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KC To Hand Crufts BOB Health-Check Duties To Independent Vets?

Independent Vets provided by the British Veterinary Association (BVA) will health check BOB winners of the 15 ‘high-profile’ breeds at Crufts next year if a Kennel Club plan goes ahead.

The KC said on Friday: “We have asked the BVA to carry out these veterinary inspections in order to ensure absolute independence of the inspections.

“If this is agreed by BVA those carrying out the inspections will receive the same training which has already been undertaken by many of the vets covering the other general championship shows in order to ensure that a single standard is maintained across the board.”

Other general ch shows will make their own arrangements regarding the inspections, the KC said, although it is expected that they will be carried out by their usual show vet.

The KC announced in January that the 15 BOBs at Crufts would need to be given a clean bill of health by the show vet before their awards are confirmed and they are allowed to continue to compete at the show.

In addition, before the champion title of any dog or bitch within these breeds can be confirmed the dog will have to undergo the same procedure at a group or general championship show.

The breeds are the Basset Hound, Bloodhound, Bulldog, Chinese Crested, Chow Chow, Clumber Spaniel, Dogue de Bordeaux, French Bulldog, German Shepherd Dog, Mastiff, Neapolitan Mastiff, Pekingese, Pug, Shar-Pei and the St Bernard.

Vets will be looking for signs of ectropion, entropion, corneal damage, dermatitis, breathing difficulty on moderate exercise, lameness and skin disorders.

“The vets will be directed only to prevent dogs from going forward if they are suffering from some clinical problem which obviously adversely affects the dog’s wellbeing,” the KC said at in January.

“They will not be permitted to exclude dogs merely for aesthetic reasons or because of exaggerations alone unless these are causing the dog some adverse clinical effect on its health or welfare.”

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The Assured Breeder Scheme

Members of the Assured Breeder Scheme (ABS) now stands at more than 7,500 – all people who are breeding dogs with health and welfare at the forefront of their mind, according to Kennel Club chairman Prof Steve Dean.

Statistics at the KC’s disposal suggest that the average pedigree dog breeder produces a litter every three years, he said in the December edition of the Kennel Gazette, which, he said confirmed that pedigree dog breeding was essentially a hobby, and that pedigree dogs were bred primarily to maintain a breeding line and the supply of puppies to the public was secondary.

But this did not mean that the ABS should exclude those who breed large numbers of puppies, Prof Dean continued, even if they were ‘commercial endeavours’ which either supplemented or provided part of a regular income.

“Many people want to own a pedigree dog and the KC’s ambition to help people obtain a puppy from breeders who are most likely to ensure it has a long and happy life is surely justified,” he said. “A consensus view on the definition of puppy farming is difficult to obtain, but by agreeing that we wish to end dog breeding that seeks to make a financial profit at the expense of health and welfare is a major step forward.”

Ideally, anyone who wants to breed dogs should be a member of the ABS, he continued: “Because this allows independent assurance of their facilities and processes for whelping and caring for the litter, and allows the public to differentiate the unscrupulous from the caring dog breeder.”

The ABS aims to set a level of best practice in breeding and rearing puppies and offer the general public assurance and support in buying a new puppy, he continued. The concept of a UKAS-accredited scheme for breeders – as recommended by Professor Sir Patrick Bateson in his enquiry into breeding – is being considered by the Dog Advisory Council, he said, and the KC had responded to its questions about the ABS.

“How a compulsory nationwide scheme would operate without an organisation like the KC to administer the operation is yet to be defined,” Prof Dean said. “However, accreditation of the ABS would place those who are members in a strong position should this ever gain political approval.”

He went on: “The scheme has evolved and improved in response to comment and criticism and is now on course to achieve formal accreditation from UKAS. As a result, everyone who breeds a litter as an assured breeder will require a visit to ensure they are meeting the standard expected.”

When asked to elaborate about the UKAS accreditation, the KC declined to comment further.
“Cost will always be an issue, and at the current rates the ABS cannot be accused of being a money making exercise; indeed the opposite is true,” Prof Dean continued. “Furthermore, cost inevitably rises as inspection of every ABS member will be an accreditation requirement.

“Nevertheless, the benefits justify the investment. The KC can influence an ABS member to act responsibly, breed clubs can enforce the reasonable breed-specific health testing they seek to encourage, and potential dog owners can gain reassurance that there will be advice and support for them before and after the purchase of their puppies.”

Prof Dean said he found it hard to understand why some people were against the ABS and why breed clubs were not encouraging their members to join.

“Perhaps the most asked question is why should I bother to join – what can the ABS do for me?” he wrote. “Well, there are benefits, but surely this is the wrong question? The ABS is not there to sell more puppies, recognise past success in the show ring or enhance a dog breeder’s reputation. It is an assurance that those registered are committed to breed healthy, well-socialised puppies and will provide the new dog owner with reasonable support and advice to ensure the dog and owner have the best chance of making a success of their new partnership.

“The right question must surely be, ‘What can I do to make the ABS a success?’, for this is the best opportunity we have as a community to drive the irresponsible dog breeders out of the market.”

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THE KENNEL CLUB TO LIMIT THEIR LIABILITIES
Kennel Club moves closer to becoming a company limited by guarantee at SGM

The Members of the Kennel Club have today agreed to the principle of the Club becoming incorporated as a Company Limited by Guarantee at a Special General Meeting which was held at the Park Lane Hotel, Piccadilly.

At the meeting, Kennel Club Members agreed to a change to the Club’s Rules ‘to allow for the authority to restructure and transfer Club assets by way of a scheme of reconstruction to a Company Limited by Guarantee with similar objects to the Club and to be known as the Kennel Club.’

What it means for members
Under incorporation, existing members would automatically become members of the new legal entity, with limited liability and would still be called Members. New Members would simply be added to the Register of Members subject to current procedures and agreed limits. The General Committee would become the Board of the Kennel Club but would continue to be called the General Committee. Members would retain all the voting rights regarding committees that they currently have and the ability to raise resolutions at general meetings.

At the SGM, the Kennel Club outlined the three main reasons for incorporation as follows:

•To remove personal liability for the trustees and GC members.
•It is the modern recognised and accepted organisational structure for bodies such as clubs and sports’ governing bodies and many such bodies have already incorporated.
•To protect the Kennel Club’s assets for the benefit of the world of dogs as a whole.
Steve Dean, Kennel Club Chairman said: “We are pleased that Members have agreed to the principle of incorporation and will be working hard to see this process through to completion now.

“The Members will now be presented with a revised version of the Kennel Club’s Constitution for approval at next year’s AGM and should they approve it, it is envisaged that the Kennel Club would look to incorporate at the end of December 2012.”

If approved, the Kennel Club will join a large number of similar bodies, including Richmond Dog Show Society, Lansdowne Club, Royal Aeronautical Society, Football Association and Lawn Tennis Association in becoming a Company Limited by Guarantee.

The Kennel Club AGM will take place on Wednesday 16th May 2012.

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THE KENNEL CLUB MOVES FROM CLARGES STREET TO CLARGES STREET
Kennel Club agrees property move at historic SGM

The Members of the Kennel Club have today agreed to move from their present London headquarters, at a historic Special General Meeting which was held at the Park Lane Hotel, Piccadilly.

The Club has agreed to move to a neighbouring property in Clarges Street, following a bid to buy its current Mayfair home, from Chelsfield Partners, as part of a wider redevelopment of the area.

At the meeting, Kennel Club Members agreed ‘to empower the Trustees of the Kennel Club to negotiate the matter to a satisfactory conclusion on terms no less favourable than those presented to the meeting.’

These terms were:-

•That alternative accommodation provided must be freehold and fit for purpose and retain all functionality as 1-5 Clarges Street.
•That any move must be cost and tax neutral to the Kennel Club.
•That there must be a sufficient incentive figure for the Kennel Club to move.
•That the Kennel Club and its business must be protected during and after the full term of the development and from latent defects.
•That the project is to be delivered as scheduled, on budget, and with no material risk to the Kennel Club.
Steve Dean, Kennel Club Chairman said: “We are very pleased that the Members have agreed to this historic move, as it will bring with it £12 million of funding which we can put back in to the world of dogs as part of our ongoing work to ensure the health and welfare of all dogs.

“This money will be invested wisely, and all decisions on how to utilise it will be given careful consideration to ensure that we get the maximum benefit from the great opportunity which is before us.

“I would also like to assure Members and anyone else who uses the Kennel Club and its many services, that we will be working hard with our partners throughout this moving process to keep any disruption caused to an absolute minimum.”

The Kennel Club has been at its present address of 1-5 Clarges Street for over 50 years, since purchasing it in 1957, with the freehold acquired in 1964.

The Kennel Club’s new home will be within Clarges House, which will be completely renovated and refurbished before the Kennel Club moves. The proposed date for the move is 2014, with more precise information to be provided nearer to the time.

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MEMBERS TO DECIDE ON LIMITED COMPANY

A momentous meeting in the Kennel Club’s history is to take place next month at which members will decide whether the KC should become a limited company.

The move is being suggested so the KC can plan its next move regarding the proposed redevelopment of the area in Mayfair which includes its own headquarters in Clarges Street.

The developers want to turn the site into shops, restaurants, a courtyard dining area, flats and offices, plus the KC’s facilities, but the entire scheme is reliant on the KC selling its property to them.

Regarding relocation and financial benefit, the KC is aware that it is in a commanding position to secure a good deal for itself. As a national newspaper quipped recently, the KC could be ‘offered a juicy bone to skedaddle’ and allow developer Sir Stuart Lipton to get cracking on his multi-million pound scheme.

And it may be that the KC’s ‘flash new kennel’ could be very close to its existing one. The planning application, which was approved recently, allows for the KC to move next door to Clarges House, at 6-13 Clarges Street.

The application – which may still have conditions attached to it – gives permission for ‘the demolition of buildings at 1-5 Clarges Street, 82-84 Piccadilly and 29 Bolton Street, partial demolition of existing building at 6-13 Clarges Street, and part redevelopment/part refurbishment and alteration of the site over four blocks…block C: refurbishment of the retained part of the existing building at 6-13 Clarges Street and rear wing extension at first to fifth floor levels, for use by the Kennel Club as offices, member’s lounge, bar and dining facilities, library, museum, gallery, records storage and temporary overnight sleeping accommodation for staff; with vehicle parking, plant and ancillary uses at basement level, and plant at roof level.

KC members will have an opportunity to air their views and concerns at a special general meeting in London’s Park Lane Hotel on November 21. There they will be asked to ‘empower the trustees of the KC to negotiate the matter to a satisfactory conclusion on terms no less favourable than those presented to the meeting’.

They will also be asked to consider a proposal to restructure the KC as a company limited by guarantee, and an amendment to the ‘A’ rules to allow for the authority to restructure and transfer KC assets by way of a scheme of reconstruction to a company limited by guarantee with similar objects to the KC and ‘to be known as the Kennel Club’.

The proposed rule reads, ‘distribution of assets by way of reconstruction – the club may transfer its assets by way of a scheme of reconstruction to a company limited by guarantee with similar objects to the club and then dissolve, if such proposal is supported by a majority of two-thirds of more of the members present and voting in person at a meeting’.

Members will also be asked to grant a loan to the Animal Health Trust in order to create a centre for the study and treatment of cancer to be known as the KC Cancer Centre.

All these points have, of course, been discussed already by the General Committee.

There have been rumours of relocation in the past when it became clear that 1-5 Clarges Street was too small to house the KC’s entire workforce. In 1999 an offer of £9.5 million was offered for the property – greater than its market value at the time – but at an SGM members voted for the club to stay in London. It was agreed that the registration and Petlog services should be moved to a new, leased property in Aylesbury and the Mayfair offices undergo a £1.5m refurbishment.

Any rumours of a move ceased until autumn last year when the developers’ plan to redevelop the prime Mayfair site gained strength and credibility.

Speculation among members became rife, and the then chairman Ronnie Irving wrote to them explaining that anyone could submit an application which included someone else’s property.

“If these discussions were to reach a stage where any decision by the club became necessary, the General Committee would, of course, ensure that a general meeting of members could be sought for any resulting proposals,” he wrote at the time.

He concluded: “I can assure members that the club is taking its normal professional advice on these matters and that you as members will be contacted again if any substantive proposals require to be considered.”

That contact has now been made, and the meeting arranged.

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It Should Be Unequivocal - Allow It Or Ban It.
As They Say; You Cannot Be Just A Little Bit Pregnant!

A little use of lacquer, hairspray and chalk should be allowed, say those at meeting.

Moderate use of lacquer, hairspray and chalk when preparing dogs for the show ring should be allowed. This was the general feeling of those present at the Kennel Club’s much-anticipated coat-testing meeting on Wednesday.

Discussion was split into two sections at the KC’s Building at Stoneleigh – the first focused on the use of lacquer and hairspray and the second, in the afternoon, was dedicated to the use of chalk.

Chairman was Dr Ron James, who was assisted by a panel comprising Keith Young, Annette Oliver and Pat Sutton. Present were about 120 people who had been invited by the KC, those who had given their views on the subject as part of the consultation process.

Also present were representatives of many breeds, including each variety of Poodle, Bull Terrier and West Highland White Terrier, and those from breed clubs and councils including the Samoyed Association and breed council, Miniature Schnauzer Club, Yorkshire Terrier Club, Yorkshire Terrier Club of Scotland, South Western Yorkshire Terrier Club and the Afghan Hound breed council.

At the KC’s AGM in May, exhibitor Mike Gadsby proposed that testing for powder, lacquer and silicone-based grooming products should end, and after much debate members voted for a compromise, allowing for a temporary suspension to the practice while the KC consulted public opinion.

Breed clubs and individuals were asked to submit their comments resulting in 167 responses – 13 from breed clubs and 154 submissions from individuals. Of these, 114 were against the continuation of coat testing and 53 in favour.

At the end of Wednesday’s debate, Mr Gadsby said that he had taken many positives from the meeting.

He said the presentation of Poodles for the show ring had remained ‘exactly the same as before the cease fire’, as he called the KC’s suspension of testing.

“We continue to use a little bit of lacquer to frame the face,” he said. “We are not trying to change the texture of the body of the coat. We never wanted to use more hairspray than we were already using – nothing excessive.”

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ABS Accolades Open Up For Rare Breeds

An updated rule within the Kennel Club’s Assured Breeder Scheme means that the accolades offered under the scheme are now more accessible to breeders of non-CC breeds. These changes came about as a direct result of suggestions put to the Kennel Club by the Hovawart Club of Great Britain.

Stud Book Accolade
The Stud Book Accolade had previously been available to Assured Breeders who had bred three dogs which had each won a Kennel Club Stud Book number and/or three dogs of a non-CC breed which had each won Best of Breed (BOB) in breed classes or Imported Registered classes at a championship show on three occasions. The accolade now also takes into account BOB wins at breed club open shows for the non-CC breeds.

Accolade of Excellence
Similarly, the Accolade of Excellence had previously been available only to Assured Breeders who had bred five British champions, making it impossible for breeders of non-CC breeds to attain this accolade. An amendment to this rule now also allows nominations for this accolade to be sent in for Assured Breeders who have bred five dogs of a non-CC breed which have each won BOB or Best of Opposite Sex (BOS) in breed classes or Imported Register classes at a championship show and/or BOB or BOS at a breed club open show on three occasions.

Bill Lambert, Kennel Club Health & Breeder Services Manager, said “The Kennel Club has said all along that the Assured Breeder Scheme has been designed so it can evolve and develop. We were delighted to receive these proposals and it is only fair that breeders of non-CC breeds should be recognised for their breeding achievements. These latest changes to the rules of the ABS will go a long way to making these accolades accessible to Assured Breeders of breeds that do not qualify for CCs.”

Liz Whitmore, secretary of the Hovawart Club of Great Britain, added “We are so pleased that the Kennel Club has accepted our club’s proposals. It stands to reason that the accolades should be available to successful breeders of all breeds, not just the CC breeds. We would urge all Assured Breeders who think they qualify for these accolades to contact the KC to check eligibility.”

Assured Breeders of non-CC breeds who believe they qualify for the Stud Book Accolade can update their details, ensuring they list the dogs they have bred and their wins, by writing to Assured Breeder Scheme, The Kennel Club, 1 – 5 Clarges Street, Piccadilly, London W1J 8AB, or by emailing abs@thekennelclub.org.uk. Nominations for the Accolade of Excellence may be sent by breed clubs to the same address.

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Show Regulations Amended – Veterinary Checks For High Profile Breeds

The General Committee of the Kennel Club has approved changes to the Show Regulations to incorporate the forthcoming introduction of veterinary checks for high profile breeds winning top awards at Championship dog shows.

These changes are required as a result of the decision, announced in January this year, that all dogs of the fifteen high profile breeds which win Best of Breed at Crufts 2012 and all subsequent General and Group Championship Shows after that, will need to be given a clean bill of health by the show veterinary surgeon before their Best of Breed awards are confirmed and before they are allowed to continue to compete at the show. 

The K Regulations have also been amended to state that before a Champion title can be confirmed for any dog or bitch within these breeds, the dog will have to undergo a successful veterinary examination at a Group or General Championship Show.

The changes to the regulations are given below. It is important for judges in particular, to note the alteration to the Best of Breed award criteria which is effective for all breeds not just for high profile breeds. Previously judges were required to always declare a best of breed, however this is now discretionary. This particular change is as a result of discussions held with judges during the Non Sporting Group Judges’ meeting held in February this year. The Regulations have been altered to allow judges, if they so wish, not to declare a best of breed if for any reason the dogs before them are suffering from any visible condition which adversely affects their health or welfare. [F(1)21n refers] 

A list of the current high profile breeds can be found on the Kennel Club website at www.thekennelclub.org.uk/item/3951

Amendments and additions to Regulations F(1)7.b.; F(1)17.; F(1)27.; K2.a. and K2.b.

F(1)7. Awards

F(1)7.b.

Best of Breed.

Where a breed is separately classified a Best of Breed may be declared but only from those dogs which have received a first prize in a breed class at the show.  Where separate classes are provided for each sex of a breed a Best of each Sex must be declared.

F(1)17. Exhibition of Dogs

F(1)17. – Add new sub-paragraph j.

Before confirmation of a Best of Breed/Best Any Variety Not Separately Classified award and where appropriate a Champion award, for breeds designated by the Kennel Club as a High Profile Breed, exhibitors are required to present their dogs for examination to a General & Group Championship Show Veterinary Surgeon.  The result of the examinationshall be final.

 F(1)27.  Best in Show

F(1)27.

Definition of a High Profile Breed.  A breed from time to time designated by the General Committee as requiring particular monitoring by reason of visible condition(s) which may cause health or welfare concerns.  The list of designated High Profile Breeds is kept under regular review and is published from time to time in the Kennel Gazette.

a. Best of Breed.

Where a breed is separately classified a Best of Breed may be declared but only from those dogs which have received a first prize in a breed class at the show.  Where separate classes are provided for each sex of a breed a Best of each Sex must be declared.

NOTE:   The Best of Breed/Best Any Variety Not Separately Classified award relevant to a High Profile Breed will not be confirmed until the dog has passed anexamination by the General and Group Championship Show Veterinary Surgeon.

F(1)27.b.(1) Best in Group

(1). Best of Group

Best of Group and subsequent Group placings must be selected from:-

(a)       The Best of Breed winners in each Group provided that they are unbeaten winning dogs.

(b)       The best unbeaten winning dog from the Any Variety Not Separately Classified classes in each Group or on each day.

NOTE:   The dog declared Best of Breed/Best Any Variety Not Separately Classified from a breed designated by the Kennel Club as a High Profile Breed is not eligible to compete in the Group competition unless it has passed an examination by the Show’s Veterinary Surgeon.  If the dog fails to pass the examination it is ineligible to compete in the relevant Group.

K2.Championship Qualifications

K2.a. and K2.b. - Add new sub-paragraph:

Any dog from a breed designated by the Kennel Club as a High Profile Breed will not have its title of Champion confirmed until the dog has passed an examination by a General or Group Championship Show Veterinary Surgeon. The result of the examinationshall be final.

[Additions and amendments underlined]

Effective date: 1 March 2012.

General and Group Championship Show Societies

Specimen schedules

The specimen schedules for General and Group Championship Shows have been altered to include the new Best of Breed, Best in Show and Best in Group regulations and can be found on the Kennel Club’s website at www.thekennelclub.org.uk/item/277. These new regulations should be included in all schedules for all General and Group Championship Shows held after 1st March 2012.

Consultation meetings

Several meetings have been held during this year with General and Group Championship Show Veterinary Surgeons to take them through their responsibilities and a further meeting will be held on 13th December at the Kennel Club Building, Stoneleigh Park for General and Group Championship Show Society representatives. The aim of the meeting is to talk through this new procedure and to discuss ways in which these checks can be successfully carried out with minimal disruption to the overall running of championship shows.

Once this meeting has been held, the Kennel Club will then produce comprehensive guidance notes for exhibitors, judges and show officials.

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‘Spiteful’ Conduct Online Is Hurting Everyone Says KC

The Kennel Club has said it has no power to censor material on the internet, or censure those involved – unless the person involved is connected to the KC in an official capacity. But breed clubs worried about online content can refer its members to the KC’s new guidance, apply peer pressure on the person concerned and, if necessary, resort to the law.

Small minority

The KC is seeking to clarify how its social media policy, which is part of its code of conduct, will work. The policy provides guidance, the KC said, and reminds users of social media that they should treat people ‘with the same courtesy as they would wish to be treated’.

“There is a minority which currently uses the distance and/or anonymity of online interaction to insult or offend others,” said a spokesman this week. “Some of the complaints received have given us an indication of how a small minority is hurting all of us by indulging in what can only be described as spiteful, time wasting and very disappointing conduct.

“However, the KC, along with many other companies and governing bodies, has no direct remit or authority to censor material on the internet, or to censure those involved. It is presently unable to intervene directly, except in certain serious circumstances, where the person involved holds some official capacity recognised by the KC such as an approved judge, and their conduct is considered to incompatible with their standing.”

Breed clubs might want to apply the social media guidance to officials and members at club level, and through their own internal procedures, and request that inappropriate content be removed and not repeated, the KC said.

“Through this option, it is hoped that peer pressure might prevail within individual breeds as to what is and is not acceptable when discussing either people or dogs online,” the spokesman continued. If necessary, and in appropriate cases, a complainant may need to seek the advice and protection of the law, particularly in cases of extreme harassment or defamation.

“Ultimately the most effective and practical way to deal with offending material is not to read it and to remove those seeking to offend or insult from Facebook pages or groups and never to engage in exchanges which you feel are inappropriate either to yourself or dogs in general.”

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The KC Paying Lip Service?
Five Whole Minutes To Be Allowed For Coat-Testing Views!

All relevant breeds will be given only five minutes by the Kennel Club for its representative to give its views on the coat-testing rule at Wednesday’s meeting.

In a recent letter to breed clubs, the KC said a five-minute slot had been allocated to each breed, not breed club, and some representatives say it is not long enough.

Bull Terrier breeder Linda McGregor said this week: “Our breed is one of the few breeds which have been coat tested for chalking over the last couple of years. How can we have a ‘full and frank discussion’, as previously stated, if we are only allocated five minutes to give our point of view?”

KC spokesman Caroline Kisko responded: “In terms of speaking, five minutes is actually quite a long time even though it may not sound it. That time is intended for them to put forward their thoughts regarding their own breed; there will, of course, be plenty of discussion time at the end when people will be able to make further comment.”

The KC has invited 120 people to the meeting, those who have given their views on the subject as part of the consultation process into the coat-testing rule and its application.

