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The Kennel Club Chairman’s report


My Lords, Ladies and Gentlemen, this report on behalf of your General Committee in respect of the Club’s activities since our meeting in November is necessary under Article 26.a. of our Constitution.

Sadly I have to report that 9 of our fellow Members have died since we last met. They are:
Miss J K M Hughes
Mr D H Thomas
Mr R Harrison
Wing Commander W A J Iles – Honorary Life Member
Mrs L Byles
Dr D E Jones
The Rt Hon Lord Gibson-Watt – Honorary Life Member and past Vice- President
Mrs A Coupe
Mrs M Pickup
Mrs A Dallison

And a former member, Mrs P Winston. I ask you to stand in their memory.

Before I begin my report you should know that on behalf of the Members and Staff of the Kennel Club I have written to our Patron, Her Majesty the Queen, to offer our warm congratulations on the forthcoming 50th anniversary of her accession to the Throne.

As usual at this meeting I now report to you on the most significant matters addressed by our various sub-committees.

SHOW EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE

There were seven busy meetings in 2001, chaired by Ann Arch.

The Shows, Trials and Awards Department was obviously hugely affected by the Foot and Mouth restrictions last year, but under the guidance of Kathryn Symns the Kennel Club Assistant Secretary, the department did an admirable job. Directly due to the epidemic, 618 Shows had to be cancelled and a further 348 were postponed or rescheduled. If you add to this the concoction of show date alterations, refunds for the cancelled events and all the other areas that this department involves itself with, staff members were required to take on additional responsibilities as well as carrying out their own tasks, but manage they did!

Eleven new societies were registered and thirty were de-registered. A total of five training clubs were transferred to the new Kennel Club listed status, with others still pending. Two amalgamations of societies were also approved, and seven societies were referred to the General Committee for a review of their status, which resulted in two de-registrations and two suspensions.

The Committee processed 161 applications for permission to show dogs after surgery, approving 152 and refusing nine. The Committee also considered numerous show reports detailing breaches of show regulations with the result that 68 dogs’ awards were disqualified, 49 societies and 38 exhibitors were fined and nine dogs’ registrations were endorsed ineligible to show following serious biting incidents.


Mr Peter James – in the chair.

JUDGES’ SUB-COMMITTEE

The Judges’ Sub-Committee (JSC) met eight times in 2001. At the sub-committee meeting in June, following the AGM, Margaret Everton was elected Chairman. I am pleased to inform you that the new computer system for judges nomination is now operational as is the new evaluator system.

Approximately 490 evaluation reports on first time CC judges were approved by the Department, with only forty councils and clubs requesting the Committee to select evaluators on their behalf. Unfortunately, several people had to be removed from the Evaluator/Assessor list due to breaches of confidentiality.

Due to the introduction of the Evaluator/Assessor system and A2 approvals the administration responsibility has increased, as has the amount of paperwork submitted to the Judges Sub-Committee. The office is currently conducting a review of the work of that Sub-Committee with a view to reducing the amount of preparation required for agendas, and to give the Sub-Committee more time to consider each nomination or application.

Four appeals against previous refusals of first time Challenge Certificate appointments were processed, of which one was upheld. Six complaints about a judge’s performance were considered by the JSC and recommendations for action were made to the General Committee. Approximately 30 enquiries per week continue to be received from overseas clubs on UK Judges.

The Judges’ Sub-Committee and the Judges Department work closely with the Judges’ Working Party, which met 5 times during 2001. A total of 46 Accredited Regulations and Procedures Trainers (Shows), and 24 Accredited Conformation and Movement Trainers (Shows) have had their term of accreditation extended from 1 January 2001 to 31 December 2002.

Over the course of this year, approximately 65 seminars on Show Regulations and Procedure have been held, attended by 1859 delegates. 100 seminars on Conformation and Movement have been held, with 3674 delegates attending. A further project launched in 2001 was the Group Judges Development programme, under which certain Championship Show societies are running seminars for prospective Group Judges.

