inspectors identify any problems of neglect or cruelty under the Animal Welfare Act.

Inspectors will be able to properly measure the welfare of an animal against specific guidelines so that they can accurately assess whether an animal's needs are being properly met.

The codes will also help inspectors to advise the person responsible for the animal on how to look after their pet so the RSPCA and owners can work together to make sure the animals are happy and healthy."

The RSPCA will continue to work with Defra to review the effectiveness of the codes.

Anyone who would like advice on how they can best look after their pet can visit www.rspca.org.uk or call our non-emergency enquiries line on 0300 1234 555.

The codes expand on existing legislation set out in the Animal Welfare Act. The advice falls into the following sections:

· The need for a suitable environment

· The need for a suitable diet

· The need to be able to exhibit normal behaviour patterns

· The need to be housed with, or apart form, other animals

· The need to be protected from pain, suffering injury and disease.

Some of the requirements are:

Cats:

· Protect your cat from hazards while indoors and outdoors.

· Make sure your cat eats a balanced diet which is suitable for its needs.

· Make sure your cat is able to rest undisturbed when it wants to.

· While you are away, make sure your cat is being looked after by someone responsible.

· If you think your cat is in pain, ill or injured, contact a vet promptly and follow their advice regarding treatment.

Dogs:

· Provide your dog with somewhere it can go to avoid things that frighten it.

· Dogs should be able to reach food and water easily in all situations.

· Give your dog the exercise it needs, at least daily unless your vet recommends otherwise, to keep your dog fit, active and stimulated.

· Make sure that your dog is never left alone long enough for it to become distressed.

· You should carefully check your dog’s coat regularly and groom your dog, if necessary, to maintain a healthy coat.

Horses:

· Fields should be kept clear of dangerous objects and poisonous plants.

· Water troughs and containers should be cleaned regularly to prevent the build up of algae and other debris. Any cleaning substance should not be toxic to horses.

· Stabled horses should receive appropriate exercise daily, unless contrary to veterinary advice.

· Horses prefer to live in social groups and ideally they should be socialised with members of their own species but, where this is not possible, other animals may be used to provide company.

· Saddlery and harness should be correctly fitted, preferably by a qualified saddler or harness fitter.

Primates:

· Primates should not be considered as pets in the accepted sense of the word.

· With few exceptions, primates should not be kept alone. They should be kept in groups large enough to allow them to express their full range of social behaviours

· Indoor and outdoor accommodation should be provided. Natural daylight is important to aid the production of Vitamin D3 and to avoid the development of metabolic bone disease.

· Primates need an environment that is stimulating but which allows them choice and control.

· Varied environmental enrichment should be provided to avoid over-familiarity and prevent boredom.

Go To Top Of Page


Bulldog breeders withdraw ABS accolade bid after KC demands second inspection

Two more accredited breeders have withdrawn their application to receive the accolade of excellence bestowed under the scheme after they were told it would involve another inspection.
Chris Thomas and Graham Godfrey of the well-known Kingrock kennel – both Kennel Club members and international championship show judges – were dismayed when they heard that KC secretary Caroline Kisko and health and breeder services manager Bill Lambert wanted to look around their premises again.

They had been inspected two and a half years ago when they were accepted as accredited breeders, and are visited annually by council officers because they are licensed breeders.
Their main breed is the Bulldog and the KC has classified it as one of its high-profile breeds, those the KC considers have a greater potential for health problems – the others are Basset Hound, Bloodhound, Chow Chow, Clumber Spaniel, Dogue de Bordeaux, German Shepherd Dog, Mastiff, Neapolitan Mastiff, Pekingese, Shar-Pei and St Bernard.

Accredited breeders who have qualified for the three existing accolades under the scheme, received a successful visit from an accredited breeder advisor and who have bred five or more British champions in any discipline qualify to be considered for the accolade, their names must be put forward by a breed club.

Mr Thomas and Mr Godfrey fulfil all the requirements, but baulked at the prospect of being inspected by someone who, in print at least, had been so critical of their breed.

“Bill Lambert said that before deciding whether or not our kennel was suitable for an accolade of excellence, the KC’s Finance and General Purposes Committee felt there should be more investigation and that he and Caroline would be visiting all three Bulldog kennels put forward at the same time for a chat. I took it as an affront to our kennel, as we understand that for breeders from less high-profile breeds this would not be deemed necessary. Rightly or wrongly, Graham and I see this as yet more Bulldog bashing.

“I asked Bill what he needed to see again that he didn’t view the first time and he said he just wanted to check paperwork. I said, ‘The same paperwork as you checked the first time?’. This he confirmed. He said he was sure I was doing the best I could for the breed with regard to health, and I told him I had been doing that for the past 35 years.”

Until recently Mr Thomas was a member of the breed council’s health sub-committee and actively involved in running the health side of breed seminars.

“I said he didn’t need to come up and inspect paperwork to find that out,” Mr Thomas continued. “I told him that personally I would feel uncomfortable about the visit because although Bill said Caroline was only the voice of the KC there have been a lot of articles inthe Dog Press where she has been critical of the breed and breed council, and as one of the four people who went to negotiate the change in the wording of the Standard with the KC I was a bit raw about Caroline deciding whether we were worthy of the accolade of excellence.”

After discussing the matter with Mr Godfrey, Mr Thomas told Mr Lambert he no longer wanted to be considered for the accolade.

“I rang him back and asked him to withdraw the application put in by the British Bulldog Club. He asked me to sleep on it but we felt even more incensed the next day.

“It’s not an equal playing field, to pick on a particular kennel because of the breed they have. I said we could have applied as French Bulldog and Boston Terrier breeders in which we also qualify by the number of champions and he said it would have made no difference because we are known as Bulldog breeders and that is a high-profile breed.

“I was keen to get the accolade as I thought it was just the thing the Accredited Breeder Scheme needed to give it credence and move it forward, an ideal way of drawing out more established kennels from the rest. We have more than double the number of champions needed.

“We were inspected two or three years ago when we became accredited breeders and Bill was here for about two and a half hours. We are inspected every 12 months by the council because we are licensed breeders. There are a huge number of accredited breeders who haven’t been inspected at all, and they are finding time to inspect breeders like us twice!”

Mr Lambert told DW that all nominations for the accolade of excellence were subject to approval by committee.

“From time to time the committee may request additional information, and on occasions the simplest way to do this may be to undertake a further visit,” he said. “Quite often our breeder advisors are accompanied on visits, but this is only with the knowledge and agreement of the breeder.”

To date, 20 nominations for the accolade have been received and a number of others are under consideration currently, he said. No nominations from breeders of the high-profile breeds have been refused.

A spokesman for the KC said the accolade was ‘a very prestigious award designed to recognise excellence in every respect’.

The KC Has A Responsibility

“The KC has a responsibility to make absolutely sure that those who receive the award are outstanding in all areas, from their breeding experience right through to their commitment to dog health and welfare, and this may involve visiting potential candidates with these broad criteria in mind,” she said.
“This is particularly important among those who are receiving awards in the high-profile breeds as it is these breeders’ exemplary standards which will help to lead the breeds forward to a healthier future.”

British BC AGM

At the British BC AGM the names of three kennels were proposed for the Accredited Breeder Scheme’s accolade of excellence, which is now up and running. Our understanding of the accolade is that it is open to breed clubs to nominate kennels they consider to have made a significant contribution to the breed and have fulfilled the set criteria – ie bred five or more UK champions, gained the three existing accolades and have had a successful inspection by the Kennel Club.

Apparently this is not entirely accurate, as just having fulfilled the criteria is not in itself, a guarantee of acceptance.

As owners of one of the kennels nominated, Graham and I were quietly confident as we had fulfilled the criteria. Having had a successful inspection by Bill Lambert, we could more than double the number of champions required and have the three existing accolades.

In the first instance the list of nominated kennels in all breeds must go before the finance and general purposes committee, before being referred to the General Committee.

When the F and GP committee met recently they decided that as our kennel is mainly involved in one of the high profile breeds – ie breeds that have come under attack from all sides during the last couple of years, they required more information on the kennels nominated by the British BC. It was therefore decided to visit these kennels for a second time, once again by Bill Lambert, but this time accompanied by KC secretary Caroline Kisko.

Rightly or wrongly, Graham and I both see this as yet more Bulldog bashing, as those in other breeds have not been required to accept this extra visit. We have therefore requested that the KC withdraw our kennel from the list of those nominated as breeders of excellence – although we would just like to say how much we appreciate the British BC membership who supported our nomination at the AGM.

Go To Top Of Page


The German Shepherd Dog League, The German Shepherd Dog Club Of Devon
And The West Yorkshire German Shepherd Clubs All Refuse To Sign KC Contract

The German Shepherd Dog League of GB, The German Shepherd Dog Club of Devon and the West Yorkshire German Shepherd Club have voted not to sign the Kennel Club's controversial contract. Therefore, from 2012 they will no longer be allocated CCs.

In a letter to the KC, acting chairman Nikki Farley said the League still intended to hold its championship show that year 'strictly adhering to KC rules', and possibly other events.

Breed clubs and societies were told in January they would have to agree to the undertaking before they would receive 2012 CCs. Earlier this week, the KC said that 14 of the 30 German Shepherd clubs had signed; the deadline by which it had to be returned was yesterday (Wednesday), and the KC had urged all clubs to sign it before then.

The British Association of German Shepherd Dogs has agreed to sign, but Mrs Farley wrote to the KC: “We had hoped that there would be some central ground upon which discussion could take place, but after all attempts by the GSD Partnership it failed to achieve another meeting with the KC, and all further negotiation appeared to take place only through the media and our letter to you dated December 2009.

“We received no reply other than an acknowledgement of receipt and it was decided that there was no other option but to take this stance.

“Our membership decided that the health of our breed should be paramount in everything that is required both in showing and breeding, and that is an area which we appear to have difficulty reconciling with those requirements asked for by the KC. We have long advocated for our members that all animals should be identifiable through tattoo or microchip and that any health test has no relevance if the animal cannot be identified, an area which the British Veterinary Association has now covered. We also feel that DNA testing for parentage should be implemented at the earliest opportunity to ensure accuracy of pedigrees for future generations.

“We have also for a long time advocated that all animals should be health tested before breeding an area still to be covered by the KC even in its own flagship the Accredited Breeder Scheme.”

“One part of the undertaking our members found abhorrent was having asked what in our opinion are top specialist judges to judge our shows we were then expected to tell them how to judge. This was highlighted most emphatically in the last few weeks where trial by television took place on not only our best of breed winner at Crufts but the judge – appointed by yourselves – who gave him this award. This should never have been allowed to happen and we hope that a full and unconditional apology will be sent to both the dog’s owner and breeder and the judge Robert Kinsey.

“It should also be accompanied by an apology to one of our senior citizen members who was asked to remove herself and her puppy from not only the display team she was asked to work in but the show itself. It was humiliation in the extreme.

“We will continue to hold events under the rules and regulations of the WUSV in order to promote healthy German Shepherds both in show and work, which we feel are of more importance and mean more than a CC which can be awarded to any animal whether or not it has had any health checks or even had them and received poor results. We also consider that the awarding of CCs to puppies can only have a detrimental influence on our late developing breed.

“We do however feel that there is still room for discussion on the way forward for our breed, the German Shepherd Dog, and would always be willing to talk to the KC in the future.

Ms Symns wrote back to Mrs Farley saying that 19 GSD clubs and most of the general championship shows had agreed to sign the KC's undertaking – a few have not yet replied – and that the KC would be 'working with these clubs to go forward to protect the interests of the majority of the GSD breed in the UK'.

“We would not normally wish to engage in further protracted correspondence with you on this matter except to say that, in the interest of the GSD breed, we of course regret that you have made this decision,” Ms Symns wrote. “On this occasion, in view of some of the detailed comments in your letter, we feel that we must respond.”

She said the KC had noted that the League intended to adhere to KC rules at its KC championship show, and its complaint that the GSD Partnership had not had a meeting with the KC and there was no response to the League's letter.

“In fact, the reason for the former was the failure of the Partnership to accept issues previously agreed and recorded in the minutes of our previous meeting,” Ms Symns wrote. “On the second point we believe that the issuing of our undertaking letters obviated and stood in place of any need for us to respond to your December 2009 letter.

“The KC too is deeply committed to improving the health of all breeds and the difference between us on these issues is not large. We have consistently indicated how we wish to improve the uptake of health screening, identification etc. The major difference between us is that we believe that the poor hindquarters of many GSDs constitute a welfare hazard while you appear not to do so.

“The paragraph above indicates why we are at odds with you on your contention that judges at your shows should not be required to recognise that there are hindquarter problems in the breed when judging.

“We agree with your comment that the More4 TV programme highlighted this difference between us, but we believe that the lesson to be learned from that happening is the opposite one to that which you have chosen to accept. Our view is that More4’s independent decision to criticise the conformation of the winning GSD at Crufts was symptomatic of the problem that the world at large recognises, but that you do not. The KC will make no apology for something that happened on the More4 Crufts programme at the choice of More4 and its presenter. You must seek any apology for that from More4 and not from us.

“The other issue of a young GSD being asked to leave the display was an independent decision taken by the show vet acting in his capacity as a vet and we would not presume to interfere with that decision. Incidentally, the dog was only five months of age at the time and should not have been taking part in a display.

“Finally we reject your comments that there should be different rules on what should be required of show exhibits by way of pre-exhibition health tests and the banning of puppies from winning CCs. We believe that the show ring should be used to help promote the elimination of visible conditions by judges. We believe that it is within the area of the control of breeding practices that screening for non-visible conditions should be targeted.

“It is that fundamental difference between us that we believe is the main reason why the general public has become so disenchanted with the GSD breed in the show ring – by simply looking at its current appearance. We believe that is the reason why registrations of GSDs declined by over 40 per cent in the 15 years to 2008, while overall KC registrations increased in the same period by over 15 per cent.

“We are glad that you feel that there is 'still room for discussion on the way forward' for GSDs and we look forward to hearing your suggestions on the subjects where you think that there is likelihood of agreement between us.”

Go To Top Of Page


KENNEL CLUB CONDEMS SHOCK COLLAR MANUFACTURERS

After a milestone victory for dogs in Wales, the Kennel Club is disappointed to learn of the intention of the Electronic Collar Manufacturers Association to seek a Judicial Review on the Welsh Assembly Government’s decision to ban shock collars, which came into force last week.

The National Assembly for Wales unanimously voted in favour of the regulations making the ban the first of its kind in the UK, and the first piece of secondary regulation to be introduced in Wales under the Animal Welfare Act.

Kennel Club Communications Director, Caroline Kisko said: “The Electronic Collar Manufacturers Association is clutching at straws by challenging the Welsh Assembly Government’s decision. Research has proven beyond any reasonable doubt that aversive training techniques such as shock collars cause pain and fear for dogs.

“The Kennel Club is contacted frequently by people with negative experiences with these devices and so there is no doubt in our minds that they must be banned. We have campaigned to ban the use of shock collars for four years in Wales and are delighted with the Assembly’s decision.

“We will be continuing to fight for a ban on shock collars throughout the rest of the UK to ensure these cruel and unnecessary devices are outlawed.”

The Animal Welfare (Electronic Collars) (Wales) Regulations 2010 came into force at 00.01 on Wednesday 24th March.

For further information on the Kennel Club campaign to ban electric shock collars, contact the External Affairs department on 0844 463 3980 ext 301 or visit www.thekennelclub.org.uk/kccampaigns.

Electric shock collars: worn around a dog’s neck, these work either via a remote control with various settings which, when activated, deliver an electric shock to the neck of a dog, or deliver an electric shock to a dog automatically when a dog barks or enters a pre-defined perimeter shock zone.

Welsh Rural Affairs Minister, Elin Jones, announced her intention to introduce legislation that would prohibit the use of shock collars in Wales in June 2008.
A YouGov survey about electric shock collars, commissioned by the Kennel Club in 2009, found that 70% disapproved of the use of electric shock collars on dogs, with only 9% of people approving of their use. All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 1032 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 22nd - 24th September 2009. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all Welsh adults (aged 18+).

The Kennel Club Good Citizen Dog Scheme is the largest dog training scheme in the UK. Its aim is to promote responsible dog ownership and in turn, enhance our relationship with our pets and to make the community aware of the benefits associated with responsible dog ownership.

Go To Top Of Page


THE KENNEL CLUB QUESTION TIME COMES TO DEVON

The Kennel Club, organisers of the world's greatest dog show DFS Crufts, will be holding the latest instalment of its Question Time in Exeter on April 28th 2010, open to all with free admission.

Held at the Best Western Lord Haldon Country House Hotel in Dunchideock near Exeter, the session offers the opportunity for anyone to air their views and question senior Kennel Club representatives on any issue affecting dogs and dog owners. Guests are invited to arrive at 6.15pm ahead of the event’s start at 7pm.

There have been 18 Question Time events held throughout the UK to enable dog enthusiasts to ask any questions, share thoughts and ideas and encourage dialogue with the Kennel Club about how everyone can work together to promote dogs in a positive light.

Panel members at the Question Time will include Ronnie Irving, KC Chairman, Bill Hardaway, Vice Chairman, Rosemary Smart, Chief Executive, Caroline Kisko, Secretary, Kathryn Symns, Canine Activities Team Executive and Bill Lambert, Health and Breeder Services Manager.

The Question Time is a free event and tickets are available from Tracey Harris via tracey.harris@thekennelclub.org.uk or by phone on 0844 4633 980 ext 281.

To ensure that questions can be answered on the night, please submit them in advance to James Skinner via james.skinner@thekennelclub.org.uk.

Go To Top Of Page


Poll shows 2 out of 3 dog owners back new dog licence

-RSPCA calls for new dog registration scheme as survey shows overwhelming support -

New figures revealed today show huge public backing for the introduction of a licence to tackle a range of dog welfare problems which plague the country.

In a survey commissioned by the charity, 2 out of 3 dog owners (66%)* asked said that they would be in favour of a licence scheme. The RSPCA will be submitting these results in response to the consultation on dangerous dog legislation recently launched by the UK government.

In addition, 76% of all the people asked said that a dog licence should be enforced in England to help curb problems such as ‘puppy farms’, stray dogs, stolen dogs and animal abandonments.

The RSPCA believes that a licence would be hugely beneficial in addressing many animal welfare concerns stemming from overbreeding of dogs to a lack of traceable ownership.

Reading University carried out research on behalf of the RSPCA and have released their findings which clearly show that an affordable and well-enforced dog licensing scheme could provide funding for a range of issues, most of which are currently funded poorly by central and local government.

Professor Emeritus Martin Upton from Reading University’s school of agriculture, policy and development, said: "Our study into the potential costs and benefits of dog licencing and registration found that such a scheme could greatly contribute to responsible dog ownership and animal welfare.”

The findings are also backed up by the results of the recent Bateson report into dog breeding which called for urgent action to be taken to safeguard animal welfare.

Head of external affairs David Bowles said: “The RSPCA has been seriously considering a dog licence scheme as we feel it would provide an effective mechanism for tackling a whole raft of dog welfare problems.

“The income should be ring-fenced and ploughed into services such as an effective local dog warden service which could make a real difference to both dogs and their owners at a local level.

“An annual scheme would also help to ensure that contact details of owners are kept up to date so they can be reunited with their pet more easily if it is lost or stolen.”

It is possible that a reduction in the licence fee could apply for more responsible dog owners such as those who have their pets neutered.

Similar schemes operate in 23 countries throughout Europe and also in parts of Australia and New Zealand. They have proven success rates in reducing problems with disease, enforcing microchipping and neutering and in turn encouraging responsible pet ownership.

The TNS poll commissioned by the RSPCA asked 1,017 adults between the ages of 16-64 in Great Britain in February 2010.

The poll asked 334 dog owners and 683 non-dog owners for their views.

*76% of the total people asked and 66% of dog owners asked are in favour of the reintroduction of a dog licence.

A total of 771 people asked were in favour of a licence, 145 people asked were against it and 101 people asked did not know.

The government’s plans would only effect legislation in England. The Welsh Assembly would be responsible for enforcing a policy in Wales.

Other useful statistics:

· The costs to the health service of dog attacks on people were valued at £3.3 million in England in 2009, according to Hospital Episode Statistics 2009.

· Attacks on livestock were valued at £2.2 million in England during 2009 by the Economists Advisory Group’s 1998 report to the RSPCA and Kennel Club – adjusted for inflation.

· Costs arising from road traffic accidents involving dogs in Britain during 2008 were valued at £14.6 million by the Department for Transport.

Go To Top Of Page


Time For An Alternative

The television coverage of Crufts by More4 appeared to have gone very well, until a direct attack on the German Shepherd Breed was made by presenter, Clare ‘Butch’ Balding when commentating for More4 on the German Shepherd Best Of Breed Winner.

Butch Balding who's expertise in spotting a Stallion, Equine or Jockey is beyond doubt – now a self appointed canine expert – decided that the GS BOB winner didn’t look right.[to her]

We all remember Butch Balding – The Herman Munster Doppelganger – when she humiliated the Grand National winning Jockey, Liam Treadwell over his crooked teeth when Butch interviewed him after his win at Aintree.

The question that jumps out at you is; were the Dark Forces of the Kennel Club involved in all of this; are their finger prints all over it?

We have had the fiasco of a Pensioner being ejected from the NEC because a KC representative Vet decided that her five months old German Shepherd puppy was unsound.

Is there a vendetta towards the Shepherd fraternity? Because, only 14 out of the 30 clubs have signed up to the KC Undertaking to discuss the future development of the breed, how to address soundness issues and current Kennel Club initiatives into breed health.

This was denied by Caroline Kisko – who now fronts every contentious issue for the KC after the Dogs Dinner the Chairman made of his interview in Pedigree Dogs Exposed.

Some years ago the German Shepherd community were in dispute with the Kennel Club and threatened to break away and form another rival club.

Would a rival Kennel Club be in the best interests of Pedigree Dogs? Competition is always a good thing.

What must be remembered is that the existing Kennel Club is a self appointed body. It is a very exclusive club, which is funded by pedigree dog breeders and show exhibitors. It is a now a multi million pound business that has accrued vast wealth off the backs of you and I, present and past.

If you go into the restaurants at the NEC when Crufts is in progress you will see all of the so called ‘Elite’ having their lavish meals, along with all of the rest of the hangers on and free loading Dog Walkers; ‘a herd of Snorting Grunting Porkers rushing in like the ‘Biblical’ Gadarene Swine;’ all paid for by the profits made from Breeders exhibitors and societies.
Did you know that there is an exclusive place in Clarges Street where KC members can dine?

When have ordinary exhibitors ever had a vote as to who runs the Kennel Club and all of the positions that go with it; how democratic is this?

There are Draconian measures taken against exhibitors for the most trivial of offenses. Take the recent case of Moray Armstrong who had words with a Judge;
After a lengthy consideration, the sub-committee imposed the following penalties:
• To warn Mr Armstrong as to his future conduct;
• To censure him;
• To fine him £500;
• To disqualify him from exhibiting at, taking part in, attending and/or having any connection with any event licensed by the KC;
• To disqualify him from judging at any event licensed by the KC;
• To impose an order for costs incurred by the complainant in instituting and conducting these proceedings in the sum of £1,210.
The disqualifications are for a year.

This is quite outrageous. Yet they continue to get away with it because there is no other organisation to turn to, this state of affairs cannot be a good thing.

Go To Top Of Page


BOB At Crufts Then Heavily Criticised

A Crufts BOB German Shepherd Owner claims that her life in dogs has been ruined by a remark made during More4’s TV coverage of the show.

Two days after Clokellys Lagos competed in the group, as part of its Crufts cover More4 showed a slow motion film of him.

Clare Balding, who was with studio guests Kennel Club secretary Caroline Kisko and canine geneticist Cathryn Mellersh, said that although she was ‘no expert’, the dog’s ‘back end does not look right’.

Mrs Kisko passed no comment on Lagos but discussed what the KC was doing to tackle health and conformation problems in breeds. As reported previously, the KC is asking GSD clubs and groups to sign contracts agreeing numerous conditions, one of which was to acknowledge there were conformation problems in the breed, before it allocates CCs for 2012.

Passed Health tests

Two and a half-year-old Lagos has enjoyed much success under breed specialists here and abroad, and has passed all health tests in England and Germany relevant to his breed and has proven his working ability.

Owner and breeder Carol Keen said his elbows had been scored 0:0, hips 3:3, and he is haemophilia clear. In addition to his schutzhund 3 success, he has won well under German SV judges and taken part in obedience and heelwork. He undertakes 12 miles of roadwork a week.