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Kennel Club reminds breeders about new litter limits

The Kennel Club would like to remind breeders about the new litter limit rules, which will become effective for litters born on or after 1st January 2012.

From 2012 onwards, the maximum number of litters which the Kennel Club will register from any one bitch is four. The Kennel Club will no longer register any further litters from any bitch which has previously had four litters unless there is good and justifiable reason for breeding a further litter. These applications will be assessed on a case by case basis.

In addition, breeders are also reminded that, from 1st January 2012, the Kennel Club will no longer register any puppies if the dam has already had two caesareans, except for scientifically proven welfare reasons.

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Welsh Kennel Club attends meeting on dog breeding regulations in Wales

The Welsh Kennel Club has welcomed the chance to have its say to Assembly officials on draft proposals for revised dog breeding legislation in Wales.

At a meeting of Welsh stakeholders, held on Wednesday 14th September, Vice-Chairman of the Welsh Kennel Club, Alan Fall, highlighted various issues for the Welsh Assembly Animal Welfare Policy officials to consider, relating to the enforcement and subsequent funding of the proposed tough new regulation.

Mr Fall commented: “Whilst we recognise the obvious need to improve the reputation Wales has obtained in regards to puppy farming, the Assembly officials have made it quite clear that there is no funding available for new legislation. If it is to be at all successful, mechanisms must be put in place to ensure the responsible breeder is not stonewalled by excessive regulation. This may simply stop responsible breeders from producing litters altogether, further pushing people to puppy farmers who work outside of the law anyway.”

The meeting comes after the newly appointed Environment Minister, John Griffiths AM, outlined plans for officials to “have discussions with interested parties to identify their concerns and proposals and, where relevant, consider these in new draft legislation”.

The Kennel Club and Welsh Kennel Club applauded the Environment Minister's announcement in July of the Welsh Government’s intention to consult further on dog breeding regulations in Wales in order to ensure any new legislation “is not burdensome on those breeders who fully meet the welfare needs set out in the Animal Welfare Act”.

The revised legislative proposals, to be consulted on this autumn, will follow further focus group work. During this time, the Kennel Club and Welsh Kennel Club will continue working with the Welsh Assembly to offer their guidance and expertise on the breeding of dogs.

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Crufts entries go green for 2012

In order to be more environmentally sustainable, and taking into account the growing popularity for entering dog shows online, the Kennel Club has taken the decision not to post the schedule for Crufts 2012 to the previous year’s exhibitors unless requested to do so.

Two-thirds of entries for this year’s Crufts were made online and the Kennel Club believes that this shows that most exhibitors would prefer to enter in this way. Anyone who has qualified to compete at the world’s greatest dog show in 2012 is therefore encouraged to enter via the online version of the schedule which will be available from November 2011 on the Crufts website, www.crufts.org.uk

For those who would prefer to receive a printed schedule as in previous years, a number of copies will be available to order by post. Please send an A5 stamped addressed envelope to the value of 79 pence for first class or 65 pence for second class post to the Crufts Office, The Kennel Club, 1 Clarges Street, Piccadilly, London, W1J 8AB.

Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club Communications Director, said: “It is clear that the majority of dog exhibitors prefer the convenience of entering shows online nowadays, so we felt that it would be very wasteful to post out over 14,000 copies of the schedule knowing full well that most of these would simply end up in recycling or, worse still, the bin.

“However, we understand that there are still those people without access to a computer, who simply prefer the traditional method for entering, or wish to keep the schedule for posterity, which is why we are continuing to make copies available on request.”

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Kennel Club Clarifies Permission For Legally Docked Dogs From Overseas

Ahead of the forthcoming changes to the Pet Travel Scheme, which will make it easier for overseas exhibitors to show their dogs in the UK from January 2012 onwards, the Kennel Club would like to clarify the position regarding the showing of legally docked dogs in the UK.

The owner of any legally docked dog which they wish to show at a Kennel Club licensed show is expected to obtain permission to show from the Kennel Club in order to do so, if the dog was docked on or after 6th April 2007 (28th March 2007 for shows in Wales).

This applies to all dogs, no matter the country of origin and applies to dogs both being imported to the UK and those competing under an ATC. The term ‘docked’ includes dogs which have their tails shortened/amputated for medical reasons after the relevant dates.

Legally docked dogs, whether from the UK or overseas, may not be shown at events in England or Wales to which members of the public are admitted upon the payment of a fee, if they were docked on or after the date that the law came into force (6th April 2007 for shows in England and 28th March 2007 for shows in Wales). However, dogs docked in any country before 6th April 2007 (28th March 2007 for shows in Wales) may continue to be shown at all events throughout their lives, without applying for permission to show, as can all puppies born with naturally bobbed tails.[i]

Providing permission to show has been granted, legally docked dogs may be shown at all shows in Scotland and Northern Ireland at present. However, Northern Ireland will be introducing its own tail docking ban from early 2012 and this will prevent all legally docked dogs born after 29th March 2011 from competing at shows held in Northern Ireland where the exhibitors pay to enter and/or the public pay to be admitted.

Following a recent report in the dog press, the Kennel Club has reviewed the way in which it records permissions to show granted following legal tail docking and those which have undergone tail operations due to trauma. From now on, dogs born within the UK which have been docked for working purposes will be recorded as ‘operation to have its tail legally docked (Working Dog)’. Dogs from overseas, including Northern Ireland whilst docking remains legal, will simply be shown as ‘operation to have its tail legally docked’ with its origin noted using the letters (IMP), (IKC) or (NI) after the dog’s name. This change will allow more accurate records to be kept and cut down on anomalies such as the recent recording of an imported dog as having been docked for working purposes when this was not the case.

There will remain a further category of recording, which will note those dogs which have undergone an ‘operation to remove part of the tail due to trauma’.

[i]Owners of dogs with naturally bobbed tails are advised to obtain a certificate from their veterinary surgeon, confirming that this was how the puppies were born.

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Chairman’s speech to the Welsh Kennel Club

Each year, the Kennel Club Chairman is invited to give a speech on the most pertinent topics affecting the dog world to the Welsh Kennel Club at its annual dinner. The following is the speech given by Kennel Club Chairman, Professor Steve Dean, at the dinner held on Friday 19th August 2011.

"I would like to open by paying a tribute to Malcolm Willis. He contributed so much to the health and welfare of dogs and gave his time and advice willingly to so many clubs and societies. Malcolm has been a great influence on the genetic approach to canine inherited disease and will be particularly remembered for his work on hip dysplasia. His willingness to help and assist dog people is a model for all to adopt and his legacy will remain for a very long time.

My sincere thanks go to the Welsh Kennel Club for their invitation to speak to this audience and for allowing me to continue this well established tradition. As this is my first ‘State of the Nation’ address at the Welsh Kennel Club you might find there is a significant change of regional accent in the delivery.

Change is in fact the theme of this speech. My post bag (both paper and electronic versions) tends to be full of letters that start – ‘May I congratulate you on your appointment as Chairman…’ and then proceeds to set out the writer’s personal views and problems arising from their experience of canine events. Each letter ends with the inevitable invitation to adopt the author’s preferred solution. This comment is not intended to discourage these letters but I fear the majority of such requests are unlikely to see the immediate change they suggest. Effective change requires a significant level of discussion, consultation and consensus before it can be achieved.

The feedback received to date has offered many solutions to the problem of declining show entries. Common threads include the need for more Challenge Certificates; Champions classes; and less rules and regulations. In many there are novel suggestions and some contain ideas that short term might increase the entries for a time but the big question is are they practical or sustainable? One thing we must ensure, in my view, is the continued high value the Challenge Certificate represents to those who compete at UK shows.

Perhaps the big issue we need to urgently face is the economy. For the real driver behind the declining trend in show entries is money. There is less of it available and therefore exhibitors will be taking more care where they spend it. Being clear on this as the driving force behind the decline in entries is important for this will determine what is needed to attract competitors to events.

Why do exhibitors enter dog shows? Surely the answer is for fun and enjoyment? This is not always centered upon winning CCs. In other canine activities the same decline is not so evident. Is this perhaps because the competition itself is enjoyable? For dog shows some important aspects for exhibitors are: the judge, the welcome and ambience of the show; the cost of travel; and the cost of entries. If societies and clubs get the first two right then the negative impact of cost reduces.

The breed judge is the central point of the show for most exhibitors. The most popular words used in this regard are ‘level playing field’ and ‘fairness’. Interestingly words like ‘cartel’ and ‘favouritism’ are close behind. The selection of judges is therefore a critical role for the show committee and this is not an easy task. To assist the show committee the Breed Clubs should ensure they supply effective, useful judging lists, whereas reality can be a list that is inadequate for the needs of the annual show calendar. So the key message is that a large part of the success of a show is in the hands of the breed and the show committees.

Let us therefore take our hats off to those shows that are innovative. Perhaps they invite smaller breed clubs to join in with a big Championship Show, not a novel idea but a welcome revival. Certainly arranging marquees and benching for the convenience of exhibitors and arranging seminars and other events within the confines of the show demonstrates increasing awareness of the exhibitor as a customer and can only add to the attractiveness of the event.

Cost reduction is also a welcome step and the pilot next year at Manchester Dog Show to supply electronic catalogues for the breeds, for use on hand held devices is an interesting initiative to address the cost of the printed catalogue. Effective cost saving measures such as this will focus on areas that do not reduce the exhibitors' enjoyment of the show and ideally enhance it.

The Kennel Club can, of course, consider CC allocation, bring new breeds under the CC umbrella and change rules and regulations; however none of these of itself is likely to influence entries over the next few years when the downturn in economy is likely to have most influence. Single CCs are already being phased out and further services can be considered such as publication of a judges’ past appointments and entry statistics, as an aid to societies, but the success of shows over the next three years is firmly in the hands of show committees by way of offering value for money.

It is worth reminding ourselves that committee members are elected volunteers and where open shows have declined or been lost it is as much because of a failure to find new committee members as is it about lack of entries. Canine competition relies upon people who give their time freely and that is true from the Kennel Club General Committee to the smallest breed club committee. We should cherish those we have and encourage others to step forward if clubs and societies are to continue to flourish.

Another area of change is the electronic revolution. Communication is now rapid and offers many new ways of involving people in reacting to news and events. The recent revision to the Code of Conduct is your Kennel Club’s response to expressions of concern about the increasing levels of inappropriate and personal comment on various internet social networks. This negative use of the internet, by what is believed to be a minority of the canine community, is far outweighed by the potential for good communication. The Kennel Club is investing considerable resource into improving its website and the way the dog owner can interact with their KC. Mate Select, the Health Test Results Finder and Breed Watch are just three examples from the health area that assist people to acquire the right dog or contact the right breeder. Much more is planned to help the potential dog owner find their ideal canine companion and keep it in good health.

My last topic on change is the public perception of the pedigree dog. It is not clear if this has really changed and the number of enquiries on the Kennel Club’s ‘Find a Puppy’ web-page suggest that interest in pedigree dogs remains high. In my view the future is good for the pedigree dog, especially now we are beginning to reap the rewards of the work carried out at the Kennel Club Genetics Centre at the Animal Health Trust.

We continue the strong focus on health and welfare and the increasing support from the breed clubs is impressive. The 15 high profile breeds are pressing forward and progress is good. I am aware that some of the breeds feel they are being singled out for unfair attention but the public eye is on them and they have to demonstrate a positive approach to addressing health concerns. The planned veterinary inspection of the Best of Breeds, starting at Crufts next year, is not an additional censure but is designed to ensure judges are putting forward dogs, free from exaggeration related health problems. Assuming breeders, exhibitors and judges produce worthy, healthy Best of Breeds then there should be no barrier to competition in the group ring, neither should it be necessary to consider with-holding Champion status. Personally I look forward to the time we can work with the 15 breeds to justify their removal from the high profile list.

It is public perception that the Kennel Club can do most to influence. The development of new gene tests, Breed Watch, the Health Test Results Finder and Mate Select are examples in the health field. Training of judges, stewards, show managers and the recent successful Novice Gundog handlers day are all examples of areas where we seek to encourage and prepare people for taking a greater part in canine events. The emergence of Metro-Bank, as a canine supporter, is in large part due to the encouragement and effort put in by our Chief Executive, Rose Smart, and her team at Clarges Street. It is in these areas that the Kennel Club can be most effective on your behalf.

All these are good examples of where the Kennel Club seeks to influence the impression the outside world has of those of us engaged in canine activities. However for the new dog owner it all comes together under the banner of the Assured Breeder Scheme (ABS). As dog show people we are interested in how closely our dogs meet the breed standard. Yet for the majority of pet dog owners, their interest is in owning a happy, healthy companion. The ABS provides the puppy buyer with the best possible opportunity of achieving their aim.

The ABS is growing rapidly and has been presented to the Advisory Council on the Welfare Issues of Dog Breeding as a model system. It is still evolving and UKAS Accreditation is planned for the future to ensure it meets the requirements of a high quality scheme. More than ever, now is the time for all dog breeders to step forward and join the ABS. The Advisory Council will at some point recommend a set of rules that should underpin a breeder assurance scheme, be part of the KC system now and help ensure our system is considered fully representative of the quality of registered pedigree dog breeder.

Having covered some major areas of change that we are all facing I would like to close by expressing a personal ambition. I would like to see a change in the way we interact with each other. It would be good to hear people referring to ‘Our Kennel Club’ not ‘The Kennel Club’ and also hear ‘what can we do to help our Kennel Club?’ rather than ‘the Kennel Club should…’. This may take much longer than I hope or expect but I would consider a positive first step if every pedigree dog breeder joined the ABS before the end of the year. We can make a positive impact if we act together and if you care about dogs as much as I do, please help the General Committee and your Kennel Club by joining in ‘making a difference for dogs’."

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The Kennel Club Publishes New Code Of Conduct

The Kennel Club has published a new Code of Conduct to remind exhibitors and competitors of their responsibilities whilst taking part in all canine activities and also when discussing shows, trials and events online.

Read In Full Here

Whilst the Kennel Club believes that the overwhelming majority of people taking part in dog activities do so in a responsible and sportsmanlike manner, it is concerned at the increasing number of complaints which it has received about incidents of abuse, in particular through the negative use of social media.

The guidance offered in the new Code of Conduct is included to help ensure that everyone participating in dog activities is free to do so in an enjoyable and fun way, especially the dogs themselves. The code is intended for use primarily as a guide, but does outline some of the penalties which the Kennel Club has at its disposal to deal with serious cases of transgression. As such, it should be read in conjunction with relevant regulations as listed in the Kennel Club Year Book.

Over recent years, there has been a rapid growth in the use of social media as a form of instant communication and there is a need for those who use Facebook, blogs and chat rooms etc to understand their responsibilities. For this reason, there is a specific section within the Code of Conduct giving general guidelines on participation on social media websites.

A word from the Kennel Club

Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club Communications Director, said: “Thousands of people take part in a wide range of canine activities, week in week out, because they are a fun way to spend time with their dogs and they get to meet others who share common interests. Undoubtedly, the vast majority do so in a well-mannered and sportsmanlike manner, however rarely a week goes by without the Kennel Club being contacted by someone who feels that they have been abused or slighted in some way by a fellow competitor, either at an event or more frequently through the internet.

“As a result, we felt that the time was right to remind everyone involved in the world of dogs that it is essential that anyone who wishes to attend a show, trial or other event should be free to do so without fear of anything which might spoil their enjoyment. The world of dogs is still under great scrutiny and it is important that we continue to show unity in our enjoyment of our hobbies. We hope that the code will be seen in a positive light and will be of benefit to all.”

Copies of the new code will be available on the Kennel Club stand at the Bournemouth, Welsh Kennel Club and Darlington championship shows over the coming months as well as the International Agility Festival, and at all future events which the Kennel Club attends. Copies can also be obtained by contacting Hayley Swann-Ross in the Canine Activities Team on 0844 463 3980 ext 319 and is available to download from the Activities and Events section of the Kennel Club website.

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SINGLE CCs TO BE PHASED OUT

The Kennel Club announced today that single CCs will go ‘as and when entries increase to allow additional CCs to be allocated’.

This is because, the KC says, many breeds have already had single CCs withdrawn from their allocations, and in view of the fact that there is now only a minority of breeds with single CCs remaining in the overall allocation.

It has been agreed that no further single CCs will be allocated when future allocations are set. Those already announced in the Kennel Gazette for the next two to three years will stand.

The KC’s General Committee reviewed the status of the single CC as part of its recent annual review of the CC allocation. A KC spokesman said: “The single CC was introduced to maintain the optimum number of championship shows at which breeds whose show entries were falling, and from which CCs needed to be reduced, could be exhibited.

“The single CC has been used for those breeds which fell below a ceiling of 15 sets of CCs where a set of CCs needed to be withdrawn. Instead of removing CCs from one general championship show entirely, a single CC was removed from two general championship shows. This has given exhibitors two shows at which they were still able to compete for a CC, gain awards to qualify out of classes, qualify for Crufts and gain JW points, rather than one.”

In many instances, the KC said, entries for the single CC have been comparable to those when two CCs were on offer at a show. Statistics also indicate that in a number of breeds the single CC has contributed to an increase in show entries which has in turn allowed for the allocation of more sets of CCs for the breed.

“This has resulted in many examples where single CCs have been converted back into a set of two CCs” the spokesman said. “Over the years this has happened in approximately two-thirds of the breeds with single CC allocations.”

KC chairman Professor Steve Dean said: “The single CC has proved extremely useful during a period of time when there were a relatively large number of breeds with low entries and consequently a low number of championship shows at which to enter.

“However, the General Committee now believes that while they have helped us achieve our original intention of maintaining the number of shows at which CCs could be offered and, with entries having increased within most of these breeds, the time has come to phase them out.”

Asked if there were any plans to look at the whole question of CC allocation. KC secretary Caroline Kisko replied: “The principles behind the allocation are based on a rationale which ensures that all breeds are treated the same. All breeds with a similar number of entries generally have the same number of CCs although exceptions are made for breeds recently allocated championship status and vulnerable breeds where reductions in CCs are deferred.

“There are some who would like CCs for all breeds at all shows, and others who would like changes, if not so radical as that. This suggestion has been made many times – including on a regular basis at KC question times, when it is generally put back to the audience for their views and they invariably say no. So while it may be popular with individuals, it doesn’t appear to be so with the majority.”

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Changes to the UK's Pet Travel Scheme

The Kennel Club has issued a note of caution following the announcement of changes to the UK’s Pet Travel Scheme from next year, amidst concerns that they could have a negative impact on dog health.

Defra has announced that from January 1st 2012, changes to the scheme will include reducing the length of time after vaccination that a dog may travel, the removal of the requirement to blood test the dog before travel and the removal of the need to have the dog treated for ticks. A decision on whether to continue to treat for tapeworms is yet to be finalised.

A word from the Kennel Club

Caroline Kisko, Communications Director at the Kennel Club commented: “Whilst this potentially represents a significant cost saving for dog owners, it could lead to serious health problems if owners stop treating their dogs for ticks and tapeworms. The Pet Travel Scheme was originally set up to protect human health but it is also vital to ensure that owners continue to protect their dogs’ health by carrying out both of these treatments.

“Tapeworms and ticks can lead to serious illness in dogs – illnesses which are not currently found in the UK. To this end the Kennel Club will be producing help and advice to dog owners whilst continuing to discuss this issue with Defra.”

The Pet Travel Scheme came into force in 2001, allowing British travellers to take their dogs on holiday in certain countries, and UK and overseas competitors to take part in dog shows and events more freely.

The requirements of the scheme – in regard to vaccination and treatment for ticks and tapeworms – have proved to be largely successful and have led to further lifting of quarantine regulations in the intervening period. Overseas competitors wishing to attend shows in the UK are now more freely able to qualify their dogs, both here and in their own countries, to attend shows such as Crufts.

Changes to scheme

Now, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has outlined that the current scheme will be changing as of next year. The main change is the removal of the requirement to blood test the dog post the rabies vaccination and six months before entry or return to the UK from within the EU and certain other listed countries, replacing this with a waiting period of 21 days after the rabies vaccination. Unlisted countries outside the EU will require a blood test to be carried out after vaccination and a further waiting time of three months from the time of the blood test, instead of the present six months after vaccination. Defra has also announced that tick treatments will no longer be required and are awaiting a decision at a European level regarding tapeworm provisions.

Full details of the changes to the Pet Passport Travel Scheme can be found below:

Entry rules for pets entering the UK from the EU and listed non-EU countries:

Requirement

Now

From 1 January 2012

Microchip

Yes

Yes

Rabies vaccination

Yes

Yes

Documentation (pet passport or third country certificate)

Yes

Yes

Blood test (dogs and cats)

Yes

No

Pre-entry waiting period

Yes

Yes

Length of waiting period before entry to the UK

6 months from date  sample taken for blood test

 21 days after vaccination against rabies

Tick treatment

Yes (24-48 hours before embarkation)

No

Tapeworm treatment

Yes (as for ticks)

Under consideration at European level

Entry rules for pets entering the UK from unlisted non-EU countries:

Requirement

Now

From 1 January 2012

Microchip

All pets from unlisted third countries are licensed into quarantine for 6 months and vaccinated against rabies on arrival

Yes

Rabies vaccination

Yes

Blood test

Yes.  Blood sample taken at least 30 days after vaccination.

Documentation ( third country certificate)

Yes

Pre-entry waiting period

Yes

Length of waiting period before entry to the UK

 3 months after blood sample date

Tick treatment

No

Tapeworm treatment

Under consideration at European level

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Government urged to engage with young dog owners
New report claims subject is an ‘evidence free zone’

A new academic report commissioned by the RSPCA has called on the Government to engage with young dog owners and gather more evidence on growing concerns about the anti-social use of dogs.

Status dogs, young people and criminalisation: towards a preventative strategy is the first comprehensive review of all existing research and evidence, both nationally and internationally, on dangerous or status dogs and the links to crime and violence.

It comes ahead of Wednesday’s (6 July 2011) backbench debate in parliament when MPs will discuss dangerous dog legislation.

The new report recommends that the Government needs to directly target ‘street cultures’, rather than focusing on leisure and school-based activities where the young people that need reaching are often marginalised, if not excluded or absent.

The report also raises the concern that increased coverage of issues surrounding anti-social behaviour with dogs could glamorise the matter to young people, in the same way ASBOs became a badge of honour for some.

It has been written by leading criminologist Professor Gordon Hughes, who is Chair in Criminology at the Centre for Crime, Law and Justice at Cardiff University; along with Dr Jenny Maher, lecturer and researcher in Criminology at the University of Glamorgan and Claire Lawson, who is currently undertaking doctoral research at Cardiff University on the multi-agency responses to the ‘dangerous’ and ‘status’ dogs problem in the UK.

Professor Hughes said: “Few people in the UK will be unaware of the growing public concern over so-called ‘status’ and ‘dangerous’ dogs, particularly expressed in the media and by politicians as well as by animal welfare organisations led by the RSPCA. Young people and their status dogs are in many ways the latest ‘folk devil’ in the public imagination, conjuring up violence, anti-social behaviour and a threat to civilised society.

“Whilst it is both difficult and unwise to dismiss the problem of young people and irresponsible dog ownership on our streets and in our public spaces as mere media hype, we are aware as criminological researchers of the lack of solid scientific evidence regarding the extent and very nature of this growing social problem.

“To put it bluntly the subject has been what I would term an ‘evidence-free zone.’ Our research has begun to help fill this void.”

The new report has recommended greater attention needs to be given to multi-agency, joined up, preventative initiatives alongside enforcement in the policing of status dogs and their owners.

However it stresses that in many instances dog ownership can have a positive impact on young people’s lives and can provide them with a sense of caring responsibility.

