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(Updated 09/03/01)

May show dates for Crufts as Bath steps aside


By Bernie Lovitt

Photo by W Moores OUR DOGS
Dog owners throughout the country have been unable to exercise and walk dogs in country areas because of the current foot and mouth disease restrictions.

AFTER THE dramatic eleventh hour postponement of Crufts Show last week on the Thursday, seven days before it was due to commence, on Monday, a special meeting of the Kennel Club Finance and General Purposes and Crufts Sub Committees agreed to reschedule Crufts Show to Friday 25th May to Spring Bank Holiday Monday 28th May 2001 at the NEC, Birmingham.


Photo by Paul Keevil
KC Secretary Caroline Kisko, Chief Executive Roger French, Crufts Show Manager Vanessa McAlpine and Managing Director of KC Services Limited Rosemary Smart discuss the implications and strategy following the
postponement of the show.

This decision was arrived at in agreement with Bath canine Society who recognise the prestigious position Crufts holds in the world of dogs and agreed to allow Crufts to proceed on its established dates. The Kennel Club appreciates the position Bath Canine Society has taken and expresses its sincere gratitude. Bath will now take place on June 7-10.


It is accepted, says a Kennel Club press release, that other shows will also be affected and The Kennel Club apologises for the inconvenience this will cause. The Kennel Club will work with those societies wishing to reschedule events to ensure a satisfactory outcome for all. It is suggested that they contact the Shows Trials & Awards department at The Kennel Club on 020-7518-10412 or 0870-606-6750 ext 207 and 269.

Photo by Paul Keevil
Press Officer Phil Buckley helps to prepare the various circulars to Crufts exhibitors.


The Kennel Club press release went on to provide exhibitors with other important information:-

(Existing entries made for the original dates of Crufts remain unchanged unless dog exhibitors wish to withdraw their entry from Crufts in which case they must do so in writing to the Show Manager by Friday 30th March. No additional entries will be accepted. Class eligibility will remain as at the time of close of entries (8th January 2001).


All tickets and passes are still valid and will not need to be exchanged.


Visitors unable to use their tickets should contact the original point of purchase for a refund. No refund can be applied until the tickets are returned.


Group splits will remain unchanged -
Friday 25th May 2001 - Terrier and Hound Groups, Obedience (Bitches)
  Saturday 26th May 2001 - Toy and Utility Groups, Obedience (Dogs)
  Sunday 27th May 2001 - Gundog Group
  Monday 28th May 2001 - Working and Pastoral Group, Best in Show


Bath Championship show was originally scheduled for 25th to 28th May 2001.


In a week which saw a not unexpected volte-face the tone of Kennel Club press releases gradually changed from downright optimistic to cautious, to final acceptance that postponement was the only option given the continued review of the escalating outbreaks of Foot & Mouth.


On Thursday March 1st the Kennel Club issued the press release many had expected:-
CRUFTS POSTPONED
“THE KENNEL Club would like to advise that Crufts 2001 has been postponed and will not take place as planned on 8th - 11th March. The Kennel Club has reached this decision due to the escalating situation with Foot and Mouth disease and after close liaison with the appropriate authorities.


“MAFF have advised The Kennel Club that Crufts poses no greater threat than other public gatherings held at this time and that dogs and their handlers are not at risk from Foot and Mouth disease. However, The Kennel Club has reached this decision in light of its responsibilities to dogs and the world of dogs.


“Vanessa McAlpine, Crufts Show Manager said “We have obviously thought very long and hard regarding our position in this issue. We strongly believe that it is in the best interests of all concerned that in the circumstances, the postponement of the show is necessary and unavoidable.


“Further announcements will be made in due course.”


On the same morning the Kennel Club was still ploughing the positive furrow but with a little doubt cast into the penultimate paragraph of the diktat.


“In the light of the above facts, The Kennel Club continues to consider its position very carefully and maintains a firm line of communication with the appropriate authorities. It is recommended that anyone requiring further information or advice should access either The Kennel Club or MAFF websites www.maff.gov.uk/animalh /diseases/fmd and www.crufts.org.uk


A day later in a massive mailing operation a letter was sent out to all Crufts exhibitors explaining the situation and saying that they were “currently considering the options open to us in relation to rescheduling”.


Earlier in the same week on February 27th the Foot & Mouth issue was addressed on the Kennel Club website and a press release saying:-


“The Kennel Club’s Chief Veterinary Officer is liaising very closely with MAFF, who have advised that at present MAFF have no intention to place a ban on the movement of dogs and they do not believe that the matter poses a threat to the show at present. The Kennel Club is of course monitoring the situation closely and a press release will be issued by us giving the most up-to-date information as we receive it.”