“My dog has had a lot of success, and has won at the top level under international judges all over the world,” Mrs Keen said. “He spent a lot of the last year in Germany getting qualifications as well. That is why I go to Germany to compete because they insist on health and working criteria over there – you can’t show them otherwise. I know he is very sound.

“He is an exceptional dog in our breed for his age, for what he has done.”
Mrs Keen was unaware of what had been said on TV until the Sunday.

“It was such a shock – everything was so wonderful,” she said. “After celebrating his win with friends I got a phone call asking me if I’d heard what Clare Balding said – which, incidentally, took place two days after the group judging. I was so angry. Here we have someone who is big time into horses, commentating on dogs.

“In the film Lagos was just coming round a corner while doing a triangle, which I haven’t particularly trained him to do, and his handler had him on a short lead. It was quite tight and he was powering round.

“I can see where they’re coming from, but you don’t make remarks when you’re not an expert on the breed and when the dog has been judged at Crufts by a breed specialist picked by the KC.
“The judge thanked me for putting him under him, saying he was a super dog and so sound.
“I have done every health test possible on this dog and he has passed all of them, and here he is being connected with genetic problems in the breed, saying he was too low in the back.”
Mrs Keen said she had been breeding GSDs for nearly 40 years.

“I don’t have a lot of dogs and I only breed if I want one for myself. It has been my lie’s ambition to own a GSD like Clokelly Lagos. Now my dog has been slated, my breeding as such has been slated and all the years of work have been taken away from me. It has been devastating. I haven’t got an unsound dog in my kennel.”

Mrs Keen Contacted The Kennel Club

“I asked her if the whole thing had been orchestrated by the KC and she said it hadn’t and that I would need to contact the TV station. I would like the comment retracted and have filled in a complaint form, but if they can’t put it right I am going to seek legal advice. They have taken my life away. It’s very unfair.”

GSD judge at Crufts, Bob Kinsey, said he had not liked Ms Balding’s remarks.

Judge Kinsey's Concern

“Nothing was televised of the dog when he took part in the group and then this happened two days later,” he said. “And it was shown in slow motion as opposed to normal speed, which always makes things look different.

“I liked the dog and it was sound. I enjoyed my day, I did what I wanted to do and to me that dog was the best of breed. I don’t really want to say any more about it, but it was strange that it was brought up two days after the group.”

Breed council chairman John Cullen said he had complained to More4 about the comments.
“The dog in question has all the health requirements that are mandatory in the breed’s country of origin and the KC asks for this only in a voluntary capacity,” he said.

Crufts chief vet Steve Dean said he was aware that Lagos had been criticised.
“I agree that, with my dog hat on, I would prefer a dog with better hocks, but from the veterinary viewpoint it was not unsound and showed no signs of discomfort, and so I did not withdraw it from competing in the group,” he said.

When asked by DW, Mrs Kisko denied again that the KC had had any influence on the TV discussion.

“As part of More4’s commitment to having an open debate about the health and welfare of dogs during the 2010 coverage of Crufts, it was inevitable that there would be some discussion about the issues that exist in certain breeds,” she said. “Clare Balding chose to highlight a health issue which was also subsequently noted by the British Veterinary Association (BVA).

“The KC has since received a number of emails and phone calls from viewers concerned at the appearance of the dog.

“We would not and could not interfere with More4 reporting on these issues in the way that it sees fit. Although we cannot comment on this case in particular, it should be noted that within all of the high-profile breeds, both judges and monitors were required to submit a report about the dogs that they saw before them at Crufts.

“These reports will, as always, go to the KC’s Dog Health Group and if there is a discrepancy between them we will ask the relevant judge to provide an explanation, which will be assessed accordingly.

“We are taking firm action to address the problems which it perceives in the GSD breed generally and has asked all GSD clubs to sign an undertaking to confirm that they recognise that there is a problem with the conformation of the breed at present and only those which sign will be allocated CCs from 2011 onwards.”

BVA president elect Harvey Locke said he had not seen the dog physically but had watched the slow motion clip.

“I thought the conformation of the dog – its hocks and sloping back – was not right,” he said. “The way it was putting one leg in front of the other was a far from natural gait, and not the gait it was originally bred and designed for. I appreciate it was slow motion and I can understand why the dog’s owner is upset, but we do need to look at the wider picture; the problems of breeding for extremes, not only GSDs but in so many breeds is something we must all tackle.”

• The British Association for German Shepherd dogs has agreed to sign the KC’s contract. Chairman Bob Honey said members had voted in favour of doing so and that this decision had been given to the KC. The German Shepherd Dog League of GB has also taken a vote on whether or not to sign but vice-chairman Nikki Farley said the result would not be announced until the KC had received it in time for the March 31 deadline. “There was a full vote from the members and we will now be discussing it in council,” she said.

Go To Top Of Page


GERMAN SHEPHERD DOGS – PROGRESS BEFORE THE DEADLINE

Fourteen of the 30 German Shepherd Breed Clubs have, by 23rd March, already signed and returned the undertaking to the Kennel Club ahead of the 31st March 2010 deadline. The Kennel Club thanks these clubs and their members for taking this positive step.

The Kennel Club is in the process of planning a meeting with these clubs and any others that sign the Undertaking to discuss the future development of the breed, how to address soundness issues and current Kennel Club initiatives into breed health. The Kennel Club would urge all clubs that wish to take part in this process and to be considered for Challenge Certificates to sign the Undertaking by the deadline of the 31st of March.

The Kennel Club continues to be dismayed by the tactics of a vocal minority in the breed who, rather than seizing this opportunity for the benefit of the breed, choose to bolster their own interests by suggesting that the Kennel Club’s motives are anything other than for the welfare of the breed. To suggest that an organisation that is the single largest contributor to research into canine health in the UK does not have the health of the dog at its heart is nonsensical.

The Kennel Club is also disturbed to note that one club that has signed the Undertaking has decided to cancel its scheduled show this year as it fears that those opposed to signing the Undertaking will disrupt its show to the detriment of the breed.

There has been unhelpful speculation that club members who vote against their club signing the Undertaking will in some way be prevented from entering shows or taking part in training activities. Again, the Kennel Club has made it clear in its previous statements that this is not the case.

Similarly, there has been a great deal of speculation about Clause 9 of the Undertaking with some choosing to attach sinister connotations and imply that the Kennel Club in some way is attempting to ‘ban’ SV/WUSV events. In its press release of 16th February, the Kennel Club made it clear that no such issue exists. To reiterate, the Kennel Club has worked with the GSD community to enable the annual British Sieger Show to everyone’s satisfaction. All requests of a similar nature will of course be considered. What is being asked is that, as a matter of simple courtesy, clubs should work with their UK governing body to gain its support for the organising of any such events.

Go To Top Of Page


RSPCA Delighted With Electric Shock Collar Ban in Wales

The RSPCA has welcomed the National Assembly for Wales’ decision to ban the use of electric shock collars on dogs and cats in Wales.

This is the first ban of its kind in the United Kingdom, and the Welsh Assembly Government has used its devolved powers under section 12 of the Animal Welfare Act.

Claire Lawson, RSPCA public affairs manager for Wales said: "We are delighted with the stance that the Welsh Assembly Government has taken in banning the use of these instruments of cruelty. They have been consigned to the dustbin of history and I hope the rest of the UK will follow suit and do the same."

Electric shock collars are used to remotely apply an electric shock, usually to the animal’s neck, to stop unwanted behaviour. But research clearly shows that the application of an electric shock causes both a physiological stress response and behaviours associated with pain, fear and stress in animals.

The world's oldest animal welfare charity responded to the Welsh Assembly Government consultations in 2008 and 2010 on the use of electric training aids. The RSPCA argued that the use of such training devices can cause a long-term threat to an animal’s welfare. Animals trained with these devices can show behaviours associated with pain and fear both during training and some time afterwards. There is also a great potential for the misuse of these devices, either through ignorance or malice by those intent on deliberate cruelty.

Research has also shown that the use of punishment based techniques can result in, or make some behaviour problems worse.

The RSPCA strongly believes that there is no place for these devices in modern animal training and recommends the use of reward based methods instead.

Go To Top Of Page


NO NEED FOR PANIC OVER RABIES THREAT, SAY VETS

Vets are warning against widespread concern and panic after press reports that there will be a significant threat of rabies to the UK when rules for pet travel are harmonised across Europe. In a letter to the Veterinary Record Dr Paul Burr and his colleagues at the Biobest Laboratories, which carries out serology tests for rabies, warn against any relaxation of the current rules for animals entering the UK under the Pet Travel Scheme (PETS).

Professor Bill Reilly, President of the British Veterinary Association (BVA), said:

“It is very important that the British public is not unnecessarily concerned or alarmed by the statement from Dr Burr on rabies.

“Last week the European Parliament voted for an extension to the existing arrangements which allow the UK to apply stricter controls on animals entering the country until the end of 2011. We hope that the Agriculture Council will soon finalise this decision.

“This allows us additional time to fully assess the risk that harmonisation of the rules on rabies poses.

“However, we do know that the incidence of rabies has been reducing significantly in mainland Europe over the last 20 years due to a very successful vaccination programme. Therefore the threat posed to the UK by animals coming into the country from other Member States should certainly not cause any panic.”

Andrew Ash, Junior Vice President of the British Small Animal Association (BSAVA), added:

“We are satisfied that the measures in place will be sufficient to protect both animal and human health and this extra window of time should allow us to collect the necessary scientific evidence on the impact of harmonisation.

“It is regrettable that this concern has been raised ahead of other issues such as the risk posed by tapeworms (the parasite Echinococcus multilocularis) which the BVA and BSAVA believe could have a far more serious impact on animal and human health.”

1. The letter from Dr Paul Burr in the Veterinary Record is available here: http://press.psprings.co.uk/mp/march/passports.pdf

2. For more information on PETS, including the views of the BVA and BSAVA, please visit the BVA website: http://www.bva.co.uk/activity_and_advice/1450.aspx

3. For more information please contact the BVA Media Office on 020 7908 6340 or media@bva.co.uk

Go To Top Of Page


CO HANDLER OF CRUFTS BEST IN SHOW BANNED

Two strikes and out.

Moray Armstrong, co-handler of Crufts BIS, the Hungarian Vizsla Sh Ch/Aus Ch Hungargunn Bear Itn Mind (Yogi), has been banned from showing at, judging or attending any KC licensed event for a year for threatening and intimidating a judge for the second time.

At a disciplinary hearing at the Kennel Club, Mr Armstrong admitted distressing Rachel Herbert after the open dog class at Welsh Kennel Club 2009 when he won the RCC with Yogi.

He told her she would not judge again, that she had cost Mr Armstrong BIS and that she would pay for it.

The Disciplinary Sub-Committee heard there had been a complaint against Mr Armstrong - whose wife Kathryn co-owns Yogi – relating to his behaviour towards a judge after being awarded the RCC at Three Counties in 2005, for which he received a warning.

When a judge gave the dog who was to take best in show at Crufts 2010, Sh Ch/Aus Ch Hungargunn Bear Itn Mind, the RCC at Welsh Kennel Club last year, handler Moray Armstrong threatened her, a Kennel Club disciplinary panel has been told.

Mr Armstrong, whose wife Kathryn co-owns Hungarian Vizsla Yogi, told Rachel Herbert – who was being evaluated on her first judging appointment giving CCs – that she had cost him the BIS award and that she would pay for it.

He also implied that he had some influence over the evaluation result, which would be poor or she would fail, and that she would not judge again.

The outburst after the open dog class at the show became the subject of a KC A42 hearing of the Disciplinary Sub-Committee on Thursday of last week – four days after Yogi had been crowned Crufts BIS. Those present heard that after a similar incident at Three Counties in 2005 when he was handling a Flat-coated Retriever, Mr Armstrong had been given a warning under the KC's T11 regulation when he became abusive to a judge who, again, had given his dog the RCC.

This time Mr Armstrong was banned for a year.

Thursday's hearing took an unexpected turn when it was learnt that the witnesses scheduled to attend the event – to support the cases of the complainant and respondent – had been called off the afternoon before when a deal was struck between counsels for the KC and Mr Armstrong. The latter had agreed to admit the complaint under an agreed wording. This was: “I accept that when my dog was placed second by Mrs Herbert, given its championship history I was surprised by the decision and I accept that I made some unguarded and inappropriate remarks which were discreditable and prejudicial to the interests of the canine world.

“I accept I said that as a result of this decision Mrs Herbert was unlikely to judge again and was likely to receive a poor evaluation. And as a result of this decision I would not have an opportunity to compete for BIS and this decision was likely to mean that Mrs Herbert's credibility as a judge would suffer. I accept and regret that these comments were threatening to Mrs Herbert and caused her undue upset and distress.”

The sub-committee hearing the complaint comprised chairman Wilson Young, Simon Luxmoore, Roy Page, Steve Croxford and Ian Kettle. Proceedings began with KC counsel Robert Dalling outlining what had happened at the show. 
“Mrs Herbert placed Mr Armstrong's dog second and it appears to have been this decision which caused him to address her threateningly,” he said. “She noticed that his manner changed and as she was writing up the critique he told her she would not, or it was unlikely that she would not, judge in the future, and that she would receive a poor evaluation as a result of her decision.

“Mrs Herbert was left with the impression that he would interfere with the evaluation process itself to make sure she would fail. She was left upset and intimidated by the threatening tone used and had to take a break from judging to compose herself.

“It is important that people are respectful towards judges and in this case his standards fell well below those expected.”

Mr Dalling spoke of the 2005 complaint saying that on that occasion his explanation had been that he knew the judge well and often had frank discussions with her. No A42 hearing took place regarding this, he said.

Although no witnesses attended Thursday's hearing, the KC applied for its costs – comprising witnesses' travel fares which could not be reimbursed, and legal fees – to be paid by Mr Armstrong.

Speaking on Mr Armstrong's behalf, his barrister Richard Tutt said his client had accepted the complaint.

“You may know that in a criminal court if someone accepts and pleads guilty one is entitled to a reduction in sentence because they have shown a degree of remorse, accepted responsibility for what they have done, saved the witnesses the burden of giving evidence and relieved the court of having a trial. I apologise that this decision was confirmed only late in the day yesterday....”
He continued: “The incident at the show related to Mr Armstrong's treatment of a judge, not treatment of a dog or breeding of dogs. As far as his antecedent history is concerned, Mr Armstrong has attended thousands upon thousands of shows and he has had one warning from four and a half years ago, and this, but nothing else.”

The sub-committee would probably think that he should have known better, Mr Tutt said.

“And I have to agree with you, he should have done. But because he should have known better doesn't detract from his standing as an individual. He needs little introduction; he is a well-known, highly-regarded individual in the canine world, and would describe himself as an honest, straight-talking, 63-year-old Cumbrian.

“He has had Cocker Spaniels, Flatcoats and Vizslas. He has bred or owned the most Cocker champions since the second world war – 23 in total. He has bred and owned three Flatcoat champions and bred or owned seven Vizsla champions, two of whom are breed record holders – Sh Ch Kazval Keats with 42 CCs and the current champion Yogi with 64 CCs.

“Yogi has also won the most BIS – 18 in total – and was BIS at Crufts at the weekend.”

Mr Armstrong became a championship show judge in 1980, judged the gundog group at Crufts in 2007, and has judged in 15 countries abroad, Mr Tutt said.

“He has achieved an enormous amount in the canine world and as he draws towards his twilight years it is fair to say dog shows have been his life's work. He bitterly regrets the incident and apologises to the KC and that you need to be here today. But first and foremost he apologises to Mrs Herbert. He has known her for a long time and hitherto had got on with her extremely well.

“I hope that you will take into consideration the enormous amount of work Mr Armstrong has done for the canine world during his life so far when you decide how to deal with him today.”

After a lengthy consideration, the sub-committee imposed the following penalties:

• To warn Mr Armstrong as to his future conduct;
• To censure him;
• To fine him £500;
• To disqualify him from exhibiting at, taking part in, attending and/or having any connection with any event licensed by the KC;
• To disqualify him from judging at any event licensed by the KC;
• To impose an order for costs incurred by the complainant in instituting and conducting these proceedings in the sum of £1,210.

The disqualifactions are for a year.

Mr Young added: “We recognise that it is essential that those showing dogs at events such as this maintain respectful standards in the treatment of judges and their decisions. In this instance Mr Armstrong's behaviour fell well below those standards.

“This was a repeated incident; all those officiating at licensed events are deserving of respect and the sub-committee has a duty to protect them in this regards.”

Go To Top Of Page


The Wrath Of The Kennel Club Crufts 2010

IRVING STRIKES AGAIN AT GSDs

A pensioner taking part in the Good Citizen Dog Training Scheme display teams was humiliated and told to leave Crufts after the Kennel Club claimed her five-month-old German Shepherd puppy was unsound.
Pam Edgington 76 years old (Starkstrom), who has been in the breed for 50 years and is an accredited breeder, was dismissed after one of the show’s vets declared her puppy showed ‘an abnormality in her hindquarters’.

Good citizen

Mrs Edgington, whose GSD won the Good Citizen classes at Crufts in 2007, ‘08 and ‘09 and this year was second, was told by officials she could not wait on the benches until her team had finished but must leave immediately.

The person who gave her a lift to the show had to get passes to leave the show to drive her back to Staffordshire to pick up her car, and then return to Crufts.

“My puppy was having such a lovely time talking to the people and children – even enjoying the noise,” Mrs Edgington said. “But the vet came to look at her, bent down and fussed her, stroked her back end and said she was unsound. He didn’t ask to see her move.

“He said, ‘Sorry, you will have to leave immediately’. Ten minutes later I was gone. The KC said that if an official says a dog is unsound it is in breach of KC regulations. I had to be evicted.

Couldn’t I have been asked to withdraw from the team and sit on my bench and read my book?
“They didn’t ask me anything or ask me to give my side. The sad part is I am an accredited breeder; all my dogs are hip scored and health tested. But I won’t stay in the ABS now.

“You don’t exercise youngsters as you have to let their bones grow. You don’t want to mess them up so it is better to leave them alone until about nine months old. My puppy is extremely loose and I have no intention of doing anything with her. But because the KC is so strict now on this business – what they call being unsound. She isn’t – she is a baby and as such she is loose.

“I felt so humiliated and sick about it all. I am 76, I can do without this. Crufts won’t be getting any more entries from me. They have taken what was probably my last Crufts and ruined it.”

‘Vendetta’

Mrs Edgington has only four GSDs – the puppy, her grandmother, mother and sister. On pastoral day at Crufts her dogs took a second and third.

“That’s the difference between an adult and a puppy,” she said. “But the KC has a vendetta against GSDs; they are targeting us.

“I feel sorry for the club who asked me to take part – and angry too. The reason they asked me was because I am 76 and I have a youngster who I’m training and they thought it would be fun for me.

But it wasn’t, it was a nightmare.

“Everyone I know is behind me – they’re all appalled. In 50 years I have never been so humiliated.”

A KC spokesman confirmed that a GSD was excluded from the Good Citizen ring.

“This decision was taken upon the advice of the Crufts vet who felt that the dog showed abnormality in the hindquarters,” she said. “We are dedicated to ensuring that Crufts is a celebration of healthy dogs, and in a display ring, where there is no judge to make an executive decision, it is particularly important that the vet takes the responsibility for ensuring that all dogs are sound representatives of their breed.”

Go To Top Of Page


BEST IN SHOW NEC BIRMINGHAM ENGLAND

Professional Streaker Mark Roberts managed to disrupt the gundog group at Crufts on Sunday night – repeating his star performance from 1999.

Mark, 45, from Fairfield in Liverpool interrupted proceedings when he tore off his velcro-fastened clothes and, wearing nothing but shoes, socks and a cat-shaped mask over his modesty, ran into the Arena.

On his chest were the words, istreak.com

I had a drink with Mark on Friday evening and asked him when his next big event was to be. Mark said; "I've got something planned for the weekend"

I didn't think that he'd try Crufts again. Mark is a great character and has many very entertaining stories of his Streaks from around the world. When he did his streak at the Super Bowl in Texas He said; "I ran onto the pitch after ripping off my uniform and the whole of the arena went silent. Then they erupted. The next thing that I knew I was coming back to my senses as I had been hit by a Quarter Back and knocked out!"

Mark was arrested and taken to a Police Station. When they found out who he was Mark said; " All they wanted from me was my Autograph." He wasn't charged.
His sponsors for the Super Bowl had put him up in a Top Class Hotel and Mark had trouble explaining to Security that he was a guest there. That same evening the Rapper P Diddy was also at the Hotel and when he found out that Mark was also there, he was invited to a massive party that P Diddy threw.

Mark tells me that some years ago he worked in Australia for a while. It was there that he saw a streaker on the television at some event and he thought, "I can do that." And the rest as they say is History.

Back to the NEC Mark was quickly stopped and escorted from the area by NEC security, allowing judging to continue.

Mark has become well known for his naked exploits after bearing all at more than 380 public and sporting events. In 1999 he streaked during the working group with the words 'Pedigree bum' on his behind and sporting a Comic Relief red nose; he raised a considerable amount for the cause in the process.

He caused pandemonium at last year’s Scouseology awards for underprivileged children when he invaded the stage naked, and claimed he broke his toe when he was wrestled to the ground. He is also remembered for clambering onto Fred Talbot’s weather map in the altogether during This Morning’s Albert Dock heyday, for once Fred was lost for words.

When he ran on to the 18th green at the 2006 Open Championship at Hoylake with a golf ball nestled between his buttocks, Merseyside Police tried to slap him with an ASBO until a judge decided people were 'amused' by his antics, much to the chagrin of the Police. He has also stripped off at the Ryder Cup, the Uefa and European Cup finals, The Super Bowl in Texas, US, and the Winter Olympics in Italy.

Go To Top Of Page


Bath fee ‘bans’ legally-docked dogs

Exhibitors of legally-docked dogs are livid that Bath CS has decided to charge a £4 admission fee, effectively banning them from the championship show.

Secretary Ben Ford said this week it had been a ‘pretty unanimous’ committee decision to do so.
Mr Ford, who has Old English Sheepdogs, whose first show as secretary this will be after taking over from Keith Nathan, said he had replied to everyone who had contacted him on the matter.

“I am definitely going to speak to the Kennel Club – I am the new boy and I am being bombarded with emails over this,” he said. “One person said they were going to take me to the European Court of Human Rights.”

For the last two years, he said, the committee had put in the schedule that there would be an admittance charge but that it had been rescinded at the last moment.

“I can’t tell you why because committee business is confidential,” he said. “But from a personal point of view I would say there are two sides to the coin. Some of the people who own traditionally-docked breeds and who no longer dock are being discriminated against. In a line-up of docked and undocked dogs the judge always seems to choose the undocked one. I would say that

certainly is true in my breed, with inferior specimens sometimes being put up.”
But according to one source, the consensus of the Bath committee is that the practice of docking is cruel because the Government has deemed it so, even though ministers thought it less cruel than working dogs injuring their tails in the field.

Mr Ford said the committee would be monitoring entry figures and finances at the show.
“We will be tracking every single aspect of this to glean information on how many people are not at the show,” he said. “So far, 23 people have said they are not coming and we will equate this with revenue losses.

“I do feel sympathy for those who have legally-docked dogs, because if it goes on this way they won’t be able to go to any championship shows. I wish I could resolve it in some way but it was a committee decision and that’s it. Certainly since the Government banned docking it has become an unholy mess.

“All we can do is run this show, analyse everything and see what we can do about it. We can only do our best. If I’m not standing in the European Court of Human Rights at the time I will run the show the best I can.”

Damaged Tails

Among the many who have made their views known are Sharon Pinkerton, Maxine McCullough, Sue Harris, Christine Guest and Penny Simpson.

“For ‘welfare’ reasons we still dock our breed due to tail damage when working,” Miss Pinkerton said. “Nearly two years ago we had an undocked litter of which three have already had their tails amputated as adults due to recurring tail damage. Three others have experienced continuing tail damage which still may result in amputation. So we have tried to leave tails and our dogs have suffered badly because of it.

“The whole issue of docking is considered to be a welfare issue so why allow adult dogs to go through a major ‘amputation’ due to an injury which could have been preventable?”
This is all legal, she said, so why was she being ‘victimised’?

