A parliamentary answer by Animal Welfare Minister Elliot Morley MP prompted an article in the Times speculating upon a possible ban on tail docking, and this in turn sparked a string of media enquiries in the national daily papers and on national and local radio news and current affairs programmes.
The CDB fielded pro-docking speakers on BBC Radio News, and the popular Jimmy Young and Radio Five Live chat shows. Interviews were provided to the Daily Mail and to major news agencies, while BBC local stations in Gloucestershire, Berkshire and Newcastle also invited CDB speakers to participate in discussions on docking.
"Covering both our busy telephone helpline and dealing with calls from the media meant that we were at full stretch on some occasions, but thanks to the strong support of our members, we coped well with the demand for information,"commented CDB Secretary Ginette Elliott.
The CDB website also scored one of its busiest weeks, with 15,000 hits in just seven days, underlining the importance of the internet in disseminating information to casual enquiries and professional researchers alike.
The CDBs stand at Crufts was busy throughout all four days of the show. There was strong support for the campaign to prevent a docking ban being included in the Government_s proposed Animal Welfare Bill, with supporters queuing up to obtain information about responding to the public consultation.
Many overseas visitors came to the stand to share their experiences, and some valuable information was received and contacts established. Membership hit an all-time high, with 81 new members joining over the four days and many more renewing their subscriptions.
Time is running out for responses to the DEFRA consultation on the proposed Animal Welfare Bill to be considered ahead of the closing date of April 30th.
Comments on the Government proposals, which include the possibility of a total ban on tail docking, are invited from members of the public and from canine organisations such as breed clubs, field trial societies and the like.
*All those who wish to maintain freedom of choice over the docking issue are urged to write now to Branch F, Animal Welfare Division, DEFRA, Room 606 1A Page Street, London SW1P 4PQ. Full details can be found on the CDB website at www.cdb.org.