FIELD TRIALS SUB-COMMITTEE

Under the Chairmanship of Alan Rountree the work of this department continues to benefit from the close links fostered with the gundog fraternity, and Shows Trials and Awards (STA) staff and Field Trials Sub-Committee members were warmly welcomed at over 15 gundog related events and meetings in 2001. These included the CLA Game Fair, the Standing Conference on Countryside Sports and the International Gundog League Retriever Championships. The Field Trial programme as a whole was seriously affected by the Foot and Mouth epidemic, which caused multiple cancellations of events.

During the course of the year, 583 licence applications were processed and 2783 Field Trial awards were issued. The number of enquiries on gundog related matters continues to expand. The Working Certificate Working Party (formerly the Show Gundog Certificate Working Party), under the Chairmanship of Paul Rawlings, is progressing with the development of the proposed Kennel Club Working Gundog Certificate, for which two Practice and Development Days were held.

WORKING TRIALS, OBEDIENCE and AGILITY SUB-COMMITTEE

The WTOA met 4 times in 2001 under the Chairmanship of Stan Ford, and several new initiatives were developed. Heelwork to Music Regulations for the sport have been drafted, with a proposed effective date of 1 July 2002, and a working party has been set up to review the current criteria for approval of judges and to devise a training programme for novice judges. Plans have been formulated for three Event Management seminars to be held in 2002, one for each of the WTOA disciplines, and WTOA sports will now receive regular coverage in the Kennel Gazette with the inclusion of reports and articles about these disciplines.

The KCLC Agility Council is looking into a study on the effects of agility on dogs’ wellbeing; and for the first time ever the UK was represented at the FCI World Agility Championships, held in Portugal. The first U.K. Agility Championships were held this year and each of the events visited by a Field Officer was graded excellent. The winners of these events went on to participate in the first Kennel Club Agility Championships, held at Crufts in March 2002.

BREED STANDARDS and STUD BOOK SUB-COMMITTEE

Under the chairmanship of Ruth Barbour the major initiative launched in late 1999 to incorporate full tail descriptions into the Breed Standards of all customarily docked breeds reached completion in 2001. The tail clauses of approximately fifty standards have now been revised and re-printed, and further adjustments, in the light of the new weights and measures conversion chart, were made to the Briard, Polish Lowland Sheepdog, American Cocker Spaniel, Fox Terrier (Smooth) and Siberian Husky Breed Standards.

New Interim Breed Standards for the Canadian Eskimo Dog and Dogue de Bordeaux were drawn up. Minor amendments were made to the Affenpinscher, Alaskan Malamute, and Bedlington Terrier Breed Standards, with the Brittany and Leonberger standards undergoing full revisions.

Two new breeds were recognised in 2001 - the Canadian Eskimo Dog and the Pyrenean Mastiff. The nomenclature of the Japanese Akita was changed to Akita and restrictions were imposed on the colour registrations of Affenpinschers, Brittanys, Flatcoated Retrievers, Mastiffs and Labradors. The Bolognese and the Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever were transferred from the Imported Breeds Register to the Breed Register and a tagging system for the registration of Dobermanns with white ancestry was implemented.

DISCIPLINARY SUB-COMMITTEE
Rule A 42

Under the chairmanship of Bernard Hall there were four complaints in 2001 which culminated in a hearing before the Disciplinary Sub-Committee; a complaint concerning verbal abuse to a Judge at a Show, allegations that a dog was kicked by an exhibitor, allegations that two dogs were left unattended and for an extended period of time in a locked car, with insufficient protection against heat, and alleged inaccuracies in an litter application.

A consistent approach has been to preserve and enhance the role of the Disciplinary process and to ensure that genuine cases falling squarely within the scope of Rule A 42 go forward.
Cases involving personal and private grievances and disputes receive practical advice and/or are directed to more appropriate bodies and agencies to deal with their respective complaints.

Review Body
A number of cases were considered under Rule A 42 but were disposed of by the Secretary, under Kennel Club Regulation T11, with the issue of a warning and censure. These cases included incidents of alleged dog kicking, incidents of alleged verbal abuse and an alleged assault at a committee meeting.