“Having discovered that the relationship these young people have with their dogs might on balance be a largely positive influence in their lives, these very dogs may represent a considerable tool with which ‘we’ as a society may be able to engage and rebuild connections to these often hard to reach, marginalised young people and their anti-social behaviour,” added Professor Hughes.

For Full Transcript Click Here

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Health tests added to Kennel Club Accredited Breeder Scheme

The Kennel Club has announced that a further 29 breed specific health testing requirements and recommendations have been added to its Accredited Breeder Scheme, in order to ensure that the scheme remains relevant to the health needs of every breed.

The additions, along with other changes which have been made to the requirements and recommendations, have been brought in following consultations with breed clubs and councils.

New DNA tests are continually added to the scheme, after consultation with relevant breed clubs, as they are developed by scientists at the Kennel Club Genetics Centre at the Animal Health Trust and other research institutions.

A word from the Kennel Club

Bill Lambert, Kennel Club Health and Breeder Services Manager, said: “The health tests that members of the Kennel Club Accredited Breeder Scheme are required or recommended to give their dogs are continually evolving, as science and our knowledge of dog disease develops.

“We are committed to ensuring that the health test results under this scheme are relevant for every breed so that puppy buyers know that when buying from a Kennel Club Accredited Breeder, they are buying a dog that has been given the best possible chance of leading a healthy life.

“These latest changes to the scheme represent just a few of the changes which are planned for this year. Recently we announced that puppy wallets are now free of charge for Accredited Breeders – there will be other announcements as the year progresses.”

The changes are effective from July 1st 2011 and existing Accredited Breeders have six months’ grace in order to come in line with these requirements and recommendations.

Breed-specific requirements and recommendations are updated twice a year. The next round of changes will be announced in January 2012. 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, Piccadilly, London, W1J 8AB.

The changes to the Kennel Club Accredited Breeder Scheme’s breed-specific health test requirements and recommendations are:

Beauceron

Add requirement – hip scoring.

Add recommendation – eye testing.

Cairn Terrier

Add recommendation – bile acid testing of puppies.

Collie (Smooth)

Add recommendation – litter screening for CEA.

Change from a requirement to a recommendation – hip scoring.

Dachshund (Miniature Wire-haired)

Add requirement – DNA test for PRA cord 1.

German Wirehaired Pointer

Add requirement – genetic status of breeding stock with respect to vWD should be known, either by direct DNA testing or by inference from parental DNA test results.

Glen of Imaal Terrier

Add requirement – DNA test for GPRA-crd3.

Change from a requirement to a recommendation – eye testing.

Gordon Setter

Add recommendation – eye testing.

Add recommendation – bitches under 21 months not to produce a litter.

Hamiltonstovare

Add recommendation – bitches under 2 years not to produce a litter.

Add recommendation – bitches not to produce more than one litter within a 12-month period.

Hungarian Wire-haired Vizsla

Add recommendation – bitches under 2 years not to produce a litter.

Add recommendation – bitches not to produce more than one litter within a 12-month period.

Irish Wolfhound

Add recommendation – bitches under 2 years not to produce a litter.

Lancashire Heeler

Add requirement – DNA test for PLL.

Neapolitan Mastiff

Add recommendation – hip scoring.

Add recommendation – eye testing.

Add recommendation – seek breed club advice on heart testing.

Pug

Add recommendation – seek breed council advice on hemivertebrae checking.

Retriever (Nova Scotia Duck Tolling)

Add recommendation – bitches under 2 years not to produce a litter.

Add recommendation – bitches not to produce more than one litter within a 12-month period.

Add recommendation – dogs under 2 years not to be used at stud.

Shetland Sheepdog

Change from a requirement to a recommendation – hip scoring.

Spaniel (Clumber)

Add recommendation – eye testing.

Spaniel (English Springer)

Add requirement – DNA test for PRA cord 1.

Add recommendation – DNA test for PFK.

Add recommendation – bitches under 20 months not to produce a litter.

Upgrade from a recommendation to a requirement – gonioscopy testing.

Upgrade from a recommendation to a requirement – DNA test for fucosidosis.

Tibetan Terrier

Add requirement – DNA test for NCL.

Weimaraner

Add recommendation – bitches under 2 years not to produce a litter.

Add recommendation – bitches not to produce more than one litter within a 12-month period.

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Directory of Championship Show Judges

The Kennel Club will shortly be making its Directory of Championship Show Judges available online.

The Directory will be added to the Kennel Club website and will be available for download. The information listed in the Judges Directory provides an alphabetical listing of all judges by surname, together with their address, telephone number, Judging ID number as well as the breeds in which they have been previously approved to award Challenge Certificates, Groups and Best in Show as applicable.

The Kennel Club is aware that there may be some judges whose details have changed, and there may also be judges listed who have sadly passed away. However, unless the Kennel Club is informed of these changes, databases are unable to be updated. Judges are therefore urged to make the Kennel Club aware of any amendments they wish to be made to their judging profile.

Furthermore, any judges who do not wish for their addresses and/or telephone numbers to be made available online should inform the Kennel Club no later than 29th July 2011.

For those judges who do not wish for their addresses and/or telephone numbers to be made available online, please write to Lauren Knollman or Jason Winnington at 1-5 Clarges Street, Piccadilly, London, W1J 8AB. Alternatively, you can email them via lauren.knollman@thekennelclub.org.uk or jason.winnington@thekennelclub.org.uk.

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DOGS FAIL COAT TEST AT CRUFTS BIRMINGHAM ENGLAND 2011

All four dogs failed the coat tests carried out at Crufts, the Kennel Club revealed today; but due to the review of the practice currently being carried out the Kennel Club has decided to take the matter no further.

The dog CC and RCC in Miniature Poodles and West Highland White Terriers were tested. In Miniature Poodles these were Sw Ch Sandust Market Master, owned by Christina and Susanne Johansson and Susanne Svedberg of Sweden, and RDCC was Ch Glayvar Got Wot It Takes owned by June Clark and Mrs S Higgins.

In WHWT, DCC was Ch/Int Ch Karamynd Play The Game, owned by Jennie Griffiths – who won his 21st CC at Border Union at the weekend, and RDCC was Alfie The Prince of White Gallardo, owned by Anita Kuik of Holland.

The KC said today: “Following the random coat testing carried out on Miniature Poodles and West Highland White Terriers at Crufts 2011, the results have now been considered by the KC General Committee.

“At its last meeting, the Committee noted that the presence of lacquer was found on the coats of the Miniature Poodles tested and the presence of chalk (or a substance similar) on the coats of the West Highland White Terriers tested. However, in light of the review of coat testing regulations and procedures that has been requested by members at the recent KC AGM, the Committee directed that it would be inappropriate to pursue these cases further. The Committee’s decision has been notified to the owners of the dogs in question.”

Mrs Griffith, Mrs Clark and Mrs Higgins said they were delighted to hear that they can keep their awards.

There was criticism of the way the coat-testing was handled at Crufts. At the time one observer said: “To the public and indeed anyone who might just have happened to be watching at the time it appeared that the two lady handlers were being arrested for murder.

“Two security guards plus a further six stewards circled them and marched them off with grim faces through the crowd and off into the distance.”

The KC responded saying that coat testing was carried out this way to avoid any possibility of contamination.

“While the KC has absolutely no wish to spoil anyone’s day – particularly with such a great win – it is imperative that random coat testing is carried out in a very specific way in order to avoid any possibility of contamination from outside as has happened in the past,” said spokesman Caroline Kisko.

The furore culminated in a debate at the KC AGM last month when Mike Gadsby proposed that the practice of coat-testing should cease immediately. Instead it has been suspended while a consultation takes place.

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ANOTHER BORDER TERRIER MAN

Professor Steve Dean has been elected the new chairman of the Kennel Club.
He replaces Ronnie Irving who announced his decision not to stand again at last month’s AGM. Mike Townsend was re-elected as vice-chairman.

The KC’s General Committee met on Tuesday morning, its first task being to elect a new chairman. The process is shrouded in secrecy and neither the candidates’ identities – nor even their number – were revealed. However, among the other names bandied about in the last few days in addition to Steve Dean were Simon Luxmoore, Patricia Sutton and Dr Ruth Barbour.

Candidates – who must be among the General Committee’s members – were proposed by other General Committee members. The election was by secret ballot.

Professor Dean becomes the 14th chairman of the KC. He said: “I am honoured to be elected as chairman of the KC and to be given the opportunity to help improve the lives of dogs by ensuring that they live healthily and happily with responsible owners.

“I am aware of the scale of some of the challenges that we face but am excited about the opportunities that exist to help us make a real difference for dogs. I look forward to supporting and working with the millions of responsible dog breeders and owners that there are in this country, and to standing shoulder to shoulder with vets and other individuals and organisations, who are dedicated to improving the health and welfare of dogs.”

Prof Dean, is 59 and became a KC member in 1992. He breeds, shows and judges Border Terriers under the Tyrian kennel name – judging at Crufts in 2009 – and is chairman of the Southern Border Terrier Club and past chairman of Slough Canine Society. He is also breed health co-ordinator for the seven breed clubs. He has made up several champions.

He is president of Windsor Dog Show Society.

Prof Dean is the past veterinary advisor to the Council of Docked Breeds, speaks at canine events on a variety of health subjects and organises breed seminars and educational events.

He has been on the General Committee since 2005 and has served on the Crufts and Finance and General Purposes Sub-Committee for the past two years. Previously he was on the Disciplinary Sub-Committee for four years.

For 13 years he was in the veterinary pharmaceutical industry, and has been a practising vet, a veterinary radiologist and lecturer in anatomy at the Royal Veterinary College. He cites his other interests at clinical parasitology, immunology and genetic diseases.

In 2009 he became chief vet at Crufts and honorary vet at the National Terrier Show.

He is a member of the British Veterinary Association – and a past council member of that body – and of the British Small Animals Veterinary Association. He is said to have a good network of contacts within the Government, veterinary politics and the research and teaching arms of the profession. He is also a scientific Fellow of the Zoological Society.

He is currently a senior civil servant for DEFRA serving as the chief executive of the Veterinary Medicines Directorate, authorising veterinary medicines for the UK.

Away from the world of dogs, Prof Dean is a keen reader and gardener and an avid supporter of rowing, ‘treasuring his Henley Regatta medal equally to his achievements in the show ring’.

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SURPRISES AT THE KENNEL CLUB'S AGM

Shocks and surprises at AGM

Last Thursday saw the Annual General Meeting of the Kennel Club held at the Curzon Cinema, just around the corner from Clarges Street.

As usual the meeting was very well attended and Chairman, Mr Ronnie Irving, lost no time in moving through what he acknowledged was a substantial agenda. After some difficulties with the public address system, which was never really satisfactory but was at least eventually adequate, Kennel Club Secretary, Caroline Kisko, read the notice convening the meeting and, as there was just one very minor amendment to the minutes of the previous year and no matters arising, the early items on the agenda, the election of existing Vice-presidents and a new Vice-president, Mr John Spurling, proceeded.

This was followed by the election of 10 new Honorary Life Members, three of whom were nominated by the General Committee (Mrs Ann Arch, Mr Bernard Hall and Mrs Irene Terry) and seven who qualify as having paid their Kennel Club subscription for 40 or more years (Mrs M Duncan, Mrs G E M Eady, Mr P R Heard, Mrs I H Lowe, Mrs P J Robertson, Mrs J Robin-Smith and Miss C L Seidler).
Item 6 on the agenda was the election of members of the General Committee retiring after a three-year term. As there were no other nominations, all were elected without dissent (Mrs A P Bliss, Mr S A Croxford, Prof S P Dean, Mrs E A McDonald, Mrs M J Purnell-Carpenter, Ms A Oliver, Miss P A Sutton and Mr Keith A W Young).

The report from the General Committee was then presented by Ronnie Irving and after a short standing silence in memory of those members who passed away within the last year, he began with an update on the application for planning permission which had recently been granted by Westminster City Council. This application is for the whole of the block between Clarges Street and Bolton Street on which the Kennel Club stands. The Kennel Club are freeholders of their site while the rest belongs to just one owner who wants to to sell. Mr Irving made it quite clear that the General Committee was always open to any proposal which would improve the facilities and workings of the Kennel Club, and emphasised that all costs of the research into alternatives were being paid for by the developers. No commitment had been made by the General Committee and no move would be made unless there were substantial advantages for the future of the club and the dog game. He said that recent speculation in Dog World had been inaccurate.

Summary

He then went on to his general report which he emphasised was primarily for members but because there was such a wide interest in the KC as the body responsible for most activities within the world of dogs, the report was always published with a wider remit to provide information to the public, the media and to various government departments. As the published Annual Report had been sent to all members and would be shortly be published online he felt that just a summary was all that was necessary, especially as the agenda was very full this year.

He was pleased to report that in 2010, overall puppy registrations were up 5% although, disappointingly, 2011 had shown a decrease of the same amount. However, transfers and the use of the KC’s Puppy Finder service were increasing so, overall, the number of dogs in the community remained stable. However, puppy farming remained a problem and so it was essential to develop the Accredited Breeders Scheme to ensure that the public were guided towards good quality, well adjusted and healthy dogs. The ABS now had over 7000 members, a further 10 regional advisers had been appointed and formal UK Accreditation was being applied for.

Dr Ruth Barbour then took to the platform to give a report on the Kennel Club Dog Health Group. She said she was very pleased that the Group’s first annual report has been published and that all three sub-groups (Genetics and Health Screening, Breed Standards and Conformation and the Accredited Breeder Scheme) had achieved a great deal during the year. The group had continued to develop the Breed Watch scheme and recommended a number of changes in policy which included the maximum number of litters the KC will register (four) and restricting to two the registration of litters born by Caesarean section to any bitch. She acknowledged the immense amount of work done both by members of staff, breeders who had been happy to participate in research and use the various health schemes on offer and the expert geneticists and epidemiologists who had made such an important contribution to the work of the Group.

Healthy

The accounts were now presented by Ian Mathieson of the Kennel Club’s accountants, Pannell Kerr Forster. Mr Mathieson spent a little time explaining that the Club’s Pension Fund was in a sound position. There was a loss of about £200,000 (compared to a profit of £98,000) in the balance sheet of the Official side of the Club’s activities with income from registration activities at £8,500k, from canine activities £303k, from Health Care Services almost £3m with about a £.5m of sundry income.
However expenditure was up almost £1 million, mainly because of increased donations to the KC Charitable Trust and the KC Educational Trust - hence the loss. However, the non-official side which includes subscriptions, rents receivable, the surplus on Crufts (almost £400k) and income from investments, showed a healthy profit of almost £500k despite losses on Discover Dogs in London and on publications. When the two balance sheets are consolidated there was a surplus of £250k – and that was after paying grants to the KC Educational Trust and the KC Charitable Trust totalling £839k.

The accounts were passed unanimously and the auditors appointed once again.
Item 11 was to report on the strength of the paid-up membership which is currently 1307.
This was followed by a report on Crufts which celebrated its 120th anniversary in 2011, by the committee's chairman, Gerald King. A total of 28,000 dogs took part, of which 21,500 had qualified to enter in show classes. The number of paying spectators was down a little on 2010 at 138,000 but Crufts remains the NEC’s second biggest event and the television coverage from More 4 was seen by about 2.5 million viewers and 140,000 logged in to view the show on the Internet. He thanked all those involved for the immense team effort between staff and the many hundreds of enthusiastic volunteers which contributed so much to the show’s success.

Registration

This report was followed by a series of changes to the Kennel Club Rules which increased the fees for registration (£12-£13), entry into the Activity Register (£12-£13), change of Kennel Name (£8-£15), annual maintenance fee (£17-£18 if paid by direct debit and £20 if paid by cheque) and authority to compete (£12-£15). Mr Townsend the KC Vice Chairman explained that there had been no increase in fees since 2002 and during that time inflation had increased by one third while this year VAT had increased by 2.5 % to 20%. The rises were, unfortunately, essential. All the figures included VAT. There was no discussion of the proposals and all were passed without dissension.

The general committee proposed at item 18 changes to the Kennel Club Constitution which would allow senior members of the Young Kennel Club to apply for membership without requiring a proposer and seconder. Election to membership would still be vested in the General Committee as it is at present with respect to Affiliates and Associates. There was discussion on this item with some wondering whether Young Kennel Club members had had enough experience to make a contribution at Kennel Club at this level but these concerns were roundly dismissed by other speakers, notably Mrs Pat Dufty, and the motion was passed by an overwhelming majority.

Bombshell

The next item on the agenda was the proposal by Mr Gadsby to ‘cease with immediate effect the practice of Testing for powder, lacquer and silicon-based grooming products’. We report in full elsewhere but for this report it should be noted that the result of this discussion means that coat testing will be suspended for the time being pending a wide-ranging review by the Kennel Club into every aspect of ensuring an even playing field for all exhibitors. (See page 2 for full report on this aspect)

Prior to breaking for lunch, Kennel Chairman Ronnie Irving dropped a bombshell by unexpectedly announcing that he had decided in March of this year to retire as Chairman of the KC, as a member of the General Committee and as a Trustee of the Kennel Club, feeling that the time had come for a fresh eye and new leadership. The previous chairman of the KC, Mr Peter James was able to recover quickly enough to stand and propose a vote of thanks to Mr Irving for his many years service on the General Committee and especially his nine and a half years as Chairman, during which he had had to cope with many extraordinarily complex issues.

After lunch, to what was a rather smaller group of members, the proposal by Mrs Pat Brigden ‘that the current Judges Sub-committee policy which bars judges from accepting CC appointments in breeds for the first time after the age of 75 years be updated to 80 years’ is again the subject of a special report. The General Committee did not oppose the proposal and it was accepted by an overwhelming majority.

The proposal by Mrs Jean Lanning that ‘General Committee members might continue to serve if proposed and seconded after the age of 75’ is also discussed in detail elsewhere but for the record the proposal did not receive a fraction of the support required (66%).

There was no general business but as Mr Irving was about to close the meeting Dr Ruth Barbour expressed thanks to the retiring Chairman and Mr Len Anness rose to thank him on behalf of the ‘ordinary members of the Club’ for all his work over the many years that he had given service. By this time everyone had had a chance to appreciate the significance of Mr Irving's earlier announcement and he was given a further round of applause.

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THE GREAT GADSBY: Coat-Testing Is Suspended

Mike Gadsby is urging people to contact the Kennel Club encouraging it to ban coat-testing in the wake of the AGM’s decision to suspend the practice.

Rather than support outright Mr Gadsby’s proposition that the KC should cease with immediate effect the practice of coat testing for powder, lacquer and silicone-based grooming products, members voted for a compromise amendment.

David Cavill suggested that a full and frank discussion on the future of coat testing take place involving not only the KC but those outside it, and that in the meantime testing be suspended.

Given a choice between the two options, members largely supported the amendment, with just Mr Gadsby and a few supporters sticking with the original proposal.

Mr Gadsby is now urging those who wanted to see an end to coat-testing permanently to contact the KC by email, phone, or in writing to make their feelings known.

Forensics Expert

“There have been so many thoughtful and pertinent comments made on this subject over the past week,” he said. “Surely someone at Clarges Street is sensible enough to listen? We can’t let the momentum fade away now.”

At the AGM, in a detailed and sometimes emotional presentation, he questioned various aspects of the current testing procedure: whether in fact it was ‘random’ in that only a few breeds are involved; whether the way it was done was kind to the dogs concerned and whether it might discourage exhibitors; and whether the results would stand up in a court of law, quoting for a forensics expert who felt that they would not.

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The Full Report Of The KC AGM Coat-Testing Debate

Rather than support outright Mike Gadsby's proposition that the Kennel Club should cease with immediate effect the practice of coat testing for powder, lacquer and silicone-based grooming products, KC members voted for a compromise amendment.

David Cavill suggested that a full and frank discussion on the future of coat testing take place involving not only the KC but those outside it, and that in the meantime testing be suspended.

Given a choice between the two options, members largely supported the amendment, with just Mr Gadsby and a few supporters sticking with the original proposal.

In a detailed and sometimes emotional presentation, Mr Gadsby questioned various aspects of the current testing procedure: whether in fact it was 'random' in that only a few breeds are involved; whether the way it was done was kind to the dogs concerned and whether it might discourage exhibitors; and whether the results would stand up in a court of law, quoting for a forensics expert who felt that they would not.

Speaking to a packed auditorium at the Curzon Street Cinema with a groundswell of support behind him and nearly 3,500 signatures on his Facebook petition, he was striving for the two-thirds majority vote he needed to carry through his proposal. He quoted from a paper supporting his remarks and warned the KC that continued ‘random coat testing’ would leave it vulnerable to legal challenges.

“Today I can provide evidence which will confirm that there can never be `uncontaminated sampling`, and therefore there can never be `reliable forensic results’,” he told members. “Bear this in mind: I warn the KC here today that these results are not safe and will not stand up in a court of law.

Continued ‘random coat testing’ will certainly leave the KC vulnerable to successful legal challenges should they continue.”

He said he had documentation from a forensic scientist who played a major role in investigations into the Omagh bombings, the recent football letter bomb scares in Scotland and the enquiry into the death of Princess Diana.

“He has examined one of the Crufts reports commissioned by the KC and has found it to be flawed in several areas,” he said, quoting from the report: ‘The first category is the process of the test itself.

When dealing with trace evidence it is essential for reliability to include what is termed a ‘negative control’ in the testing process. This is to demonstrate that any material found on the test samples has not been introduced accidentally somewhere in the process, ie from the environment, the handlers or the analyst. No negative control was established in this process. It is therefore impossible to know if the process has introduced contaminates.

‘It is common practice when evaluating what is known as ‘trace evidence’ to assess the ways in which the test material may have come to be on the test items. For example, gunshot residue has been shown to contaminate persons coming into the area where the gun was fired up to eight minutes later.

‘Two possible indirect transfer mechanisms are by the owner having lacquer on their clothes, or the animal being present during or sometime after lacquer was sprayed. Imagine the close confines of the grooming and benching areas, plus the examination by the judge and the transfer of product – a further example of contamination’.

The report concludes, ‘Because of the lack of quantitation and information about the transfer and persistence of the hair lacquer, it is impossible to evaluate whether the results are due to hair lacquer rather than a similar substance or it being directly applied rather than inadvertently transferred’.

Mr Gadsby said: “So there we have it, The KC has placed itself in a situation whereby dogs can be tested and potentially disqualified under a process which I believe is proven to be flawed by its very nature, cannot be watertight, and would not stand up in a court of law.”

Mr Gadsby had started his address by saying he ‘fully supported’ the KC but that it needed to lead by example and should listen to its members.

In the 36 years he has been involved in the dog game, he said, he never thought he would oppose the KC.

“And yet here I am today not relishing this moment but driven to do so after witnessing what really was the final straw when the someone at the KC in their infinite wisdom decided to drag the world’s greatest dog show down to a level which created in its wake a negative atmosphere that not only terribly effected those targeted for the random testing but also for all those judges, exhibitors and spectators who witnessed this sorry spectacle,” he said.

“Over the last seven days this issue has proven to be so emotive it has culminated in an overwhelming wave of support from grass roots exhibitors, breeders and interested parties alike, united in their support.”

Mr Gadsby quoted from the KC’s ‘strategic objectives’ including the ones which states the club’s desire to ‘popularise canine events focusing on the retention of existing participants and the attraction of new’. But the ‘campaign of coat-testing’ had gathered momentum in the last two years and in the process alienated exhibitors.

“Not one person who has been subject to the heavy-handed and humiliating manner to which these draconian tests are carried out have a single positive word to say about them,” he said.

“That would be no surprise if only those found guilty of the terrible crime of enhancing their exhibits with harmless products were the only detractors.

