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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Issue: 28/04/2017

Do something now

WHERE WILL the GSD debacle ever end? That this noble breed has been reduced to its present state is bad enough, but the fact that no-one can seem to agree with anyone else is even more hard to take. 
What hope is there for a breed when even its own guardians cannot rub along properly?
Now the KC has extended its suspension of the League, so yet again, a wider and wider chasm appears within. 
What is needed is a coming together of all interested parties with a view to sensible and 'adult' discussion, surely a way forward can be found which will give everyone closure on what has been a very poor few years.
Failing that, is it time to go completely separate ways? Have two completely separate varieties with separate shows and different standards? Because something has to happen, or this stalemate will continue and the breed will simply die out at some point. 
So come on breed lovers, do something, before it's too late.
Yours etc
Name and address supplied



Dog meat taboo

For those acquainted with Irish Mythology you may know that one of Ireland's mythical heroes Cuchulainn made two vows, one of which was to avoid the meat of dogs. The breaking of this vow led to his death.
I only mention this curious bit of trivia because I was pleased to read in Our Dogs that Taiwan are to ban dog and meat consumption. Your correspondent was correct to point out they are not the first Asian country to ban dog meat but they may be the first to ban the consumption of dog meat.
It also pleased me to learn that China have a draft bill to do the same thing. With all the hoo-har over China getting the World Dog Show and the disgusting pictures that come out of the Yulin Dog Meat festival I would urge the canine community to put pressure on China to make this bill law.
The FCI could hopefully apply pressure on a country that is keen, I think, to improve its image in the West and banning the consumption of dog meat would definitely help this cause.
Interestingly, in France in the 19th century butchers would sell dog meat and it was indeed available up to 1910. They, of course, eat horse over there and it is interesting to note how different cultures view acceptable foods.
The change in Asia, China in particular, is down to the fact that there is a growing middle-class where dogs are seen as pets and not as food. That is why dog showing is growing in those countries and our hobby should be at the forefront when it comes to changing attitudes.
Of course Cuchulainn ate the dog meat because there was a taboo against refusing hospitality so he consumed the meat, broke his vow which made him spiritually weak when he fought his enemy.
I would hope that I would refuse dog meat if offered it in South Korea or China but would my English manners and desire not to offend my hosts make me eat it? As I say I hope not.
A friend of mine once told me he ate cat because he was offered it by the people he was with, so who knows?
Anyway, I think in the next five to ten years we may have a dog meat free world.
Yours etc
Christopher Godwin

Stud Books for sale

I have Kennel Club Stud books going  back to 1960 and they are available in exchange for a handsome donation to the Gurkha Welfare Trust.   The Trust  is now building 2,000 new homes for old soldiers and widows whose houses were destroyed in the earthquake  So far they are half way there. Please contact me via editor@ourdogs.co.uk.
Yours etc
Ken Bounden


The wonderful
Bullmastiff

Fabulous article in last week's OUR DOGS on the Bullmastiff, written by Phil Boyd. I agreed with almost 100% of what was said.
Perhaps, however, Mr Boyd has been unfortunate in the Bulldog exhibits he has seen, as most I have come across have not been typical of the 'wheezing, deformed' exhibits mentioned.
I loved the story of the Peke being awarded BOB despite its woeful lack of coat (and quite right too, coats come back in, body will not).
On the question of the Bullmastiff (a breed I have owned for almost 40 years), I couldn't agree more. And although we have seen some worrying changes over the years (mostly down to inept breeding and poor selection of judges), I think the breed remains fairly true to its roots, and also that - on the whole - judges are brave enough not to go for faces but for a dog true to the Standard. 
Mac, who got his hat-trick at W&PBAW is a great example of the breed and a great ambassador, well done to all, and thanks to Phil for the article. If you haven't read it, do so now.
Yours etc
John Elliott

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