All such complaints were subject to the full investigative process of Rule A 42, and either the evidence was considered insufficient to proceed further, or the incident when considered in the context of the whole episode was not thought to be appropriate for a full Disciplinary hearing. Appeals against decisions by the Secretary are considered by the Review Body, chaired by the Kennel Club Vice Chairman. All decisions considered were upheld by the Review Body.

Rule A 43
There were 6 Rule A 43 cases arising from various criminal convictions, including cases arising from convictions for causing unnecessary suffering, theft from a Breed Club and false accounting by a former treasurer, and breaches of licensing conditions.

The Human Rights Act is as yet untested through the courts and it will be a matter of time to see how it may be invoked. The Kennel Club has now put in place a number of changes to its procedures to comply with it: -

Written reasons are now given by the Disciplinary Sub-Committee for their decisions.
Rule A43 has been amended to allow for oral hearings if required, and appeals. The remit of the Disciplinary Sub-Committee has been expanded to allow for the hearing of the Rule A 43 cases.

A new set of U Regulations has been introduced to govern the Rule A 43 process. The Regulations allow for decisions to be made on written submissions or oral hearing. The appeals process largely mirrors the T Regulations for Rule A 42.

The appeals process in the T Regulations has been given structured and specific grounds for appeal.

CLUB COMMITTEE

Norman Ziman chaired four meetings of the Club Committee during 2001. A major responsibility for the committee during the first months of the year was to oversee the refurbishment project of the third and fourth floors.

It is encouraging that since the Club and Dining Rooms have re-opened the number of members and their guests using the facility has significantly increased.

Because of the refurbishment, the committee was forced to cut back on the number of social events organised for members in this particular year. However, one event which did take place was a trip to the London Eye and London Aquarium. The event completely sold out and all those who took the ‘flight’ thoroughly enjoyed the day, which had begun with luncheon at the Club.

The usual theme lunch in November was rested to allow a special ‘one off’ function. With the blessing and co-operation of the Club Committee, the Club Department staff volunteered their services for a charity lunch to raise funds for the Kennel Club Charitable Trust Appeal.
Those attending had a most enjoyable lunch and were entertained by a top class cabaret act ‘The Three Singing Waiters’. The lunch raised almost £5,000 for the appeal.

At the beginning of this year, Mrs Janet Bailey resigned her position as Club Steward on the fourth floor to pursue a new venture in Scotland running her own bed and breakfast business. While there was widespread regret at the loss of Janet she has been very ably replaced by Mrs Joan Payne.


Miss Sybil churchill - many years of service to the General Committee and Crufts

You will be aware that at the end of this month Roger French will be leaving the Kennel Club. He goes with our thanks for all he has done for us, and our best wishes for the future. We have done our best to ensure that we have not seen the last of him at the Kennel Club. In preparation for Roger’s departure, and to ensure continuity, Rosemary Smart, who is well known to the great majority of you, was appointed Deputy Chief Executive in January 2002, and Chief Executive at the beginning of April.

Rosemary will be well supported in her role by Secretary Caroline Kisko and a strong senior management team, and professional staff. She comes to the task enjoying the warm respect of everyone in dogs, and I am sure you will join with me in wishing her every success in an increasingly demanding role.

Finances:

The Club's finances will be considered later in the meeting when our Annual Report is presented to you by the Auditors. However, I must comment on the deficit detailed in the accounts for 2001, and explain some of the steps your Committee is taking to restore the position in the current year.

In his presentation on Fees at the Bi-AGM last November, the Vice-Chairman referred to the various financial setbacks which had been experienced during a very difficult year. Quite apart from the devastation it brought to the farming community the Foot and Mouth outbreak caused the postponement of Crufts, the cancellation of numerous shows, trials, and other events, and no doubt contributed to the significant downturn in registrations. Defence of disciplinary judgement on a canine welfare issue, while it endorsed the propriety of our procedures, was a major factor in higher than ever legal fees, and rounded off what was already a financially unhappy year.

Decisive action was taken during the year by your Committee to effect substantial cost reductions both in terms of staff and running costs, the impact of which was felt in the second half of the year, and will be felt in full in 2002.