What is surprising is that those whose tests came back clear, including Geoff Corish, Michael Coad, Liz Holmes-Leak, Debbie Elrick, Sandra Dennison and myself, all found to be innocent of committing these crimes are united in our condemnation of the bullying manner in which they have been carried out.”

He said the KC had provided information which stated that over the last ten years of the 210 breeds recognised, only nine – or four per cent – have been targeted. And two breeds, Standard Poodles and West Highland White Terriers, had been tested twice as many times as the rest.

“Then consider that on every occasion the KC targeted only the males!” Mr Gadsby continued. “Does this honestly sound like random to you?

“How were these nine breeds selected for targeting, you might ask. Well, in a KC statement on its website concerning ‘random coat testing’ it says, ‘The KC is committed to improving standards and strives for a fair and level playing field; no exhibitor should be allowed to have an unfair advantage over another’.

“This statement is a contradiction of the KC’s own protocol as it is the KC that in this instance seems to have created the unfair and un-level playing field, giving advantage to every bitch exhibited and to the exhibits of all the remaining 201 breeds.”

However, dyeing a dog’s coat was another matter, Mr Gadsby said.

“It has never been acceptable and no one disagrees with a policy adopted to prevent it,” he said. “However, this is not the case with the other products. Silicone is present in a multitude of products including the majority of shampoos and conditioners; surely no one would advocate that we take our dogs to the shows in a filthy and unhygienic state.

“For decades lacquer has been applied to the topknots of Poodles to frame the face in a traditional manner; lacquer is also used in many, many other breeds, interestingly none of which are ever targeted.

“And then there’s chalk. Virtually every stripped breed is routinely prepared using chalk. Then powders might be used to brighten the colour on some terriers.

“Finally, the hair of light and white coated dogs becomes dull through experiencing the freedom and exercise which we as dog lovers see as essential to the wellbeing of our wonderful dogs… White powders and chalks brighten these coats, bringing them back to their former glory.

“Several breeds use powders as a basic maintenance cleanser. None of this is cheating; powders can only enhance a natural colour, chalks can only make white dogs whiter, and lacquer cannot turn a bad coat texture into a good one. None of these products represent a welfare issue and all of them are freely available and therefore exhibitors are given a totally fair and level playing field.”

He then turned to the four dogs tested at Crufts this year, pointing out in passing the irony that many Crufts trade stands sell coat products.

“One exhibitor, the BOB winner in Miniature Poodles, had travelled from Sweden at enormous expense,” he said. “Could the negative publicity have damaged this dog’s chances later on in the day?

“The RCC winner, owned by 82-year-old June Clarke, was born on the day her husband died. This emotive win was stopped dead in its tracks before a photographic momentum or even a lap of honour.

“In each case the owners of this non-shedding breed were horrified in the manner in which the hair sample was taken from the heads of their beloved pets.

“And then the Westies – the DCC winner owned by the National Terrier secretary, a lady of great standing in the dog community, her reputation potentially tarnished. And finally the RCC winner, a lady from Holland confused due to her lack of understanding of our language refused an interpreter and left in tears by the process.

“How dare the KC subject these exhibitors to such terrible treatment? Each of them deserved to enjoy their moment at our country’s ultimate event, but any pleasure gained from their dogs’ wins was completely overshadowed by the implied allegations of cheating and the over-zealous manner in which the testing process was carried out.”

The task of replying on the KC’s behalf was given to Professor Steve Dean, General Committee member, vet and Border Terrier exhibitor. He quoted the KC’s rule on the subject – F(B) 2(a) which states 'No substance which alters the natural colour, texture or body of the coat may be present in the dog's coat for any purpose at any time during the show'.

“This is a simple rule to understand and should be straightforward for any dog exhibitor to follow,” he said. “Specific exceptions as proposed – that is powder, lacquer and silicone – will remove the simplicity of the rule and will not negate the need for coat testing as other substances such as dyes and colorants will remain.

“The proposal under discussion suggests such products are safe, but that is debatable as there is no regulation of grooming products for use in dogs. However, this is not relevant in this case as the rule is clearly aimed at stopping exhibitors enhancing a dog's coat in the show ring. Therefore, the issue is not about ensuring safety or protecting animal welfare but confounding an intent to deceive.

“Randomness is not intended within the rules which state at F(B)4, ‘The General Committee without previous notice may order an examination of any dog or dogs at any show’’. Testing is best applied to those breeds or individual dogs that intelligence or experience suggests are associated with the most risk of improper use of chemical aids. As some exhibitors of the breeds mentioned by the proposer openly use substances on their dogs' coat at shows it is not surprising these breeds are most often the target of testing.”

Nevertheless, Mr Dean continued, if randomness is intended, then to be effective this would be best applied to show selection and not necessarily breed selection.

The ‘internationally-approved’ forensic laboratory used by the KC assisted in developing the procedures used to gather samples, he said.

“Its customers include UK police force, overseas police forces, government departments, local authorities, insurance companies and commercial corporations,” he said. “It is therefore reasonable to conclude the procedure for gathering samples is as robust as it can be. The suggestion that cross contamination of a dog's coat arises from third-party use of products is simple to resolve. If all exhibitors do not use these substances there would be no cross contamination.”

Is coat testing stressful, painful or a risk to animal welfare, he asked.

“I was present on both occasions coat samples were gathered at Crufts this year and none of the four dogs selected showed signs of distress or pain. In my presence, none of the owners showed the level of distress that has been suggested. A vet carries out the procedure and as professionals they have animal welfare at the forefront of their mind. A vet is therefore quite capable of gathering a coat sample with a flea comb without causing a dog pain or distress. In my view there is no case to answer on this account.

“If members are in support of my comments, it would appear that if the AGM is minded to reject this proposal there is a possibility of litigation. Personally I would rather defend an action that seeks to prevent a deception than try to justify taking no action that allows modification of natural coat quality. I sincerely hope members will agree.”

Mr Dean continued: “Surely where rules are concerned simplicity is best, so it is clear to any of us when a rule is being broken. Far from feeling that coat testing is futile it would be better if this AGM provided a mandate to the General Committee to strengthen its resolve to stop the use of products designed to mask the natural quality of a dog’s coat and I strongly encourage members to do so by voting against this proposal.”

His proposal was seconded by Poodle exhibitor Kim Sillito-Beale who said that every breed has its own methods of presentation and that it was unfair that some products are tested for more than others. Why are the nine tested breeds picked on when other breeds can be seen using their own products? Could it not be left to judges to decide which methods are acceptable, she asked.
She would be happy for testing to take place for dyeing, fixing tails and ears, or doping, but general grooming products should be allowed.

Malcolm Presland asked whether using a little white powder on a Bull Terrier altered the texture any more than hand-stripping a Border Terrier. It's certainly less painful, he said. Mr Irving replied that hand-stripping will not make a bad coat good.

Jean Lanning picked up on Mrs Sillito-Beale's use of the word 'fairness'. She instanced a recent Boxer show where her and her co-judge's hands had been 'as black as the pot' afterwards, the other judge mentioning 'mascara' in his report. She had heard of a Shetland Sheepdog overseas who could no longer be shown as a vet had decided his ears had been fixed. Ears and tails had been fixed in terriers for years; even now she queried the 'ramrod' undocked tails seen in some terriers.

"Mike has made some powerful arguments,” she said. “I think everyone should be treated the same.”
Robert Harlow asked what happens if someone refuses to have their dog's coat tested; the matter would be brought to the Show Executive or even the Disciplinary Sub-Committee, he was told. He said he would not allow one of his dogs to be tested, or would go straight to court. In his experience no court would uphold the testing.

Judith Robin-Smith said you could not keep a Fox Terrier or Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen clean without using chalk or powder, while Poodle presentation was 'a beauty thing' – anyone can see if they are over-lacquered. There should be more consideration for exhibitors and dogs. She asked what was the situation in FCI countries – Mr Irving said that Scandinavia was cracking down on the use of lacquer.

Geoffrey Davies was against the proposal, feeling that if the KC allowed the use of cosmetic products it would not sit well with its stance on rewarding 'fitness for function' and penalising exaggerations.

Exaggerated presentation will give our critics further opportunities, he said.

Paul Bartlett asked what legal advice the KC had taken so that testing does not put the club at risk of litigation. Nothing specific, said Mr Irving, though the body of cases over the years, some of which have been challenged, has helped develop custom and practice.

Stephen Green felt it was important that the rule was easy to understand and that exhibitors knew what products they could use.

Support for the proposal came from Michael Parkinson whose winning Cockers are exercised in Windsor Great Park where they enjoy running through puddles or rolling in fox droppings. Only by using shampoos can they be cleaned up. He is happy to tell anyone what presentation methods he used – there are no secrets and no cheating. Several other Cocker exhibitors expressed similar views.

Jonathan Daltrey felt both Mr Gadsby and Professor Dean had said much of value and wondered, to applause, whether a middle way could be found. This was taken up by the chairman who offered the chance of a smaller meeting of interested parties. The KC needed to be seen not to be condoning wrongdoing, but not to be penalising the use of shampoos.

Speaking again, Mr Gadsby replied to some who had been critical of the proposal. For example, without shampoo and conditioner, a Tibetan Terrier's coat would tangle and removing this could hurt the dog. How could anyone present a Pekingese without using powder? He also wondered how you could test a Poodle or Bichon's coat, for example, without stretching the hair and causing discomfort.
“The KC refuses to listen to reason,” he said. Lacquer has been used by women – and some men – on their own hair for decades, and talc on babies' bottoms. Using these products is not cheating, he said.

Indeed he felt that in the US, where testing never occurs, less product is evident than in the US – you never see a cloud of powder in a Westminster group ring.

After Pedigree Dogs Exposed the ordinary exhibitor had felt muzzled, he said, and asked that this issue still be voted on.

Professor Dean felt that if the proposition was passed it would make matters worse, and emphasised that the two dogs from whom he had taken the samples at Crufts did not react any differently from dogs he examines as a vet.

Mr Gadsby's request for a paper vote, rather than a show of hands, was rejected by the members. He said he had made this request to avoid the possibility of coercion or intimidation. Several times he stressed the view expressed by Mrs Kisko that unless testing was watertight it wasn't worth doing.

It was pointed out to the chairmen that further members wanted a say. He emphasised that whether or not the proposal succeeded it would go back to the General Committee for further discussion. Several more spoke; Vivien Phillips questioned whether it was correct procedure for the debate to have been featured in Dog World; former chairman Peter James felt the offer to debate the issue in Committee was the best way forward.

David Cavill felt that he would not be alone in not being sure which way to vote, so proposed an amendment that full consultation with all interested parties be organised, and a little later agreed to a further suggestion that testing be suspended until this consultation has taken place.

Further contributions came from Peter Young who felt that the current situation made exhibitors unhappy which was not ideal at a time when we should be encouraging people to join or continue with the hobby, while Ann Arch was concerned about exaggerated presentation of today's Old English Sheepdogs and hoped that Crufts wouldn't become a hairdressing competition.

One of Mr Gadsby's final comments was that the chairman had given his Standard Poodle a RBIS award and that coat certainly contained lacquer!

At last a vote was taken and Mr Cavill's amendment attracted overwhelming support, with just a few hands raised for the original proposal.

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IRVING TO STAND DOWN THE KENNEL CLUB LONDON ENGLAND

KC chairman Ronnie Irving to stand down

Ronnie Irving has announced he is to stand down as chairman of the Kennel Club.
In a statement today Mr Irving said he would not be seeking re-election on June 7.

“It has now been my privilege to hold the office of chairman of the KC for nine years,” he said. “For some time I have privately been considering how long to continue in the post, and in March I finally took the decision to relinquish the position.

“As a consequence of this I now wish to announce that I will not be seeking re-election as chairman on June 7, which is the date on which the General Committee is due to elect its chairman and vice-chairman. I will also, in due course, retire as a trustee of the KC and therefore as a member of the General Committee.

“I will of course retain my membership of the club and will be happy, on an ad hoc basis, to help the club in any way that it feels that I can be of assistance.”

He said the KC had been through a difficult period over the last few years.

“But I feel that it is now in a strong position to move forward under different leadership,” he said. “When I took over as chairman I said that I would not continue in the post for ever and that it would be time for me to go when a fresh eye and new leadership would be beneficial. I believe that time has now arrived and that it is therefore appropriate to move on and for me simply to return to the occasional judging appointment and to enjoying showing our dogs.”

He said the KC’s position on health and welfare had ‘never been stronger’ with its Dog Health Group up and running, the Genetics Centre at the Animal Health Trust and the Accredited Breeder Scheme.
“The on-line registration, transfer and Petlog systems are operating successfully and the KC website contains a wealth of helpful information for breeders and for prospective and current dog owners,” he said. “The club’s financial position was strong enough last year to have a healthy surplus even after donating a total of nearly £800,000 to the KC Charitable Trust and to the KC Educational Trust for the benefit of dogs and dog people.

“This year’s budget also looks sound; we now have the KC Educational Trust’s Building at Stoneleigh being extensively used by the world of dogs; Crufts and Discover Dogs have been an agreed success and are likely to continue as such. Though the economic climate is not good and registrations are slightly down in the first part of this year, the demand for pedigree dogs continues apace; shows are bound to suffer from fuel and travel costs in the medium term, but hopefully the longer term future of most of the societies is still very sound.

“Finally, and probably most importantly, I believe that the range of skills and the abilities of both the General Committee and the staff of the KC have never been stronger and more diverse and that the club, under that leadership, will have a very sound future ahead of it.

“I would particularly like to thank both the committee and the staff for the very strong support they have provided to me over the last nine years. Without that support, I would undoubtedly have decided to bring my tenure to an end several years earlier!

“I wish the club every possible success for the future.”

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Hydrotherapists Respond To Criticism - Or Do Vets Want A Bigger Piece Of The Action?

For dogs Hydrotherapy is becoming more popular, but some vets are concerned that the profession is not being regulated properly.

Lowri Davies, president of the British Veterinary Rehabilitation and Sports Medicine Association (BVRSMA), in a recent edition of the Veterinary Record alleged that some hydrotherapy centres in the UK were staffed by people with no nationally recognised qualification and that there is no recognised professional governing body.

“Functional hydrotherapy when used appropriately within a comprehensive rehabilitation programme can be an invaluable aid in restoring function,” she wrote. “When applied indiscriminately and in a non-functional manner, however, at best it can be of little additional benefit to that animal’s recovery and a worst it can permanently hamper an individual’s progress.”

Successful rehabilitation depends on teamwork involving an orthopaedic surgeon, a vet trained in rehabilitation and a chartered veterinary physiotherapist, Ms Davies believes.

“Each member of the team can thus contribute their expertise in attaining the correct diagnosis and formulating a treatment plan in order to achieve the best outcome for the patient,” she said, adding, “If a client is referred for rehabilitation they should be confident that they will be in the hands of informed clinical decision makers. Such a team should be able to discuss their animal’s condition in an informed manner, understand and explain radiographic and scan findings, outline the options for management and react quickly if a change is required to this management plan.”

She concluded: “The importance of the role of the veterinary profession as a whole in seeking to establish, promote and regulate practice in the emerging field of rehabilitation should not be underestimated for the sake of the animals committed to our care.”

‘Professional’

However, a spokesman for the Canine Hydrotherapy Association (CHA) said it was the professional governing body of the industry and a professional qualification does exist.
“Our aims are to provide self-regulation and set benchmark standards in treatment, care, operation and training within the canine hydrotherapy/water based rehabilitation industry,” said chairman of its education committee Rachel Watkins.

“The CHA has championed the way for a nationally recognised qualification in small animal hydrotherapy and in 2010 such a qualification was accepted onto the national framework. This qualification, along with a policy of compulsory, continual professional development, ensures CHA members are encouraged to achieve continual further educational advancement. This qualification is the minimum entry level qualification for membership of the CHA.

“Our members include vets, veterinary physiotherapists, veter–inary nurses and lay practitioners. All individual members are now required to achieve the qualification on the national framework, along with additional compulsory modules and individual practical assessments. All centres are inspected and yearly, independently verified water quality audits are carried out.

“The CHA is often contacted by the public with stories of problems encountered from non-CHA members, and we find it most frustrating that we have no regulatory control over these centres that are of course not audited for expertise, knowledge or intent.

It is now up to referring professionals to ensure they refer only to CHA-regulated centres run by individuals qualified and assessed in small animal hydrotherapy.”

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Has The Emperor Got No Clothes; Have We Been Misinformed For Years?

Confusion among vets over boosters

The controversial issue of vaccination and how often boosters should be given is said to be causing confusion in the veterinary profession.

According to Professor Michael Day of the University of Bristol writing in the Veterinary Record, conflicting information is to blame. But guidelines now suggest that core vaccinations – ones which protect dogs and cats from infectious diseases that are either life-threatening or that cause severe illness – can be administered every three to four years, not annually, and that the process should be considered a medical procedure and tailored to an animal’s individual needs.

Ten years ago the annual vaccination was the norm, but this has been so successful in reducing the incidence of serious infectious diseases that attention has shifted to the ‘small risk’ of vaccine-associated adverse reactions, Prof Day said.

“Over the past 20 years concerns have been raised over the safety of repeated administration of vaccines in both human and veterinary medicine,” he writes. “Although licensed vaccines have an extremely high safety profile, no product can be guaranteed safe in every patient and there is evidence that occasional diverse reactions to vaccines occur.”

These range from mild lethargy to autoimmune diseases and on rare occasions death, he said. The prevalence overall is said to be 18.5 per 100,000 doses of canine vaccine, although in the US the figures are between 30 and 50 for every 10,000 dogs or cats vaccinated respectively.

Vets have responded to the controversy by forming expert groups and guidelines were subsequently issued.

Basic changes

These have prompted basic changes, Prof Day said:
• That vaccines should be administered at three-yearly intervals;
• For determination of whether non-core vaccines are necessary to be made on the basis of the animal’s exposure risk to contagious disease, geographical location, lifestyle and travel history;
• That vaccination should be considered a medical procedure, tailored to the individual animal and presented as part of an annual health check which considers overall health and wellbeing of the animal.

“The recent World Small Animal Veterinary Association guidelines ‘strongly encourage’ vets to move away from the ‘one size fits all’ practice vaccination policy,” Prof Day said.

“Ten years ago vaccines had a licensed minimum duration of immunity (DOI) of one year, but now for core vaccines this is three or four years.

“A survey presented at the 2010 British Small Animals Veterinary Association congress indicated that 53 per cent of UK (vets) sampled used a triennial canine core revaccination schedule, but this figure should now be closer to 100 per cent given that the market leading vaccines all have a three- or four-year licensed minimum DOI.

“It is to be anticipated that further product developments are to follow and that these will give vets even more scope to administer vaccines in accordance with guidelines advice. The ultimate decision on the vaccines given to any pet should be made by the vet after informed discussion with the pet owner.”

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Coat Testing ProposalsTo Be Voiced At KC AGM

Members who attend the Kennel Club's AGM will hear a proposal that coat-testing for powder, lacquer and silicone-based grooming products should cease immediately.

It will come from Mike Gadsby of the Afterglow kennel, who says he feels ‘compelled to challenge’ KC rules after the treatment of Poodle exhibitors by KC officials at Crufts this year.

There was criticism of the way in which coat-testing of the dog CC and RCC winners in Miniature Poodles and West Highland White Terriers was carried out at Crufts; the owners or handlers, two of whom were foreign, were escorted from the ring by stewards before photographs could be taken.

Mr Gadsby said he was supported in his bid by many others across a wide spectrum of breeds.
“Currently it is considered unacceptable for exhibitors to use products which may alter the texture of the coat, including chalk, powder, lacquer, and grooming products which contain silicone,” he said “The latter is commonly found in shampoo and conditioners for both human and canine use.

“These items are used to enhance our dogs for the ring and make them appear at their best for exhibition… Dogs with drop-coats such as Maltese, Yorkies and Shih Tzu are normally washed and conditioned in shampoos which invariably contain silicone as a way to maintain a sleek appearance and prevent the coat from tangling. Poodle exhibitors traditionally use lacquer to enhance the topknot of hair which frames their dogs’ face. In fact, most breeds regularly use products to simply increase shine, and others to increase – or decrease – volume. No unfair advantage is gained as everyone has access to these materials and uses them where appropriate, but all mentioned above should technically disqualify a dog from competition under current regulations.

“The fact is that each time we bathe our dogs we alter their coat texture and thereby break the KC’s rules. Everyone is using some kind of product. If a dog has a lousy coat and you put lacquer on it, it just feels and looks like a pathetic lousy coat with lacquer on. Lacquer doesn’t change or enhance the texture of a coat if it is thin and weak already.” Adding to this frustration, Mr Gadsby said, is how the KC enforces these rules.

“The practice of coat testing for foreign substances is carried out in a supposedly random fashion across a small minority of breeds most commonly including Bichons, Poodles and a selection of terriers. In all cases during the last decade only the dog CC and reserve CC winners have been tested.

“These facts reinforce the belief of many that to call the process random is a contradiction of terms…
“As an experienced exhibitor who has been through this process first hand, I can say that it is thoroughly intimidating and distressing for both dog and handler.”

‘Sad reflection’

In the Miniature Poodle ring at Crufts, Mr Gadsby said, officials escorted two female exhibitors – one of whom was Swedish and did not speak English well – to the testing area.

“Confusion and frustration grew around the ringside as judging was delayed until further notice,” he said. “It was a sad reflection on our sport, at our most publicised and publicly-attend event, for an air of wrong-doing and the inplied allegations of cheating to pervade the hall. More than one exhibitor was heard to say, ‘I can’t believe I paid money to see our breed treated this way!’.

“If KC-sanctioned testing was used to ward off dangerous substances or performance-enhancing drugs, none of us would argue at its importance in maintaining a safe environment for our canine friends. But when such force is used to detect what boils down to high-street beauty enhancers, which pose no welfare risk or potential ill side-effects, it is time for re-evaluation.”

Mr Gadsby said it was important to note the wording of his proposal.

“We are asking for an end of testing for powder, lacquer and silicone-based products only,” he said.

“We are not suggesting that other substances which permanently change natural colour or natural texture such as dye or chemical straighteners should be acceptable. We support the continued testing for dye should the KC choose to do so.”

Sue McCourt of the Silhill Skye Terriers said she believed many terrier people would support Mr Gadsby’s proposal.

“Chalk, lacquer and mousse should be allowed in moderation,” she said. “This is a beauty competition after all.

“I feel that dyeing is completely out of the question; to change the colour of the coat should never be allowed. But moderate use of chalk, lacquer and mousse doesn’t interfere with health and welfare, and simply allows us to present dogs to the best of our ability.”

Geoff Corish and Michael Coad of the Pamplona Poodles said they also supported the proposal.

“We feel that there are far more important issues to be addressed, such as health issues and puppy farming,” they said in a joint statement. “They should be the number one priority.”

Barry Day of the Risepark Miniature Schnauzers echoed Mr Gadsby’s sentiments. “I would be pleased to see coat-testing abolished,” he said. “I believe it’s totally unfair.”

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New Advisors Join Accredited Breeder Scheme

The Kennel Club has announced the appointment of ten new Regional Breeder Advisors, who will play a central role in maintaining the high standards of the Kennel Club Accredited Breeder Scheme.

The new Regional Breeder Advisors were chosen following a rigorous selection process that took account of their breeding experience, knowledge of the scheme and general commitment to the dog world.

Between them, the new recruits amass years of experience within the dog community and almost all are themselves highly experienced breeders. They also bring with them a wealth of other relevant skills, including experience of the inspection and the application of quality standards, management of boarding kennels and of the canine rescue and welfare sector.