“The KC statement on schedules reads ‘open to all’ but some shows clearly are not, and openly discriminate towards the exhibitors of legally docked breeds,” Miss Pinkerton said. “Bath owns its own showground and expensive venue costs are not an issue, so why does it need to charge admission? Get societies to publish their balance sheets so we can see how much money they make on shows and where ‘our’ money is spent!

“Does Bath have representatives on its committee from all groups, ie do we have a gundog representative on that committee?

“Without exhibitors/dogs there would be no dog show and nothing for the public to see. Committees are put in place to hold a dog show; it is not a circus, spectacle or fair. All credit to Darlington, Blackpool and Paignton for changing their admission charge; at least they are putting together dogs shows for everyone.”

If it was a question of finance, she concluded, there were other methods of raising funds such as car park or catalogue charges. To allow legally-docked dogs to take part there could be free entrance on gundog day only.

Maxine McCullough said she was ‘shocked and disappointed’ that the committee had reversed its decision to allow legally-docked dogs to enter the show.

“Last year many working HPR owners/breeders supported this show as Bath dropped its policy of charging admittance, hence allowing legally docked working HPRs to attend,” she said. “It seems this year they do not want ‘fit for function’ HPRs who can prove their ability in the show ring as well as being very capable working dogs gaining field trial/working test awards.

“This to me seems a somewhat bizarre decision given the current claims of the general media suggesting that ‘show dogs are unfit, unhealthy and not fit for function’. In my breed alone there are at least 20 legally-docked dogs unable to enter Bath under the current policy. I would have thought that Bath would want to support the working HPR and our campaign to be allowed to continue to show and work our dogs. Sadly it seems not.”

Numerous pleas

Sue Harris said charging a public entrance fee was a retrograde step.

“Where other forward-thinking societies are looking for ways in which they can continue as an ‘inclusive’ society, Bath CS has decided that the ever-growing number of legally-docked dogs are simply not worth supporting, despite the numerous pleas from individual exhibitors and judges alike.

“I am in the process of accepting notifications from fellow exhibitors who would have entered this show, and would likely have bought a catalogue and refreshments while there had they have been made welcome by this society. Currently the list of lost entries is growing at an alarming rate...

“I am inviting all exhibitors to advise me of the number of dogs that would have been entered should they have been allowed to, in an effort to ascertain the number of actual entries lost as a result of this short sighted decision.”

Christine Guest said: “At the time of writing I have three dogs I can show who are docked because they are truly dual-purpose and ‘fit for function’. In the past I have supported Bath with entries from one or the other and occasionally both of the breeds I own, Spinoni and Wirehaired Vizslas. How sad that I am unable to support this year’s show and possibly future shows because I might ‘offend’ a member of the paying public with my working, fit for function docked gundogs.

“As a point of interest, my younger Vizsla had her tail ‘amputated’ at 17 weeks under full anaesthetic due to tail trauma, not because I wished to work her.

“I am very proud of the fact that I own and occasionally breed a good looking dog that I can work and show. The HPR owners have striven to keep their breeds dual-purpose without the split that we have seen in other gundog breeds; what a shame this split is now being forced upon us and we have to choose work or show.”

Penny Simpson said: “Last year I sent a letter to DOG WORLD thanking Bath for not imposing a ban on docked dogs, so I am very disappointed to hear that despite a number of dogs entering who otherwise would not have done they have gone ahead this year and put a charge on the public entering.

“I was always led to believe that competitions were put on for the competitor not for the spectator, particularly when the competitor pays such a lot of money just to compete.

“I trust that Bath will see the error of its ways and do what is right by its competitors; after all no competitors means nothing for the spectator to watch.”

Go To Top Of Page


Tudor Mongrel Steals the Show at DFS Crufts 2010

DFS Crufts Hosts Mary Rose Dog Before She Returns Home After Nearly 500 Years -

A 16th century sea dog, the only female crew member aboard Henry VIII’s flagship the Mary Rose, is set to take pride of place at DFS Crufts this year as special guest of the Kennel Club.

Visitors to the world’s largest and greatest dog show, can meet ‘Hatch’, a two-year old mongrel lost aboard the ill-fated Tudor warship 465 years ago, and find out more about the fundraising appeal to provide her with a permanent home at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard.

The painstakingly preserved and reconstructed skeleton of the Mary Rose’s dog will be on display at DFS Crufts, Birmingham NEC, from March 11th (stand 56, hall 3) along with a selection of amazing Tudor artefacts, including an original stone cannon ball and piece of ship’s rope as well as an array of replicas, including some of the carpenter’s tools.

The old sea dog acquired the nickname ‘Hatch’ after divers discovered her remains near the sliding hatch door of the Mary Rose’s carpenter’s cabin, where she had lain since the ship sank in mysterious circumstances in 1545.

Hatch almost certainly earned her keep as the ship’s ratter – superstitious Tudor seafarers did not have cats on board ship as they were thought to bring bad luck. And she was probably very good at her job – only the partial remains of rats’ skeletons have been found on board the Mary Rose.

John Lippiett, Chief Executive of the Mary Rose Trust and Hatch’s guardian, said: “We are delighted to bring Hatch, the world’s oldest lost sea dog, to the world’s premier dog show, so that visitors can meet an ancestor of their much loved pets.

“Expert analysis of Hatch’s bones suggests that she spent most of her short life within the close confines of the ship. It is likely that the longest walks she took were along the quayside at Portsmouth, her home town.

“Hatch is just one of 19,000 extraordinary Tudor treasures recovered with the wreck of the Mary Rose, but she has never been on display in Portsmouth simply because we have not had the room.

“All that is set to change with the building of a new permanent Mary Rose museum, bringing together the remains of the ship itself with the pick of her artefacts, displayed at last in their historic context.

“But to make that a reality and to ensure Hatch is not homeless for another 500 years, we must complete our final push to secure the funds needed to complete the new Mary Rose Museum by 2012.”

Caroline Kisko, Communications Director of the Kennel Club, which organises the show, added: “It is fantastic to host Hatch before she finally returns home. She is undoubtedly the oldest, most unusual and most historically important exhibit that we have ever had at DFS Crufts and her tragic story is bound to fascinate visitors. We are delighted to have her with us - after nearly 500 years of loyal service she is due a little ‘shore leave’!”

Hatch is the mascot of the Mary Rose 500 Public Appeal which is seeking 500 individuals, schools, businesses and organisations to come on board and symbolically become the ‘new crew’ of the Tudor warship, by each pledging to raise £500 towards the Public Appeal.

After her visit to DFS Crufts, Hatch will finally return home to Portsmouth on Friday 26th March to take pride of place in the current Mary Rose Museum, after 465 years away, while she waits for the new Mary Rose Museum - her final permanent home, to be completed.

Visitors to DFS Crufts should visit hall 3 stand 56 to join the Mary Rose 500 appeal new crew, discover the history of Henry VIII's famous warship, hear what life was like for a Tudor ship’s crew and their dog, and uncover the truth about what happened on the Mary Rose’s final voyage.

The Mary Rose

The Mary Rose is the only 16th century warship on display anywhere in the world. Launched in 1511, she was one of the first ships able to fire a broadside, and was a favourite of King Henry VIII.

After a long and successful career, she sank during an engagement with a French fleet in 1545. Her rediscovery and raising were seminal events in the history of maritime archaeology.

A separate dedicated Mary Rose museum, also sited in Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, remains open while the ship hall is temporarily closed during the new museum construction period. The amazing artefacts discovered with the great ship, remain on display and new exhibits, including Hatch, are being introduced to maintain the highest quality of visitor experience.

The new Mary Rose Museum will, for the first time since her sinking, re-unite the ship and her contents, fully preserved and presented in a context that portrays a time capsule of Tudor life at sea.

Go To Top Of Page


HUNGARIAN VIZSLA AIMS TO PROVE HE’S ‘FIT FOR FUNCTION: FIT FOR LIFE’
AT DFS CRUFTS

A Hungarian Vizsla which has been proven successful in both the show ring and the field will be attempting to add to his list of awards at DFS Crufts, which starts tomorrow.

Champion Bitcon Gold Coast at Northey, handled by Andrew McDonald, has followed achieving the title of Champion in the show ring by winning the first place award at the Kennel Club’s Open AV HPR (Any Variety Hunt Point Retrieve) Stake in December after just 18 months of gundog training.

He will now be one of almost 22,000 dogs hoping to win the prestigious title of Best in Show at the world’s largest dog show, DFS Crufts, which takes place from 11th – 14th March at the NEC in Birmingham.

Champion Bitcon Gold Coast at Northey only began gundog training after Andrew attended a Kennel Club Training Day for Pointing breeds in Suffolk in April 2008. One of the aims of these training days is to encourage show dogs to learn and demonstrate their working ability.

Kennel Club Communications Director Caroline Kisko said “For this dog to achieve a win at the Kennel Club’s Open AV Stake after just 18 months is a considerable achievement and the Kennel Club congratulates Mr and Mrs McDonald.

“The Kennel Club is committed to the principles of our Fit For Function: Fit For Life campaign. For a show gundog to achieve such success in the field, the environment for which the breed was developed, demonstrates the true working abilities of this beautiful breed.”

DFS Crufts will welcome many dogs who fulfil roles in both a showing and working capacity. You can see Champion Bitcon Gold Coast at Northey competing in his pedigree breed class, and there will also be various activities including working trials, heelwork to music and agility at the Dog Activities Ring in Hall 3 from 11-14th March. Please visit www.dfscrufts.org.uk for more information.

To find out more on the Kennel Club’s ‘Fit for Function’ campaign visit http://www.fitforfunction.org.uk.

Go To Top Of Page


VETS WELCOME EXTENSION TO UK PET TRAVEL PROTECTION

The European Parliament has voted 618 votes to 17 for an extension to the transitional arrangements contained within the regulation on the non-commercial movement of pet animals (Reg. 998/2003) which afford the UK additional protection against rabies, ticks and tapeworms.

The British Veterinary Association (BVA) and British Small Animal Veterinary Association (BSAVA) have been lobbying MEPs to support the extension and have strongly welcomed this decision.

The transitional arrangements allow the UK to impose stricter measures on the entry of pet animals and are designed to protect the UK from rabies, ticks and tapeworms (Echinococcus multilocularis).

The vote in the European Parliament today supports an extension of these arrangements until the end of 2011 and puts in place a system so that permanent measures can be imposed in the future for entry to specific Member States based on scientific evidence. The decision will have to be ratified by the European Agriculture Council before coming into force.

Commenting, Professor Bill Reilly, President of the BVA, said:

“The Pet Travel Scheme affords the UK’s pet, wildlife and human populations protection from serious diseases and parasites and we have long argued for these arrangements to remain until scientific evidence can prove that the risk is manageable.

“The BVA and BSAVA have worked closely with Defra to secure this extension to the arrangements and we will now be pushing for investment in additional scientific research that will give us a clearer picture of the threat of the parasite Echinococcus multilocularis and other exotic and emerging diseases.”

Dr Richard Dixon, President of BSAVA, added:

“This decision in Europe is strongly welcomed and we are pleased that veterinary associations across Europe supported our position. The next stage is to gather further evidence to ensure the UK is protected in the future.

“In the meantime, the key message for pet owners is that they must talk to their vets as early as possible to find out how to protect them from disease and parasites when travelling abroad.”

1. The BVA and BSAVA have been lobbying MEPs to secure the extension to the transitional arrangements. A document setting out the BVA and BSAVA position is available on the BVA website http://www.bva.co.uk/activity_and_advice/1450.aspx

2. In September 2009 the BVA, BSAVA and BVA Animal Welfare Foundation launched a waiting-room poster to remind pet owners of the need to protect their animals when travelling abroad. For more information visit http://www.bva.co.uk/newsroom/1613.aspx

3. For more information please contact the BVA Media Office on 020 7908 6340 or media@bva.co.uk

Go To Top Of Page


KENNEL CLUB WELCOMES DEFRA DANGEROUS DOG CONSULTATION AS A PAW
IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION


After many years of campaigning, the Kennel Club today welcomed government plans to review current dangerous dogs legislation in the UK.

The Kennel Club runs the secretariat for the Dangerous Dogs Act Study Group (DDASG), which includes representatives from organisations including Battersea Dogs and Cats Home, Blue Cross, Dogs Trust and Wood Green Animal Shelter, veterinary organisations and local authorities. The study group has been considering issues surrounding dangerous dogs for some time and has recently produced a new draft Dog Control Bill which seeks to place liability on irresponsible dog owners.

Communications Director Caroline Kisko said “The Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 is a kneejerk piece of legislation which was rushed through in haste. It has not reduced the number of pit bull terriers in this country, nor has it reduced the number of dog biting attacks while it has had a huge impact on the welfare of many dogs.

It is essential that any new legislation is properly considered and puts greater emphasis on animal welfare whilst better protecting the public.”

The Kennel Club welcomes this review and we hope that any future government will look at this pressing issue as soon as possible after this year’s election”.

Go To Top Of Page


Vets warn against dangerous dogs issue becoming party political

Vets have welcomed the Government consultation on reforming dangerous dogs legislation but called on politicians not to let the issue become a political football during the forthcoming election campaign.

Responding to the announcement by the Home Secretary and Secretary of State for Environment Food and Rural Affairs that Defra will consult the public on reform of the legislation and compulsory microchipping, Professor Bill Reilly, President of the BVA, said:

“The BVA has been lobbying the Government and Opposition hard for a change in dangerous dogs legislation and so we are delighted that the Government is now considering reforming the hugely unpopular and ineffective Dangerous Dogs Act 1991.

“The BVA believes very strongly in the principle of deed not breed – targeting dogs for their actions, not what they look like – and we hope to see new legislation that tackles the actions of irresponsible pet owners that can cause dogs to become aggressive.

“We therefore support the concept of control notices, which is being pursued in Scotland through the Control of Dogs (Scotland) Bill, and the proposal for compulsory microchipping to ensure all dogs can be identified.

“However, the failure of the 1991 Act is rooted in the fact that it was drafted in a highly political knee-jerk response to a number of incidents. Politicians should learn from these mistakes and resist using the issue as a political football during the General Election campaign.

“The welfare charities, vets and Kennel Club have reached consensus on the need for the law to change and politicians of all parties should aim to agree the way forward.”

The issue was raised by Professor Reilly at the BVA’s annual London dinner, attended by Defra Minister Lord Davies of Oldham, on 16 February. Prof Reilly said:

“The problems caused by dangerous dogs will never be solved until dog owners appreciate that they are responsible for the actions of their animals. Rather than singling out individual breeds the BVA strongly believes in targeting individual aggressive dogs.

“With concern about weapon dogs rising and a new Parliament on the horizon looking for fresh ideas, the time is surely right for it to be at the top of the political agenda.”

1. The BVA is a member of the Dangerous Dogs Act Study Group (DDASG) which campaigns for a change in the law. Other members include the Kennel Club, Battersea Dogs & Cats Home, Blue Cross, Dogs Trust, Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, Wandsworth Borough Council and Wood Green Animal Shelters.

Go To Top Of Page


Irresponsible owners need to be focus of dog law consultation

The RSPCA is calling for irresponsible pet ownership to be the focus of the Government’s newly announced public consultation on dog legislation.

The nation’s biggest animal charity today welcomed the Home Secretary’s announcement that the Government will hold a serious debate on how best to tackle anti-social behaviour with dogs.

The RSPCA has long called for more effective legislation that puts greater emphasis on punishing irresponsible dog owners who cause animals to suffer, rather than the breed or type of dog concerned.

Claire Robinson, the RSPCA’s government relations manager, said: “There is a real need for updated legislation that enables enforcers to tackle the problem effectively and prevent serious incidents from occurring rather than waiting till after a tragedy or penalising certain dogs just because of their breed or type.

“The RSPCA has been working with the police and local authorities to develop good practice in this area and also consolidate and update legislation that will tackle the root cause of the problem – indiscriminate breeding and irresponsible dog ownership.

“It is fantastic news that the Government has opened a genuine debate on the subject and given the public a chance to have their say on the best way to tackle the issue of dogs being used anti-socially.”

She said vets at RSPCA animal hospitals, as well as many of the charity’s inspectors out in the field, come across dogs on a daily basis that have suffered cruelty or neglect at the hands of irresponsible owners.

“It needs to be remembered that dog welfare isn’t just about ‘dangerous dogs’. Strays and over-breeding are also areas that would need to be properly addressed as part of any comprehensive dog welfare strategy.

“We look forward to going through the consultation documents in full and submitting our response to Defra,” added Claire.

The Government’s public consultation was launched following a visit to the RSPCA Harmsworth Animal Hospital, in north London, by Home Secretary Alan Johnson, and Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Hilary Benn MP, yesterday (MON).

Mr Benn met hospital director David Grant who explained how he and his team have to treat and care for thousands of animals each year as a direct result of irresponsible dog ownership.

Go To Top Of Page


DEFRA PLAN TO DRAW UP NEW LAWS

A public consultation on how to tackle irresponsible owners and their potentially dangerous dogs is to be launched within weeks.

The consultation will be staged to decide what measures should be imposed as part of an overhaul of the disliked and outdated Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 (DDA).
The alleged contents of a leaked DEFRA document were disclosed this week, involving plans to overhaul dog laws in England and Wales which are being considered by senior ministers entitled ‘Consultation on dangerous dogs’. Under the proposals, it has been reported, would-be owners would have to show they had a basic understanding of their dogs before being allowed to keep them ‘akin to the driving theory test’.

Leaked plans

However, a source said that this was from an early draft of the proposals and the idea has now been dropped; the cost of setting up such a scheme to cover Britain’s six million dog owners would have been prohibitive and would have to be met by either charging for the test or imposing a dog licence fee.

The source also said that there was to be a public consultation on how to curb the irresponsible owner/dangerous dog problem, and that this would be launched within a few weeks.
Under the leaked plans, microchipping would become compulsory, owners would have to take out third-party insurance on their dogs, the police and local authorities would be given the power to impose Asbos on the owners of unruly dogs and the law would be extended to cover dog attacks anywhere, including private properties.

There are plans to boost the enforcement powers of police, the courts and local authorities. Cited are figures which show that the number of convictions for being in charge of a dog dangerously out of control rose from 547 in 2004 to 703 in 2007, according to the latest figures.

Animal charities welcomed the fact the Government was starting a conversation on the issue, but they warned that responsible dog owners could end up being financially penalised for no reason while those who trained dogs to be aggressive were likely to ignore the measures. A better remedy would be to toughen up penalties for owners of anti-social dogs, they said, so the punishment was seen as a deterrent rather than a slap on the wrist.

Dogs Trust said it was delighted that the Government was looking at holding a public consultation into measures to improve the DDA.

“The suggested ideas are about placing responsibility for dangerous dogs on the owner rather than focusing on breed-specific legislation which is a step in the right direction,” a spokesman said. “But we don’t need a stealth dog tax in the form of a competency test. We need much tougher penalties for those people who do allow their dogs to behave irresponsibly or in a threatening way and actions that can taken to stop this behaviour from continuing.

“A competency test will be expensive, time consuming and difficult to enforce. Being able to pass a test by ticking the right boxes on a piece of paper does not guarantee a responsible or appropriate dog owner.

“The test could be taken by someone who may claim ownership of a dog but has no day-to-day responsibility for its welfare or who could pass the dog onto a new owner almost immediately.
“Conversely there are vulnerable people who may struggle to pass an ownership test but are far more appropriate dog owners. For these reasons Dogs Trust does not believe a competency test is a practical solution to the issue of dangerous dogs.”

The RSPCA said: “We have long stated our view that current dog control legislation should be reviewed. We welcome any suggestion that the Government is prepared to stage a serious debate on the subject. But we would not support anything that would hit sensible owners while failing to police those who are danger.

“Any future legislation concerning the control of dogs should focus on the action of the owner and preventing irresponsible dog ownership. Irresponsible owners can own dogs of any type and no dog should be penalised just because of its genetic make-up. However, if legislation governing the control of dogs is to be effective then it must be easily enforceable.

Over-Breeding

“Dog welfare isn’t just about dangerous dogs. Strays and over-breeding are also areas that would need to be properly addressed as part of any comprehensive dog welfare strategy.”
DEFRA said it never commented on a leaked document.

Go To Top Of Page


DFS CRUFTS FM WELCOMES NEW PRESENTERS - AND A NEW FREQUENCY

DFS Crufts FM, the dedicated radio station for the world’s largest dog show, will be hitting the airwaves once again next week to bring listeners around the world all the latest news live from the event.

This year, DFS Crufts FM will be broadcasting on a brand new frequency of 87.7FM in the immediate vicinity of the NEC in Birmingham so that visitors on their way to the show and throughout the halls will be able to tune in on their radios. For those further afield, DFS Crufts FM can be heard online via the show’s website www.dfscrufts.org.uk.

DFS Crufts FM will be welcoming two new presenters to their team this year. The morning slot will be hosted by former children’s TV presenter, Jenny Hanley, fondly remembered for her work on Magpie, whilst the evenings will see former Crufts Junior Handling winner Marina Scott take over the headphones and microphone duties. Both will bring a wealth of knowledge to their shows and will join a team which also features the experienced show broadcasters Gary Champion and Alan Hyde.

To make sure that listeners are kept bang up to date with all the latest action from the show, there will be a Newsdesk every 20 minutes once the results start to come in, with more reporters in the halls than ever before to bring all the news as it happens live from ringside. There will be more interviews with winners than ever before as the team uncover all the big stories and bring them to listeners first.

There will also be a one-hour programme packed with live guests and competitions broadcasting live from the Samsung stand each day at 10am, with plenty of great prizes provided by the hosts, and a daily podcast available to download each morning.

DFS Crufts FM will be on air from the afternoon of Wednesday 10th March, catching all the build up to the show, right through until around 9.30pm on Sunday 14th March. The broadcast will run 24 hours a day to ensure that listeners from Sydney to Anchorage can keep tabs on the Australian Cattle Dogs and Alaskan Malamutes via their computers without having to stay up all night.

DFS Crufts FM Programme Editor, Bob Mills said: “We look forward to bringing listeners across the globe all of the latest news from the world’s greatest dog show. Whether they are parking their cars outside the NEC or sitting in front of their computers thousands of miles away, we relish the task of capturing all the noise, colour and highlights of this wonderful show and making them feel part of the action.”

Go To Top Of Page


THE KENNEL CLUB JUDGES DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME

The Kennel Club is offering dog show judges across eight breeds the chance to enhance their knowledge through its schedule for the Judges Development Programme (JDP) during the spring.

A series of seminars are being held in March and April this year, as part of the Kennel Club’s commitment to ensuring that judges have the most up-to-date information about the various breeds.

The programme is an excellent opportunity for judges to increase their knowledge of the scheduled breeds and to benefit from the wealth of knowledge that the breed experts will be there to share.

All of the Kennel Club Judges Development Programme seminars will be held at the Kennel Club Building, Stoneleigh Park, Warwickshire, CV8 2LZ.

Judges wishing to attend a JDP breed seminar must have:
- previously awarded CCs to at least three breeds within the relevant Group (i.e. the same group as the host Group), or
- been previously approved by the Kennel Club to Judge a Group at Championship Show level.

The schedule for the selected breeds is as follows:

Utility Group
Monday 22 March 2010 – Lhasa Apso
Tuesday 23 March 2010 – Shih Tzu

Eligible candidates should contact Sally Kimber on 01474 814796 or email sally.kimber@btinternet.com.

Pastoral Group
Wednesday 24 March 2010 – Briard
Wednesday 25 March 2010 – Samoyed

Eligible candidates should contact Bob Gregory on 01477 532478 or email normabobgregory@talktalk.net.

Hound Group
Wednesday 14 April 2010 – Basset Hound and Beagle
Thursday 15 April 2010 – Dachshund and Basset Fauve De Bretagne

Eligible candidates should contact Shirley Rawlings – 01435 868908 or email rawlings@btinternet.com.

The Hound Group JDP will be a two-day workshop devoted to education and hands on coaching. Some places will be available to judges falling just short of fulfilling all qualification criteria for JDPs. Applications for places are invited from judges who award at least two sets of CCs in the Hound Group though priority will be given to those who fulfil all the usual JDP qualification criteria.

After education and hands on coaching at the spring meetings, candidates will have a full summer show season of study and mentoring opportunities, before attending judging evaluations in November.

Go To Top Of Page


HELPING HAITI HAITI

RSPCA in Haiti Helping Pets, Poultry and People

An RSPCA chief officer has been deployed to earthquake stricken Haiti to take over the day to day running of the Animal Relief Coalition for Haiti (ARCH), a group of 21 animal charities from around the world.

