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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Issue: 08/02/2019

Have A Go must go on

THE HAVE A Go Dog Show which was hosted by Manchester show recently was one of the best innovations I have seen in ages.
Our wonderful hobby is in serious danger of just dying out, because we do absolutely NOTHING to encourage new people to showing. I got bitten by the bug after buying my first dog and being advised by his breeder that he was 'good enough to show'. I've never looked back, because once the bug bites you that's usually it!
Another point I'd like to make is that if - whatever breed you exhibit - you get a newcomer at a show, make them welcome, give advice if they need it, do anything to encourage them to keep on going.
My first show (about 18 years ago now), was in a cold sports hall, with a dog that had been to ringcraft only twice. We struggled on, got third out of three,  and was pleased as punch. A lovely couple in the breed came over, told me that I had a great looking dog, took me into the car park and showed me how to stack him (using the car parking lines to place his front legs!), and I was so genuinely grateful I promised they would see me again. And they did!
So well done to the KC and Christine Chapman (as ever she appeared the absolute professional), and if we can retain a half of the people who attend these days, we could be looking at a 100 plus new people year on year at the very least.
Keep up the good work!
Yours etc
James Pickles

BSL needs to end now

I am really upset that the government has decided to ignore one of its own committee's recommendations and to stick with its breed-specific legislation.
As many people will know under the Dangerous Dogs Act (DDA) four breeds are banned: the pit bull terrier, the Japanese Tosa, the Dogo Argentino and the Fila Braziliero. The Environment, Food and Rural Affairs committee in parliament have had an inquiry and asked the government to review this measure.
Numerous studies, since the Act came into force in 1991, have shown that banning these dogs has not reduced the amount of dog bites that take place each year and that innocent dogs have been put down just because of the way they look and not because they are dangerous.
It has been established that what is required is better education, especially for children, so that they know how to behave when they are with dogs.
Whilst the government may have more important issues to deal with at the moment it is important that we keep up the pressure on them to change their minds.
We have seen how effective campaigns can affect the government if they are well organised and targeted towards the right people. The success of the Lucy's Law and Finn's Law campaigns show that if we act together we can get rid of this section of the DDA.
All the major welfare charities (RSPCA, Battersea and Blue Cross) are opposed to this law and you do wonder if they are using their influence in the right way as the government are still refusing to change their position.
No dog should be killed just because of the way they look. We need to end BSL as soon as we can. Write to your MP (they will probably be glad of any letter they receive that is not about Brexit!)
Yours etc,
Robert Spencer


Grandfathers? What about grandmothers!

IT IS with my tongue slightly in cheek that I write to you regarding last week's story on 'Grandfather rights'.
Whilst I think the idea is great, and will hopefully mean that some of our most experienced judges will not throw in the towel but carry on their great work, I cannot help but wonder about all our lovely female judges! 
I'm not a womens' lib person in the slightest, but surely grandfather/grandmother rights would have been more acceptable in this day and age!
Yours etc
Name and address supplied


Grandfather rights have restored my faith

I AM delighted with the grandfather rights idea that the Kennel Club has come up with. 
The main worry for most of us was that we would lose some decent judges because they sinply couldn't face the hoops they would have to jump through to continue, in fact some of the less computor savvy ones I spoke to simply were physically unable to access the necessary websites.
So well done Kennel Club on this, at last I am beginning to slowly have my faith restored in our most esteemed canine  organisation.
Yours etc
John Ford

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