A word from the Kennel Club
Bill Lambert, Head of the Kennel Club Accredited Breeder Scheme, said: “The number of Kennel Club Accredited Breeders continues to grow and they are trusted by the public to ensure that their puppies and breeding bitches are given the best possible care and socialisation.

“Our team of Regional Advisors has a crucial role to play in ensuring that the standards of the scheme are upheld and that our inspection system, which is a central part of the scheme, stays robust.

“The quality of the candidates selected is extremely high and I have complete confidence that once they have passed through our training courses they will have the skills and dedication to maintain the quality of the Accredited Breeder Scheme, and to ensure that the puppies and breeding bitches of its members are cared for in the best possible way.

“The recruitment of Breeder Advisors is one of the many ongoing steps that we have taken to improve and refine the scheme and will help us to reach our target to visit every member on the scheme.”

Robert Stuhldreer, one of the new Regional Breeder Advisors and who has worked with dogs for many years, said: "I care passionately about ensuring that people breed their dogs in the right way. There are too many people out there who go to buy a puppy and simply do not know where to turn or what to look out for.

“The Kennel Club Accredited Breeder Scheme is the only one of its kind in the UK – with a robust system of inspections at its heart – and gives puppy buyers confidence that they are going to breeders that they can put their faith in. There are thousands of good breeders out there and I want to help maintain and build a scheme that they can be proud to be a part of.”

Maintaining standards
Accredited Breeders have all agreed to sign up to Kennel Club standards for responsible breeding, which include following guidelines about the maximum age and frequency of litters, providing post-sales advice, proper whelping and kenneling facilities and agreeing to have the required health tests for their breed carried out on their dogs. The Kennel Club, in addition to running a system of inspections, has various other checks in place to monitor the credentials of its members, which include continually monitoring puppy feedback forms and running pre-acceptance checks on all new members.

The most powerful way to end puppy farming is to educate puppy buyers about how to spot a responsible breeder, so that they don’t unwittingly fall into the hands of a puppy farmer. By bringing responsible breeders together as one recognisable group the Kennel Club hopes that puppy buyers will find it easier to identify good breeders from those who may not be.

Puppy buyers can contact the Kennel Club for their list of Accredited Breeders or they can find them listed on the Kennel Club’s Find a Puppy website (www.findapuppy.org.uk) where they will be marked with a scheme logo next to their name, and will appear at the top of the results page.

The ten newly appointed Regional Breeder Advisors are as follows:

Professor Anthony Milton (Cambridgeshire) – Anthony Milton is Professor Emeritus of Pharmacology at Aberdeen University where he was head of the department for over twenty years before retiring. He now teaches pharmacology to both medical and veterinary students at Cambridge University. He has been breeding and showing Border Terriers for over thirty five years, and awards CCs in the breed. He is presently Chairman of the East Anglia Border Terrier Club.

Ray Morland (Lincolnshire) – Ray is a Health and Safety Consultant and has many years’ experience in assessing and maintaining UKAS Quality Assurance systems. He started breeding and showing Afghan Hounds nearly 40 years ago, and for the last 20 years Whippets have become his main breed. He organises Young Kennel Club weekends and training days and is a KC Accredited Trainer for Conformation and Movement ‘Hands On’ Assessments and Managing a Dog Show Society. He awards CCs in Chinese Crested dogs and is Treasurer of Boston DSC.

Robert Stuhldreer (London)– Robert is a founder member of the charity Akita Rescue and Welfare (UK). He formerly worked as an Animal Welfare Officer at the Mayhew Animal Home and Humane Education Centre and assists with temperament tests for Akitas held in county council pounds. He is a regular volunteer at Discover Dogs and has shown successfully at Crufts and other dog shows.Robert uses his Akitas as Blue Cross Education Dogs, and as a dog trainer Robert regularly assists at his local dog club in North London.

Shaun Nield MBE (West Lothian) – Shaun has more than 20 years’ experience in the world of pedigree dogs. He has owned and worked professionally with German Shepherd Dogs and English Springer Spaniels in the police service and the military and is used to maintaining standards through inspections, which he routinely does within the military. He now owns Bernese Mountain Dogs and Large Munsterlanders which he shows and English Springer Spaniels which he breeds and works. Shaun has two Pets As Therapy assessed dogs which he hopes to use for the rehabilitation of injured servicemen. He is a member of three breed societies and is engaged with improving breeding standards through local and national government liaison.

Lynne Scott (Dorset) – Lynne breeds, shows and has owned Rottweilers for many years and awards CCs in the breed. Lynne is actively involved with Rottweiler Welfare and has been called upon to inspect the homes of prospective adoptees. She also owns and successfully shows Basset Griffon Vendeens (Petits). She is currently the Secretary of Dorset County Canine Society, Assistant Secretary of the BGV club and a member of Bournemouth and Paignton Championship Show Societies where she stewards on a regular basis.

Margaret Kay (Isle of Arran, Scotland) – Margaret has bred Yorkshire Terriers for almost 30 years and undertook veterinary nurse training at Glasgow University School of Veterinary Medicine. She owns Labrador Retrievers, an English Springer Spaniel and Yorkshire Terriers and runs puppy socialisation classes, obedience classes and an Agility Summer School. She is a strong advocate for dogs being ‘fit for life’ and has Yorkies which regularly swim in the sea and do agility. Margaret is a member of the Yorkshire Terrier Club of Scotland and promotes the participation of ‘pet owners’ within the Club.

Helen Reaney (Staffordshire) – Helen has owned Staffordshire Bull Terriers for more than 20 years and has bred and shown since 1994. She now awards CCs in the breed and was Secretary of a ringcraft club for 13 years. She is currently Secretary of the Notts & Derby District SBTC, the Kennel Club Breed Liaison Officer for the SBT Breed Council and is Secretary of the Kennel Club Terrier Group Judges Development Programme.

Margaret Ann deMarais (Leicestershire) – Margaret trains for obedience, agility, flyball and all of her Shetland Sheepdogs have qualified through the Good Citizen Dog Training Scheme. She has had experience as a kennel maid and a dog walker and has been breeding dogs for more than 40 years. As Vice Chair of a Local Authority Health & Environmental Services Committee she has honed her evaluation and assessment skills.

John Shaw (East Yorkshire) – John owns and runs a boarding kennels and cattery and houses stray dogs for the East Riding of Yorkshire Council. Dog welfare is a big part of his life and he is a member of the Pyrenean Mountain Dog Club of Great Britain and runs the rescue centre for the breed in England and Wales. Over the years, he and his wife Ann have had experience of breeding Lhasa Apsos, Pyrenean Mountain Dogs and Pugs.

Stevie Allerton – Stevie breeds, exhibits and works German Shorthaired Pointers in the field. She awards CCs in the breed at shows and also competes and judges at Field Trials. Her aim is to produce dogs with the correct conformation, health and temperament to enable them to win in the show ring and fulfil their purpose as gundogs. As a former care homes inspector, she has many years experience in working within a regulatory framework and making judgements against standards.

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Pilot Scheme For Registering Dogs Of Unverified Parentage

A pilot scheme which could enhance genetic diversity has been announced by the Kennel Club. It will allow purebred unregistered dogs to be registered on the Breed Register on a case by case basis. This is a return to the position which existed forty years ago when similar rules were in force.

Enhancing genetic diversity

The move, approved by the Kennel Club General Committee last year, will if used, enhance genetic diversity by widening breed gene pools and allowing new bloodlines to be introduced within breeds.

Under the new pilot scheme, every successful application will be admitted to the register with three asterisks next to its name. Asterisks will be applied for three further generations, in order to identify the fact that there is unknown or unregistered ancestry behind a dog.

How to apply

Applications will need to be accompanied by a letter of explanation of how the applicant acquired the dogand will then only be considered on the proviso that the dog:

a) is verified by two Championship level judges appointed by the Kennel Club who should agree that the dog is representative of its breed.

b) is DNA profiled.

c) has relevant health tests (equivalent to that required and recommended under the Kennel Club Accredited Breeder Scheme) for the breed. Breed specific health requirements under the ABS can be viewed at www.thekennelclub.org.uk/breedhealth.

To ensure that only genuine applicants apply, strict requirements have been put in place that will need to be completed before an application is finally approved by the Committee, and in addition there will be an administration fee of £100 per dog. Every application will be considered on a case by case basis.

Whilst the Kennel Club is keen to open up its register, it should be noted that there is no guarantee that dogs so registered (and their progeny) will be accepted for registration by overseas registering bodies. That will depend upon their local regulations.

Application forms are available direct from the Registration Office on 0844 4633 980

If a dog of unknown origin is accepted on the Breed Register, the dog’s registration will be annotated by three asterisks to indicate unverified origins. If it is bred from and mated to other fully registered dogs of the same breed (with no asterisks next to their name), their progeny, the F1 progeny, will also be annotated with three asterisks.

If the F1 progeny are bred from, and mated to other fully registered dogs of the agreed breed (with no asterisks against their name), their progeny, the F2 progeny, will be annotated with two asterisks. F2 progeny mated to fully registered dogs of the agreed breed (with no asterisks against their name), will produce F3 progeny that will be registered with one asterisk. The F4 and subsequent generations will have no special annotation.

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Dog Health Group First Annual Report 2010

The Kennel Club’s Dog Health Group has published its first annual report which details the continuing progress that is being made towards improving pedigree dog health.

The Dog Health Group has been tasked with ensuring that dogs are bred to enjoy healthy, happy lives. Its work includes continually updating the Kennel Club Accredited Breeder Scheme so that dogs are bred responsibly and well, and researching and monitoring the health of dogs so that the relevant tests and tools can be developed to help combat certain conditions. It also involves ensuring that dog showing and judging is a positive force for change.

Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club Secretary, said: “The Dog Health Group plays a seminal role in influencing Kennel Club policy and guiding the health projects with which it gets involved, so that it can ensure the best outcome for dogs. The Group is made up of – and works closely with – breeders, human and dog geneticists and veterinary surgeons.

“Over the last year our priorities have been to make changes to ensure that our Accredited Breeder Scheme is more robust than ever, so that puppy buyers have confidence about who to buy from and that dog shows only reward healthy dogs in the show ring. We have also continued to invest in the life-saving work and research that is being carried out at the Kennel Club’s Canine Genetics Centre at the Animal Health Trust and developed new strategies to continually improve genetic diversity.”

Some of the achievements in 2010, which have been agreed by the Dog Health Group and its three subgroups, are:

GENETICS

•Significant investment into groundbreaking work at the Kennel Club’s Canine Genetics Centre at the Animal Health Trust, whose molecular geneticists work with breeders, vets and scientists to identify dog diseases and develop DNA tests to help combat them. There are more than 30 DNA tests so far.
•Development of Mate Select, a revolutionary online system that will enable breeders to plan their breeding programmes according to the impact that it will have on genetic diversity. It will also give breeders and potential puppy buyer’s access to available health information for every Kennel Club registered dog.
•Broadening of the Breed Register to accept dogs of impure or unverified origin, in order to expand genetic diversity.
•Reduction of the lifetime limit of litters registered per bitch to four, effective from 1 January 2012. Under the Breeding and the Sale of Dogs Act 1999 a maximum of 6 litters per bitch is allowed.

BREEDING

•Work towards UKAS accreditation of the KC Accredited Breeder Scheme, as recommended in the Bateson Report.
•Formalising of important rules, which although already implicit in the scheme, to ensure that the scheme is as robust as possible. These include requirements that no mating should take place if health tests indicate that it is inadvisable to do so and that breeders should microchip puppies prior to sale.
•Continually appointing Regional Breeder Advisors throughout the country who ensure that the rules of the scheme are upheld by its members.

SHOWING AND CONFORMATION

•Introduction of veterinary assessments for the fourteen high profile breeds, which have been identified as being more prone to suffer from certain health issues, at dog shows from 2012. Dogs will need to pass these veterinary assessments before their champion status or Best of Breed awards are confirmed to ensure that only healthy dogs win top awards.

In addition to the steps above the Kennel Club has produced a detailed guide for veterinary surgeons to enhance their understanding of each breed and the health tests that are required and recommended. This is a central plank of the Kennel Club’s strategy, helping to ensure that puppy buyers get solid advice on the ground, from the experts that they know and trust.

The Kennel Club’s Dog Health Group was established in January 2010, to replace and expand the remit of the Breed Health and Welfare Strategy Group. Other actions taken by the Dog Health Group include:

Breeding

•8 new breed specific requirements have been added to an already substantial list and 4 clinical health tests. A further 46 breed specific recommendations were approved.

Showing and conformation

•A continued education programme for judges so that they realise the key role that they play in ensuring that dog shows only reward healthy dogs.
•Breed Health Coordinators have been appointed in each breed, with whom the Kennel Club engages about key health issues within their breed.
•The Kennel Club keeps a keen eye on the health of breeds, taking feedback from those who are on the front line. Judges of high profile breeds are now required to submit Breed Health Monitoring reports to the Kennel Club, with their assessment of the breed’s health. An interactive tool, Breed Watch, has also been introduced to the Kennel Club website, enabling breed clubs, judges and health coordinators to input issues that they note within breeds to alert judges and breeders to health concerns and tendencies towards conformational exaggerations.

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Professional Dog Walkers On The Increase

Professional dog walking is one of the country’s fastest-growing jobs. Thousands of people now offer a service that appears to be caring – but which can have a murkier side.

Owners have been warned to be careful when entrusting their beloved pets to paid help – because not everyone can handle one dog, let alone a pack.

Yet today in parks, commons and other open spaces it is not unusual to see walkers grappling with the leads of six, eight or ten dogs.

Anyone can set up as a ‘professional’ walker. The only strict requirement is to follow animal-welfare rules or risk prosecution with a fine of up to £20,000, plus up to 51 weeks in prison.

There are about 10,000 registered dog walkers who claim to provide scrupulous care for dogs. They charge from £10 to £30 to walk a dog for an hour, inclusive of pick-up and drop-off. Other dogs owned by the same person can be exercised for an extra £5 to £10.

An elite group of pet walkers in London and the South-East exist to pamper the pets of celebrity clients such as Sienna Miller – who has two rescue terrier crosses, Porgy and Bess – and Fulham footballer Danny Murphy, who has a Bernese mountain dog called Jim and a golden labrador, Henry.

Firms such as Pets In The City, run by Sarah Marris, and Very Important Pets, run by trained veterinary nurse Louise Root, belong to a premier league of companies that offer a personal one-to-one dog service for about £35.

They also offer monthly ‘gold’ packages for around £650 – which include feeding, trips to the vet and even shampooing. The firms are registered with the 6,000-member National Association of Registered Petsitters.

Its chairman, Robin Taylor, runs checks on each person applying to join his scheme.

He said: ‘We have a code of practice and handlers can walk a maximum of only four dogs at a time. They must also take out our public liability insurance. I believe these standards should become law for all dog walkers.’

The organisation’s scheme offers £5 million of insurance cover against a pet’s injury or theft, dog bites to passers-by or other dogs, and road accidents. But many other dog walkers do not have insurance.

In the recession, unemployed people turned to dog walking for ready cash, charging from £7.50 to £20 an hour. Some walk ten dogs at a time. Dogs are often seen bundled into walkers’ vans or cars without any safety harnesses.

Yet few walkers are able to keep control of such a large group of dogs, or clear up all the animals’ mess.

Dr Roger Mugford, an animal psychologist from Chertsey, Surrey, thinks it is time dog walkers were regulated throughout the country.

‘Dogs are sociable but there should be a limit of four for walkers,’ he said. ‘Dogs need to be controlled at all times and you cannot do that with six, eight or ten dogs. Owners should check out walkers before handing over a beloved family pet.’

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Disciplinary System For Veterinary Nurses

The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) is introducing a disciplinary system so that animal owners and other members of the public can make formal complaints about registered veterinary nurses.

The RCVS says that this new complaints and disciplinary system should give animal owners greater confidence in the professionalism of vet nurses and their fitness to practise.

It will give them a course of action if they feel a nurse falls below accepted standards of professional conduct.

Minor surgery

These nurses are allowed to carry out minor surgery and medical treatments if delegated them by a vet.

“This is the latest milestone in improving the regulation of veterinary nurses which has now been brought further into line with that of veterinary surgeons,” said the chairman of the College’s veterinary nurses council, Liz Branscombe. “Registered veterinary nurses already work to a guide to professional conduct and commit to keeping their skills and knowledge up to date, so this is a further step in recognising their own professional responsibility.”

As is the case with vets, the RCVS will investigate only complaints which question a nurse’s fitness to practise; for example professional misconduct or criminal convictions.

If the allegations are serious enough, the complaint can be taken to a disciplinary hearing. Less serious allegations will be closed without a hearing.

Disciplinary enquiries into nurses will follow the format of a tribunal, and if allegations against the nurse are found proved, they may be removed from the register.

“If necessary, advice about professional conduct will be given to the (nurse),” Ms Branscombe said.

“Genuine mistakes made by (a nurse), even if the outcome is serious, will not usually reach a hearing, although repeated or reckless mistakes may be investigated.”

Information about how to make a complaint can be found on www.rcvs.org.uk/complaints.

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Docked Breeds Denied; Campaigners Continue With Protest

Owners of legally-docked dogs are continuing with their protest at being unable to enter shows which charge admission to the public.

They still hope that their views will be taken seriously and that the societies may find an alternative to the charge – the factor which by law prevents legally-docked 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 and East of England.

Alternative Income

The basic thrust of the exhibitors’ argument is that societies should be looking for an alternative means of income.

Maxine McCullough and Wendy Oxman of the ‘Docked and Denied’ campaign are asking owners of legally-docked dogs to fill out entry forms for these shows to illustrate how much money the society is losing from entry fees.

“We are asking exhibitors to complete the entry forms as if they are entering the show, with car park and catalogue, additional classes and varieties,” Mrs McCulloch said. “We want them to total up their fees, which will include those for the docked dogs who cannot attend due to the admittance charge, and send them to me.

“Many people have done this already and we are up to more than £2,500 in lost revenue for Windsor so far with entries still coming in.

“We wonder why they can’t just relax the charge for gundog day alone.”
Mrs McCullough said other shows would soon be under the spotlight.

“This is the first show we are doing it for but the same will probably apply to Leeds and East of England,” she said. “We will certainly ask people to fill in for LKA the same way and then see how things are progressing for next year’s Crufts. Hopefully we will then run another advertising campaign if the admittance charge has not been dropped by then.”

Windsor secretary Irene Terry said: “We have no comment at this time.”

For more information on the campaign email maxine@kimmax.co.uk or wendyoxman3@hotmail.co.uk.

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Yanks Know Best ?

If the title of grand champion was introduced at UK shows would it boost entries and keep people more interested in Dog Showing?

Should there be fifth and sixth group placings or baby puppy classes?

In his ‘From the Chairman’ column in this month’s Kennel Gazette, Kennel Club chairman Ronnie Irving asks whether there are lessons to be learned from these and other moves – successful and unsuccessful – made or being considered in America in a bid to increase and expand the popularity of showing.

At one time Mr Irving and his family lived in the US and were able to take part in the show scene there. One of the areas in which the UK and US differ, he says, was the number of shows and championship ‘points’ available.

Rationed

In England, CCs are ‘strictly rationed’ and the number of open shows clubs can hold has been reduced, whereas in America the number has grown fairly dramatically, as has the number of championship points available.

The result of this has not been what was intended, Mr Irving said. The average all-breed championship show in America draws an entry of about 900 dogs compared to a figure of 1,200 a few years ago.

In comparison, the UK’s reduction of 3.5 per cent ‘while greater than we would want’ is not as serious, he said, adding: “It is no wonder that some American Kennel Club (AKC) members are thinking of ways to emulate the UK and reduce the number of championship shows allowed.”

The AKC’s bid to reverse the falling entry trend before more clubs go out of existence have included introducing a new title of ‘grand champion’ to give a more meaningful indicator of quality than the usual ‘champion’, he said, explaining that in Border Terriers in America there were about 15 champions for every one in the UK – and this breed is only 83rd in the popularity stakes there compared to sixth or seventh over here.

In addition, the new title was introduced to keep exhibitors showing for longer, Mr Irving wrote.

“Before its introduction, dogs were made up to ordinary champion level quickly, and unless they were potential group winners they disappeared equally quickly from the show scene,” he said.

“That grand champion move seems to have worked and has resulted, in the first year of the title, in an increase of some ten per cent in entries in the ‘specials’ or champions classes.”

In the first year of the ‘grand champion era’ there have already been nearly 3,500 dogs who have gained that title, Mr Irving writes. Given that the UK has fewer than 1,000 champions each year and that the title takes a long time to achieve, no such change towards a further level of champion would seem to be needed here to increase the number of dogs at shows, he concluded

Increase Entries

Another move being suggested is to create a reserve best in show placing at ch shows, which of course is already offered in the UK, and to allow group placings down to fifth and sixth at championship events.

“Presumably this is to encourage group winners to compete for league table points and thus boost entries at shows,” Mr Irving said. “Who knows whether such moves will work. Would a fifth and sixth group placing work here in the UK?”

The AKC has also introduced ‘baby puppy classes at ch shows for those aged between four and six months.

“These have been quite popular in some FCI countries for some years,” Mr Irving said. “How would they go down here in the UK with our much larger general ch shows? Or should they be introduced only at open shows so that these shows can once again serve more as training grounds for puppies?”
Mr Irving concluded by saying he would be interested to hear people’s views.

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April 1/2011 Clarges Street Under Seige

The Kennel Club is under siege today as protesters from all over the country marched to Clarges Street and aired their grievances.

Leading the Protesters from Liverpool is Professional Streaker Mark Roberts who claims that he was tortured at Crufts 2010. The Liverpool Crew consist of Streakers, Lap Dancers, Belly Dancers and a former Crufts winner who impersonates Freddy Mercury. ( And Lionel Blair)

The German Shepherd Protesters - from all over the UK - are demanding that there should be an alternative Kennel Club and that Pensioners who have German Shepherd Puppies are not ejected from Crufts in adverse weather conditions.

Exhibitors are fed up with the tactics that are now being employed by the Kennel Club and are angry that dissenters who are summoned to a Disciplinary Hearing at the Kennel Club are challenged to a bare knuckle fight with the Chairman.

Snipers have been spotted on the roof tops of the Kennel Club and there is water cannon on standby just in case. A spokesman for the Kennel Club said; " These are only precautionary measures because we have Ann Arch on the door."

The Government has been asked to set up a ' No Fly Zone ' at the Kennel Club to protect the demonstrators. However, a spokesman said " This would be an impossible task to forcibly put their trousers on back to front."

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Coat Testing Procedure Criticised - And Enrages Exhibitors

Irving Gets It Wrong Again When Gestapo Type Methods Are Again Employed At Crufts.
His Apologist Caroline Kisko Is Wheeled Out Yet Again To Try To Calm The Furore!

There has been criticism of the way in which coat-testing of Miniature Poodles and West Highland White Terriers was carried out at Crufts.

The dog CC and dog RCC winners were tested; these were, in Miniature Poodles, Sw Ch Sandust Market Master owned by Christina and Susanne Johansson and Susanne Svedberg of Sweden, and RDCC Ch Glayvar Got Wot It Takes owned by June Clark and Mrs S Higgins.

In WHWT DCC was Ch/Int Ch Karamynd Play The Game, owned by Jennie Griffiths, and RDCC was Alfie The Prince of White Gallardo, owned by Anita Kuik of Holland.
A breeder said that after Crufts the ‘hot topic on everyone’s lips’ had been the manner in which the coat testing was done.

“To the public and indeed anyone who might just have happened to be watching at the time it appeared that the two lady handlers were being arrested for murder!” she wrote. “Two security guards plus a further six stewards circled them and marched them off with grim faces through the crowd and off into the distance.