ARCH was formed specifically to deal with the Haiti crisis. It is led by the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA) and the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW). The Coalition is already on the ground in Haiti, working with local people to help injured animals as well as provide a massive vaccination programme for livestock, poultry and pets.

Chief officer Kevin Degenhard will leave the UK tomorrow (2 March) to take over the role of co-ordinator from WSPA’s Gerardo Huertas, who is the charities’ disaster operations director for the Americas.

Kevin said: “Being asked to take on this role is both a massive honour and a great responsibility. I will spend two months in Haiti helping to co-ordinate the running of the mobile outreach clinics and other field operations and working with the Haitian government to put the ARCH programme plan for animal welfare into action.”

A vital part of rebuilding communities in Haiti is helping people to look after their surviving animals, as they depend on these animals for food, protection and companionship.

“The situation on the ground at the moment is still very difficult, but the ARCH team is working very closely with local people, and I am confident that we will be able to help make a difference to the humans and animals affected by this terrible tragedy,” he added.

So far ARCH has helped over 2,000 animals* and is now working with the Government of Haiti to help rebuild services for people and their animals.

This sort of operation is only possible because of the combined efforts of all the animal welfare groups involved in ARCH, and it is through this co-operation that we strive to make a real and lasting difference to the people and animals of Haiti.

For updates on our emergency relief work in Haiti, or any of the other emergency international relief work we do, go to web page http://www.rspca.org.uk/inaction/international/emergencyresponse

*The latest numbers of animal treated in Haiti - The last day on record is Feb 22, and the total at that time stood at 2,226. This figure will have increased significantly since then, and an update will be available shortly.

About ARCH Coalition

The Animal Relief Coalition for Haiti (ARCH) is jointly led by the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA) and the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) in partnership with over a dozen of the world’s leading animal protection organizations.

Animal welfare organizations formed the Animal Relief Coalition for Haiti (ARCH) so that we could work together to bring aid to as many animals, and in as short a time, as possible. At present, ARCH partners include: Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (England and Wales) International Fund for Animal Welfare, World Society for the Protection of Animals, American Humane Association, Best Friends Animal Society, In Defense of Animals, American Veterinary Medical Association, American Veterinary Medical Foundation, Antigua and Barbuda Humane Society, American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, United Animal Nations, Kinship Circle, One Voice, Swiss Animal Protection and Petfinder.com Foundation. ARCH members urge other animal welfare groups to join in the group efforts.

About the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW)

The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) saves animals in crisis around the world. With headquarters in the United States and representation in 15 countries, IFAW and its 1.2 million supporters work passionately to prevent animal suffering.

About WSPA

The World Society for the Protection of Animals is the world’s largest alliance of animal welfare organisations. With consultative status at the United Nations and a network of over a thousand member societies in 156 countries in the world, including the RSPCA, we strive to create a world where animal welfare matters and animal cruelty ends.

Go To Top Of Page


MOVING FORWARD ON DOG BREEDING

The veterinary profession was well represented at a meeting of key stakeholders brought together to discuss the next steps on dog breeding. The British Veterinary Association (BVA), British Small Animal Veterinary Association (BSAVA) and Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) together with welfare organisations, the Kennel Club, Defra, and the Scottish Government considered the three major dog breeding reports by APGAW, RSPCA and Professor Bateson.

The group agreed to work on a proposal to set up an Advisory Council on the Welfare Issues of Dog Breeding, as recommended by Professor Bateson.

The group also identified the key areas to be addressed as:

Education and publicity
Legislation and regulation
Breeding strategies
Surveillance, research and development

The meeting was chaired by Professor Sheila Crispin PhD FRCVS. After the meeting Prof Crispin said:

“In a highly constructive meeting stakeholders welcomed the three reports and there was broad acceptance of the thrust of the recommendations. A key action agreed was for the formation of an Advisory Council on the Welfare Issues of Dog Breeding. A proposal will be prepared for submission to Ministers.

“The many actions already in hand to address these issues were noted and it was agreed that future work would build on these initiatives through collaboration. We also welcome the interest shown by Defra and the devolved administrations.”

Professor Bill Reilly, President of the BVA, added:

“Clearly the veterinary profession has a key role to play in educating the public about the health and welfare issues of choosing a dog.

“The BVA strongly supports the idea set out in Professor Bateson’s report that an advisory council should be independent and draw on the opinions of experts and we are pleased to be part of the group setting up such a council.”

1. The three reports considered by the stakeholders are:

Pedigree dog breeding in the UK: a major welfare concern? (RSPCA)
A healthier future for pedigree dogs (APGAW)
Independent inquiry into dog breeding (Patrick Bateson)

2. Organisations represented at the meeting were

BSAVA
BVA
CAWC
Defra
Dogs Trust
International Sheepdog Society
Kennel Club
PDSA
Scottish Government
RCVS
RSPCA

3. Enquiries about the stakeholder group can be directed to Prof Sheila Crispin s.m.crispin@bristol.ac.uk 07802 667 235 or 015395 68637 or Heather Peck (secretariat) heather@drydraytonestate.com 07876 681 954 or 01954 210 402.

Go To Top Of Page


Wales’ Rural Affairs Minister Announces Complete Ban on Electric Shock Collars

After four years of campaigning, the Kennel Club has jubilantly welcomed the announcement made by Wales’ Rural Affairs Minister, Elin Jones AM that, subject to approval by the National Assembly for Wales, the use of electric shock collars will be banned in Wales. The ban is the first of its kind in the UK and is a ‘huge milestone for dog welfare’.

The Minister has today laid the legislation, the Animal Welfare (Electronic Collars) (Wales) Regulations 2010 before the Assembly, which will need to consider and agree the legislation before a ban can be implemented.

Announcing her decision, Elin Jones AM said:

“On 25 June 2008 I announced my intention, subject to consultation, to introduce legislation to ban the use of electronic training devices in Wales.

“Following careful consideration of the responses to the consultation and with a view to enhancing animal welfare in Wales, I have today laid legislation before the National Assembly for Wales which will ban the use of electric shock collars in Wales.

“This has not been an easy subject to examine. There is genuinely a large degree of concern about how these devices are improperly used, in contrast to responses from people who have used them and found they have worked in stopping an animal from misbehaving.

“However, the Welsh Assembly Government takes animal welfare very seriously and I am confident that the approach I am announcing today will go a long way to promote the welfare of dogs and cats in Wales.”

Kennel Club Communications Director, Caroline Kisko, said: “After almost thirteen years of campaigning in the UK and four years of campaigning in Wales, this truly is a milestone.

“We are delighted by the Minister’s announcement. Electric shock collars train dogs through pain and through fear, they are a cruel, outdated and unsuitable method of training dogs. A YouGov survey about electric shock collars, commissioned by the Kennel Club in 2009 , that 70% disapproved of the use of electric shock collars on dogs, with only 9% of people approving of their use.* We will continue to urge AMs to pass these regulations which will show that Wales is clearly leading the way on this important welfare issue.”

For further information and advice on the Kennel Club campaign to ban electric shock collars, contact the External Affairs department on 0844 463 3980 ext 301 or visit www.thekennelclub.org.uk/kccampaigns.

Electric shock collars - worn around a dog’s neck, these work either via a remote control with various settings which, when activated, deliver an electric shock to the neck of a dog, or deliver an electric shock to a dog automatically when a dog barks or enters a pre-defined perimeter shock zone.

Welsh Rural Affairs Minister, Elin Jones, announced her intention to introduce legislation that will prohibit the use of shock collars in Wales in June 2008.

All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 1032 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 22nd - 24th September 2009. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all Welsh adults (aged 18+).

Go To Top Of Page


GSD Breed Council Asks KC For Resolution To 2012 CC Furore

The German Shepherd Dog breed council has written to the Kennel Club asking if it can negotiate a resolution to the 2012 CCs row.

It has also asked for an extension to the March 31 deadline by which a controversial contract between clubs and the KC must be signed.

The KC has ruled that to be considered for 2012 CCs, all GSD breed clubs and general and group championship show societies previously allocated CCs and which want them in future have to sign a formal undertaking to abide by certain conditions for all future shows ‘with immediate effect’.

A total of 25 breed clubs were represented at a breed council meeting at the weekend, at which there was open discussion on the KC’s directive.

Hastily following the meeting, chairman John Cullen wrote to the KC saying that the vast majority of the clubs felt that item nine of the contract – that clubs would not hold events under the rules or regulations of any organisation other than the KC – was ‘an unreasonable and disproportionate restriction’.

It is understood that clubs would like the option of holding events under the auspices of the World Union of GSD Associations (WUSV).

Deadline

The letter said: “Our clubs have asked the breed council to try to negotiate a resolution. The breed council is sure that we can come to a satisfactory solution for all parties with a little give and take.

“We realise that more time may be needed for you to discuss this with your General Committee and that they will be busy with Crufts. The breed council would like to ask for an extension to your deadline of March 31 to allow for more discussion.”

The breed council was disappointed that the KC’s directive had been sent to individual breed clubs and not to the council, as it had ‘always tried to work’ with the KC on everything, Mr Cullen wrote.

"Of the clubs present at the meeting, five have signed the contract, and eight are waiting to hear from members on a final vote, and 12 had not decided what to do."

“We think it has some unfair things on it – particularly item nine,” he said. “The breed council has always been above board in its dealings with the KC and I don’t know at what point the KC decided never inform us of anything. They don’t answer any letters – just put statements out to the press.

“But we don’t want to fall out with them, although there are some warmongers... We need to keep talking.”

Go To Top Of Page


REVOLUTIONARY ‘DOGGIE DATING’ DATABASE TO IMPROVE PEDIGREE HEALTH

The Kennel Club is developing a revolutionary new database that will enable people to find a perfect mate for their dog and which will help to improve the health of future generations within the breed.

The database will enable breeders, vets and others to record information about a dog’s health including any surgery that it has had and the results of any health tests, which will greatly increase the Kennel Club’s ability to understand the health issues that affect individual dogs and the extent to which these are inherited within the breed.

From this database the Kennel Club will develop a Mate Select programme which will be accessed via the Kennel Club website and will, in a first of its kind, allow both occasional and regular breeders to assess the impact that a proposed mating will have on the genetic diversity within their breed.

As new health screening tools are developed, these will also be incorporated into Mate Select so that, in future, breeders will be able to select mating pairs which will maximise the chances of producing healthy puppies whilst having the optimum impact on the breed’s genetic diversity. More information about the new database and other Kennel Club health projects will be available at the Health Zone at DFS Crufts, which takes place on 11th-14th March 2010 at the NEC in Birmingham.

These IT developments will greatly expand the Kennel Club’s ability to collect and store health information on registered dogs - information that will allow the development of new health screening tools which will find their way into Mate Select and improve the health of pedigree dogs.

The Kennel Club wants to ensure that these healthy puppies go on to loving homes and has launched a new Breed Information Centre on its website. This includes a Health Test Results Finder, which records the health test results for any Kennel Club registered dog; an Accredited Breeder application that gives potential owners a list of responsible breeders in their area; and a Find aBreed application to show which breed’s characteristics would best suit their lifestyle. For moreinformation, please visit www.thekennelclub.org.uk/services.

Kennel Club Communications Director, Caroline Kisko, said: “People do a lot of thinking about their perfect partner but dogs’ needs are relatively simple - to find a mate that will give them healthy puppies, which will then be matched with loving owners.

“A lot of science is going into the Kennel Club’s new database, but the end result will be that the computer will be able to help dog breeders find a mate for their dog, which will give them the best possible chance of producing healthy puppies.

“Not only can we help to match the right dogs with each other, but equally important is matching the right puppy buyers to the right puppy and our newly launched Breed Information Centre will help people to find the right breed and the right breeder.”

Nick Blayney, former President of the British Veterinary Association, has spoken about the importance of the new database for dog health. He said: “The Kennel Club has helped develop many DNA tests and has a number of health screening schemes that are run with the British Veterinary Association and this knowledge should be central to any breeding decision. Sometimes though, there is so much information to compute that breeders don’t know where to start. This database will do the complicated calculations for them, showing them clearly which dogs will make the most suitable match in order to produce healthy puppies.”

Health test results, and details of any surgery or operations that a dog has had, will be inputted into the health database by dog owners and vets and will then be verified. Dogs will then enter the ‘dating pool’ and be matched with other dogs, of the same breed within the surrounding area, on the basis of their Estimated Breeding Value (the genetic value of the dog based upon health considerations). For those breeders who already know which dogs they would like to use, the database will show the compatibility in terms of health, of a particular mating. Work is already under way on the database which will be available by the end of the year, and the Mate Select programme within the following twelve months.

Professor Jeff Sampson, Kennel Club Chief Scientific Advisor, said: “The Kennel Club has been working with scientists to develop Estimated Breeding Values for many years. These EBVs are based on very complicated calculations such as the prevalence of certain diseases in a particular breed or the size of the gene pool. The database is the first of its kind to be able to compute all of this information and to tell breeders not only which two dogs will produce the healthiest offspring, but which pairings will have the most positive effect on the overall health of that breed.

“The programme will be available for pedigree dogs, because we know their heritage and therefore have more information available for them, but we hope that information about all other dogs will also be fed into this database. At the moment we have frighteningly little information about diseases within crossbred dogs, but this database will help to throw light on this grey area and help us, therefore, to improve the health of pedigrees and crossbreeds alike.”

Go To Top Of Page


An Introduction to the Vulnerable Native Breeds 20-Dec-06 Source KC Vulnerable Breeds

The Kennel Club’s prime responsibility is ‘to promote in every way the general improvement of dogs’. It is also particularly concerned, of course, to protect those breeds of dog which are of British origin and are considered to be vulnerable i.e. those whose numbers are declining and whose status within the world of dogs has diminished over a number of years.

A decision was made in June 2003 that research would be undertaken to identify and confirm the relevant breeds and the extent and nature of their vulnerability. This research not only featured breeds of dog which are basically of British origin, but with the support of the Irish Kennel Club, the research also included native Irish breeds.

The work carried out concentrated on those breeds which achieve 300 or fewer registrations each year in the UK, and statistics were pulled together to identify the relevant breeds and the extent and nature of their vulnerability. A list of those breeds identified is given below:

Deerhounds, Greyhounds, Otterhounds, Irish Red & White Setters, Clumber Spaniels, Field Spaniels, Irish Water Spaniels, Sussex Spaniels, Dandie Dinmont Terriers, Smooth Fox Terriers, Glen of Imaal Terriers, Irish Terriers, Kerry Blue Terriers, Lakeland Terriers, Manchester Terriers, Norwich Terriers, Sealyham Terriers, Skye Terriers, Welsh Terriers, Smooth Collies, Lancashire Heelers, Cardigan Welsh Corgis, English Toy Terriers (Black & Tan), Miniature Bull Terriers.

Subsequent to this research, the Kennel Club approached all the registered clubs of the breeds concerned for their views and enclosed a questionnaire to help identify ways in which each club currently works with breeders, owners and show societies to promote their breed.

What determines popularity?

By Simon Parsons, Associate Editor of Dog World newspaper, Editor of Dog World Annual and a Championship Show Judge of several breeds.

If you think about the ways in which the pedigree dog scene has evolved over the last half-century or so, one aspect stands out. Look at the Kennel Club Stud Books for the years immediately before WW II. In total, 89 breeds were recognised.

I know there can be dispute about which country various breeds are supposed to have originated in, but at a rough count I think it’s fair to say that of these 89,about 54 could be described as British or Irish breeds.

Look at the situation today. More than 200 breeds are on the Kennel Club register,over twice as many as in the late 1930s. Of these, just 63 are British or Irish.

In the intervening years, very few native breeds have found their way on to the Kennel Club register. Those that have, are mainly breeds such as the Bearded and Border Collies or Cavalier King Charles Spaniel which have ‘always’ existed but which have only in post-war years been taken up in a big way by the show fraternity.

All the other ‘new’ breeds, more than 100 of them, originated in other countries, mainly but not exclusively, Europe. Some, such as the Dobermann, Weimaraner, Rottweiler or Miniature Dachshund, have become so popular that it’s hard to imagine that they haven’t always existed in Britain. Others have a more minority appeal and some are just beginning to make their way.

Why should this be? Is it a yen among dog breeders for something new, something different, something to make your mark in? Certainly, with it now being so much easier to import dogs, the trend is unlikely to be reversed.

Today, there is a vast and sometimes bewildering choice of breeds available to the pet owner, to the exhibitor and in some cases to the working dog enthusiast. Inevitably, with such a choice on offer, the popularity of individual breeds fluctuates according to the period. Before WWII the Wire Fox Terrier was all the rage. Then we had the peak of Poodle popularity, the Afghan boom in the swinging ‘60s and ‘70s and the worrying proliferation of ‘macho’ breeds which seemed to go with the national mood in the ‘80s. In each case the boom has been followed, if not quite by bust, but certainly by a dramatic falling off in the popularity of these breeds.

Meanwhile, other breeds manage to retain their place in the Top Ten, even if their popularity goes in cycles too: the German Shepherd, the Cocker Spaniel and the Labrador Retriever, today joined by the Golden Retriever.

So here we have two trends. Firstly, the search for something new and exotic from abroad; secondly the inevitable rise and fall in popularity of different breeds.

Equally inevitable is that some breeds can reach a stage where their numbers fall to a dangerously low level. Sometimes this may not matter too much if the breeds remain popular in their native country. But when this happens to British or Irish breeds, is it not time for us to do something about it? Do we not owe it to these breeds, bred and shown in Britain for far longer than many of the ‘foreign upstarts’, to try to ensure that they survive in as healthy a form as possible?

What is it about these breeds that prevents them from appealing to a wider cross-section of the public? Sometimes it is hard to understand what determines a breed’s popularity. Irish and English Setters have plenty of enthusiasts in the show ring and as pet owners. So why are not Gordon Setters more widely appreciated by the general public? It is fair to say that of those that are bred, a far higher proportion are shown than in many other breeds, entries being at a very healthy level.

When Labradors and Golden Retrievers are so universally popular, why not Curly Coats? Rough, but not the easier-to-manage Smooth Collies? Cavaliers, but not King Charles? And so on.

But it is the Terrier Group which includes the largest number of ‘vulnerable’ breeds. Most of the Terrier breeds started life in Britain or Ireland. Some have always been, or have become, exceptionally popular, such as the West Highland White Terrier, Cairn Terrier and Staffordshire Bull Terrier. But it is the breeds which demand a very high level of skill in show-ring presentation which have suffered most, though this cannot be the only reason as Wire Fox Terriers still register more than Smooths, even though both register a fraction of the numbers from their heyday 60 or so years ago.

Perhaps the saddest drop is that in the Sealyham Terrier which registered 1,084 puppies in 1938 and a mere 60 in 2004. They are not the easiest breed to keep in top form for the ring, but they have much going for them as do all the other ‘minority breeds’.

Some of these breeds are never going to attract huge numbers, for finding the type of home best suited to their size, exuberance or exercise requirements will never be that easy.
For example, with today’s smallish houses and smaller gardens and with countless TV programmes encouraging us to keep our homes spotless, Bloodhounds are always going to be a minority taste, though a wonderful breed for those with the space and the time to allow them to reach their full potential.

Others, the Gordon Setter and the Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier being two examples, have for years existed happily at a consistent numerical level, and with active, responsible breed clubs and buoyant show entries, there is probably no need to change the healthy status quo. Indeed any sudden rapid rise in popularity would not be a good thing.

But undoubtedly some of these breeds have the potential to attract more enthusiasts than they currently do. Take Lakeland Terriers, for example. For the type of person who appreciates the Terrier character, these should surely have enormous appeal. Affectionate towards humans and a handy size - what more do pet buyers want? Yes, it takes time and skill to learn how to present such breeds to advantage in the show ring, and this is not simply a matter of a bath and a trim the night before the show. Yet other breeds, which need specialist grooming, have no lack of supporters.

Over the years there have been mutterings that something should be done for the British breeds. Many, many years ago, there was a British Breeds’ Club which ran dog shows, but that ceased to exist before most of today’s enthusiasts can remember. In any case, it is certainly not all British breeds which need a boost; many are doing just fine.

A catalyst was an article in Country Life magazine, with a Lakeland Terrier on the cover, highlighting the problems some of these breeds face. Soon the Kennel Club began to take the breeds’ predicament seriously, initially working out which breeds came under the heading of ‘vulnerable’, an average of fewer than 300 registrations annually being generally considered the criterion.

Meanwhile an independent group of enthusiasts, the British and Irish Native Breeds Preservation Trust, held its first meetings in mid 2003. This was followed by the setting up of a Kennel Club Working Party, and the signs are that both groups will be working together.

Breed clubs have been asked for their input; in some cases the clubs are quite happy with the level of popularity their breed has obtained. Others appreciate any help in promoting the breed, bearing in mind, of course, that the last thing anyone wants is to encourage irresponsible breeders or those concerned only to make a quick buck.

Are there any precedents for this? Certainly there are, and a number of overseas Kennel Clubs are keen to promote their country’s native breeds. Sweden, Spain and Hungary are three that spring to mind. As far as the show ring is concerned, such countries offer special prizes for the best of the Spanish breeds at the major shows, sometimes with annual points competitions. In extreme cases, where breeds are really in a desperate state, cheap or free registration has been offered for puppies or the rarest native breeds.

Ireland, too, has done its bit. I well remember when the Irish Kennel Club hosted the world congress of Kennel Clubs, there were impressive displays in Dublin’s Trinity College by clubs and enthusiasts of the Irish breeds, and experts delivered lectures on them to the many prominent personalities who attended.

A start will be made by showcasing the vulnerable breeds at events like Discover Dogs and Crufts. In addition, one needs to go beyond the confines of the dog-showing world and reach out to events like game fairs, county shows and so on. These breeds are part of a great British tradition. Britain and Ireland were the cradle of serious dog-showing and breeding and played for many years a major part in supplying top class dogs, and dog expertise to fanciers overseas. What we need is to make people proud to own a native breed, and to encourage them to consider seriously one of these breeds when they first get a dog, either as a show dog or purely as a companion.

A breed in crisis

Paul Keevil is a canine writer, photographer and Championship Show Judge. He asks how the Dandie Dinmont Terrier has become so univesally out of favour and what can be done to reverse the trend . . . I enjoy walking my dogs through town and I can guarantee that I will nearly always be stopped by someone who will exclaim: “I haven’t seen one of those for years!” or even “What are they? Never seen one like that before.” Dandie Dinmonts are scarce, rare and very vulnerable right now. I am a relative newcomer to the breed, having acquired my first Dandie a mere 18 years ago. Back then the breed was enjoying registrations around the 250 mark, entries at Crufts and breed club shows were at the 120 level. If you wanted a puppy you had to put your name down on a waiting list; that is if you passed the tough interview each prospective owner had to endure.

But times change. In the last three years, registrations have dipped below the 100 mark, and it is not uncommon to see only around a dozen dogs turn up at Championship Shows with CCs on offer. This is a breed in crisis. When you are involved with something every day, things have a habit of creeping up on you unnoticed. This is probably the case with my breed, the decline has been gradual but steady.

We have three breed clubs, which seems bizarre for a breed that in 2003 only managed to register 90 puppies. And the decline is not just limited to the UK. In 1972 there were 249 Dandie puppies registered by the AKC in America and last year that had declined to just 76.

So why has the breed become so universally out of favour and what can be done to reverse the trend?

Could it be that the Dandie, in common with many other British Terrier breeds, is just no longer fashionable or that its coat needs regular attention to look its best? If so, how do you explain the continued popularity of the West Highland White Terrier (9,823 registered in 2003) or the Border Terrier (6,477 registered in 2003). Could it be that the continued importation of ‘new’ breeds from around the world has hit the indigenous UK dog breeds making it more difficult to sell the less ‘exotic’ home grown product? For example in 2003, the Kennel Club registered more Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retrievers than they did Dandies! A whole host of other theories have been put forward for my breed’s decline in popularity. Internal disputes within some of our breed clubs, which resulted in one club losing its CC status for several years, have not exactly helped either. Neither has the over protective attitude that some diehard breed enthusiasts still doggedly hold on to to this day.

So, what can we do to get our numbers up once again? Let’s face it, we are never going to be as popular as West Highland White Terriers and many would say “jolly good thing too”, but we should be aiming to get registrations up to an achievable and sustainable level of about 250-300 a year. That would still keep the breed exclusive, but would give us all a potentially wider base to breed from. Most breeders in Dandies are hobby breeders; at the most they will only have a couple of breeding animals and only have a litter when they want something and then pass the rest on to pet homes. Dandies do not have large litters. The year on year average has remained fairly constant for the last 50 years at about three puppies per litter, so what we desperately need to do is get more people interested in breeding.