Last weekend the IKC issued the following statement:-


“In the national interest The Irish Kennel Club has suspended ALL events licensed by them until further notice, including our Training Classes held at The National Show Centre on Tuesday evenings.
“It is hoped that we will be in a position to hold our St Patrick’s Show in the not too distant future.
“We will be monitoring the situation constantly and will with the assistance of The Department of Agriculture keep all interested parties informed.”


OUR DOGS understands that early May is a favourite time for the re-scheduled show assuming the Foot & Mouth outbreak is contained.


The Scottish Breeds CC has issued a press release concerning its show later this month.


“The committee takes its responsibility of dog and animal welfare seriously and wishes to do everything possible to help with the current situation. We hope that with the co-operation of the public and the measures that the Government have put in place, the current outbreak will soon be brought under control.


“Scottish Breeds is in touch with MAFF and is reviewing the situation on a daily basis. As of today (3rd March 2001) the Show will proceed as planned. Exhibitors should check this site and the dog press for any further updates.


“Exhibitors can also e-mail the secretary at john@glentayne.freeserve.co.uk. I will then keep these contacts and e-mail people as soon as I have any information.”


Mike Parish of Par Air Services told OUR DOGS earlier this week that due to Foot & Mouth the following countries have banned the import of dogs and cats from the UK:- Cyprus, Malta, Gibraltar, Belgium and Spain. More countries are expected to follow next week. This will also effect dogs travelling out of the UK and returning under the Pet Passport System.”


On Tuesday, the KC issued further guidance to show secretaries concerning the cancellation of the shows. This is featured elsewhere in this issue.


Cancellation of events due to the Foot and Mouth disease outbreak


IN VIEW of the current outbreak of Foot and Mouth disease, The Kennel Club is aware that some societies may decide to cancel forthcoming events. Therefore, societies are advised of the following guidelines.


Licenced Events


1. The decision as to whether to postpone/cancel a licenced event must be made by the society committee. It is advised that this decision is made following consultation with the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, the local authority, local veterinary surgeons and the venue proprietors, as appropriate.
2. All exhibitors and judges must be informed of any postponements or cancellations. Written notification should be submitted to the Shows, Trials and Awards Department of The Kennel Club and licences returned as appropriate.
3. Proposed new dates should be checked with the Shows, Trials and Awards Department for potential clashes. (tel 0207 518 1041 or 0870 606 6750 ext 207 and 269). For events that are rescheduled within twelve weeks, the original catalogue may be used, with eligibility for classes remaining the same as for the original date.
4. If an event is not to be rescheduled within twelve weeks of the original date, the society committee must decide what action is to be taken with regard to any refund of entry fees. This decision is entirely at the discretion of th society involved, taking into account any stipulations given in the show schedule. The Kennel Club has no jurisdiction over this matter.
5. The Kennel Club will refund the licence fee for shows which are cancelled and not rescheduled. Nor charge will be made for changes of dates.
6. The Kennel Club will not impose any penalties for breaches of judging contracts for shows rescheduled within twelve weeks of the original date.


Annual general meetings


AS A large proportion of societies traditionally hold their AGMs at this time of year, those wishing to postpone their meetings should comply with the following.


1. The decision as to whether to postpone the AGM must be made by the society committee.
2. All members must be informed of the postponement and of the date on which the meeting is to be reconvened. Members must be given sufficient notice of the new date, as specified in the society’s constitution.
3. The original deadline for receipt of nominations and proposals by members should be retained, and the agenda drawn up on this basis.
4. The constitutions of some societies may restrict the AGM to a specific date or time span. In view of the present circumstances, The Kennel Club will give written approval for societies to hold their meetings at time other than those specified. Written requests for this dispensation must be forwarded to the Registered Societies Department at The Kennel Club.
5. Societies are reminded that Annual Returns are due by July 31st and therefore AGM business should be finalised before this date if at all possible.


Bath Canine Society change of show dates


FOLLOWING ON from the rescheduling of Crufts to 25th-28th May, Bath Canine Society has now confirmed its revised show date will be 7th, 8th, 9th 10th June 2001. The Group days will be as follows:-
7th June Terriers/Toy
8th June Gundog
9th June Working/Pastoral
10th June Utility/Hounds


The Kennel Club is aware that there will be other shows affected by this change of date and contact is being made with these societies. Any affected society wishing to change its date please contact the Shows, Trials and Awards Department on 0207 518 1041 or 0870 606 6750 ext. 207 and 269.