“A large dose of overkill, we all felt. Could it not have been handled in a quieter fashion, or is our governing body now looking to embarrass themselves – and dogdom in general – by such displays?”
Judging ceased until the dogs returned to the ring.

“When all finally resumed after a lengthy wait there was a definite feeling of unease and injustice circulating which I suspect will take a long time to subside,” Miss Kitchener said.

“As secretary of the Miniature Poodle Club I have had numerous emails and my phone has been hot with calls asking for the breed clubs and Poodle council to take issue with the KC.

“There is more than one issue here, but most concern was raised on the manner of the ‘hostile frogmarch’ from the ring, not to mention the anti-climax for the two winners who had no chance to enjoy their moment of success; no photos for the archives or the spectators, nothing.

“This was to be the Swedish dog’s only appearance in the UK, and it was Got Wot It Take’s retiring show; hardly great memories for either and most certainly not a great advertisement for purebred dogs to a watching public.

“Had the owners/handlers committed a crime we might well have applauded, but we are talking about the possible use of hairspray in a dog’s topknot; it doesn’t interfere with the health and welfare of a dog and it doesn’t affect genetic make-up. It doesn’t breed on and it doesn’t hoodwink any judge on any level.”

Championship show Poodle judge Val Beck said the coat-testing had ruined the day for many people.

“Two men, from the KC I presume, were watching over the Poodles….” she said. “They came round and if they saw anything on or near the tables that looked like it could be hair spray – even just a grooming spray to get rid of fly-away hair – they would tell people to put this or that article away or to make sure they did not use it.

‘Whisked away’

“The DCC winner and the reserve were whisked away before they could even take it in that they had had this tremendous win at Crufts. Nor could their photos be taken. This procedure I thought was abominable. Crufts must be the laughing stock of many countries where this does not go on.”

Another exhibitor who asked for anonyminty, said: “We pay a lot of money to travel, enter and show and we deserve to be treated with a little respect and not made to feel like criminals and outcasts.

“Dialogue with the breed council and an agreed policy is the way forward, and I hope that those in a position of power at the KC can stop, think about what they are doing and why, and realise that.”

One breeder said that coat-testing is not carried out in Holland and was ‘a complete shock’ to RCC winner Mrs Kuik as coat testing is not carried out there.

“If the KC is not careful, people are not going to spend that sort of money to come from the Continent to be hijacked,” he said. “It appears that Mrs Kuik was both distressed and bemused by the whole incident…

“As a percentage amount of all cleaning substances will always remain evident in the canine coat, even after a series of baths, and taking into account the number of products now available on the market, one question is what percentage of so-called foreign substance per micron or per milligram tested has been agreed as acceptable? Maybe there should be more specific guidelines?

“It is not in the best interests of our most prestigious annual canine event if a future headline was responsible for deterring the continued visit to our shores of some of our most valued overseas canine friends.”

The KC responded saying that coat testing was carried out this way to avoid any possibility of contamination.

“While the KC has absolutely no wish to spoil anyone’s day – particularly with such a great win – it is imperative that random coat testing is carried out in a very specific way in order to avoid any possibility of contamination from outside as has happened in the past,” said spokesman Caroline Kisko.

“While we recognise that competitors wish to enjoy their win, if photos are to be taken then that is allowed providing we are able to shadow the dogs and exhibitors, and such shadowing is done until the testing has been completed.”

Mrs Kisko added that on the day in question there were more stewards than usual because one had been taken ill and an extra one was drafted in. Not all were involved in the coat testing, she said.

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Vets Demand Action On Neapolitans’ Health

Two ot the main veterinary bodies have thrown down the gauntlet to the Kennel Club after their attention was drawn to photographs of the Neapolitan Mastiffs at Crufts.

The British Small Animals Veterinary Association (BSAVA) and the British Veterinary Association (BVA) issued a joint statement saying they were examples of a breed which had serious problems and was ‘suffering through exaggerated conformation’.

The statement continued: “In terms of what is happening in the show ring, we hope that the introduction of vet checks from next year for the 15 most high-profile breeds will ensure that dogs like this will not make it into the ring and will no longer be seen as desirable or good examples of the breed.

“However, in terms of tackling the actual health problems within the breed, these pictures should be a stark wake-up call to both the breed clubs and the KC that urgent action must be taken. If they don’t act now the calls for the breed to be de-registered will become even louder.”
The Veterinary Times is publishing an article on the subject next week.

Observing The Judging

The vets’ statement was prompted by the blog of Pedigree Dogs Exposed’s creator Jemima Harrison which featured photographs of the Neapolitan Mastiffs at Crufts, which were judged by Luis Pinto Teixeira. He was unable to be contacted.

It is understood that KC representatives were observing the judging and the dogs themselves at Crufts.

Calling what she saw of the breed at Crufts ‘a parade of mutants’, Ms Harrison called for the breed to be de-registered.

Dogs Trust added its criticism but said that de-registration was not the answer. Its veterinary director Chris Laurence said: “Dogs Trust deplores any breed where their conformation is so exaggerated that the dog’s welfare suffers as a result. Extreme skin folding on the head, as often seen on the Neapolitan Mastiff, is a good example of a conformation affecting dogs’ welfare for their entire lives.

“However, simply banning a breed would not solve the issue as the breeding of such dogs would undoubtedly continue. Dogs Trust would prefer strict criteria to be introduced to prevent affected individuals being shown, and we hope that the veterinary checks of winning dogs being introduced will result in such dogs being removed from the show ring.

“Urgent action is required to resolve these issues.”

In January, the KC announced that from Crufts next year, the BOBs in 15 ‘high-profile breeds’ at general and group championship shows after that will need to be given a clean bill of health by the show vet before their awards are confirmed and they are allowed to continue to compete at the show. In addition, before the champion title of any dog or bitch within these breeds can be confirmed the dog will have to undergo the same procedure at a group or general championship show.

The move, the KC said, is to ensure that the breeds, ‘some of which suffer from health issues and which attract the greatest criticism, do not bring the whole hobby of dog showing into disrepute’. The Neapolitan is one of those 15.

Terrier World was informed that the Neapolitan Mastiff Club was continuing to take the health of the breed very seriously ‘to achieve the goal of producing dogs who display the very best balance of both breed type and optimum health that we can all be proud of’. DW’s Neapolitan Mastiff correspondent Denise Bucknall, who is secretary of the breed club, said that improving the health of the breed could not happen overnight but was a long-term commitment which could take up to six generations.

“Both experts and the various reports on this issue recognise that it will take decades before the problems really begin to be resolved,” she said.

“The Neapolitan Mastiff Club and its members, breed enthusiasts and breeders are genuinely concerned with the health and welfare of our breed whom I know are only too aware of the ongoing endeavours to address the problems we have within our own gene pool which are being monitored and will continue to be improved upon…”

The KC said it had no intention of ‘simply taking the moral high ground and deregistering any breed purely to protect the KC from criticism’.

“We would agree with Chris Laurence’s comment that to do so would be ineffective since it would not stop dogs from being bred. We would prefer to continue to work with breeds to resolve problems.

“From next year all BOB winners from the high-profile breeds will be subject to veterinary inspection prior to competing in groups and before a champion title is confirmed, so the matter will be very much in the hands of the veterinary profession to determine whether there are any clinical conditions present which may be causing suffering.

“The high-profile breeds remain popular and will continue to be bred regardless of whether they are shown. It is, therefore, important – in the interests of transparency and progress – that the breeds are shown, their progress is monitored and open discussions are held about how breeders and puppy buyers can ensure they breed and buy the healthiest dogs possible.

“The KC has identified 15 of the 210 breeds that are the most susceptible to health issues related to exaggerated features, and it wants to see urgent changes in these breeds. This includes the Neapolitan Mastiff. Such changes cannot be achieved overnight and the show ring is the best way to monitor progress within breeds.”

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KC seeks urgent meeting with RSPCA over ‘stance and tone’

Kennel Club chairman Ronnie Irving has asked for an urgent meeting with the RSPCA after the charity took issue with remarks made during the TV coverage of Crufts.

And KC secretary Caroline Kisko said the club was ‘extremely disappointed’ at the stance and tone ‘adopted by the charity before, during and after Crufts’.

On Tuesday, in an open letter to the KC, the RSPCA expressed ‘grave concern’ about More4’s programmes on which, it claimed, interviewees and presenters gave the message repeatedly that pedigree dogs, including those shown at Crufts, were ‘happy and healthy’.

“This is misleading to the public and extremely disappointing as we had hoped the coverage would be open and honest about the serious health and welfare issues that continue to affect many pedigree dogs, without glossing over the issues,” wrote RSPCA chief executive Mark Watts. “After all, this is one of the biggest challenges facing dog welfare in the UK today.

“Many pedigree dogs remain vulnerable to unnecessary disease, disability, pain or behavioural problems because they’re bred primarily for how they look rather than with health, welfare or temperament in mind. Indeed, footage of some of the dogs at Crufts this year demonstrated the exaggerated features that we are so concerned about.

Exaggerations

“As just one example, during the judging of the working group the commentators said that a dog was free from exaggerations. The dog in question clearly had extremely folded skin and drooping eyelids, which can lead to suffering.”

Mr Watts said that three reports into dog breeding had concluded that ‘urgent action’ was needed to safeguard the welfare of pedigree dogs.

“Although some progress has been made by the dog world it has not been nearly enough and the problems are far from being solved,” he said. “Both experts and the various reports on this issue recognise that it will take decades before the problems really begin to be resolved – and only then if sufficient effort is made by everyone in the dog world.

“It is extremely misleading to suggest not only that the problems have been solved after only two years but that pedigree dogs are happy and healthy.”

KC chairman Ronnie Irving said he had asked for an urgent meeting with the RSPCA’s chairman Daphne Harris to update her and Mr Watts on current KC and breeder initiatives.

“I wish also to give them the opportunity to offer their suggestions as to what positive moves they think that we and dog breeders should be taking that we are not currently taking,” he said.

“As a breeder of Border Terriers I very much deplore the sweeping nature of the RSPCA’s statements over the week of Crufts, and I will look forward to discussing those in detail with its chairman.”

Initiatives

Mrs Kisko told DW: “Had the society actually attended Crufts or consulted the KC it might have been more aware of the initiatives and investment being made by breeders and the KC to ensure the future health of dogs. It would also have seen the thousands of healthy dogs enjoying a day out with their owners.

“It is events such as Crufts that give us all an opportunity to move breeds forward by rewarding healthy dogs in the show ring. It is also a chance to educate people about how to buy a healthy puppy from a responsible breeder.”

She said the KC had been heartened by the ‘general positivity’ surrounding this year’s show and the fact that so many charities, veterinary organisations and geneticists were on hand to help the KC get their messages across.

“Of course, we are well aware that there are issues which remain to be addressed in the world of pedigree dogs; responsible breeders and the KC have these well in hand and it is of course accepted that they will take time to be resolved,” she said.

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Liverpool streaker claims 'ruff' treatment after Crufts dash

Professional Streaker Mark Roberts
'Professional streaker' Mark Roberts... with his clothes on!

A serial streaker claims he was handed some 'ruff' treatment after he did a naked dash across the arena at Crufts dog show.

Mark Roberts, 45, claims he was subjected to 15 minutes of "pure torture" by burly security guards at Birmingham's NEC.

The professional streaker interrupted proceedings at Sunday night's show with only a cat's face covering his modesty and the words "I streak.com" written on his chest.

He was quickly apprehended by security and frogmarched into back room in the
arena.

It was there that Mark says he was subjected to an assault in which excessive force was used.



Mark, from Old Swan, Liverpool, said: "I was treated like a prisoner of war. One of the men told another one to 'close the door so we can do him in.'

"They twisted my arms so far up my back I thought my wrists would break. The
pain was so intense, I've never felt anything like it in my life.

"I was doing what they told me to so they'd stop hurting me but when I cried
out in pain they shouted at me and bent my arms back further."

Distressed at reliving his ordeal, Mark became upset when he spoke of how six
other people in the room [Kennel Club Officials?] watched but did nothing.

He continued: "I'm not ashamed to say I was crying like a baby and begging them
to stop.

"My face was soaking [With Sweat] and I pleaded with someone [KC Officials?] to help me but no one did anything.

"When they eventually let go of me I collapsed. I was on the floor in agony but
they just stared at me like I was an animal."

The father-of-two is now recovering from his ordeal and is seeking legal advice.

He said: "I want the people responsible brought to justice. It was only a dog
show but I was treated like a terrorist.

"What they did to me was completely disproportionate to what I'd done. Streaking doesn't hurt anyone but they put me through the worst pain I've ever experienced."

A spokesman from the NEC Arena said: "We can confirm that a visitor to the arena was arrested on Sunday evening for breach of the peace.

"We take these allegations extremely seriously and will be conducting our own internal investigation.

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The Kennel Club and Hoax Calls

The Kennel Club is concerned to have received several reports of people having received unsolicited calls from individuals claiming to be representing the Kennel Club or companies affiliated to the Kennel Club. Some calls have been received from a company offering supported website services and it has been suggested that this has been endorsed and sanctioned by the Kennel Club.

We would like to assure anyone receiving a call that the Kennel Club and its marketing partners will only contact people regarding related services or offers if they have given permission for us to do so. If ever in doubt as to the authenticity of the approach, please contact us in order that we can verify.

Anyone receiving a telephone call from someone claiming to be from the Kennel Club, should ensure that they do not give out any of their personal details or online account information, as these would never be requested during a genuine call from the Kennel Club itself. People should also be cautious about making any immediate purchase from an unsolicited call without checking the credentials of the caller.

If in any doubt, ask for the person's name and extension number and advise that you will call them back through the main Kennel Club number - 0844 4633 980. The Kennel Club also welcomes reports of any such calls on this same number or via email to web.registrations@thekennelclub.org.uk.

We have been in touch with Trading Standards and the advice is that anyone receiving a call which gives them cause for concern or complaint should report the matter to Trading Standards directly via the contact details below:

Consumer Direct – 0845 404 0506
You will then be directed to the local Trading Standards Office during that phone call.

Or email via the Trading Standards website: http://www.consumerdirect.gov.uk
Go to the ‘Contact Us’ section and post your email as directed http://www.consumerdirect.gov.uk/contact

Trading Standards will be able to advise you further and will then be able to investigate directly – but they need your individual reports in order to do so.

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Regulations Reviewed On Dogs Handled By Judge’s Spouse

The Kennel Club has reviewed the regulations concerning the judging of dogs handled by a judge’s spouse or close relative at agility and obedience shows, heelwork to music competitions and working trials.

The KC said it accepted that ‘in the majority if not all cases, judges and competitors behave in a fair and honest manner’.

“We are not doubting the integrity of judges; we are concerned with the perception of unfairness and bias which may arise when judges have to judge a dog entered under them handled by their spouse or by a close relative,” a spokesman said.

From January 1, 2012, the following new regulation will be added to G36a, H27a, I13.a and L23a to allow for any awards given by a judge to a dog handled by their spouse or immediate family or if the dog is resident at the judge’s address to be disqualified.

TO: A dog may be disqualified by the General Committee from any award whether an objection has been lodged or not, if proved among other things to have been;

“Handled by the scheduled judge’s spouse, immediate family or is resident at the same address as the scheduled judge. This shall not apply to a judge appointed in an emergency.”

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Kennel Club Group Judges Meeting For Non Sporting Breeds Seminar

A meeting of 70 group judges from the Utility, Toy, Working and Pastoral groups was held on Thursday 17th February 2011 at the Kennel Club Building, Stoneleigh Park, Warwickshire.

The meeting focused on the changes that have been made to improve breed health – including within the high profile breeds – and what more needs to be done. It also emphasised the essential role that judges play in moving breeds forward.

Kennel Club Chairman, Ronnie Irving, spoke of the progress that has been made since the first Group Judges meeting held in February 2009, including the formation of three new sub-groups (Breed Standards and Conformation, Genetics and Health Screening, and Accredited Breeder Scheme) to support the Dog Health Group.

Dr Ruth Barbour, Chairman of the Breed Standards and Conformation subgroup and organiser of the seminar, talked about the health and welfare issues related to the high profile breeds and focused on the reports received from judges and Kennel Club observers, as part of the Breed Watch programme. These reports are being shared with the relevant breed clubs as a basis for discussion and the process will continue in 2011 to enable year on year comparisons. Groups were also formed during the day to discuss the problems and challenges facing breeds within the four non-sporting groups.

Speaking about the day, Dr Barbour said: “The meeting was extremely useful for discussing the progress that has already been made to help ensure that all dogs are ‘fit for function, fit for life’. Much valuable feedback was received from the discussion groups, which will now be considered by the Breed Standards subgroup of the Dog Health Group.”

Frank Kane, Chairman of the Breed Standards and Stud Book Sub-Committee, emphasised the very important role senior judges have, to ensure that the Kennel Club Challenge Certificate is only awarded to healthy dogs.

He spoke about the changes that were made to the breed standards, which focused on eyes, skin, nostrils and muzzle length, coat issues, substance, movement and exaggeration, and how the changes would, and already were, helping to improve the health of the high profile breeds.

Mr Kane emphasised that fact that a Breed Standard “ensures that the breed is fit for function. Absolute soundness is essential.”

He stated: “Breeders and judges should at all times be careful to avoid obvious conditions or exaggerations which would be detrimental in any way to the health, welfare or soundness of the breed.

“From time to time certain conditions or exaggerations may be considered to have the potential to affect dogs in some breeds adversely, and judges and breeders, are requested to refer to the Kennel Club website for details of any such current issues. If a feature or quality is desirable it should only be present in the right measure.”

The final talk was given by Professor Mike Herrtage, who has been instrumental in the work done since 2002 on the conditions discussed throughout the day.

Professor Herrtage provided the visual images of dogs affected by breathing, skin and eye conditions and also varying degrees of lameness. This proved extremely useful for the judges present to see in reality the major effects of genetically inherited problems. Professor Herrtage, throughout his talk, asked the judges not to reward dogs affected by these conditions as the top winning dogs are very often chosen for future breeding plans.

Commenting on the judges meeting, Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club Secretary, said: “Dog shows can be, as Professor Bateson said, a positive lever for change and judges have a vital role to play. New initiatives such as the Breed Watch programme and giving judges power to exclude or withdraw dogs from the show ring means that they can now make more of a difference than ever before.”

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Kennel Club Welcomes Minister’s Announcement That Government
“Got This One Wrong” On Forestry Sell Off

The Kennel Club has welcomed the announcement made by Defra Minister, Caroline Spelman in Parliament, stating the Government’s decision to halt plans to sell off England’s public forests.

The u-turn comes after the Kennel Club and other countryside groups rallied the nation’s walkers and dog owning campaigners to put pressure on the Government to stop the planned privatisation of public forests and woodlands.

The Kennel Club previously expressed its concerns about the Government’s proposed sale of Forestry Commission sites, as it was feared that new management and ownership could have compromised access for dog walkers and owners.

As of today, the consultation on the future management and ownership of the public forests and woodlands launched last month will now be scrapped, and all forestry clauses in the Public Bodies Bill are to be removed, said the Environment Secretary.

Ms Spelman also announced that there will be an independent panel of experts set up to examine English forestry policy, to report back to the Secretary of State later this year. This panel will advise the Minister on proposed English woodland and forestry policy, and discuss the future of the Forestry Commission.

Commenting on today’s announcement, Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club Communications Director, said: “The Kennel Club is delighted that the Minister has recognisedthe massive implications for all the many groups of people who utilisethe forests had they been sold off or leased. The dog owning public accounts for a large proportion of those who enjoy these areas and we will continue working to ensure their access rights are protected both now and in the future.”

The Kennel Club is currently in discussion with Defra to ensure that dog walkers are represented as part of the panel established in the wake of this announcement.

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Kennel Club Fears Rush Job On Welsh Breeding Regulations

The Kennel Club remains particularly concerned about new Welsh dog breeding regulations which it fears will target the wrong people, following a statement by the Rural Affairs team yesterday which suggested that the regulations would be rushed through before Assembly dissolves on 31st March this year.

Despite the consultation regarding the Animal Welfare (Breeding of Dogs) (Wales) Regulations 2011 which closedin mid-January, the Minister for Business and Budget, Jane Hutt stated “On the Minister for Rural Affairs' regulations on dog breeding, of course we are seeking to bring those forward within our timetable”, in response to a Business Question set out by Andrew R T Davies AM, who has supported the Kennel Club on this issue.

The Kennel Club recognises the lead that the Welsh Assembly Government is taking to try and make life difficult for puppy farmers. It remains concerned, however, about expending resources by over-regulating responsible breeders, especially in the face of budget cuts, if the measures are to have any chance of succeeding. The Kennel Club fears that the draft regulations will fail to crack down on puppy farmers and will instead have a detrimental impact on responsible breeders and actually help to fuel the puppy farming trade.

Caroline Kisko, Communications Director of the Kennel Club said: “Any new legislation in Wales could provide a framework for other governments in Westminster, Scotland or Northern Ireland in the future. Therefore it is absolutely essential that we get these regulations right.

“The current proposals as they stand will place restrictions on caring small scale dog breeders, the very breeders who should be encouraged to breed - discouraging them from breeding and driving people further into the hands of puppy farmers. I am sure this is not the intention of the regulations, and therefore we are continuing to work with Assembly Members to ensure that they are aware of these issues. We hope that the Minister takes on board the consultation responses before rushing through any new legislation.”

Details of the proposed regulations can be found here. Please click here to read the Kennel Club’s full response to the consultation.

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VETS TACKLE DEFRA SECRETARY ON BUDGET CUTS AND DANGEROUS DOGS
AT ANNUAL DINNER

The President of the British Veterinary Association (BVA) used his annual London dinner speech tonight (Tuesday 8th February) to call on the Government to take action on veterinary student fees and the welfare of dogs and to respond to the consultation on dangerous dogs.

The Rt Hon Caroline Spelman MP, Secretary of State for Defra, also addressed the guests, including parliamentarians, veterinary surgeons, and representatives from the agri-food industry, pet industry, welfare charities, research and veterinary education.

BVA President Harvey Locke began by raising concerns over cuts to animal health and welfare and disease surveillance budgets. He said:

“In the Comprehensive Spending Review Defra took one of the biggest hits. The profession remains deeply concerned that cuts in research and development and disease surveillance could have catastrophic consequences…

“We understand the immense downward pressure being exerted on Departmental budgets and competing priorities, but we would also caution against the unintended consequences of cuts that will have to be paid for in the future…

“Right now the UK enjoys some of the highest animal health and welfare standards in the world and so it is in all of our interests to ensure the viability of the farming sector amidst massive competition from abroad, where those standards may not always be as high.”

On veterinary student fees, Mr Locke outlined the ‘double whammy’ of a long course and compulsory Extra Mural Studies in the holidays. He said:

“[O]ur role as the guardians of animal health and welfare faces an uncertain future following the announcement that the cap on tuition fees will be raised to between 6 and 9 thousand pounds a year. We fear this could have a huge impact on the decisions of A-level students, with fewer and fewer opting for an expensive veterinary science degree.

“The BVA has been campaigning for many years to improve the financial situation for veterinary students who suffer the double whammy of an unsubsidised long course and additional financial burden of compulsory Extra Mural Studies (or EMS).

“Although the plans are not yet finalised we are bracing ourselves for veterinary degrees, which are costly to run, to be priced at the top of the scale, meaning veterinary students of the future will graduate with at least £45,000 of debt in tuition fees alone.