My name appears in some canine directories for breed advice and I do from time to time receive enquiries for Dandie puppies. The overwhelming number of enquirers seek bitch puppies and when asked what they will do about seasons, exclaim that they plan to have the bitch spayed as soon as possible. Surely, with our registrations at danger level, this is a practice we can no longer afford to support. The last quarter’s registrations show that from July to September 2003 there were 21 Dandie puppies registered, of which 18 were dogs.

We all have to accept that we do have a problem and a major one. Unbelievably the message still does not seem to get through to some enthusiasts. Then we have to try and attract new people into the breed, make them feel more welcome when they do arrive and find ways to encourage those who perhaps do not have the time, skills or inclination to trim a Dandie to show standard, but would still enjoy a good day out with their dog.

I believe the Kennel Club has a great opportunity to provide guidance and leadership to many of the breeds who have gone on the Vulnerable Native Breeds’ list. Properly promoted and wisely managed the ‘brand’ that these 20 odd breeds make up is totally unique in the world of pedigree dogs. How many other countries have 28 breeds, let alone 28 which are recognised as being potentially vulnerable?

I would love to take my Dandies for a walk in the town and for people to say, “Oh look, Dandie Dinmonts, my neighbour has one of those.”

The pride of Manchester

Peter Eva, Championship Show Judge, Manchester Terrier owner and breeder talks about why he believes they are such a great breed. The Manchester Terrier, originally called the Black and Tan Terrier is not a designed dog but the result of selective breeding from the local Terrier for a purpose. That is to live close with its people, having all the controlled spark of a Terrier. It has a single coat for ease of maintenance, a wonderful clean mouth containing amazing teeth and the agility and speed of a first class athlete.

The earliest recorded sighting that we know of is in a 1355 painting called the Hour of the Virgin, which appeared in Dr Caius’ book. The breed clearly existed before this as it is referred to as the other Black and Tan Terrier alongside the rough coated variety from which the Welsh, Lakeland, Airedale etc were derived. Having a smooth single coat, it was a ‘house’ dog rather than the coated outdoor types and so did not get the fame and kudos of the Huntsman’s assistant.

His ratting talents were prodigious and he was favoured in houses, ships, warehouses and coal mines, the black and tan colouring being obvious camouflage in the dark unpleasant conditions. The single coat is easy to clean and does not show the smuts and grime. It is said that the tan eyebrow, cheek, muzzle and chest spots are to confuse the rat. I have never been able to ask the rat or the dog, so it’s an assumption! The famous black ‘thumb spots’ on the wrist could be another confusing marking or God’s two-handed blessing, such as on the haddock and other fish for the five thousand. That is a bit far fetched, even for me. It always breeds true Black and Tan, with varying degrees of perfection. There is no doubt however that the Black and Tan, or the Manchester Terrier has changed little over hundreds of years, less than most. That is apart from the ears, which like most natural dogs were upright and lent themselves to the barbaric practice of being ‘cut’ when the dog is about six months old. However, the practice of cropping was banned by the Kennel Club in 1883.

The breed was not derived from the Whippet or improved by the Whippet and to quote the late and great ‘Doggie’ Hubbard “That’s nonsense”. If anything the Whippet has a bit of Black and Tan in him. In fact some breeds such as the Dobermann in the early years of its development has recorded matings with the Manchester Terrier. Those perpetuating these stories about Whippets do not help in establishing the true identity of the breed. It existed long before.

In the beginning, the Manchester Terrier varied in size as it does to an extent today. Originally it came in three sizes, the smallest down to below 7lbs and this became the English Toy Terrier (Black and Tan) with his own history and reputation, the medium or Manchester Terrier 15/16” and the larger 21” plus dog which is rarely seen now. It could have been this latter size that Herr Dobermann used.

At the first dog show, Newcastle Canine Society in 1858, Black and Tans had classes of all three sizes and they were amongst the largest entries. At Birmingham in 1859 they were also listed but the actual entry was less, maybe it was too far to travel. Whatever the size, the Manchester Terrier is famous for its vermin killing abilities, but it is because of this he has become infamous due to the company he kept.

Rat pits, gaming houses and a variety of non-PC activities meant that he did not always associate with the top people! Some people however did appreciate his virtues, such as the young Queen Victoria, President Roosevelt and Agatha Christie. The breed is still used by horse owners to keep tack rooms vermin free. The Manchester Terrier’s fame as the ultimate burglar alarm makes electrical devices unnecessary. There are no inherited health problems.

As a dog carefully developed to be very active, powerful and quick in very small restricted areas, his conformation does not always lend itself to striding around the show ring as the ability to move like lightning a few feet or inches is much more important. The powerful, crested neck and the incredible bite means that a flick of the head and the prey is dead.

He is almost maintenance free, requiring just nails and teeth to be kept in order. On top of that he requires exercise, warm clean bedding, feeding, and fresh clean water. Owners agree that the digestive system is like a stainless steel tube that makes it fuss free.

Extending the gene pool

"I cannot understand how we have fewer registrations than the Kennel Club’s qualification of 300 per year, when logic dictates that every home should have at least one." Extending the gene pool

Dr Jeff Sampson is a molecular biologist, who has many years of experience of owning and exhibiting dogs (Schipperkes). Prior to his appointment as the Kennel Club’s Health & Information Executive, he was based at the Animal Health Trust in Newmarket. He is well known and respected in scientific circles as well as by the many breed clubs at whose seminars he has communicated the basis of canine genetics.

The list of British and Irish vulnerable native breeds was drawn up mainly by looking at their annual registration numbers and their trends over the years. They all have relatively low numbers of dogs registered each year, however, numbers alone are not the only consideration. When the population structure of many of these breeds is examined, it’s noticed that relatively few bitches are becoming mothers and probably even fewer males are becoming fathers.

It’s likely that some of the major kennels that contributed to the breed structure in the past no longer operate and these major bloodlines are no longer available to today’s breeders. All this means that genetic variability within these breeds is becoming more and more eroded and their breed gene pools are becoming increasingly shallower.

This erosion of genetic variability doesn’t have inescapable consequences, but it is far more likely to create a situation where the prevalence of breed-specific inherited diseases increases, and could very well lead to something called in-breeding depression. This is where the reduced genetic variation actually impacts on the breed’s overall fitness, causing, amongst other things, reduced fertility, often manifesting as a gradual reduction in litter sizes and an increasing inability to get bitches pregnant. The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) actually uses the numbers of mating pairs to determine whether a species is in danger, or is on the point of extinction. If the WWF were to classify some of these vulnerable breeds, they would at least declare them as ‘endangered’. The Rare Breeds’ Survival Trust has also been tackling similar problems in other purebred domesticated species like sheep, goats, cattle and horses.

A concerted effort by breeders to breed more dogs is required to reverse the trends of the last few years. This doesn’t mean producing greater numbers of puppies from the same old dams and sires, it means increasing the number of dogs and bitches within the breed who become parents in their own right. Existing experienced breeders should try to persuade and encourage new owners who buy puppies from them to have at least one litter from the puppy. In this way breed numbers will increase and so will the parental base from which future generations are produced. This will go some way to stemming the current loss of genetic variability.

Breeders should also be encouraged to look overseas for fresh bloodlines. Admittedly these overseas populations were initially imported from here in the first place, but the populations have probably been geographically separated for long enough to allow genetic drift to generate a different genetic profile. Dipping into these overseas gene pools may not be without potential problems and breeders will need to do their homework very carefully. There are a number of examples that I am aware of where breeds in different countries have disease profiles that are different to the British population of the breed. Care will need to be taken to avoid using overseas bloodlines that are affected by these problems.

Another possible approach will be to create breed sperm banks that can be used to store sperm from significant lines, so that if the breeder eventually stops breeding, the line will be available to future generations of breeders. Of course, frozen sperm can only be used via artificial insemination (AI), but fortunately canine AI techniques are improving all the time, with a concomitant increase in success rates. Practioners of AI in the dog say that litters are produced in about 85 -90% of cases these days.

Breeders of some of these vulnerable native breeds have made the point that in the beginning of their breed, the breed register was closed far too early, preventing the entry of fresh dogs, and therefore fresh ‘genetic blood’. For some breeds, at least, there are examples that have since been maintained outside the Kennel Club breed register, but have nonetheless been maintained as a purebred population. If some of these dogs could be allowed back on to the breed register it could have significant impact on the breed’s genetic variability.

Specific interbreeding programmes would regenerate the much-needed genetic variation in some of these breeds. However, the problems in this approach are obvious, not least of which is the choice of breed to participate in interbreeding programmes. Using foundation stock in the past from other breeds has produced most of today’s breeds, and an hour or so in the Kennel Club library, reading the numerous breed books, will demonstrate the various ideas that exist for the history of different breeds. Unfortunately, the true origins of many of today’s dog breeds are not known. For meaningful interbreeding to become a reality, the specific foundation breeds that lay behind a particular breed and the relatedness of today’s dog breeds needs to be known.

Fortunately, that information is just around the corner. Recent advances in understanding of the canine DNA molecule are now showing the way to develop methods of identifying breed specific DNA signatures. Professor Elaine Ostrander, a significant player in the international canine genome project, recently published a paper together with members of her group showing that DNA can be used to predict the breed of a dog. The paper presented the result of an experiment where the group was given 406 anonymous canine DNA samples from individual dogs from 80 different breeds. By analysing each DNA sample they were able to place all but four of the samples into the correct breed. This work is in its infancy, but it does open up the very real possibility that DNA analysis will be able to reveal the breeds that lay behind today’s dog breeds, and how present-day breeds are related to each other. The availability of this information will help to identify which breeds should be interbred, if such interbreeding is ever envisaged.

Putting our trust in the future

By Julien Barney, Chairman of the British & Irish Dog Breeds Preservation Trust

On the cover of the 2003 Christmas issue of Country Life, a Lakeland Terrier was featured, with the headline ‘Who Will Save This British Dog?’ Around the same time the Kennel Club sent out a questionnaire to 28 breed clubs identified as having fewer than 300 registrations a year.

These two actions were the catalyst for the formation of the Trust. This sparked a lot of interest from people wanting to do something for all the listed breeds affected. Pamela Cross-Stern, who was a great support in the early days, and I decided to see whether there was more than the normal hardcore enthusiasts prepared to do something. With the agreement of the National Terrier Club (Terriers being the hardest hit) we manned a stand at its April show to ascertain interest.

This led to an open meeting being held in late May where we had representation from the Kennel Club, the canine press and around 50 people from various breeds. The outcome of that first meeting was a working group being asked to formulate a set of aims and objectives and also how the Trust should function.

The working group came back to the next open meeting in August which resulted in the official formation of the Trust, with an executive committee being elected. We discovered that people from all the relevant breeds are interested in working together for a common purpose and not just for themselves, and it was also very clear to us that the Trust would not be a dog club or canine society in the usually expected sense. The Trust is far more fundamental; it will be about ensuring that all the breeds and others that may become in need of support are preserved for future generations to enjoy.

We are very keen to educate potential owners and the public on the positive aspects of our native breeds. By encouraging the responsible ownership of one of these vulnerable breeds we hope to ensure a secure future for them.

At Discover Dogs in November people were shocked when made aware of the list of breeds affected. A vet we spoke to had no idea about the plight of these breeds, but now will recommend these instead of the predictably popular breeds. What was also heartening from our first experience of meeting the public was that all of us who spent time talking to people came away with the feeling that this was a fantastic way to get our message across.

What of the breeds themselves? It has transpired that each breed has a slightly different issue(s), be it health, popularity or getting the breed to be shown more actively. Some owner/breeders and clubs are keen to receive more publicity whilst others are happy to remain on an even keel.

Some simple research on registrations showed over a four decade period some breeds have remained constant in terms of numbers: Curly-Coated Retrievers, Field Spaniels, Kerry Blue Terriers being examples. A number of others have even increased in popularity e.g. English Toy Terriers, Soft-Coated Wheaten Terriers, Irish Terriers and Gordon Setters. Unfortunately others have declined dramatically particularly Cardigan Corgis, Bloodhounds, Dandie Dinmont Terriers, Sealyham Terriers, Skye Terriers and Smooth Fox Terriers, showing a decrease in excess of 50 per cent.

One thing not previously considered was the fact that this is not confined to the UK and Ireland. The effects are far more global. Correspondence from overseas with regard to the work of the Trust has been received from people asking how they can get involved. One such example is a gentleman from Australia who owns Lakeland Terriers. He is extremely worried about their plight in his homeland, as the gene pool is getting smaller and they need to import stock, but are finding it increasingly more difficult to locate new lines to bring in that they don’t already have.

The executive committee of the Trust and the Kennel Club are acutely aware that substantial progress will take time and must not be rushed into. Careful thought and sensitivity has to be put into how we, the Trust, the Kennel Club and breed clubs and breeders approach this. It must be done holistically, as everyone has their part to play in achieving the long-term preservation of our breeds.

The first step along this road will be a symposium in 2005 to discuss with clubs and breeders and other interested parties what they feel should be done for their respective breeds. Clearly apparent from the results of the Kennel Club survey there needs to be further investigation and fact finding to understand the problems and issues. We will be writing to each of the clubs with further details. As part of the symposium the Kennel Club will be invited to take part in a feedback session and also given an opportunity to respond to questions from breeders and breed clubs.

It was agreed at the August open meeting that we would work towards charity status by 2006 and this will mean meeting certain criteria laid down by the Charities Commission.

We shall have a presence at Crufts in March within the Discover Dogs area to build on November’s success with the public.

As the year progresses, the Trust will also attend a number of events, such as country fairs and game fairs to gain further contact with the public and raise awareness of these breeds. The Trust will also continue to work with the Kennel Club with John Richardson and I on the Vulnerable Native Breeds Group.

Inevitably it will be a long term development bringing these breeds to a level of prominence, and will require support from everyone interested in the future of these breeds.
Source KC Vulnerable Breeds

Go To Top Of Page


RSPCA faces £1 million legal bill

THE RSPCA has been ordered to pay a huge legal bill after losing a battle over a £2 million estate left to the charity in a will.
It has been reported that the RSPCA faces costs of up to £1 million after Dr Christine Gill overturned her parents’ will last year.
Dr Gill, of Northallerton, Yorkshire, won the case after deputy High Court judge at Leeds Combined Court ruled that the university lecturer’s ‘domineering’ father had coerced her mother into making the will, leaving their 287-acre farm to the charity.
The court heard that Dr Gill’s parents left the farm near Northallerton to the RSPCA despite Joyce Gill’s ‘avowed dislike’ of the charity. But the two parties failed to agree on who should foot the legal bill, which totalled about £1.3 million with much of the debate centred on what opportunities were available to settle before the lengthy and costly trial.

Repeated attempts

Judge James Allen QC handed down his judgment on costs, ordered that the RSPCA should pay the majority of the bill. He also found that the charity had failed to resolve the dispute in an alternative way despite repeated attempts at mediation by Dr Gill.”
Tracey Angus, representing Dr Gill, said the charity should pay between 85 and 90 per cent of the costs which were more than £900,000; the RSPCA’s was about £400,000. The court heard that more than 2,000 man hours had been spent on the case. The judgment described the charity’s attitude towards mediation of the case as ‘unreasonable’.
Dr Gill asked the RSPCA to consider an alternative resolution three times between January 2008 and September 2008. In August that year Dr Gill offered the charity £350,000 from the sale of the farm, two fields and payment of costs but this was also rejected.
The RSPCA then made what was described as a ‘final compromise offer of settlement’ of £50,000, plus costs, and this was rejected by Dr Gill. She then made a counter-offer to the RSPCA of the farm and business, £500,000 and costs, with a legacy of £200,000 to be paid to her but this was also rejected.
In June 2008 the RSPCA made an offer to Dr Gill of £650,000 plus costs but this was eventually rejected after the charity said it would only mediate on this offer. Later the same month Dr Gill made a counter-offer which would have provided the RSPCA with part of the farm worth approximately £850,000 and all the money in bank accounts connected to the estate. This was also rejected.
She made a final offer in October 2008 when she offered to accept 219.89 acres of land and leave the RSPCA the rest which was under offer for £1.6 million. The charity, which the hearing was told had funds in excess of £160 million, rejected the offer and the case went to trial.
The court heard that Dr Gill, an only child, had been given repeated assurances that she would inherit the farm, where she voluntarily helped out during her spare time over a period of more than 30 years, when her parents died. Her father died in 1999 but it was when her mother died in 2006 that she saw the will in which her parents had left the farm to each other and then the RSPCA when both died.
Last year’s judgment said Mr Gill used his wife’s agrophobia, her severe anxiety and her dependence on him to make her agree to a will which was contrary to what she wanted.
Judge Allen reserved a further written judgment on costs until later.
Afterwards, Dr Gill said it was a relief to know she would not have to pay all her costs. She said: “the judgment reflects the attitude the RSPCA has taken right through this. They wouldn’t talk to me ever.”

Obligation

The judgment states that the RSPCA will be able to recover some of its costs from the estate. A spokesman for the charity said it had acted in accordance with the wishes of Mrs Gill and had no reason to doubt her intentions.
“Charities both large and small are left legacies in good faith,” he said. “As far as we and the executors were concerned, Joyce Gill had simply left her estate to the charity and there was no reason to doubt her intentions. That being the case we have an obligation to act in accordance with the wishes of the deceased.
“At this stage no specific sums have been calculated so we don’t yet know what either bill will be. It is therefore too early for us to comment on the costs when they are not known. However, we are happy that the judge has ordered that some of our costs are to come out of the estate and that we are not paying the whole of Dr Gill’s legal costs.”

Go To Top Of Page


VETS TACKLE MINISTER ON DANGEROUS DOGS AND FEES FOR OVs

In his speech to the British Veterinary Association's London dinner, BVA President Professor Bill Reilly renewed calls on the Government to increase the fees for Official Veterinarians (OVs) – private practice vets who undertake work on behalf of the Government, such as TB testing, vaccinating, and on-farm work in the event of a notifiable disease outbreak.

At the dinner, which was attended by Defra Minister Lord Davies of Oldham, parliamentarians, representatives of the agriculture and food industries and welfare organisations, Professor Reilly said:

“When Foot and Mouth struck, Official Veterinarians were the backbone of the country’s response.

“We have long argued that they should be paid a professional fee for their work. We were deeply disappointed by the proposal from Animal Health when late last year they suddenly put forward a pay scheme which took no account of the professional service delivered. Can you imagine the response to such an approach to our medical colleagues?

“We understand that budgets are tight across the board, but the Government needs Official Veterinarians and needs to pay them an appropriate professional fee for a professional service.”

Professor Reilly used his speech to back the Government's stance on pet travel, but urged them to think again on existing legislation to tackle dangerous dogs. Thanking the Minister for Defra’s cooperation on pet travel, Professor Reilly said:

“The UK currently imposes stricter measures on the non-commercial movement of pets than the rest of Europe. This derogation from full harmonisation with the rest of the EU, primarily to prevent rabies, also protects us from ticks and tapeworms, which are potentially dangerous to both animals and humans.

“Whilst we respect that the ultimate aim is for all Member States to have the same entry requirements, the veterinary profession has raised a number of concerns with Defra and MEPs that the science does not yet support the case for harmonisation. We await the outcome of the discussions in the European Parliament and will continue to push for further research to help us protect the UK from these parasites.”

On dangerous dogs, Professor Reilly said:

“The problems caused by dangerous dogs will never be solved until dog owners appreciate that they are responsible for the actions of their animals. Rather than singling out individual breeds the BVA strongly believes in targeting individual aggressive dogs.

“Last week this view scored a victory in Scotland when the Control of Dogs Bill passed its first stage in Holyrood. The private member’s bill recognises that all dogs can show aggression and affords councils the powers to place tighter controls on these dogs and their owners.

“With concern about weapon dogs rising and a new Parliament on the horizon looking for fresh ideas, the time is surely right for it to be at the top of the political agenda.” Read The Full Speech

Go To Top Of Page


GERMAN SHEPHERD DOGS – JUDGES TRAINING PROGRAMME

The Kennel Club has made it clear that the single most important issue currently facing the German Shepherd Dog as a breed is the soundness of hindquarters and hocks. Until this fundamental issue of conformation and movement is addressed as the major focal point for action, it is difficult to progress on other matters.

However, if breed representatives accept that fundamental soundness in hindquarters and hocks must be improved, then the Kennel Club is ready and very willing to address the other issues raised by groups such as the German Shepherd Dog Partnership. It is heartening to note that the Partnership is now publicly acknowledging the lack of soundness in the breed, particularly as it has not done so up to now.

Now that the Partnership is openly acknowledging unsoundness in the breed, the Kennel Club would urge it to take the action that it undertook to do in August 2009 and make soundness in hocks and hindquarters a cornerstone in judges’ training. It had been suggested that a conference or seminar be held to address this with all breed judges, but no progress has been made on staging this to date.

Following the 31st March deadline, the Kennel Club will progress this very issue with all those clubs who have signed the Undertaking. As a priority, a judges training programme on the soundness issue will be established and the Kennel Club will continue to evaluate judges to ensure that the fundamental issue of soundness is of paramount importance in the ring.

In addition to judges’ training and evaluation, the Kennel Club will also seek to revisit a number of other issues that have been in abeyance waiting for the breed to accept and take action on the issue of soundness. Following the 31st March it is therefore the intention to arrange a meeting with those Clubs which sign the Undertaking, to enable these issues to be revisited. For example, given that the duty towards responsible breeding lies with breeders, inclusion of health tests specific to the GSD in the Accredited Breeders Scheme is highly desirable, but is still awaiting discussion. Other issues such as reviewing the restrictions placed on the registration of non-standard coat colours of GSDs, along with various other topics, are also to be explored with the breed clubs.

The Kennel Club is aware that there has been a great deal of speculation and misinformation about the consequences of signing the Undertaking. The following questions and answers may clarify issues for clubs and individuals:

Q. “Unsound hocks have no known related health diseases” so why is the KC so exercised about this?
A. To suggest that a dog does not have a health issue when it cannot walk properly because of poor hocks, is patently nonsense. The KC’s Fit for Function campaign states that ‘all dogs must be able to see, breathe, and walk freely and be free from pain, irritation or discomfort’. The fundamental ability to walk soundly is a basic quality of life issue for any animal.

Q If my club’s secretary and chairman sign the Undertaking on behalf of the club and they are later replaced as officers does this mean that the club is still bound by the Undertaking?
A. Yes. The club officials are signing on behalf of the club and its elected committee and not as private individuals.

Q. If my club signs the Undertaking and then the judge at our show awards an unsound dog, will the club be penalised?
A. No – providing the show management has briefed the judge prior to its shows on their health and welfare responsibilities particularly in regard to soundness of conformation. In such circumstances, and as is the usual procedure, the club must report the matter to the Kennel Club within 7 days of the show to investigate the judge’s conduct.

Q. If my club signs the Undertaking and a judge and/or steward allow double handling at a show will the club be penalised?
A. No - as long as the Escalation Policy has been followed through every stage by the club.

Q. If my club doesn’t sign the Undertaking and loses its Breed Show Challenge Certificates, will its Obedience and Working Trial Certificates also be removed?
A. It isn’t possible to prejudge this situation, but clearly if a club refused to work with the Kennel Club on one activity it would certainly raise questions about the club’s relationship with the KC in other areas.

Q. If my club doesn’t sign will we lose our open show?
A. No. The Undertaking relates to the allocation of Challenge Certificates. However, the clauses in the Undertaking on health & welfare and double handling relate to all events insofar as they are part of KC Show Regulations. All that is being asked is that clubs work with us on the soundness of the breed and in holding events in line with KC regulations. Clubs and individuals cannot pick and choose which regulations to abide by and which to ignore. If there is a breach of regulations at an open show, or a judge rewards an unsound dog, it is expected that clubs report the matter to the KC, as is the case now.

Q. If my club does not sign this year can it sign in future years to regain its CCs?
A. The allocation for CCs is done on an annual basis and on the prevailing circumstances for each breed. After the deadline of 31st March the Committee will consider its options for unallocated Challenge Certificates. It may choose to reallocate the CCs to breed clubs in the existing rotation that have signed the Undertaking; it may choose to reallocate CCs to general canine societies; or it may choose not to allocate them at all meaning fewer opportunities for the breed at Championship level.

Q. Where does the KC stand on SV/WUSV events?
A. The KC has worked with the GSD community to enable the annual British Sieger Show to everyone’s satisfaction. All requests of a similar nature will of course be considered. What is being asked is that, as a matter of simple courtesy, clubs should work with their UK governing body to gain support for the organising of any such events.

Go To Top Of Page


City & Guilds NPTC Recognition for Kennel Club Accredited Instructor Scheme

The Kennel Club Accredited Instructor Scheme (KCAI) has become the first nationally recognised qualification in the UK for instructors involved in teaching dog training and canine behaviour.

City & Guilds NPTC, the biggest awarding body in the UK for vocational awards, has formally endorsed the scheme and recognised the Kennel Club as an Approved Centre for offering the national qualification – the Kennel Club National Quality Award for Instructors in Dog Training and Canine Behaviour.

This means that for the first time in the UK, instructors involved in teaching dog training and advising on canine behaviour will have the opportunity to gain a nationally recognised, credible and externally verified qualification. Dog owners and dog training enthusiasts will also benefit by having the reassurance of a national standard to ensure that they are provided with the best quality advice and service.

Kennel Club Vice Chairman, and Chairman of the KCAI Board, Bill Hardaway, said, “This qualification will formally recognise the knowledge and experience of the many hard-working, dedicated and competent instructors teaching dog training and advising on canine behaviour. The KCAI Scheme is an integral part of the Kennel Club’s strategy for protecting dog owners and their dogs from poor advice and service.

“From its inception, this scheme has aimed to set the quality benchmark for instruction and teaching in the canine world in the UK and to be able to offer this formally at a national level with City & Guilds NPTC underlines our commitment to excellence.”

City & Guilds NPTC Chief Executive, Jack Ward, said, “As the country’s leading provider of vocational education, City & Guilds NPTC has been very impressed by the level of maturity in the KCAI Scheme’s administrative framework and the quality assurance in the verification processes offered. We are very excited about working with the Kennel Club to deliver this new national qualification.”

Those wishing to know more about the scheme and the new qualification can visit the KCAI area on the Dog Activities Stand at DFS Crufts 2010 throughout the show which runs from 11th - 14th March. Accredited Instructors will be on hand to explain the benefits of membership of the scheme and help all those involved in every aspect of teaching dog training and advising on canine behaviour. Advice and encouragement will be offered to anyone interested in achieving one of the first ever Kennel Club National Quality Awards for Instructors in Dog Training and Canine Behaviour.

On the second day of DFS Crufts 2010, Friday 12th March 2010, the new National Quality Award is being formally launched and Kennel Club Accredited Instructors will receive the UK’s very first Kennel Club National Quality Awards for Instructors in Dog Training and Canine Behaviour. Visitors will be able to see a KCAI: Inspirational Instruction Master Class which illustrates the magic of truly great teachers delivering effective dog training.

Novice dog owners and their new dogs will be trained by KCAI Accredited Instructor, and renowned dog trainer and actress, Annie Clayton. Annie will work with 3 novice dog owners and their dogs to teach them a mini Heelwork to Music routine in under half an hour. None of the participants will have had any prior training in Heelwork to Music so the benefits of quality effective teaching will be clear for all to see.

Background
The Kennel Club Accredited Instructor Scheme for Dog Training Instructors and Canine Behaviourists (KCAI) was formally launched at Crufts in 2004, and has over 40 Accredited Instructors with many hundreds working towards accreditation. Such notable figures in the world of dog training as John Rogerson and Peter Lewis are KCAI Accredited Instructors.
Over the last few years the Kennel Club has looked into the issues surrounding dog training, with concerns that anyone can set themselves up as a dog trainer without qualifications and give training and behavioural advice as an ‘expert’, to a ‘blissfully’ unaware general public.

Several organisations have formed over time, all trying to address standards in dog training and give educational guidance to their members. The KCAI Scheme complements others, but goes further in unifying all aspects of knowledge and experience in the world of dogs. It oversees personal development and recognises each member as an individual in the role they wish to play.

What is it all about?
This is the first really comprehensive scheme that, in its flexibility, allows anyone who is instructing, advising or teaching others at any level to join, whatever their interest in dogs. A primary aim of the scheme is to set a national standard to safeguard the public, but it also aims to guide its members in their search for knowledge and experience, encompassing a wealth of information and sharing ideas for improving the future of dog training and behavioural advice.

How does it work?
Members are credited with points according to their personal level of understanding of issues relating to dog training, behaviour and welfare and assessed on the all important ability to show practical evidence of the service offered to the public. Members agree to be bound by a Code of Practice and, recognised for their individual levels of expertise, are registered on a database for public/professional/membership referral.

City & Guilds National Proficiency Tests Council
Media Queries
Sally Green, City & Guilds NPTC
Phone: 024 7685 7300
Email: technical@nptc.org.uk

City & Guilds NPTC is frequently requested to develop awards needed by employers working in niche businesses where recognition of skill is equally as important as in the mainstream sectors.

City & Guilds NPTC (www.nptc.org.uk) is the UK’s largest recognised awarding organisation in the land-based sector for vocational qualifications. Qualifications focus on providing skills that are of value in land-based industries, and are rooted in practical requirements. City & Guilds NPTC delivers over 100 qualifications through a network of approved assessment centres throughout the UK.

The City & Guilds NPTC portfolio includes the long-established certificate of competence qualifications and the land-based qualifications which were managed directly by City & Guilds prior to September 2004.

Go To Top Of Page


KENNEL CLUB DOG HEALTH GROUP TO WORK WITH SCOTTISH GOVERNMENT

The Kennel Club has welcomed comments by the Scottish Government detailing their intention to work with the Kennel Club’s Dog Health Group to make the advancements necessary to improve further the health and welfare of dogs.

The comments were published following a question to the Scottish Executive from David Whitton MSP regarding the legislative recommendations made by Professor Sir Patrick Bateson in his Independent Inquiry into Dog Breeding. The question and response were as follows:

David Whitton (Strathkelvin and Bearsden) (Lab): ‘To ask the Scottish Executive what plans it has to address the legislative recommendations made in Professor Sir Patrick Bateson’s report, Independent Inquiry into Dog Breeding.’
(S3W-31508)

Mr Richard Lochhead : ‘Prof. Sir Patrick Bateson’s report makes a number of recommendations which would involve changes to the legislation on the breeding and sales of dogs, and the Dangerous Dogs Act. Rather than take action at this stage to legislate, the Scottish Government intends to work with the Kennel Club and its Dog Health Group, which now has a broader remit, additional independent experts and under an independent chairman, to make the changes necessary to improve the health and welfare of dogs.

The Kennel Club will encourage all dog breeders to participate in the Accredited Breeder Scheme, which Prof. Bateson recognised as close to the ideal model.

Only if the Kennel Club are unsuccessful in their attempts to improve the health and welfare of dogs, would the Scottish Government consider legislation.

The Control of Dogs (Scotland) Bill is presently making its way through Parliament. This is a Member’s Bill but it has been given Government support. If passed it will go a considerable way in meeting the recommendation on Dangerous Dogs in the Bateson Report.’

Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club Communications Director, said: “The Scottish Government’s response is extremely welcome and encouraging, and demonstrates that the Kennel Club and the Dog Health Group are in the best position to move forward with Professor Bateson’s recommendations. They also highlight his comments that the Accredited Breeder Scheme is close to the ideal model for dog breeding and its regulation.”

Go To Top Of Page


BVA AND BSAVA WELCOME SCOTLAND’S MOVE TO CONTROL DANGEROUS DOGS

The British Veterinary Association (BVA) and British Small Animal Veterinary Association (BSAVA) have welcomed the Scottish Parliament’s vote at the first stage of the Control of Dogs (Scotland) Bill which will place a legislative focus on the deed, rather than the breed of dogs and hold dog owners to account.

The Bill received cross-party support when MSPs voted in favour of the proposals yesterday (10 February), which would offer a flexible range of Control Orders providing practical measures to stop dogs getting out of control and place the focus on the owner.

The BVA has long been opposed to any proposals which single out particular breeds of dogs rather than targeting individual aggressive dogs.

Professor Bill Reilly, President of the BVA, said:

“We welcome the recognition that controls should not be based on the breed of a dog but on actions and behaviour of individual dogs and their owners. We believe that the manner in which a dog behaves is a result of its inherited characteristics, but more importantly the rearing and training provided by the owner.

“The problems caused by dangerous dogs will never be solved until dog owners appreciate that they are responsible for the actions of their animals. The BVA and BSAVA hope that the principle of ‘deed not breed’ will soon be recognised in the rest of the UK.”

The Control of Dogs (Scotland) Bill was introduced on 2 June 2009 as a Member’s Bill by Christine Grahame MSP

Go To Top Of Page


Healthy entries to DFS Crufts 2010

Around 28,000 dogs are set to descend on the NEC in Birmingham on 11-14 March for the world’s greatest dog show, DFS Crufts 2010. Almost 22,000 of these will be competing in the pedigree classes which culminate in the prestigious Best in Show final on Sunday 14th March.

DFS Crufts 2010 entry figures

There will be 186 pedigree breeds competing at the show across the seven groups, with the Gundog group attracting the highest entry. Within that group the Labrador Retriever, Golden Retriever, Cocker Spaniel, Irish Setter and Flat Coated Retriever will see the largest number of competitors hoping to win the ultimate prize in the world of dog showing.

There is good news for many of the native vulnerable breeds, which the Kennel Club has deemed at risk of extinction because their registration numbers are so low. The Kerry Blue Terrier, Manchester Terrier, Skye Terrier, Deerhound, Irish Water Spaniel, Dandie Dinmont Terrier, Smooth Fox Terrier, Cardigan Welsh Corgi and the Irish Red and White Setter all see an increased number of dogs at the show, compared to 2009. Dog shows such as DFS Crufts provide a perfect opportunity for potential puppy buyers to find out about these breeds, which otherwise risk being forgotten about despite the fact that they make excellent pets.

A significant drop has been seen in the Gamekeepers classes this year, where entries have fallen by 17 percent compared to 2009, largely due to the law that even legally docked dogs may not be shown at events where the public pay an entry fee. All of the dogs in these classes are working dogs - for which tail docking is legal – but now face restrictions on entering the show ring.

Speaking about the show Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club Secretary, said: “DFS Crufts 2010 is set to be another massive show, with nearly 22,000 dogs entered in the pedigree classes under one roof, it is the perfect place to learn more about pedigree dogs.

“The recent Independent Inquiry into Dog Breeding highlighted dog shows as being a powerful lever for change and there is no more powerful lever than DFS Crufts. It is only through rewarding and encouraging responsible breeders and their healthy dogs in the show ring that the bar can be set for others to follow, and that is what DFS Crufts is all about.

“It is also about giving potential puppy buyers the opportunity to learn more about dogs, in a fun and interesting way, before they buy. The show will have breed and dog health experts on hand to talk about the different breeds and which ones might suit different lifestyles. Kennel Club Accredited Breeders will be at the event, so that people can learn how to find a responsible breeder that will give their dogs the best start in life.

“Whilst the Kennel Club recognises that this year’s entry does not quite match the number achieved last year, we see this in the context of the wider picture. The decrease of around 3% in this year’s figure is almost exactly in line with the total average drop seen across all Championship dog shows during the past twelve months, namely 2.9%. This in turn has seen the number of dogs qualifying to enter DFS Crufts fall as a result.”

As in previous years, the additional money donated by exhibitors entering the event will be matched by the Crufts Committee, with the money going to the Kennel Club Charitable Trust, which funds research into dog diseases and supports the work of dog welfare charities.

•DFS Crufts is a unique celebration of happy, healthy dogs and of the loving relationship that they enjoy with their owners. It recognises the varied roles that dogs play in society and highlights the many different disciplines and activities in which dogs are involved.
•DFS Crufts educates visitors about how to buy the right dog for them and how to find a responsible breeder through its Discover Dogs, Accredited breeder Scheme and Breed Rescue areas.
•The Kennel Club runs seminars for DFS Crufts judges to help ensure that only those dogs that are healthy representatives of their breed will win awards in the show ring.
• Health is at the heart of DFS Crufts and veterinary and scientific experts will be on hand at DFS Crufts 2010, to talk about health testing and to explain how research has developed over the last 10 years which can help us to resolve genetic issues for the future benefit of dogs.
•The Kennel Club, organiser of DFS Crufts, is the largest organisation in the UK devoted to dog health, welfare and training. Its objective is to ensure that dogs live happy, healthy lives with responsible owners.
•The Kennel Club invests the money that it makes from registrations and its other services into its dog training and education programmes and the Kennel Club Charitable Trust, which supports dog welfare charities and research into dog diseases.
•The Kennel Club Charitable Trust has raised nearly £4 million over the years for research into dog diseases. The money raised from optional donations with the DFS Crufts entry fee is matched by the Crufts Committee and this money is given to the Kennel Club Charitable Trust.

Go To Top Of Page


KCLC SHOWS COUNCIL REPRESENTATIVES
1 JANUARY 2010 – 31 DECEMBER 2012

The Kennel Club has announced the list of Shows Council representatives for the next three years, as follows:

AREA 1 - SCOTLAND – (3 Representatives)

Mrs S Johnston
Mrs I McManus
Miss S R M Thomson

AREA 2 – NORTHERN IRELAND – (1 Representative)

Mr W McKnight

AREA 3 – WALES – (2 Representatives)

Mrs B E M Croucher
Mr N Price

AREA 4 – NORTH WEST (4 Representatives)

Mr C Atkinson
Mr J Bispham
Mr R A Rowe
Mrs E Stannard

AREA 5 – NORTH EAST – (4 Representatives)

Mrs P Barnes
Mrs F Marshall
Mr M Spark
Mr A J W Taylor

AREA 6 – MIDLANDS – (3 Representatives)

Mr R Greaves
Mr S Green
Mr R Taylor

AREA 7 – SOUTH EAST/EAST ANGLIA – (4 Representatives)

Miss P Clayton
Miss S Kimber
Mrs L King
Mrs W Reeves

AREA 8 – SOUTH/SOUTH WEST – (3 Representatives, 1 Vacancy)

Mr G C Osborne
Mr R Vincent

GENERAL & GROUP CHAMPIONSHIP SHOWS – (6 Representatives)

Mrs S Jakeman
Miss J Kitchener
Mrs J Lane
Miss S Lund
Mrs A Mitchell
Mr J Peach

Go To Top Of Page


DFS CRUFTS 2010 – RING CHANGES AND EARLY AND LATE STARTS

The Kennel Club and Crufts Committee wish to thank all the exhibitors for DFS Crufts 2010 for their support in giving a total of 21,947 dogs entered into breed judging plus entries in the Breeders’ Competition, Agility and Obedience Championship. The entry has resulted in a number of breeds starting before 9am, some starting at 10am and, in some cases, it has been necessary to reschedule the order of judging and ring allocation. The breeds affected are as follows:

Day 1 Working and Pastoral.
Komondor and Hovawart moved from Ring 16 to Ring 19 and will be judged after Pyrenean Sheepdog (Long Haired)
Tibetan Mastiff will now be judged after Canadian Eskimo Dog in Ring 33.
The breeds affected with the Early and Late Starts are shown below:

Day 1 – Working and Pastoral Groups

Hall 1 Ring 2 – Border Collie (B) Early Start 8.30am
Ring 8 – Bearded Collie (B) Early Start 8.30am

Hall 2 Ring 12 – Shetland Sheepdog (B) Early Start 8.30am

Hall 4 Ring 16 – Swedish Vallhund Early Start 8.30am
Ring 22 – Alaskan Malamute Early Start 8.30am

Hall 5 Ring 27 – Leonberger Early Start 8.30am
Ring 29 – Newfoundland Early Start 8.30am
Ring 32 – Rottweiler (B) Early Start 8.30am

Day 2 - Terrier and Hound Groups

Hall 1 Ring 4 – Skye Terrier Early Start 8.30am
Ring 5 – Glen of Imaal Terrier Late Start 10.00am
Ring 7 - Sealyham Terrier Early Start 8.30am

Hall 2 Ring 11 – Norfolk Terrier Early Start 8.30am
Ring 12 – Border Terrier Early Start 8.30am
Ring 13 - Staffordshire Bull Terrier (D) Early Start 8.30am

Hall 4 Ring 20 – Whippet (B) Early Start 8.30am
Ring 21 – Dachshund (Min Smooth Haired) Early Start 8.30am
Ring 24 – Dachshund (Wire Haired) Early Start 8.30am

Hall 5 Ring 28 – Borzoi Early Start 8.30am
Ring 29 – Beagle Early Start 8.30am
Ring 34 - Ibizan Hound Late Start 10.00am
Ring 35 – Otterhound Late Start 10.00am


Day 3 – Toy and Utility Groups

Hall 1 Ring 1 – Schnauzer Late Start 10.00am

Hall 2 Ring 11 – Poodle (Toy) Late Start 10.00am
Ring 12 – Poodle (Miniature) Late Start 10.00am

Hall 4 Ring 15 – Bulldog Early Start 8.30am
Ring 18. – Tibetan Terrier Late Start 10.00am
Ring 19 – Keeshond Late Start 10.00am
Ring 21 – Miniature Pinscher Early Start 8.30am
Ring 23 - Pekingese Late Start 10.00am
Ring 24 – Pug Early Start 8.30am

Hall 5 Ring 26 - Bichon Frise Early Start 8.30am
Ring 27 – Chihuahua (Long Coat) Early Start 8.30am
Ring 29 – Papillon Early Start 8.30am
Ring 34 – Cavalier King Charles Spaniel(B) Early Start 8.30am

Day 4 – Gundog Group

Hall 1 Ring 1 – Irish Setter (D) Early Start 8.30am
Ring 4 – Irish Red & White Setter Late Start 10.00am
Ring 5 – Gordon Setter Early Start 8.30am
Ring 6 – Spaniel (Sussex) Late Start 10.00am
Ring 7/8 – Pointer Early Start 8.30am

Hall 2 Ring 13 – Spaniel (Cocker) (D) Early Start 8.30am

Hall 4 Ring 15/16 – Weimaraner Early Start 8.30am
Ring 21 – Italian Spinone Late Start 10.00am

Hall 5 Ring 27 - Retriever (Golden) (D) Early Start 8.30am
Ring 30 – Retriever (Flat Coated) (B) Early Start 8.30am
Ring 34 – Retriever (Labrador) (B) Early Start 8.30am

Go To Top Of Page


Kennel Club Announces Drop In Registrations

THE TOTAL number of puppies registered with the Kennel Club during 2009 was 244,461, down by 11 per cent on the 2008 figure of 271,719.

This is the lowest total since 2002, though looking at the figures for the last 20 years, registrations have remained relatively stable with only short-term fluctuations. After an all-time high in 1989 of 283,915, annual registrations have never dipped below 200,000, and the 2008 figure was among only five years to exceed 270,000.

An encouraging sign is that, while the first three quarters of 2009 each showed a decline on the same period in 2008, the final quarter was up, 60,982 as against 60,830 for October to December 2008.

A KC spokesman commented: “While it is disappointing that the overall number of dogs registered with the KC during 2009 has fallen, there are definite signs of recovery underway.

‘Bounce Back’

“Five of the seven groups saw more dogs registered in the fourth quarter of 2009 than in the same period in the previous year and indeed the total number registered in this period was up when compared against the last quarter of 2008.

“This shows that the rate of the decrease is not simply slowing but actually appears to have stopped completely and begun to bounce back. We hope that this signals a considerably brighter future for the year to come.”

As usual Labradors top the breed list with over 16 per cent of the total, though actual numbers have declined from 45,233 in 2008 to 40,943.

The top six breeds remain as the previous year: Cockers are second with 22,211 (22,508 in 2008), English Springers 12,700 (14,800), German Shepherds 10,338 (11,903), Cavaliers 8,884 (a steep numerical decline from 11,226) and Staffords 8,746 (10,744).

Border Terriers 8,214 (9,145) overtake Golden Retrievers 7,804 (9,159) into seventh place.

Next come Boxers 5,947 (7,353), West Highland Whites 5,890 (7,330), and then Miniature Schnauzers 5,231 (5,333) swop places with Shih Tzu 5,127 (5,495).
Pugs 4,769 (4,480) go up two places over Lhasa Apsos 4,674 (5,117) and Bulldogs 4,217 (4,543).

Yorkshire Terriers 3.767 (3,951) remain in sixteenth place, followed by Whippets 3,246 (3,328).
Unusually a breed without CC status moves into the top 20: Dogues de Bordeaux 2,790 (2,452), pushing ahead of Bull Terriers 2,624 (2,922). Beagles 2,592 (2,405) also join the leading breeds, while Bichons and Rottweilers are no longer in the top 20.

Containing the three leading breeds, gundogs were the most numerous group last year with 94,894 registrations (104,757 in 2008), followed by terriers 33,128 (39,086), utility 32,316 (34,303), toy 29,490 (31,819), working 21,657 (24,457), pastoral 17,992 (20,838) and hounds 14,984 (16,459).

For the final quarter of 2009 the group figures were hounds 4,200 (3,810 for the same period in 2008), gundogs 22,468 (22,333), terriers 8,461 (8,771), utility 8,484 (8,436), working 5,716 (5,554), pastoral 4,132 (4,586) and toy 7,521 (7,340).

Labradors are also the most pupular breed in the US, judging by American LKC registration figures for 2009. There, German Shepherds have overtaken Yorkshire Terriers for second place.
Their remaining top ten are Golden Retrievers, Beagles, Boxers, Bulldogs, Dachshunds, Poodles (in the last two, all varieties are counted together) and Shih Tzu. If Dachshunds and Poodles were counted together in the UK, they would be 13th and 17th respectively.

Registrations have fallen in all breeds in 2009 by 27, 258. This is a loss of revenue for the
Kennel Club to the tune of £327, 696.00
(Three hundred and twenty seven thousand, six hundred and ninety six pounds)

This has to be a knock on affect from the BBC program 'Pedigree Dogs Exposed'.
Make no bones about it, the Kennel Club must be extremely worried by this trend.

Will the Kennel Club's 'Accredited Breeders Scheme' solve these worrying figures, or only add to them?

The ABS will undoubtedly eventually deter 'Backyard Breeders'. But, is this a good thing or a bad thing? What about the 'Vulnerable Breeds'? This could decimate their ranks even further.

There are many breeds that clearly have problems that need addressing. But, has The Kennel Club left the dirty work to the breed Judge's in their clever directive to them instead of giving direct guidance in the form of "You must penalise whatever"?

It is the Judge's who will have to take the flack not the Kennel Club and many breed judge's will be ostracised by their fellow exhibitors.

Go To Top Of Page


MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF THE KCLC BREEDS COUNCIL HELD AT THE KENNEL CLUB ON MONDAY 25 NOVEMBER 2009


Present:
Mr L Anness Mr N Bryce-Smith
Mr P Eva Mr E Herold
Mrs M E Holmes Mrs J Iles-Hebbert
Mrs E MacDonald Mrs M MacPhail
Mrs P Noujaim Mrs E Parsons
Mr K Pursglove Mr A F Schaanning-Ling
Mrs F Somerfield Mrs A Teasdale
Mrs V Thompson Mrs A M Walton
Mrs S M Walton Mrs K Wilberg

In attendance:
Mrs Kathryn Symns – Canine Activities Executive
Miss S Cooper – Breed Shows Team Leader
Mr B Lambert – Health & Breeder Services Manager

ITEM 1. TO ELECT A CHAIRMAN FOR THIS MEETING.

It was proposed by Mr L Anness, and seconded by Mrs K Wilberg, that Mr A Schaanning-Ling be elected as Chairman for the meeting. No further nominations were received and Mr Schaanning-Ling was duly elected.

Mr Schaanning-Ling thanked the Council for its support. Mr Schaanning-Ling informed the Council that a Kennel Club Question Time session would be held in conjunction with the meeting, and would take place after Item 5.

Mr Schaanning-Ling went on to read a letter from Ms A Oliver-Wyles, in which she thanked the Council for its support during her time as Chairman. The Council gave a vote of thanks to Ms Oliver-Wyles and it was agreed that a letter from the Council should be sent to her, officially thanking her for all her contributions to the Council over the years.

ITEM 2. APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE.

Apologies were received from Mrs C Boggia, Mrs S Hewart-Chambers, Mrs Y Knapper–Weijland, Mrs S Rawlings and Mrs L Westby.