“Faced with these levels of debt, our concern is that those who do make it to graduation won’t opt for the food animal practice and public health roles that attract smaller pay packages. We need to think carefully about how we can secure the future provision of large animal practitioners.”

On companion animal issues Mr Locke asked Defra not to defer all decisions on dog welfare to the newly-formed Dog Advisory Council. He said:

“[W]hile the BVA fully supports the Advisory Council, we would urge the Government not to use it to delay decisions that might improve the health and welfare of dogs now.

“At a recent meeting of the Associate Parliamentary Group on Animal Welfare (APGAW) …there was overwhelming support for provision for healthy breeding to be brought into Defra’s welfare codes.

“We have long maintained that to ignore breeding in the dog welfare code is a serious oversight by Defra. In England we already have regulations that protect our farmed animals from breeding procedures that cause suffering or injury, but not for our pets.

“This contradictory approach makes little sense. Updating the welfare codes to include breeding would send a clear message that the Government is committed to improving the health and welfare of man’s best friend.”

On dangerous dogs Mr Locke renewed the BVA’s call for the Government to respond to the Defra consultation, which found 77% in favour of scrapping breed-specific legislation. He said:

“Despite this overwhelming call from the public, the Government has kept its powder dry, repeatedly promising to announce its response soon…

“Secretary of State I would like to assure you that the BVA is prepared to work with all of the other organisations with an interest in dog welfare and public safety to find an effective solution.

“We all want to see people protected on private property; legislation that targets irresponsible owners and not just the way a dog looks; and tools that allow the police and other enforcement agencies to act swiftly to protect the public.

“And, crucially, we all want to work with you to achieve these aims.”

Read Full Speech

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Kennel Club dfs Crufts Entries 2011

Kennel Club entry figures for dfs Crufts this week revealed that 21,422 dogs will be competing, a small drop of 400.

Overall, the biggest increases in the number of dogs entered are amongst Tibetan Terriers (up 59 from 138 to 197 dogs), Rhodesian Ridgebacks (up 47 from 160 to 207 dogs), Whippets (up 47 from 390 to 437 dogs), and French Bulldogs (up 40 from 126 to 166 dogs).

Proportionally, the breeds with the largest year-on-year increases for their breed include the German Pinscher (up 162.5 percent, from 8 to 21 dogs), the Chesapeake Bay Retriever (up 123 percent from 26 to 58 dogs) and the Coton de Tulear (up 78.9 percent from 19 to 34 dogs).

The number of dogs competing has fallen by 2.4 percent compared to last year, but the greatest proportion of the fall has come from amongst those breeds that were traditionally docked and that are no longer allowed to be shown. Amongst the dogs with the biggest numerical drops are traditionally docked breeds including Boxers (down by 67 from 254 to 187), Cocker Spaniels (down by 48 from 394 to 346), Yorkshire Terriers (down 45 from 128 to 83), German Shorthaired Pointers (down 44 from 179 to 135), Rottweilers (down 43 from 315 to 272) and Dobermanns (down 42 from 220 to 178). In total, 75 percent of the overall fall of dog numbers between 2010 and 2011 came from the traditionally docked breeds.

Speaking about the show Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club Secretary, said: “The entry figures for this year’s event shows that dfs Crufts continues to be an essential part of the canine calendar for dog lovers.This year is the 120th anniversary of dfs Crufts and we would like to thank everybody for their continued loyal support and we look forward to welcoming them to the show. Once again, those who cannot make it to the NEC can watch the coverage live on More4 and we encourage people to join the Kennel Club on twitter and dfs Crufts on Facebook, so that they can share their memories with us and keep up to date with the latest news.

The number of entries to classes for dfs Crufts 2011 is 24,108, which is down 1.7 percent on 2010’s figure. The 2.4 percent drop in dog numbers for dfs Crufts 2011 compares favourably to the average 3.5 percent drop in dogs entered at General Championship shows during 2010.

There is also 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. Overall the number of dogs from these breeds has increased by 12.3 percent, in line with a 5.2 percent increase in the number of puppies registered with the Kennel Club between 2009 and 2010. The Deerhound, Irish Terrier and Manchester Terrier are amongst those breeds that will see an increased number of dogs at the show in 2011. 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.

Crufts Entries 2011

Gundog group:
Bracco Italiano 51, 54;
Brittany 42, 45;
English Setter 220, 229;
German Longhaired Pointer 19, 23;
German Shorthaired Pointer 135, 166;
German Wirehaired Pointer 44, 53;
Gordon Setter 179, 198;
Hungarian Vizsla 151, 190;
Hungarian Wirehaired Vizsla 84, 104;
Irish Red And White Setter 88, 99;
Irish Setter 376, 435;
Italian Spinone 157, 174;
Kooikerhondje 30, 41;
Large Munsterlander 84, 96;
Pointer 258, 299;
Retriever (Chesapeake Bay) 58, 64;
Retriever (Curly Coated) 82, 100;
Retriever (Flat Coated) 355, 418;
Retriever (Golden) 491, 601;
Retriever (Labrador) 481, 542;
Retriever (Nova Scotia Duck Tolling) 121, 150;
Spaniel (American Cocker) 130, 153;
Spaniel (Clumber) 78, 93;
Spaniel (Cocker) 346, 395;
Spaniel (English Springer) 143, 168;
Spaniel (Field) 56, 61;
Spaniel (Irish Water) 52, 63;
Spaniel (Sussex) 66, 77;
Spaniel (Welsh Springer) 193, 217;
Spanish Water Dog 81, 111;
Weimaraner 175, 199;
Gamekeepers 163, 249;
Working group:
Alaskan Malamute 162, 188;
Bernese Mountain Dog 200, 223;
Bouvier des Flandres 54, 57;
Boxer 187, 197;
Bullmastiff 125, 130;
Canadian Eskimo Dog 15, 20;
Dobermann 178, 199;
Dogue de Bordeaux 132, 140;
German Pinscher 21, 23;
Giant Schnauzer 65, 65;
Great Dane 162, 176;
Greenland Dog 3, 3;
Hovawart 34, 37;
Leonberger 155, 178;
Mastiff 74, 79;
Neapolitan Mastiff 39, 40;
Newfoundland 206, 224;
Portuguese Water Dog 50, 52;
Rottweiler 272, 310;
Russian Black Terrier 28, 37;
St Bernard 84, 86;
Siberian Husky 212, 252;

Tibetan Mastiff 42, 50;
Pastoral group:
Anatolian Shepherd Dog 26, 27;
Australian Cattle Dog 37, 41;
Australian Shepherd 136, 169;
Bearded Collie 285, 335;
Belgian Shepherd Dog (Groenendael) 60, 74;
Belgian Shepherd Dog (Laekenois) 20, 23;
Belgian Shepherd Dog (Malinois) 33, 38;
Belgian Shepherd Dog (Tervueren) 76, 86;
Border Collie 396, 472;
Briard 89, 101;
Collie (Rough) 240, 278;
Collie (Smooth) 66, 73;
Estrela Mountain Dog 19, 22;
Finnish Lapphund 61, 69;
German Shepherd Dog 140, 166;
Hungarian Puli31, 34;
Komondor 8, 8;
Lancashire Heeler 68, 75;
Maremma Sheepdog 11, 12;
Norwegian Buhund 38, 45;
Old English Sheepdog 101, 112;
Polish Lowland Sheepdog 49, 51;
Pyrenean Mountain Dog 76, 90;
Pyrenean Sheepdog (Long Haired) 19, 23;
Samoyed 176, 191;
Shetland Sheepdog 321, 383;
Swedish Vallhund 57, 59;
Welsh Corgi (Cardigan) 76, 86;
Welsh Corgi (Pembroke) 133, 158;
Obedience Bitch 21, 21
;
Terrier group:
Airedale Terrier 81, 94;
Australian Terrier 34, 35;
Bedlington Terrier 97, 101;
Border Terrier 254, 306;
Bull Terrier 56, 58;
Bull Terrier (Miniature) 54, 57;
Cairn Terrier 146, 159;
Cesky Terrier 44, 48;
Dandie Dinmont Terrier 37, 48;
Fox Terrier (Smooth) 74, 81;
Fox Terrier (Wire) 58, 59;
Glen of Imaal Terrier 33, 36;
Irish Terrier 56, 70;
Kerry Blue Terrier 59, 60;
Lakeland Terrier 37, 39;
Manchester Terrier 74, 87;
Norfolk Terrier 86, 95;
Norwich Terrier 52, 56;
Parson Russell Terrier 132, 144;
Scottish Terrier 91, 97;
Sealyham Terrier 39, 43;
Skye Terrier 46, 52;
Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier 121, 131; Staffordshire Bull Terrier 328, 386;
Welsh Terrier 31, 34;
West Highland White Terrier 115, 119;
Hound group:
Afghan Hound 281, 295;
Basenji 61, 63;
Basset Fauve de Bretagne 47, 49;
Basset Griffon Vendeen (Grand) 32, 35; Basset Griffon Vendeen (Petit) 74, 81;
Basset Hound 156, 167;
Beagle 247, 296;
Bloodhound 27, 27;
Borzoi 80, 83;
Dachshund (Long-Haired) 108, 114;
Dachshund (Min Long-Haired) 171, 182; Dachshund (Smooth-Haired) 71, 75;
Dachshund (Min Smooth-Haired) 129, 145; Dachshund (Wire-Haired) 100, 110;
Dachshund (Min Wire-Haired) 119, 131; Deerhound 140, 150;
Finnish Spitz 34, 35;
Foxhound 7, 7;
Greyhound 78, 88;
Hamiltonstovare 16, 16;
Ibizan Hound 22, 23;
Irish Wolfhound 115, 124;
Norwegian Elkhound 59, 65;
Otterhound 35, 39;
Pharaoh Hound 52, 55;
Portuguese Podengo (Warren Hound) 58, 64;
Rhodesian Ridgeback 207, 230;
Saluki 124, 142;
Sloughi 10, 13;
Whippet 437, 518;
Obedience Dog 25, 25;
Toy group:
Affenpinscher 72, 85;
Australian Silky Terrier 25, 26;
Bichon Frise 116, 120;
Bolognese 38, 39;
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel 321, 360;
Chihuahua (Long Coat) 225, 244;
Chihuahua (Smooth Coat) 121, 133;
Chinese Crested 188, 217;
Coton de Tulear 34, 36;
English Toy Terrier (Black & Tan) 54, 55;
Griffon Bruxellois 87, 95;
Havanese 68, 72;
Italian Greyhound 90, 98;
Japanese Chin 109, 117;
King Charles Spaniel 119, 129;
Lowchen (Little Lion Dog) 42, 44;
Maltese 62, 67;
Miniature Pinscher 107, 120;
Papillon 280, 320;
Pekingese 91, 101;
Pomeranian 151, 167;
Pug 273, 284;
Yorkshire Terrier 83, 87;

Utility group:
Akita 156, 165;
Boston Terrier 87, 91;
Bulldog 238, 250;
Canaan Dog 16, 17;
Chow Chow 89, 98;
Dalmatian 188, 203;
French Bulldog 166, 176;
German Spitz (Klein) 85, 97;
German Spitz (Mittel) 68, 75;
Japanese Akita Inu 26, 28;
Japanese Shiba Inu 115, 126;
Japanese Spitz 88, 93;
Keeshond 87, 90;
Lhasa Apso 167, 184;
Miniature Schnauzer 154, 166;
Poodle (Miniature) 106, 112;
Poodle (Standard) 167, 189;
Poodle (Toy) 117, 125;
Schipperke 67, 72;
Schnauzer 64, 72;
Shar Pei 85, 90;
Shih Tzu 187, 200;
Tibetan Spaniel 186, 205;
Tibetan Terrier 197, 226;

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Irving Opens Mouth To Change Feet - KC Chairman Apologises For Wording

The Kennel Club Chairman Ronnie Irving has apologised for any offence he caused by using the word ‘normal’ to describe some breeds.

Writing in the Kennel Gazette about the new list of 15 ‘high-profile’ breeds, Mr Irving said that those who showed ‘normal’ breeds suffered unfair attack because of a few breeds which attracted adverse media attention.

“No-one who shows, for example, Labradors, Border Terriers, or Beagles is normally accused even by the most extreme animal welfare fanatics of carrying on a hobby which is socially unacceptable,” wrote Mr Irving, a Border Terrier enthusiast. “Sadly the same is not true for those who breed and show some of those breeds the KC has designated as the 15 high profile breeds.”

The 15 breeds labelled ‘high profile’ are the Basset Hound, Bloodhound, Bulldog, Chinese Crested, Chow Chow, Clumber Spaniel, Dogue de Bordeaux, French Bulldog, German Shepherd Dog, Mastiff, Neapolitan Mastiff, Pekingese, Pug, Shar-Pei and the St Bernard.

From March 2012, BOBs and champions in these breeds must now undergo veterinary checks at general and group championship shows.

Consternation And Anger

His use of the word ‘normal’ caused consternation and anger in some quarters, and this week Mr Irving said that he was sorry that offence had been taken, and that he needed to clarify the word.

“Every time I used the term ‘normal’ I put inverted commas around it to demonstrate that I was using the word in a somewhat unorthodox way,” he said.

“The KC has identified 15 high-profile breeds in which some dogs have a greater than normal tendency to suffer from certain clinical issues caused by undue exaggerations. We have recently announced that these breeds will be subject to veterinary examination before their BOB awards are confirmed at championship shows. This… has been put in place so as to ensure that we and the major shows can help to move the breeds forward.

“The references that were made to protecting simultaneously the reputation of the other 195 ‘non high-profile’ or what we called ‘normal’ breeds in the show world, was in recognition of the fact that these breeds are not normally affected to the same extent by undue and unnecessary exaggeration. That good welfare position is the situation that all of us in the world of dogs must strive for and is what should be regarded as ‘normality’ in every breed.

“I am sorry that offence has been taken by my use of certain terms; none was intended.”
The KC’s ‘high-profile’ list has prompted much discussion.

The KC was asked to respond to these views and queries, and this week secretary Caroline Kisko had this to say: “We have been really pleased to hear that so many people are generally supportive of the idea. Those with fit and healthy dogs have no need for concern after all.

“There are one or two practical points which need further clarification and this will be made available shortly. One thing I can confirm is that there is no reason why the extra checks should result in higher show entry fees; the vet will simply be carrying out the checks as part of routine attendance at the show.

“The question has been raised about why checks do not apply to all breeds; the ‘high-profile’ breeds have been highlighted as being prone to health conditions from conformation-related issues, and it is therefore a priority that they should be monitored in the forum of the show ring.”

The checks will focus on the winning dogs, Mrs Kisko said, as it was the KC’s ‘primary concern’ to ensure that only healthy dogs win at shows.

An Example For Others

“These are the dogs who will be held as an example for others within the breed to follow and that will most likely be used for breeding,” she said.

“It is impractical and unnecessary to test every dog pre-showing, as those who are not healthy should not succeed in competition, and this measure acts as a further safety net to ensure this.

“Furthermore, every dog, within every breed, is already subject to spot checks by show monitors who can pull out any dog that they believe to be unhealthy and report them to the show vet, who can then remove them from competition if appropriate.

“Judges can remove any dog from competition if they think it is displaying health problems.”

Mrs Kisko added: “There is no current intention for breed club shows to have a vet present. The proposition is that dogs, which get all three CCs without ever being vetted for BOB at a general championship show should submit themselves for vetting at such a show before having the champion title confirmed.

“Also some commentators have suggested that if a dog is put up by many top judges and is then found to have clinical problems – this will be a poor reflection on the judges. The KC agrees with this view and hopes very much that it does not turn out to be the case. If this does happen – then any judges from now on found to be putting up dogs which are suffering from clinical problems should indeed be asked to explain themselves and in the event of there being no justifiable explanation for such conduct, may have to be brought to book.

“Having said all of that we feel confident that the vast majority of dogs and judges will not be affected by this new procedure and hopefully, in the end, consistently clean bills of health for breeds currently included in the list will result in these breeds eventually being taken off the list at some stage in the future.”

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Docking Ban May See The End Of Shows In Northern Ireland

New proposals to ban docking in Northern Ireland would mean the end of dog shows in that area, local enthusiasts say.

The Northern Ireland Assembly wants to introduce a complete ban on docked dogs being shown by making it illegal to show a docked dog at an event for which exhibitors pay an entry fee or to which admission is charged.

This clause would close a loophole employed here where instead of charging admission show societies charge car parking fees instead, allowing legally-docked dogs to be shown.

The Assembly’s intention is to try to change ‘the whole docking ethos within the dog-breeding fraternity and the showing fraternity’, according to the Assembly’s Agriculture and Rural Development Committee. The Bill as it stands bans the docking of all breeds apart from selected working dogs.

Loss to economy

Joyce Crawford-Manton of the Irish Canine Press said if such a ban was included in the Welfare of Animals Bill it would effectively mean it would no longer be viable to hold all-breed championship shows, open shows or many breed shows in Northern Ireland.

“Financially it would be impossible to survive with the loss of entry of breeds such as the Dobermann, Rottweiler, Boxer and others that are customarily docked,” she said.

“The Assembly should be reminded that this could see the loss of perhaps £1 million to the economy, which is currently spent by the many exhibitors from the Republic of Ireland and Great Britain who annually spend money on everything from hotel accommodation, restaurants, car fuel and general shopping when attending our Northern Ireland shows.”

Mrs Crawford-Manton said the Tourist Board reckoned that even two years ago more than £350,000 was spent at Belfast championship show

“Add to this the four all-breed Irish Kennel Club shows – Bangor, Newtownards, Banbridge and Portadown – accounting for a sizeable influx of visitors from the Republic of Ireland and GB, not to mention the loss to the hard-pressed Royal Ulster Agricultural Society where these shows are held.

Can the Assembly justify this loss

“The reasoning is to ‘change the whole ethos within the dog-breeding fraternity and the showing fraternity’. But at what cost?”

A petition has been launched calling on Assembly members to moderate their proposals to instead allow docking to take place under veterinary supervision; and to allow all dogs docked before January 1, 2012 to be exhibited.

“This would bring our laws regarding dog shows in line with those in the rest of the UK,” Mrs Crawford-Manton said. “We may not be able to stop the tide of opinion altogether but we can postpone it until a better thought-out plan and sensible informed consultation can be made.”

To sign the petition visit

www.petitions24.com/save_dog_shows_and_docked_breeds_in_northern_ireland.

The Bill requires a duty of care for domestic animals and provides powers to allow action to be taken to prevent them from suffering rather than authorities having to wait for that to happen. It will also give powers to impose enforcement notices insisting that welfare is improved.

Jail terms and fines will rise to six months’ and/or £5,000 for summary offences, and a maximum of two years’ imprisonment and/or an unlimited fine for indictments – jury trials.

Minister Michelle Gildernew introduced the Bill in July and said current legislation was no longer adequate to deal with the ‘wide spectrum of abuses’ which can affect the welfare of animals today.

“The overall purpose of the Bill will be to prevent unnecessary suffering to any animal and set out obligations on people to secure the welfare of animals, including domestic pets, for which they are responsible,” she said. “In particular, higher protection will be afforded to commonly domesticated animals, any animal under the control of man either temporarily or permanently, and any animal not living in a wild state.”

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Health checks for Crufts entrants are too little too late Jemima Harrison guardian.co.uk

Vets appointed by the Kennel Club cannot make up for more than a century of inbreeding and selection for form over function

Last week the Kennel Club announced that from Crufts 2012, it will no longer be enough for show dogs to look the part. In order to earn the top prizes, 15 of the most "troublesome" breeds will have to pass a vet check too.

It must be astonishing to anyone outside the weird world of dog shows that animals with obvious health problems could ever win. But it's a depressing fact that dogs that are lame, have sore eyes, skin problems and even breathing issues can be rewarded by judges. This is sometimes because the health issue is so ubiquitous in the breed that judges no longer see it as abnormal – red and baggy eyes in bassets and bloodhounds, for instance – or because the judge believes that "type" (the essential "essence" of a breed as defined in the breed standard) in some way overrides a corneal ulcer or obvious respiratory distress.

It's the latest in a string of new initiatives the Kennel Club has introduced since our BBC documentary, Pedigree Dogs Exposed, revealed the terrible toll that more than a century of inbreeding and selection for form over function have inflicted on purebred dogs. The Kennel Club has already revised 78 breed standards (albeit minimally) and banned the mating of first-degree relatives, among several other new measures.

This latest move comes in the face of continued strong criticism about the state of some breeds and in response to campaigners who argue that the show-ring must reward something other than looks.

The 15 breeds are the basset hound, bloodhound, bulldog, chow chow, clumber spaniel, dogue de bordeaux, French bulldog, German shepherd dog, mastiff, neapolitan mastiff, pekinese, pug, shar-pei, the St Bernard and the Chinese crested. All suffer to a greater or lesser extent from inherent design faults – short legs, long backs, flat faces, small or droopy eyes, too much angulation, too much wrinkling and, in the case of the Chinese crested, too much Immac being plastered over their little bodies (the breed is supposed to be hairless but often isn't, so the breeders cheat).

"Sadly, a few judges in some breeds simply can't or won't accept the need to eliminate from top awards, dogs which are visibly unhealthy," says Kennel Club chairman Ronnie Irving. "Neither we who show dogs, not the Kennel Club, which must protect our hobby, can reasonably allow that state of affairs to continue."

Clearly, the Kennel Club is seeking to reduce the damage that the most exaggerated breeds continue to have on its reputation because of the fodder they provide to critics – somewhat disingenuous given the leading role the club has played in these breeds' development, like Henry Ford blaming a deathly fault in the Model T on the assembly line workers that followed his design to the letter.

The club has appointed a bunch of vets (several of which breed and show pedigree dogs themselves) to judge the dogs' health. What they consider a health deficit warranting exclusion is likely to be very different from other vets less inured to the deformity and disease that is a feature of too many pedigree dog breeds.

There is also nothing in the new initiative to stop a dog with a less obvious, but even more serious, genetic problem from winning rosettes and then (as we saw in Pedigree Dogs Exposed) going on to sire the next generation of sick pups. And why on Earth do we have to wait another year before obviously sore, lame, squinting and gasping dogs are barred from being awarded prizes?

As one commentator in response to the Dog World reporting of the announcement opines: "Listen to my one hand clapping."

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Tension Over New Caesarean Section Regulations

The Kennel Club’s decision to no longer register puppies born by caesarean section from a bitch who has already had two such operations has led to a spat between it and two main veterinary bodies.
The KC announced the move – to come into force at the beginning of 2012 – at the end of November and said that vets had been asked to report any caesarean sections they carry out on KC-registered bitches.

It said the decision had come after discussions with the British Veterinary Association (BVA) and British Small Animals Veterinary Association (BSAVA) and that the restriction would be imposed unless there were ‘scientifically proven welfare reasons’, ‘normally provided that the application is made prior to mating’.

Shortly afterwards BVA president Harvey Locke was quoted in the Veterinary Record (VR) saying his association and the BSAVA were disappointed that the changes had not gone further and brought in sooner. They had lobbied the KC to stop registering puppies from bitches who had undergone one caesarean with no exceptions, he said, and would continue to push for this.

They were also concerned about the exception for ‘scientifically proven welfare reasons’ saying it was an ‘ill-defined term that could be open to abuse’.

‘Very unfair’

KC secretary Caroline Kisko responded to this in this week’s VR saying there were a number of reasons why a bitch might require a caesarean section, ‘many of which may have nothing to do with its conformation’.

“We believe that many members of the veterinary profession agree with our belief that in certain circumstances it is only right to allow a bitch to be mated again after it has had one caesarean,” she wrote. “We in our turn feel it would be very unfair to allow a breeder to plan a second mating and then refuse to register the offspring because they happen to have been forced to be born by caesarean.