ITEM 3. TO APPROVE THE MINUTES OF THE MEETING HELD ON
18 MAY 2009.

The minutes of the meeting held on 18 May 2009 were accepted as a true record of the meeting.


The Council noted the results of the recommendations from the previous meeting as follows;

Paragraph 22 – Instructions to Veterinary Surgeons.

Mr Lambert explained that the Kennel Club was working on a ‘Veterinary Manual’ which would contain significant information for vets, including details of recommended health tests on a breed by breed basis, guidance on what the Kennel Club offers and information stressing the Kennel Club’s primary objective of addressing canine health issues. It was confirmed that the manual could be available as soon as January 2010.

The Council queried whether or not it would be possible for the information the Kennel Club was collating to be sent out to universities for use by trainee vets, to educate them on the practices of breeders. The office explained that at present, the Kennel Club welcomes 500 trainee vets to Crufts every year and they are given comprehensive information on dog breeding and the role of dog breeders.

Paragraph 31 - ABS Accolade relating to Stud Book achievements.

The office explained that the Accolade was designed to demonstrate that the breeder had an understanding and acceptance of what defining characteristics are desirable in the breed and have demonstrated that they are breeding dogs that conform to Kennel Club Breed Standards. The office confirmed that the Kennel Club recognised the appeal of making the Stud Book Accolade breed specific. However it was explained that, at present, there were more pressing IT related issues that must take precedence, but that this would be looked at again in the future. The Council would receive updates as the initiative progressed.

Paragraph 53 – Breed Specific Parameters.

The office confirmed that the Kennel Club was working with a number of breed clubs/societies to set up breed specific requirements and recommendations for Accredited Breeders.

At a previous Breed Council meeting it was requested that the Kennel Club introduce a recommendation that bitches in some breeds, particularly giant breeds, should not be allowed to produce a litter when under the 2 years of age. As a result of this recommendation 74 breed clubs were written to asking for their opinion on this matter. Disappointingly only 28 responses were received and, furthermore, agreements could only be reached with just 7 of the clubs concerned. The Kennel Club has, however, been able to implement some new recommendations on a minimum breeding age.
The Kennel Club is working with breed clubs that support responsible breeding practices, as outlined in the ABS, and it is currently asking them to endorse the following clause in their own Code of Practice; ‘Members will, when breeding dogs, adopt as a minimum standard the principles, requirements and recommendations as embodied in the Kennel Club's Accredited Breeder Scheme. It is also recommended that members who breed should apply to join the Scheme.’

ITEM 5. MATTERS ARISING.

Matters arising were addressed as above.

ITEM 6. PROPOSALS FROM SOCIETIES.

Shetland Sheepdog Breed Council proposed:

“To encourage breeders to test their stock for hereditary diseases and make such test results available to all interested parties, the results of all professionally recognised tests should be recorded on registration documents, the Kennel Gazette Breed Records Supplement and on the Kennel Club’s online enquiry service”.

The office explained that the Health & Breeder Services Team often received requests for the inclusion of new DNA and other health related issues, on the Kennel Club database.

It was confirmed that the Kennel Club would consider approving any new DNA tests, provided that the test offered was from a recognised testing laboratory such as the Animal Health Trust or Optigen, and the request is supported by a majority of the Breed Clubs or the Breed Council. Once agreed, the Kennel Club will arrange with the laboratory for copies of all future test certificates issued to be sent directly to the Kennel Club, where the test result would be added to the dog’s details on the registration database. This would trigger the publication of the test result in the next available Breed Records Supplement, and the result would also appear on any new registration certificate issued for the dog and on the registration certificates of any future progeny of the dog.

The office confirmed that it was currently working with the Shetland Sheepdog Breed Council on this matter.


ITEM 7. DISCUSSION ITEMS.

South Western Rottweiler Association requested that the Council discuss:

“The SWRA would like to bring to the KCLC’s attention the difficulties sellers of puppies have when homing/re-homing, in that potential puppy owners will never tell you that they have been prosecuted and/or banned from owning dogs or any other pet by the RSPCA for abuse or neglect. If a seller has any suspicion, there does not appear to be a central list kept either by the RSPCA or the local Dog Wardens or anyone else that can be located, or if there is, it is not accessible to the public (i.e. those homing puppies). The local Magistrates Court only considers releasing this information on the production of a signed agreement to this effect by the person you are checking plus the requisite of £10. The process will take approx 8 weeks and the Judge can still decide that it is not in the public interest to grant the information. You would also have to know which Country Court to check with. We would like to know any thoughts the Council have on this matter”.

The Council discussed the possibility of the Kennel Club entering into discussions with the appropriate authority in order to obtain a central list of names of people who had been prosecuted and/or banned from owning dogs due abuse or neglect. It queried whether or not the possibility of such a list being held by an outside body was viable due to data protection, but went on to note that cruelty cases were held in Open Court, so this information could possibly be made available in order to compile a central list.

The Council went on to discuss Status Dog Units (SDU) which had been set up by the Metropolitan Police, to specifically tackle the issue of dogs being used by owners to better their ‘street’ status. The Council expressed its concern as this appeared to be an extension of the Dangerous Dogs Act (DDA) and could lead to many innocent dogs being seized and destroyed.

It was noted that the SDU is obliged to assess those dogs which appear to be dangerously out of control in a public place. Should the officer or dog warden make an assessment that the dog is banned under the DDA, then they can seize the dog. However they do not have the authority to have a dog destroyed. Only a court decision can determine the future of a dog.

ITEM 8. ANY OTHER BUSINESS.

Flatcoated Retriever Club of Scotland requested that the Council discuss:

“The Flatcoated Retriever Club of Scotland would like to bring to the attention of the Kennel Club Breeds Liaison Council the need for Championship Show committees to show more consideration for exhibitors and their dogs. In particular, there is a need for increased bench sizes for larger breeds and consideration of the position where a breed is benched in relation to its ring. Consideration also needs to be given to the number of crates allowed ringside, particularly as invariably they do not belong to the exhibitors of the breed in the ring. The Flatcoated Retriever Club of Scotland would like the Kennel Club to encourage Show committees to think carefully about the welfare of all dogs during the planning and running of their shows.”

The Council noted that the Kennel Club’s Benching Working Party is due to reconvene in 2010 and the matter of increased benching sizes would be discussed once the remit had been agreed. The Council did note that at many General Championship Shows, benching was often an issue but accepted that with the many factors which had to be taken into consideration by show societies when scheduling such large events, it was not always possible to cater for specific benching requests.

The Council also discussed the matter of crates at the ringside. The Council agreed that if gangways were blocked by exhibitors leaving crates and trolleys at the ringside, then the show secretary should be informed of this immediately. It is only by reporting matters such as this in the correct way, that they are able to be resolved.

Critiques.
The office confirmed the procedure for investigating outstanding critiques for shows. It also confirmed that over 172 judges had been written to in the previous 12 months requesting copies of critiques.

The Council noted that this meeting was the last in the current term of office.

ITEM 9. DATE OF NEXT MEETING.

The Council was informed that the date of the next meeting would be Tuesday 25 May 2010.

The meeting rose at 14.15 pm with a vote of thanks to the Chair and the staff.

Question Time

A Kennel Club Question Time session was held and the panel members (as listed below) answered a series of questions, relating to Breeds Club/Council Judges Lists, the new requirement for Gundog Judges, the Judges Development Programme, over-breeding of bitches, and the possibility of additional new coat colours being added to the Kennel Clubs registration database.

Ronnie Irving - Chairman, The Kennel Club
Bill Hardaway - Vice Chairman, The Kennel Club
Caroline Kisko - Secretary, The Kennel Club
Kathryn Symns – Executive, Canine Activities
Bill Lambert - Health and Breeder Services Manager

Mr A Schaanning-Ling
Chairman

Go To Top Of Page


KC BREEDERS’ COMPETITION FINALISTS ANNOUNCED

The Kennel Club has announced that 56 breeders have qualified for the first ever Kennel Club Breeders’ Competition Final, due to be staged at DFS Crufts on Friday 12th March 2010. The judge for the competition will be Mr Jeff Horswell.

Over the past twelve months, dog breeders around the country have competed in the Breeders’ Competition, which is sponsored by the Kennel Club Breeder Plan. Breeders have showcased their breeding talents by competing with teams of four dogs that have all been bred by them.

Launched at the Manchester Dog Show Society Championship Show in January 2009, the competition quickly developed in popularity seeing as many as 94 breeder teams take part in some Groups at General Championship Shows. Furthermore, many single breed shows have had a similarly impressive uptake, such as the East Anglian Whippet Club Championship Show in July 2009 which saw 8 breeder teams competing.

After months of hard work by breeders to bring their teams together and fine tune their handling, making it to the final has its rewards. The Best Breeder will receive a commemorative crystal Breeder Plan trophy and, in addition to this, all breeder finalists will be presented with a commemorative certificate and Breeders’ Competition goody bag to mark this special occasion.

Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club Communications Director said “We have received plenty of positive feedback on the Breeders’ Competition, with breeders delighted to be offered the opportunity to compete for an award that recognises their skill in breeding dogs of the highest quality. The fact that 56 breeders have made it through to the final in the first year of competition is testament to the competition’s popularity.

“We are delighted that the Kennel Club Breeder Plan is supporting this great competition in 2010. It has clearly caught the imagination of many breeders around the country and it provides a genuine chance to showcase the very best of British breeders and their dogs. We congratulate all those who have qualified to take part in the final.”

All of the qualified finalists will be pre-judged in Rings 35 and 36 IN Hall 5 at the show at 1430, with the Grand Final then taking place in the Best in Show Arena at approximately 1735 that evening.

LIST OF FINALISTS

Breed
Name of Breeder
Rhodesian Ridgeback
Mr M J & Mrs L A Parke
Norwegian Elkhound
Mrs T Maun
Border Collie
Mrs P A Wilkinson
Bichon Frise
Mrs T A Sims
Dobermann
Ms C Crème
Boxer
Mrs Y C Miller
German Wirehaired Pointer
Mrs B & Miss S Pinkerton
Border Terrier
Mr C P & Mrs S J Girling
Basenji
Mr P Singleton
Finnish Lapphund
Mrs T Jackson
Gordon Setter
Mr P & Mrs C A Sandiford
Poodle (Miniature)
Mr M & Mrs V Beck
Border Collie
Mrs J Gregory
Miniature Pinscher
Mr C & Mrs R Wilkinson
English Toy Terrier
Mr N Gourley and Mr A Leonard
Chinese Crested
Mrs L Rupniak
Pug
Mrs E Arnold
Hamiltonstovare
Mr J & Mrs S Briant & Mr P Routledge
Retriever (Curly Coated)
Mr H R & Mrs G Phillips & Ms C Mann
Bedlington Terrier
Mrs Y Bannister
Hungarian Wirehaired Vizsla
Mr P & Mrs L Upton
Collie (Smooth)
Miss D Moores
Estrela Mountain Dog
Mrs P Dean
Pointer
Mrs C Robertshaw
Spaniel (Cocker)
Mr & Mrs Webster
Whippet
Mrs L Morris
Parson Russell Terrier
Mr M & Mrs Baker
Spanish Water Dog
Mr R Abbott
Australian Shepherd
Mr C & Mrs G Dowson
Alaskan Malamute
Ms S Ellis
Afghan Hound
Mr M & Mrs T Ryall
Irish Terrier
Miss A Bradley
Pomeranian
Mrs A M Cawthera -Purdy
Samoyed
Mrs A Kirkwood
Polish Lowland Sheepdog
Mrs D Mottram
Pointer
Mrs A G Siddle
Boxer
Mrs M Ward-Davies, Miss J Brown & Mr T Hutchings
Norwich Terrier
Mrs R Corkhill
Alaskan Malamute
Mr K & Mrs S A Smith
Dachshund (Miniature Smooth-haired)
Mrs S Ergis
Belgian Shepherd Dog
Ms Jan Ralph
Norwegian Buhund
Mrs D M Stirling
Kooikerhondje
Mrs S Whybrow
Poodle (Miniature)
Miss M Harwood
Kooikerhondje
Mrs E M Kennedy
Tibetan Terrier
Mr D E & Mrs C Johnson
Japanese Shiba Inu
Miss M L Bryans
Bouvier Des Flandres
Mrs J Hughes
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
Mrs L Hughes
Retriever (Labrador)
Mrs P Carpanini
Dachshund (Miniature Smooth-haired)
Mrs R Williams
Japanese Shiba Inu
Mrs L Dunhill
Portugese Podengo
Mrs B Judge
Griffon Bruxellois
Mr H Ogden
Dachshund (Miniature Wire-haired)
Mr B Kugow & Mrs S Holt
Shih Tzu
Mrs M Diffey

Go To Top Of Page


NEW DNA TESTING SCHEME

At the request of the relevant breed clubs, the Kennel Club has recently approved two more official DNA testing schemes.

- prcd-PRA in the Spanish Water Dog. The test is offered by OptiGen - further details can be obtained from www.optigen.com
- PLL in the Parson Russell Terrier. The test is offered by the Animal Health Trust - further details can be obtained from www.aht.org.uk

Copies of all future test certificates issued by OptiGen and the AHT will be sent directly to the Kennel Club as from 1st February 2010, where the test result will be added to the dog’s details on the registration database. This will trigger the publication of the test result in the next available Breed Records Supplement, and the result will also appear on any new registration certificate issued for the dog and on the registration certificates of any future progeny of the dog.

Owners who have already had their dog(s) DNA tested for this condition can send copies of the test certificate into the Kennel Club and the data will be added to the dog’s registration details. In addition, if the owner includes the original registration certificate for the dog (not a copy) then a new registration certificate will be issued, with the DNA result on it, free of charge. Please send the DNA test certificates to:

Health & Breeder Services Department
The Kennel Club
1 – 5 Clarges Street
Piccadilly
London
W1J 8AB

Go To Top Of Page


MERLE STAFFORDSHIRE BULL TERRIERS

At the request of the Staffordshire Bull Terrier Breed Council, the Kennel Club has agreed that it will no longer accept the registration of any merle coloured Staffordshire Bull Terrier puppies, with effect from 5th January 2010.

Coat colour in the Staffordshire Bull Terrier is complex because a range of colours is acceptable. Merle patterning, patches of lighter colour appearing in the coat, is the result of the M gene in the dog. There are two alleles of this gene: MM (merle) and M+ (non-merle), with merle (MM) being dominant to non-merle (M+). In some breeds, the effect of the merle allele (MM) is termed ‘dapple’.

Unfortunately, the effects of the merle allele (MM) are not confined to coat patterning and we know that there can be an increased risk of impaired hearing and sight associated with it, particularly in dogs that are homozygous for MM (dogs that carry two copies of the MM allele).

Go To Top Of Page


Registrations Down, Massive losses For The Kennel Club

Registrations have fallen in all breeds in 2009 by 27, 258. This is a loss of revenue for the
Kennel Club to the tune of £327, 696.00
(Three hundred and twenty seven thousand, six hundred and ninety six pounds)

This has to be a knock on affect from the BBC program 'Pedigree Dogs Exposed'.
Make no bones about it, the Kennel Club must be extremely worried by this trend.

Will the Kennel Club's 'Accredited Breeders Scheme' solve these worrying figures, or only add to them?

The ABS will undoubtedly eventually deter 'Backyard Breeders'. But, is this a good thing or a bad thing? What about the 'Vulnerable Breeds'? This could decimate their ranks even further.

There are many breeds that clearly have problems that need addressing. But, has The Kennel Club left the dirty work to the breed Judge's in their clever directive to them instead of giving direct guidance in the form of "You must penalise whatever"?

It is the Judge's who will have to take the flack not the Kennel Club and many breed judge's will be ostracised by their fellow exhibitors.

Go To Top Of Page


DOG BREEDING REPORT SEES KEY ROLE FOR VETS

Vets have welcomed Professor Bateson’s report on dog breeding as an important step on a long journey to improving the health and welfare of all dogs.

The report, which follows a 10-month inquiry into breeding practices, dog showing, and scientific evidence, concludes that measures such as the establishment of a non-statutory advisory council on dog breeding, an up-graded accredited breeder scheme, legislative changes, and a public education campaign are required.

The British Veterinary Association (BVA) and British Small Animal Veterinary Association (BSAVA) gave evidence to Professor Bateson’s inquiry and stressed the need for changes that would improve the lot for all dogs (not just pedigrees), as well as the key role that vets have to play in educating the public.

Many of the specific recommendations have already been called for by the veterinary profession, such as a Code of Practice on breeding, compulsory microchipping of all dogs, and improved breed standards to promote health and welfare over extreme conformation. Through the Companion Animal Welfare Council (CAWC) work has already started to investigate setting up an independent body of experts, and a campaign to improve the public’s understanding of the issues is being led by the BVA Animal Welfare Foundation’s guidance on buying a puppy.

Other specific recommendations supported by the veterinary profession include:

the creation of a non-statutory advisory council to include veterinary input;
robust accredited breeder schemes recognising the vital importance of pre-mating health screening and other good breeding practice;
the centralised collection of data on health problems associated with different breeds; and
better enforcement of good welfare on licensed dog breeding premises, which must come with resources to ensure inspection and enforcement can be carried out.

Commenting, Nicky Paull, Past President of the BVA (who gave evidence to the Bateson Inquiry), said:

“Professor Bateson clearly understands that practical solutions are the way forward and that it will require a concerted effort by all those involved in the health and welfare of dogs to make the necessary changes. We support Professor Bateson’s recommendations and see a key role for vets in bringing the breeding community and the public forward together.

“The majority of breeders care deeply about the animals they work with, but the rules must be tightened for those who have sacrificed the welfare of dogs for their own gain.

“Pedigree Dogs Exposed and the two reports that have followed by APGAW and Prof Bateson are the catalyst we needed to shake up the dog breeding world and start educating the public. A lot of work to improve the situation has already begun and this is just one step in the long journey to improving the health and welfare of all dogs.”

Richard Dixon, President of the BSAVA, added:

“Vets are at the forefront of advising potential dog owners and breeders about the health and welfare issues involved with breeding. We hope that the public attention given to Professor Bateson’s report will remind people to always seek advice from their vet before buying a puppy and never buy on impulse.

“If the dog-buying public is properly educated to make the right welfare choices they will turn their backs on puppy farms and bad breeders. In this way the market can have a very positive effect on welfare alongside legislation and enforcement.

“Professor Bateson’s recommendations are welcomed by BSAVA, especially the requirement for breed standards to ensure dogs are fit for life, not extreme conformation, and the call for a robust accreditation scheme to help people choose a reputable breeder.

“These changes will take time and money and the veterinary profession, welfare charities and dog breeders must work together to achieve them.”

1. Professor Bateson’s report was funded by the Kennel Club and the Dog’s Trust and is available at www.dogbreedinginquiry.com

2. In 2009 the BVA’s Animal Welfare Foundation (AWF) brought together a number of stakeholders to produce ‘Guidance on choosing a new dog’ to help potential dog owners make the right choice for themselves and secure the ongoing good health and welfare of their new pet. http://www.bva-awf.org.uk/headlines/Guidance_on_choosing_your_new_dog.pdf

3. The BVA and Kennel Club run the Canine Health Schemes which screen for hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia and inherited eye disease in dogs before they are used for mating http://www.bva.co.uk/canine_health_schemes/Canine_Health_Schemes.aspx

4. For more information contact the BVA Media Office on 020 7908 6340 or media@bva.co.uk

Go To Top Of Page

For A Complete Report Click Here


Dogs Trust response to the publication of Professor Sir Patrick Bateson’s Independent Inquiry into Dog Breeding

Dogs Trust welcomes the publication of Professor Sir Patrick Bateson's independent report into the breeding of dogs and is pleased to see a number of key objectives. The charity is particularly gratified to see that microchipping is high on the priority list as it is our belief that this element alone will help to minimise the high volume of poorly bred puppies.

We also believe that the creation of an independent advisory board on dog breeding, to produce evidence-based breeding strategies, is vital.

A measured but timely approach is what we must work towards with the ultimate goal of happy healthy dogs going forward. The key requirements as we see them now are:

  • To get all the relevant organisations around a table to move these recommendations forward as soon as possible
  • To influence the legislators to help to get compulsory microchipping on the statute book
  • To ask pet insurance companies to agree to give relevant data so that prevalence of health problems can be identified
  • To get the veterinary profession to play a key role in collecting and collating genetic problems, kennel inspections as well as educating clients
  • To continue to educate the pet buying public on what to look for in their selection of a dog
  • For the dog fraternity to work closely with both human and animal geneticists to develop a clear strategy for healthy dogs

Go To Top Of Page

For A Complete Report Click Here


Dog Welfare Report: New Panel Needed To Oversee Pedigree Health

A new report published today (Thursday) has been welcomed by the RSPCA for its recognition that pedigree dog health and welfare is a serious problem and urgent action is needed.

The Independent Inquiry Into Dog Breeding, commissioned by the Kennel Club and the Dogs Trust, is written by leading zoologist Professor Sir Patrick Bateson who concludes that ‘dog breeding raises a number of serious concerns about the welfare of dogs’.

He recommends that a new advisory panel should be set up, an idea the RSPCA supports – however we are concerned that the panel won’t have the necessary power to push through the real change that’s clearly urgently required.

RSPCA chief veterinary adviser Mark Evans said: “The world has woken up to the extremely unpalatable truth that the health and welfare of many pedigree dogs is seriously compromised as a result of the way they are bred. Pedigree dogs need our help and they need it now.

“Some are suffering as a result of what Darwin’s disciples might refer to as ‘unnatural selection’ – survival of the most fashionable rather than the fittest. This report is what we have all been waiting for and we hope that now we can all get on and start working towards meaningful change for pedigree dogs.

“We’re delighted that Professor Bateson agrees with the RSPCA that something has to be done, but we are disappointed he hasn’t recommended that the advisory panel should be given the appropriate power to be effective. What is encouraging is that, when asked by the RSPCA, Professor Bateson acknowledged that in an ideal world the government would give the panel statutory powers.”

We fully support the inquiry’s conclusion that information on diseases suffered by dogs should be collected and in fact this was the top recommendation made in an independent report commissioned by the RSPCA, Pedigree Dog Breeding in the UK: A Major Welfare Concern?*

As a result, the RSPCA is already working with the University of Sydney and the Royal Veterinary College on a three-year research project to create a new, electronic, system for collecting, analysing and reporting data on inherited disorders in both dogs and cats. When complete, for the first time in the UK there will be comprehensive data to show the prevalence of inherited disorders in specific breeds. Vitally this will allow the effectiveness of any new breeding initiatives to be monitored.

Mark Evans said: “We agree with Professor Bateson that consumer pressure is the greatest lever for change. The way to solve this is through people power. Changing the industry will take some time, but the public can start to demand better quality animals that are in good health right now.

“We will now study the report in more detail and come up with a full response.”

As Professor Bateson has already agreed and the RSPCA has called for, there needs to be an urgent meeting of all relevant stakeholders to review all recommendations in all three reports,* to prioritise them, and to come up with a robust, workable action plan with clearly identified objectives, responsibilities and deadlines. Clearly an important part of this will be setting up some form of independent advisory body to oversee dog breeding and supply in the UK.

· Two other reports looking at the health and welfare of pedigree dogs have been published previously:

*Commissioned by the RSPCA and published in February 2009, Pedigree Dog Breeding in the UK: A Major Welfare Concern? is a review of the relevant science and was compiled by highly respected scientists, vets and dog welfare experts who also propose 36 possible ways of improving pedigree dog welfare.

These include:

- systematic collection of data on the diseases all dogs suffer from and causes of death

- changes to current registration rules to prevent the registration of puppies born from the matings of close relatives (including grandparents and offspring and half siblings)

- changes to current registration rules to allow new genetic material to be introduced into breeds.

Read more about the RSPCA’s work on this issue and download the report at www.rspca.org.uk/pedigreedogs.

A Healthier Future for Pedigree Dogs, the conclusions of an inquiry by the Associate Parliamentary Group for Animal Welfare (APGAW), was published in November 2009 echoed the RSPCA’s calls for urgent action to safeguard the welfare of pedigree dogs. Download the report at: www.apgaw.org/reports.asp.

· The RSPCA is extremely concerned about the unacceptably high levels of disability, deformity and hereditary disease affecting these animals, as is the public, following the BBC documentary Pedigree Dogs Exposed which sparked a national debate on the issue.