“However, we are definitely not prepared to allow a third litter to be registered from a bitch who has already had two caesareans, as it is fair to then assume that this is almost inevitably indicative of an underlying fundamental problem.”

Mrs Kisko said that during discussions with vets the KC had offered to limit registration of litters born by caesarean to one, ‘provided the profession dealt with any exceptions by providing a certificate to owners of bitches where they thought that a second attempt at breeding was justifiable’.

“The profession did not feel able to help in this way,” she wrote.

She said the KC had begun discussions with veterinary bodies on the subject of caesareans ‘more than two years ago’, suggesting a start date of January 2011 so that breeders were given a year’s notice in order to ‘revise their breeding strategy’.

“Delays came from a number of directions – not least from the professional bodies themselves – so we believe that to criticise the introductory date seems disingenuous at the least,” she wrote. “Finally, it should be borne in mind that we have agreed to review the policy after the first year.”

Writing in the VR this week, Mr Locke and BSAVA president Grant Petrie said they were disappointed by the KC’s comments.

“Throughout the process we made it clear to the KC our two associations felt very strongly that the policy change did not go far enough and that we would express this position publicly,” they wrote.

The KC had failed to define under what circumstances it would be ‘only right’ to allow a bitch to be mated again after undergoing a caesarean, so they could not agree with the KC’s position on this.

The idea of vets issuing certificates to say that a second attempt at breeding was justifiable was not a viable option, they wrote, as it could create a difficult legal position.

“This was explained to the KC at the time,” Mr Locke and Mr Petrie wrote. “(Mrs Kisko’s) letter also states ‘we are definitely not prepared to allow a third litter to be registered from a bitch who has already had two caesarean sections’.

Welfare reasons

“However, this is not correct, as the KC press release states ‘the KC has confirmed that it will no longer register any puppies born by caesarean section from a bitch who 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’.

“Again, the phrase ‘scientifically proven welfare reasons’ has not been defined and so we have concerns that it could be used to allow third caesareans – a position that is unacceptable to our associations.”

The vets also disagreed with Mrs Kisko about timing. The KC formally approached the BVA for a view on this issue in November 2009, they said, and the BVA gave it an initial view the following month.

“… much of the subsequent time was taken up by the KC seeking a compromise on that position,” they wrote. “Both the BVA and BSAVA are frustrated that the policy will not come into force for another year, which means it will not be reviewed for another two years.”

They concluded saying they did not want it to become a ‘protracted argument’ because it was vitally important they worked together for the best interests of dogs.

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Irving Defends KC Policy On High-Profile Breeds

The vast majority of people who show ‘normal’ breeds and the dog fancy itself is being unfairly attacked because of a few breeds which attract media attention, according to Kennel Club chairman Ronnie Irving.

Writing in his ‘From the chairman’ column in the Kennel Gazette, Mr Irving, a Border Terrier enthusiast, said that those who show ‘for example, Labradors, Border Terriers, or Beagles’ are not normally accused ‘even by the most extreme animal welfare fanatics, of carrying on a hobby which is socially unacceptable’.

“Sadly, however, the same is not true for those who breed and show some of those breeds which we at the KC have designated as the 15 high-profile breeds,” he wrote. “Some of them – though it has to be said not all of them – do attract the kind of negative media attention which is damaging to the whole hobby of dog showing.

‘Bleak future’

“If the KC does not recognise this and act on the problem, the future prospects for dog shows as we know them will, in my view, be bleak indeed.”

We have already revealed that the KC have ruled that from Crufts next year, dogs from 15 ‘high-profile’ breeds who win BOB at general and group championship shows must be health-checked by the show vet before the awards are confirmed or they can progress to the group stage. A similar procedure will have to take place with regard to a dog becoming a champion.

The move is to ensure that the breeds, ‘some of which suffer from health issues and which attract the greatest criticism, do not bring the whole hobby of dog showing into disrepute’, the KC said, adding:

“This requirement is designed to improve canine health and protect the sport of dog showing.”

The breeds labelled ‘high profile’ are the Basset Hound, Bloodhound, Bulldog, Chinese Crested, Chow Chow, Clumber Spaniel, Dogue de Bordeaux, French Bulldog, German Shepherd Dog, Mastiff, Neapolitan Mastiff, Pekingese, Pug, Shar-Pei and the St Bernard.

Show vets will be given clear guidelines on the clinical signs which need to be considered in deciding whether or not to allow the dog to proceed further into the group competition, Mr Irving said.
“Dogs will only be prevented from going forward if they are suffering from a clinical problem which obviously adversely affects (its) wellbeing,” he wrote. “A dog will not be excluded on aesthetic grounds or because of exaggerations alone, unless these are causing an adverse effect on its health or welfare.

“The vets will be clearly directed not to take the place of the judge and not to use subjective or judgmental criteria – they will strictly adhere to the veterinary task of deciding whether or not the dog is suffering from a clinical condition which is visually obvious.”

Among the high-profile list, he continued, were some breeds which attract less criticism.

“And, even among those which do attract the attention of the critics there are many people involved who are doing a good job in moving their breeds forward at a significant pace,” he wrote. “In addition, there are also many judges who are doing a great job of ensuring that health is paramount when they judge, and who make certain that unhealthy dogs do not go forward at top level whenever they are officiating. These groups all need to be applauded and recognised.”

But, he continued, a few judges in some breeds ‘simply can’t or won’t accept the need to eliminate from top awards, dogs which are visibly unhealthy’.

“Sometimes, and this is very much in the minority of cases, dogs which are lame or have visible eye problems, breathing difficulties or skin troubles etc, do manage to win best of breed and/or the CC,” he wrote.

“Neither we who show dogs, nor the KC which must protect our hobby, can reasonably allow that state of affairs to continue. If we and the KC do let it go on, it will be immensely damaging to our cause.”

This was the reason the KC decided to take action, he wrote − to protect the reputation of the ‘normal’ breeds, breeds in the ‘high-profile group which are making progress, and give recognition to judges who are taking health issues seriously.

“It is to be hoped that some of these breeds will find themselves in a position where none of their number is prevented from being awarded BOB,” Mr Irving said. “If this happens consistently over a period of time, then that breed may well be dropped from the high-profile list. Secondly, it will enable the KC to assess the real progress that breeds are making at senior award level. And finally it will enable the KC more effectively to take to task the minority of judges who repeatedly send forward unsound or unhealthy dogs to the group ring.

‘Better recognition’

“In those ways there will be a benefit for the vast majority of breeds which have no real health problems and also even for the improving breeds among those that do, and for the conscientious judges – they will all be given better recognition. They will no longer be labelled along with the ‘baddies’ as indulging in a hobby which is damaging to pedigree dogs.

“There is no doubt that these moves will be controversial in some quarters of the sport of dogs, but the KC takes comfort from the fact that similar arrangements already exist in the worlds of horses and Greyhounds and to a lesser extent in the cat world. Hopefully, the new requirements will actually enable us to show very clearly and very effectively that our hobby is – as Professor Sir Patrick Bateson said in his report that it can be – a hobby which is a ‘force for good’ in the interest of dogs.”

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Kennel Club Response to Dog Breeding Review Consultation

Question 1: Do you consider that the definition and requirements of a licence holder in the proposed licence conditions is clear? If not, please give our reasons in detail.

The Kennel Club remains concerned with Licensing of Dog Breeders - Section 4 (2): ‘It is unlawful for any person to keep 3 or more breeding bitches and’ – (f) ‘keep 3 or more breeding bitches in kennel accommodation which an Inspector reasonably believes is consistent with commercial dog breeding.’ Our concerns relate to enforcement and interpretation of section 4 (2) (f) in that with the current wording an Inspector could ‘reasonably believe’ any breeding establishment be commercial and therefore requiring a licence without needing to justify this further. This could therefore be open to misinterpretation and abuse. The Kennel Club would suggest alternative wording and guidelines defining commercial breeding practices for Inspectors, or retaining the current licence requirement as someone breeding five or more litters a year.

A large number of responsible breeders own three or more bitches which would, for the purposes of these Regulations, be defined as ‘breeding’ despite only breeding from one bitch or less in any given year: the other bitches may be part of a longer term breeding plan, retired breeding bitches or companions. The mere fact of owning three unneutered bitches in kennel accommodation is not, in itself, a reliable indicator of whether or not a breeder is operating commercially and could, therefore, result in diverting precious and scarce resources away from regulating commercial, particularly large-scale breeders, to police those who may only be breeding one litter a year.

Also, we are concerned that some larger breeds can regularly have litters of more than 10 puppies. This would be automatically covered by the Regulations, despite the fact that the breeder may perhaps only breed one litter in the year. We would, therefore, like to see any reference to the number of puppies removed in preference to the number of litters. This would also be more equitable in welfare terms as bitches are arguably as much affected by the number of litters they have as by the number of puppies in any one litter.

Question 2: Do you think the scope of the definition of a licence holder is adequate? If not, please give your reasons in detail.

The Kennel Club agrees that the scope of the definition of a licence holder is adequate. The proposed definition is quite complex. However concerns have been expressed that the definition may highlight small scale responsible breeders and leave uncontrolled the larger commercial puppy farm that may be less obvious.

We also remain highly concerned regarding the conditions set in Section 4 (2) (a-f). Subsections (b) and (c) refer to a figure of 10 puppies being advertised or supplied but certain breeds, for example the Rhodesian Ridgeback, regularly produce litters of more than 10. The Kennel Club would therefore strongly advise that this figure be increased to 20. Subsection (f) raises concerns regarding enforcement and interpretation with the current wording ‘reasonably believe’. This could therefore be open to misinterpretation and abuse with an inspector being able to class any breeding establishment as commercial and therefore requiring a licence without needing to justify this further. We therefore recommend that either the wording be amended and guidelines introduced defining commercial breeding practices for Inspectors, or that the current licence requirement is retained as someone breeding five or more litters a year.

Question 3: Do you consider that the proposed Guidance is sufficiently detailed enough to enable both enforcement officers and dog breeders to understand the standards to be met at a licensed dog breeding establishment? If not, please give our reasons in detail.

The Kennel Club broadly agrees with the level of detail in the proposed changes to the Animal Welfare (Breeding of Dogs) (Wales) Regulations. However we have concerns about several of the proposed regulations as follows:

•The requirement to provide two water bowls in enclosures with more than one dog. This would clearly be insufficient in enclosures of, for instance, ten or more dogs. Whilst we appreciate the intention of this regulation the wording could actually provide a loophole for unscrupulous breeders; we would therefore suggest that the wording is altered to a more practical and less prescriptive 'adequate access to water at all times'.
•Ratios of staff to dogs are, in the Kennel Club’s view, too prescriptive and fail to take into account the breed, temperament, age, activity levels or size of the dogs concerned and the capabilities and fitness of the staff. There should be more discretion to allow staffing at different levels to account for these matters;
•The requirement to vaccinate against Canine Distemper, Infectious Canine Hepatitis, Leptospirosis and Canine Parvovirus.
The full vaccination course takes 12 weeks and there are a number of different brands available, some of which according to the manufacturers are incompatible and cannot be mixed. Therefore if a buyer acquires a puppy at age eight weeks, part-way through one course, a further and different full course may have to be recommenced leading to over vaccination. The puppy’s health may also be compromised if there is misunderstanding about whether the course has been started or completed. The Kennel Club believes breeders should be allowed some discretion over whether or not to provide this course of vaccinations prior to sale, provided that the buyer is adequately informed as to the precise situation; additionally unscrupulous breeders have been known to vaccinate the puppies prior to sale precisely to prevent the necessity for the new owner to present the puppy at a veterinary surgeon at an early stage where other health problems might be exposed.

- Parasite control should be required in section 4.4, specifically treatment for roundworms. Roundworm infestation of puppies is a major welfare issue which can result in illness and death.

-The use of the wording stating that breeders should have ‘due regard’ in relation to breeding of crossbreeds. This is far too loosely worded in our view and could easily be expanded upon to ensure the same vigilance is maintained in the breeding of pedigree, non-pedigree and crossbred dogs. We would therefore recommend that some guidance is included on health testing.

•The requirement to microchip before re-homing or selling puppies, whilst the Kennel Club is broadly in agreement with the principle, some breeders will be concerned at the potential consequences and practicalities of micro chipping puppies at such a young age.
Question 4: Do you consider that the standards set in the proposed Guidance for a dog’s environment, diet, behaviour, companion and health needs are suitable? If not, please give your reasons in detail.

The Kennel Club broadly agrees with the guidance given on a dog’s environment, diet, behaviour, companion and health needs. However we remain concerned at the lack of requirement for a contract of sale or advice in the Regulations. These elements are vital in buying and selling puppies must be included in the Guidance document.

The Kennel Club would also like to highlight the need for any Guidance to be used sensibly and for inspection officers to be trained so that they are able to differentiate between good and bad practice; as too arbitrary an application of this guidance could unnecessarily penalise perfectly good breeders.

Question 5: Do you agree that the minimum staff: dog ratio of 1 full time attendant per 20 dogs and 1 attendant to 10 dogs for a part-time attendant is appropriate? If not, please give your reasons in detail.

The Kennel Club does not accept the rationale for this overly prescriptive proposal and believes there should be greater flexibility. It fails to take account of the attendant’s actual capabilities and fitness. It also fails to take account of the vastly different requirements of diverse breeds; it may be impossible for a single carer to take adequate care of even 10 large dogs that require a high degree of exercise and/or grooming, whilst the same carer may be able to offer more than adequate care for 30 small dogs that have low activity levels or low grooming requirements.

Question 6: At present, the draft Regulations only require a record for all unneutered females and puppies born after the Regulations come into force. Do you agree? If not, please give your reasons in detail.

The Kennel Club believes that records should be required for all breeding stock, including stud dogs, as each dog's welfare is equally important.

Question 7: At present, the Regulations only require unneutered females and puppies born after the Regulations to be microchipped. Should there be a requirement to extend this to all dogs kept at a breeding establishment? If not, please give your reasons in detail.

The Kennel Club believes that all dogs kept at the breeding establishment should be microchipped in order to enable better enforcement of the limit on the number of litters that may be bred from each bitch.

However we recognise that some relief should be given to provide exemption for older animals.

Question 8: Do you agree that all puppies should be microchipped before it is 56 days old or before it leaves the premises, whichever is the later? If not, please give your reasons in detail.

The Kennel Club broadly agrees that all puppies should be microchipped before leaving the breeding premises – so long as the puppy is not re-homed before 56 days of age. However we believe that some relief should be given for breeders of particularly small dogs at the discretion of a vet or where there is a compelling medical or welfare reason not to do so.

Question 9: Do you agree that the first registration of a puppy should be to the licensed breeder? If not, please give your reasons in detail.

Yes, the Kennel Club agrees that the breeder should be the first registered owner of the puppy to ensure greater traceability and encourage better welfare standards.

Question 10: Are there any premises such as sanctuaries, hunt kennels and licensed boarding kennels that should be exempt from the requirement outlines? If so, why? Please give your reasons in detail.

The Kennel Club believes that those breeders, who conform to a higher set of standards that are incorporated in arecognisedbreeding scheme that is properly accredited by a recognised accreditation body such as the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS), should be exempted from the Regulations in order to free up resources for inspecting breeders who fall outside such a regime. There is otherwise no reason to exempt hunt kennels, licensed boarding kennels or sanctuaries if they are breeding dogs, or selling or re-homing young puppies.

Question 11: Do you agree that as currently drafted, the Regulations require that puppies cannot leave the breed premises until they are at least 56 days old? (Previous legislation allowed puppies to be moved off the breed premises earlier as long as it was direct to a pet shop owner). If not give your reasons in detail.

The Kennel Club agrees strongly with the requirement not to allow the puppies to leave the premises before the age of 56 days old. The Kennel Club is totally opposed to the sale of puppies in pet shops, as we feel this is completely the wrong forum in which to keep or sell puppies.

Question 12: Do you agree that as currently drafted, dog breeding licences should be issued for a period of up to 3 years, subject to a local authority considering the frequency of inspections and risk, and be renewed as appropriate? If not, please give your reasons in detail.

Ideally this would be shorter, however, considering the practicalities of inspecting premises and ensuring the correct balance is struck between expending resources on inspecting small scale hobby breeders and large commercial breeders we feel this is an appropriate term for which a licence should be issued.

We would however like to see the principle established that poor quality or those premises where reasonable concerns have been raised have an increased frequency of inspection.

Question 13: These proposals might incur costs to bring dog breeders up to the required animal welfare standards. Please provide appropriate evidence based information.

The Kennel Club remains concerned that definitions in the proposals may highlight small scale responsible breeders who would therefore incur arguably unnecessary costs, leading them to stop breeding – whilst leaving the larger commercial puppy farm uncontrolled. The current proposals could potentially give the wrong focus to enforcement Inspectors, leading to the wrong people being penalised. Penalising good breeders may have the effect of driving them away from breeding dogs altogether, and leave a gap for irresponsible breeders and those who see to work outside the law, to exploit.

Question 14: We have asked a number of specific questions. If you have any related issues which we have not specifically addressed, please use this space to report them:

We believe the Regulations could, in places, go further by also requiring breeders to:

•Health test the breeding bitch and stud dog for any inherited genetic disorders relevant to the breed such as hip or elbow dysplasia and inherited eye diseases in certain breeds;
•Provide written advice on feeding, worming, socialisation and training specific to the needs of the particular breed;
•Provide reasonable post-sales advice to the puppy buyer; and
•Draw up an appropriate contract of sale to protect the buyer.
These additional requirements would ensure that not only would the immediate health and welfare needs of the puppy be met but also inherited health problems would be, wherever possible, avoided, puppy buyers would be enabled to adequately care for their new puppy and puppy buyers would be protected from unscrupulous breeders by the provisions of the contract of sale. This latter point is of the utmost importance as the current regime allows puppy farmers to extract large sums of money from puppy buyers with very limited recourse to consumer law when things go wrong for instance the newly-acquired puppy requires immediate veterinary attention.

More generally the Kennel Club would also like to highlight our support of the proposal giving inspectors the ability to both suspend and revoke a breeding licence. We consider that to be a significant improvement on current legislation.

The Kennel Club also considers that the licence fee should be set annually by the Welsh Assembly Government and that the Regulations should require local authorities to charge those fees. Licence fees vary hugely between local authorities even though the apparent costs are similar.

The Kennel Club regards it of utmost importance to note that the CAWES project funding will cease in early 2011 and that this will greatly reduce the number of enforcement officers available to put these regulations into practice effectively. The Kennel Club would therefore encourage the Government to carefully consider how effective enforcement can be assured, and if there is a danger that it cannot, to consider alternative inspection schemes if these are properly accredited by a body such as UKAS.

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FIFTEEN BREEDS TO BE TESTED AT CRUFTS

The Kennel Club has announced that dogs of 15 ‘high-profile breeds’ who win best of breed at Crufts 2012 and at general and group championship shows after that will need to be given a clean bill of health by the show vet before their awards are confirmed and they are allowed to continue to compete at the show.

In addition, before the champion title of any dog or bitch within these breeds can be confirmed the dog will have to undergo the same procedure at a group or general championship show.

The move, which will become effective in March 2012, is to ensure that the breeds, ‘some of which suffer from health issues and which attract the greatest criticism, do not bring the whole hobby of dog showing into disrepute’, the KC said on Tuesday, adding: “This requirement is designed to improve canine health and protect the sport of dog showing.”

The breeds are the Basset Hound, Bloodhound, Bulldog, Chinese Crested, Chow Chow, Clumber Spaniel, Dogue de Bordeaux, French Bulldog, German Shepherd Dog, Mastiff, Neapolitan Mastiff, Pekingese, Pug, Shar-Pei and the St Bernard.

‘Chemical insults’

Vets will be looking for signs of ectropion, entropion, corneal damage, dermatitis, breathing difficulty on moderate exercise, lameness and skin disorders. With regard to the Crested, the principal issue will be the presence of skin damage arising from hair removal, and signs of clipper rash or ‘chemical insults’ to the skin. Show vets will be given clear guidelines on the issues which need to be considered before deciding whether to allow a dog to proceed in the group competition.

“The vets will be directed only to prevent dogs from going forward if they are suffering from some clinical problem which obviously adversely affects the dog’s wellbeing,” the KC said. “They will not be permitted to exclude dogs merely for aesthetic reasons or because of exaggerations alone unless these are causing the dog some adverse clinical effect on its health or welfare.

“An exploratory meeting to establish the practicalities of these issues has already been held with a number of established show vets. This has been extremely helpful to us in planning for the detailed regulations which will have to be introduced to give effect to this new requirement.”

KC chairman Ronnie Irving said: “The majority of people involved in showing dogs, including the 15 high-profile breeds, are doing a good job in moving their breed forward and many judges are ensuring that health is paramount when they judge. This work should be applauded and recognised. Sadly though, a few judges in some breeds simply can’t or won’t accept the need to eliminate from top awards, dogs which are visibly unhealthy.

“Neither we who show dogs, nor the KC which must protect our hobby, can reasonably allow that state of affairs to continue. I hope also that monitoring the results of this exercise may even, in time, enable us to drop from the high-profile list some of those breeds which prove to have a clean bill of health.

This move, along with the other health measures that we have put in place will help the KC to ensure that the show ring is, as Professor Patrick Bateson said it can be: a positive lever for change in the world of dogs.”

Crufts vet Steve Dean said: “The guidance which we will issue to show vets will focus on clinical signs associated with pain or discomfort which will come under the main headings of external eye disease, lameness, skin disorders and breathing difficulty. The vet will be looking for signs such as ectropion, entropion, corneal damage, dermatitis, breathing difficulty on moderate exercise, and lameness. The 15th breed is the Chinese Crested where the principal issue will be the presence of skin damage arising from hair removal and thus signs of clipper rash or chemical insults to the skin will be looked for.

“It is not intended for the vet to act in any way as a show judge of conformation. Veterinary opinion will only lead to disqualification of a dog from further competition where there is clinical evidence of disease. Perhaps the only arguable exceptions are ectropion and entropion, as both are conformatory defects of the eyelid, but both conditions are closely associated with chronic conjunctival inflammation or corneal damage and thus they will be disqualifying signs in their own right.

“By giving dog exhibitors and judges 12 months’ notice of the intent to have a vet examine the BOB from each of the high-profile breeds we hope that judges will ensure that only healthy exhibits will come forward. Therefore, the number of times dogs are excluded from the group following veterinary examination should be minimal. For some of the breeds this will still be a huge challenge but the intent is to improve the overall health and welfare of dogs and if this measure helps achieve this then it has to be a step in the right direction.”

KC secretary Caroline Kisko said: “There are 195 breeds whose participation in the hobby of dog showing is overshadowed by the small minority of people within some high-profile breeds who seem to continue to breed, and occasionally reward, unhealthy dogs and who by so doing are bringing down the reputation of the hobby and the rest of the dog showing fraternity. We must ensure, for the future prospects of dog showing and for the good of dogs, that only healthy dogs go home from dog shows with prizes.

“This action will not only protect the reputation of the majority of dog showing people who put the health and welfare of their dogs first and foremost, but it will also continue to encourage improvement within the high-profile breeds themselves, ensuring that the healthiest are justly held up as an example for others to follow.”

The changes, which will become active from 2012, come after measures were put in place in 2009 to try to ensure that only healthy dogs are rewarded in the show ring, the KC said.

“Judges now have the power to remove dogs that look unhealthy from competition and show monitors can also ask show vets to determine whether a dog is healthy enough to continue competing,” Mrs Kisko said. These existing requirements will continue to be in place at Crufts 2011.”

Regulations to effect these new moves are being developed and will be published in due course, the KC said.

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