Go To Top Of Page


KENNEL CLUB RESPONSE TO THE INDEPENDENT INQUIRY INTO DOG BREEDING

The Kennel Club has broadly welcomed Professor Sir Patrick Bateson’s ‘Independent Inquiry into Dog Breeding’, which has recommended that steps be taken to tackle irresponsible breeders and to change the way the public think about buying dogs.

The Kennel Club, which commissioned and funded the report in conjunction with Dogs Trust, welcomes the report’s focus on irresponsible breeders who farm puppies with little concern for their welfare and those who sell poorly socialised puppies on to owners to use as ‘status dogs’ or as fighting weapons.

The Kennel Club agrees that additional training and support needs to be given to local authorities, which are responsible for issuing breeding licences to those people who breed five or more litters of puppies in a single year, as the current provisions are deemed to be ineffective. It agrees that compulsory microchipping of dogs and increased public education to stop people falling prey to puppy farmers and to help them find responsible breeders are necessary.

It is also glad that the report recognises the need for a ‘robustly policed and well respected quality assurance scheme’, consisting of breeders that buyers can trust to look after their puppies’ health and welfare, and that it suggests that the Kennel Club’s Accredited Breeder Scheme, with some modification could be used.

However, the Kennel Club is concerned that the report could have gone further and that its recommendations do not appear directly to cover those breeders who breed less than five litters per year and who are not part of the Kennel Club Accredited Breeder Scheme. The Kennel Club would have liked to have seen a recommendation for regulation to ensure that these breeders follow higher standards, such as compulsory health testing.

Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club spokesperson, said: “Whilst the report recognises that the majority of breeders are responsible, there are those whose actions are bringing the rest of the dog breeding community into disrepute and this needs to be stopped.

“We are glad that the report recognises that the Kennel Club has made a good start in its efforts to unite responsible breeders within its Accredited Breeder Scheme, for the benefit of puppies and puppy buyers, and we believe that this should be the basis for moving forward. We are currently working towards UKAS accreditation of the scheme as suggested by Professor Bateson.

“We agree that responsible breeders should be rewarded and believe that the show ring is the best forum for this. The report recognises that ‘dog showing and judging are a powerful lever for change’ and the Kennel Club is dedicated to ensuring that only the healthiest dogs are rewarded at shows.

“Public education is vital and all dog welfare organisations must continue to work together to ensure that people know what to look for when buying a dog.”

The report looks at genetic diversity in breeds and recognises that the Kennel Club has banned close matings. It advises that future decisions about matings that could affect genetic diversity should be ‘breed specific’ and made upon evidence based scientific information and advice. To this end it is recommended that the veterinary profession should gather data to show the prevalence of certain diseases and that an advisory council should develop evidence based breeding strategies.

Mrs Kisko continued: “The Kennel Club has long recognised that genetic diversity plays a crucial role in safeguarding the health of dogs and the report is absolutely right to suggest that there are no further blanket rules in place but that decisions are
based upon scientific knowledge and are made on a breed by breed basis. This is why we are well on the way to creating a new database which will revolutionise the way that we record dog health data. The data will enable us to bring out our Mate Select programme, which will help breeders to find suitable mating pairs which are most likely to produce healthy offspring. The database will go further than the report’s recommendation, as the data will be attributable to specific dogs, rather than being anonymous, and will give us a better picture of the health of pedigrees and crossbreeds. Such knowledge is critical and will enable us to provide information to breeders, vets, geneticists and ultimately the puppy buyer.

“We are keen to harness as much knowledge as possible for the benefit of dogs so we welcome the principle of an advisory council whose members will work with the Kennel Club to advise on decisions about breeding and health. A structure already exists in the form of the Kennel Club’s Dog Health Group with its recently extended remit. Additional independent experts include canine and human geneticists, veterinary surgeons and an epidemiologist. Using this framework for establishing the advisory council under an independent chairman would save significant sums of money, which can instead be devoted entirely to the dog health research that the report identified as being in ‘urgent’ need of more funding.”

The Kennel Club and Dogs Trust will now arrange a meeting between all relevant parties in order to move forward with the recommendations from all three reports.

For A Complete Report Click Here

Go To Top Of Page


Independent Inquiry into Dog Breeding

After a ten month long inquiry, Professor Sir Patrick Bateson FRS called for a non-statutory Advisory Council on Dog Breeding, changes in the law including a requirement for all puppies to be micro-chipped prior to sale, and an up-graded Accredited Breeder Scheme.

Speaking in London today, Prof Bateson (of Cambridge University and President of the Zoological Society of London) said:

“Many breeders exercise high standards of welfare, but negligent management on puppy farms is a major welfare issue as is inbreeding in pure-bred dogs. Fashions for extreme conformations are also a cause of welfare problems.”

Professor Bateson also called for a system to collect data from veterinary practices in order to generate robust prevalence data breed by breed; and for the veterinary profession as a whole to support enforcement authorities, help educate the public, and lead a shift towards a preventative approach to dog health.

The Report concludes that dog-breeding raises a number of serious concerns about the welfare of dogs. Key recommendations include:

• The creation of an independent non-statutory Council to develop breeding strategies which address issues of inherited disease, extreme conformation and inbreeding.
• Changes in the law including requirements for the compulsory micro-chipping of all puppies and a duty of care on all breeders to have regard to the health and welfare of both the parents and the offspring of a mating.
• The need for a robust Accredited Breeder Scheme setting out requirements with regard to pre-mating health tests, purchasers being able to view a puppy with its mother, all puppies micro-chipped before sale etc.
• An urgent need for the creation of a computer-based system for the collection of anonymised diagnoses from veterinary surgeries in order to provide prevalence data for each breed.
• New regulations to replace the now out-dated breeding and sales of dogs legislation, and much better enforcement of good welfare on licensed dog breeding premises.
• A new publicity and education campaign, delivered by all key dog and welfare organisations working together, to encourage a major improvement in how the public go about buying dogs.

For A Complete Report Click Here

Go To Top Of Page


REGISTRATION OF A LOW URIC ACID DALMATIAN IMPORT FROM THE USA

At its meeting on 5th January 2010, the Kennel Club General Committee accepted an application to register an imported Dalmatian produced from a breeding programme which was originated with an intentional Pointer/Dalmatian cross. This cross-breeding was carried out in the USA as part of a programme aimed at introducing the low (or normal) uric acid gene into the Dalmatian breed.

This decision is subject to certain conditions, which include the dog being examined by two Championship Show judges to confirm that its external appearance and characteristics are representative of the breed.

The decision taken by the General Committee is in line with the Kennel Club’s commitment to consider applications to register dogs from out-crossings and inter-variety matings if it is felt that to do so may present potential health and welfare benefits.

The Kennel Club consulted the Dalmatian breed clubs on this matter and their joint feedback was considered at length by the General Committee before arriving at this decision.

Background
It is believed that the Dalmatian breed is fixed for a recessive mutation of a gene that alters uric acid metabolism, resulting in increased urinary excretion of uric acid. This gene is not expressed in most other breeds of dog which excrete lower amounts of uric acid in their urine.

The use of a recently developed DNA test for this genetic mutation on Dalmatians in the USA has shown that the frequency of the normal gene is close to zero in the USA population of the breed. Similar DNA testing of the UK population has yet to be undertaken, but it is likely that a comparable scenario exists in the UK population of Dalmatians.

Some years ago in the USA, a cross-breeding was carried out between a Dalmatian and a Pointer with the intention of producing offspring that were low uric acid (LUA) excretors, because the Pointer used in the cross would not have carried the mutant gene. The offspring from this mating and their descendants have subsequently been back-crossed with purebred Dalmatians over many successive generations

Decision
Recently, the Kennel Club received a proposal to register an imported LUA Dalmatian that is descended from the initial Pointer/Dalmatian cross. The outcross Pointer appears at least 13 generations back in the pedigree of the imported dog. In line with the general aim of the KC to help individual breeders and breed clubs to improve the health and welfare of future litters, the General Committee has agreed to register this imported LUA Dalmatian subject to confirmation from two championship Show judges that the imported dog’s external appearance and characteristics are representative of the breed.

The registration records of this dog and its descendants will be annotated by the KC’s normal asterisk system whereby the progeny of the first mating between the dog and a registered Dalmatian, the F1 progeny, will have their registrations annotated with three asterisks.Then, when F1 progeny are bred from, their progeny, the F2 progeny, will be annotated with two asterisks.F2 progeny will produce F3 progeny which will be registered with one asterisk.The F4 and subsequent generations will have no special annotation.

In addition to the above conditions the committee also agreed that the registrations of all progeny would be endorsed with the restriction ‘Not eligible for Export Pedigree’ for the next five years, and the owners would be required to submit a health report, to include BAER testing results, on all progeny in five years’ time.

Go To Top Of Page


YKC Launches ‘Artist of the Year’ Competition

The Young Kennel Club is looking for those budding artists among its members, who have perfectly captured their canine friends in art, with its second annual ‘Artist of the Year’ competition.

Entries may be produced by paint, pastel, pencil, pen or crayon, with the best pictures displayed at DFS Crufts 2010.

The theme this year will be ‘celebrating healthy happy dogs’. Prizes will be awarded for the artwork that, in the opinion of the judges, explores this theme, with special recognition for originality and creativity.

There are three age categories for the competition, 6-11 years old, 12-16 years old and 17-24 years old, with one overall winner then chosen. Each age group winner will receive an artist’s bumper gift set and certificate, with the overall winner receiving a free year’s YKC membership and family ticket to DFS Crufts.

Rules of entry:
1. You must be a YKC member.
2. All entries must be received by 19th February 2010.
3. You may only enter one piece of artwork and the artwork must be your own.
4. Your entry should be submitted in flat format and should be no larger than A3 in size.
5. Framed entries will not be accepted.
6. No responsibility will be accepted for entries lost, damaged or delayed in transit.
7. We will only be able to return artwork to you if you send a fully stamped addressed envelope with your entry.

Go To Top Of Page


KENNEL CLUB PEDIGREE DOG REGISTRATIONS RECORDING OF COLOURS

The Kennel Club’s online registration service is growing ever more popular and the Kennel Club’s IT department is keen to ensure that the system is as user-friendly as possible.

The subject of colour is always a sensitive issue and the Kennel Club’s principal aim in recording coat colour on registrations is that breeders and potential purchasers should be fully informed about the colour of a dog.

The list of available colours for each breed has been reviewed with this in mind, and also taking into account any specific issues raised by Breed Clubs and Breed Councils in the past. Therefore, where a colour does exist in a breed, even if the Breed Standard states that it may be undesirable, this will usually be included in the list of colour options.

The new IT system for the recording of coat colours on registrations became effective for online breed registrations and for paper applications with effect from 11th January 2010.

Until recently, it had been the norm to use the term ‘non-standard’ for some breed colours which are not mentioned in Breed Standards. This terminology has been changed to ‘non-recognised colour’ but is only available for those breeds where colour restrictions had previously been agreed.

If Breed Clubs and Councils have concerns about the list of available colours given for their breed, they should contact Caroline Hallett at the Kennel Club via caroline.hallett@thekennelclub.org.uk, bearing in mind the above limitations.

Go To Top Of Page


GERMAN SHEPHERD DOGS (ALSATIAN)

At its meeting on 5th January 2010, the Kennel Club General Committee again looked at the issues surrounding GSDs.

As previously reported, the Kennel Club has been very disappointed with the lack of progress made following meetings held with the GSD Partnership during 2008/9. Failure to agree the Minutes of the meeting of the 18th August 2009 is particularly frustrating, especially as the problem of unsoundness in the hindquarters and hocks of some dogs is widely acknowledged within the breed.

The Kennel Club has been waiting since July 2009 for the GSD community as a whole to suggest a meaningful and practical way forward which addresses those health and welfare issues in the breed which have been legitimately raised by the Kennel Club. This has not happened and the Kennel Club, as it indicated it might three weeks ago, has now chosen to take some proactive steps with those individual breed clubs which are prepared to help. This is an attempt to safeguard the health and welfare of the breed and to secure its future and has been the Kennel Club’s sole motivation throughout its discussions with the GSD breed community.

Basically only those eligible clubs which accept that

there is a degree of unsoundness in the hindquarters of the breed
that these problems should be penalised at shows and
that Kennel Club rules on double handling will be adhered to in future
will be allocated 2012 Challenge Certificates. Those who do not accept this will not be given the privilege of Kennel Club Challenge Certificate status.

Therefore, at its meeting this week, the Kennel Club General Committee agreed detailed proposals which set out exactly what steps breed clubs and others need to take in order to start to address the major issues within the GSD breed and thus allow for the 2012 allocation of the Kennel Club’s highest award, the Challenge Certificate. That allocation had been deferred pending a proposed resolution to the problems.

In order to be considered for an allocation of Kennel Club Challenge Certificates, all GSD Breed Clubs and General & Group Championship Show Societies, which had previously been allocated Challenge Certificates, and wish to have such Certificates in future, are to be required to sign a formal Undertaking to abide by certain conditions for all future shows with immediate effect.

Only those Societies which agree to this Undertaking will be considered for an allocation of Kennel Club Challenge Certificates for GSDs in 2012 and beyond.

The Kennel Club has written to all GSD breed clubs and affected General & Group Championship Show Societies giving full details of the required Undertaking. A deadline of 31st March 2010 for the receipt of signed Undertakings has been set.

Kennel Club Chairman, Ronnie Irving, explained, “The Committee felt it had no choice but to take positive and practical steps now with individual clubs in view of the failure of the GSD community as a whole to respond. Six months have elapsed since the Kennel Club asked for these issues to be addressed and there has been a great deal of talk but not much action. We couldn’t allow this situation to continue unresolved on an open-ended basis.

The requirements in the Undertakings are entirely reasonable. I hope that the GSD community will embrace this as an opportunity to take the positive actions necessary to address those breed issues that are apparent to everyone in the world of dogs.”

The Undertaking that German Shepherd Dog (Alsatian) Breed Clubs are requested to sign, requires acceptance and adherence of the following conditions:

1. The Club recognises that it will not be allocated Kennel Club Challenge Certificates for German Shepherd Dogs (Alsatian) unless it signifies agreement of the conditions set out below and provides written confirmation of such agreement by the Club’s Secretary and Chairman.

2. The Club accepts that there is a degree of unsoundness in the hindquarters of the breed and in particular in the hocks of some dogs and that these problems are to be penalised at shows.

3. The Club will arrange education of its judges on the correct conformation and movement of the breed; viz – the above faults should be avoided.

4. The Club will brief judges prior to all its shows on their health and welfare responsibilities particularly in regard to soundness of conformation.

5. The Club will adhere to Kennel Club Regulation F(1) paragraph 17h; “The attracting of the attention of exhibits by any method from outside the ring is prohibited. It is the duty of the Judge, Steward and Show Management noticing such attraction to ask that it cease.

6. The Kennel Club escalation procedure with regard to the practice of Outside Attraction (Double Handling) will be adhered to.

7. The Club will ensure that its judges and stewards are under contract in writing to abide by Regulation F(1) paragraph 17h. and that they will adhere to the escalation procedure. Specific wording (as supplied by the Kennel Club) to this effect must be included in the judges’ and stewards’ contract letters.

8. The Club confirms that those who do not abide by the above provisions will be reported to the Kennel Club within seven days of the last day of the show.

9. The Club confirms that it will act in good faith with the Kennel Club on all matters including confirmation that it will not, without the express permission of the Kennel Club, run any events under the rules or regulations of any organisation other than the Kennel Club.

10. Upon request, and in any event annually, the Club will provide a report confirming and demonstrating compliance with these conditions to include reports on any required enforcement of Regulation F(1) paragraph 17h. and how this was achieved.

A report on agreement to comply, and compliance with these conditions, will be required during the autumn of 2010 before a review of the Kennel Club Challenge Certificate allocation for 2013 is carried out and it is intended that this requirement will continue on a rolling basis.

A practical demonstration that there are definite plans in place and actions commenced in order to comply with these conditions will be required in an annual report and any evidence and reports of non compliance will be relevant factors when considering the Club’s next allocation of Challenge Certificates.

The Undertaking that General and Group Championship Show Societies are requested to sign, requires acceptance and adherence of the following conditions:

1. The Society recognises that it will not be allocated Kennel Club Challenge Certificates for German Shepherd Dogs (Alsatian) unless it signifies agreement to the conditions set out below and provides written confirmation of such agreement by the Society’s Secretary and Chairman.

2. The Society will adhere to Kennel Club Regulation F(1) paragraph 17h;
“The attracting of the attention of exhibits by any method from outside the ring is prohibited. It is the duty of the Judge, Steward or Show Management noticing such attraction to ask that it cease.”

3. The Kennel Club escalation procedure with regard to the practice of Outside Attraction (Double Handling) will be adhered to.

4. The Society will ensure its judges are under contract in writing to abide by Regulation F(1) paragraph 17h. and that they will adhere to the escalation procedure. Wording to be included in the judges’ contract letters given at Annex B.

5. The Society confirms that those who do not abide by the above provisions will be reported to the Kennel Club within seven days of the last day of the show.

6. The Society confirms that as far as is possible, German Shepherd Dogs (Alsatian) will be allocated to a breed ring in a position amongst the other show rings.

7. Upon request, and in any event annually, the Society will provide a report confirming and demonstrating compliance with these conditions to include reports on any required enforcement of Regulation F(1) paragraph 17h and how this was achieved.

Go To Top Of Page


THE END OF BACK STREET BREEDERS?

Legislation has been published in the Irish Republic which, according to Environment Minister John Gormley, will put an end to ‘back-street dog breeders’.
The minister acknowledged that the proposed law, titled the Dog Breeding Establishments Bill 2009, has been a long time in preparation – over three years – but promised to have it approved by parliament ‘at the earliest possible date’.
The Bill defines a breeding establishment is any premises which has six or more bitches who are more than four months old and ‘capable of being used for breeding purposes’. This does not include local authority dog pounds.
Anyone who already runs ‘a breeding establishment’ would have to apply to their local council for permission to do so no later than three months after the law is approved.
Every dog at the premises must be microchipped.

Proposed fees

The proposed fees breeders would face would be 400 euros for no more than 12 bitches, 800 euros for less than 13 and no more than 25, 1,600 euros for less than 26 and no more than 100, and 3,000 euros for no less than 101 and no more than 200.
Mr Gormley believes that if the legislation is passed it will provide safeguards for dogs in breeding establishments while offering assurances to customers about the treatment of puppies and their mothers.
“We have all seen some of the appalling images of illegal puppy farms,” he said. “This legislation will put and end to the operations of back-street dog breeders.”
The Bill requires all breeding establishments to be registered by the local authority and to pay an annual registration fee. Such establishments would be subject to regular inspections by the local authority which may refuse to register a premises deemed unsuitable or one in need of improvement. It would become an offence for any unregistered establishment to continue in business except where a closure order is being appealed.
Hunt clubs, commercial boarding kennels and charitable dog operations such as mountain rescue teams would be exempt from fees but must also register and be subject to inspection. Existing breeding establishments would be permitted to operate for three months after the legislation takes effect, but could then be closed down by the local authority if they did not qualify for the register.
All approved premises would receive a registration certificate which must be displayed prominently. Penalties for failure to display it, or for providing false information or obstructing authorised personnel, would range from a €5,000 fine to six months’ imprisonment, with the fines going to the relevant local authority.
The Bill also provides for an establishment to be removed from the register by court order if there has been a breach of regulations or a threat to public health or animal welfare.
The minister, who is also leader of the Irish Green Party, said there had been ‘significant ongoing consultation with a variety of interested parties’ on the legislation, including the Hunting Association of Ireland and the Irish SPCA, and that he believed the Bill was stronger as a result of their input.
“We think that the bad old days, with the cruelties of some dog-breeding establishments, will be left behind,” he said.
The proposed legislation was welcomed by the operations manager of the Dublin SPCA, Orla Aungier, who claimed the lack of regulation had led to the Irish Republic being dubbed ‘the puppy-breeding capital of Europe’.

Bateson enquiry

“We have seen animals in appalling conditions, being bred solely for commercial gain,” she said. “This Bill will afford such animals protection by providing for inspection, accountability and traceability. We see it as a first step in bringing Irish animal welfare legislation up to international standards.”
While the Irish Republic is hoping to clamp down on puppy farmers, the findings of the Kennel Club/Dogs Trust-funded independent enquiry into dog breeding are due to be revealed on Thursday. Professor Patrick Bateson has concluded his report and it has been sent out for peer review – but without its recommendations.
An article in The Times this week suggested that the report recommends a compulsory registration scheme for breeders of any kind of dog and that – like the Dog Breeding Establishments Bill – breeders will have to be registered and subject to checks on their dogs and premises. The article also suggests that puppies would have to be sold with a veterinary certificate guaranteeing their health and giving the names of their sire and dam and the breeder’s registered number. All dogs would have to be microchipped.
Neither the KC nor Dogs Trust has seen the report; the article’s contents have not been confirmed to Terrier World and was described by one source as ‘entirely speculative’.The inquiry’s secretary, Heather Peck, said: “The Times’ reporter did have a discussion with Professor Bateson but he didn’t tell her any of the report’s conclusions and recommendations because no one is being told until January 14. She may have drawn inferences.”

Go To Top Of Page


NEW DOG HEALTH GROUP TO EXPAND KENNEL CLUB’S HEALTH WORK

The Kennel Club is expanding the scope of the work undertaken by the group responsible for dog health and welfare, as part of its ongoing commitment in this area. It is appointing additional experts in dog health and genetics to ensure that scientific advances are harnessed for the benefit of pedigree health.

The Dog Health Group, which will replace the existing Kennel Club Breed Health and Welfare Strategy Group (BHWSG), will be responsible for ensuring that breeding rules and health testing requirements evolve to give dogs the best chance of leading healthy happy lives. The group will also play a crucial role in the continued development of the Kennel Club Accredited Breeder Scheme, advising on new health tests that members of the scheme will be required to have carried out on their dogs. The new group will include an additional two veterinary surgeons, which will take the number of vets sitting on the group to four.

A range of external experts, including human and dog geneticists and further veterinary surgeons, will sit on the new subgroups which will feed their knowledge into and advise the Dog Health Group. The subgroups will be:

Breed Standards and Conformation Sub-Group – to monitor, advise and work with breed clubs and councils on health issues related to dog conformation and breed standards.
Genetics and Health Screening Sub-Group – to advise on the development of health screening tests and their effectiveness, assess new tests that may be incorporated into the Kennel Club Accredited Breeder Scheme. It will also advise on breeding and registration issues that protect or enhance genetic diversity in individual breeds.
Accredited Breeder Scheme Sub-Group – to put into operation health screening requirements and recommendations that have been agreed by the Dog Health Group and breed clubs and councils.
The Dog Health Group and its subgroups will replace the Breed Health and Welfare Strategy Group, which was formed in 2004 with the primary task of reviewing the breed standards to ensure that they contained no wording that encouraged exaggerations that would be detrimental to pedigree dog health.

Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club Secretary, said: “We want 2010 and beyond to be positive years for pedigree dogs and, in the absence of effective government regulation to control dog breeding, this restructured group will play a critical role.

“Scientific advances in the last ten years have given us an exciting opportunity to improve pedigree dog health and has led to a significant expansion of the health and welfare work that the Kennel Club is able to undertake. This new group will coordinate and advise on all aspects of this work, using vital information about dog diseases and how they are inherited to direct the Kennel Club’s future decisions and actions.

“The Kennel Club, in conjunction with the British Veterinary Association, has already been able to develop health screening for eye diseases, hip and elbow dysplasia and a number of DNA tests but we want to be able to develop even more tests. That is why we will appoint a wide range of vets, breeders and human and dog geneticists, who are experts in their field, in order to help us achieve this.”

The creation of the Dog Health Group, and before this the Breed Health and Welfare Strategy Group, is one of many steps taken by the Kennel Club to ensure the future health and welfare of pedigree dogs specifically, and all dogs in general. Such steps include the review of all breed standards; the establishment of the Kennel Club and Animal Health Trust Canine Genetics Centre to accelerate research into inherited diseases; a ban on parent to child and sibling dog matings in 2009; co-funding of the world’s largest survey into pedigree health in 2004 and assistance with Imperial College’s research into genetic diversity of breeds.

The Kennel Club is the largest organisation in the UK devoted to dog health, welfare and training. It invests the money that it makes from registrations and its Petlog identification database into its dog training and education programmes and the Kennel Club Charitable Trust, which supports dog welfare charities and research into dog diseases.

Go To Top Of Page