The fee increases approved by the Members in 2001 will have full year effect in 2002, and are budgeted to create an increase in revenue even allowing for a further reduction in volume. Full year benefits of our new Healthcare operation will be felt in 2002. This, again, is budgeted to produce considerably better net revenue than in previous years, and is part of the drive to create new income streams, thereby reducing our dependency on registration income.

I am pleased to report that as a result of these measures the first quarter indications for 2002 show an encouraging recovery in our finances, without taking into account what is likely to be a very satisfactory surplus from Crufts.

Kennel Club Services Ltd.

Kennel Club Services Ltd., under the Chairmanship of Ronnie Irving and a Board of four Executive and four Non-Executive Directors, continued to provide management and support services for the commercial activities of the Club.

The Communications and Customer Services team has continued to develop, both in terms of service levels and its Team Members. Service turn-round times are at record low levels in all of the three main applications – namely PetLog, the keying of transfers and of litter applications.

The final phase of the introduction of a new telephone system was completed in March and training in 2002 will concentrate on the Call Centre. Now that the service levels we have striven for have been achieved we will be looking at the quality aspect, and will continue to develop staff skills through various training initiatives.

Several questionnaires are in circulation looking at ways to improve services and to find out what our customers really want. This will form the basis of any new ventures going forward.

During the last 5 months major changes have been made in the process of application for Affixes. Previously the applications would have taken approximately 3 months, but with sophisticated vetting procedures now in place to ensure against duplication or close similarities this has been reduced to 1 day. Affixes are now granted on a provisional basis, subject to final ratification 28 days after publication in the Kennel Gazette.


Lt Cmdr John Williams - eight years as secretary and respected columnist to OUR DOGS

To date we have had no objections to the names so published! With the success of this project, work will commence shortly on reviewing the Export and Import services. Another successful project has been to make the Puppy Sales Register available live on the web. This can now be accessed via the Kennel Club website, and it enjoyed over 14,000 hits in its first two weeks of operation.

At Crufts 2002, we were delighted to be able to announce that, following Peter Mann’s great efforts over the previous two years, the target of £1,000,000 had been reached for the Charitable Trust Appeal. The money raised will directly benefit dogs through donations to canine causes, and research, through the Health Foundation Fund, which is part of the Charitable Trust, into the development of DNA tests for inherited diseases in specific breeds.

Bearing in mind that it took eleven years to raise the initial million pounds when the Trust was launched in 1989 this is truly a remarkable achievement. I am sure that everyone would wish to join me in congratulating and thanking Peter for his initiative. We must also thank everyone who gave so generously to ensure that this target was met, with particular mention of Masterfoods, manufacturers of Pedigree dog foods, for the substantial support given to the Health Foundation Fund. The Fund will finance the development of DNA tests to help breeders eradicate genetic diseases to which certain breeds may be prone.

Last month the Kennel Club hosted the Canine Events Conference, chaired by the vice-Chairman. The main purpose of this event was to encourage all those with an interest in the Dog to contribute ideas for the active promotion of the positive aspects of dog ownership within the community. In a climate of anti-dog legislation we need to identify the factors which contribute to the reduction in pedigree dog breeding and registration, coupled with the decline in the dog population as a whole, and take urgent steps to address them.

Attendees from all areas of dogdom - breeders, exhibitors, dog press, and commercial organisations - were invited to put forward proposals for encouraging new participants into canine interests, events and competitions. Kennel Club staff attended in numbers, and many ideas were put forward and debated. The best of these will be considered in more detail by a smaller group at a follow-up meeting to be held in the near future.


Mike Stockman - years of service to the General Committee

Meetings with the FCI and with the American Kennel Club took place at Crufts this year and both were, as usual, amicable. Discussions with the FCI included matters such as dangerous dogs legislation, the European Convention on Pet Animals, and breed standards, while the meeting with the American Kennel Club focussed on research into inherited diseases, registration trends and judging matters. As with the Conference of Commonwealth Kennel Clubs hosted by Peter Mann last June, on which I reported in November, these meetings are key in maintaining our awareness of developments in matters relating to dogs around the world and to ensure that we are ‘in tune’ with other canine interests.

Canine Health

The KC Genetics and Health Co-ordinators continue to strengthen links both within the UK and internationally to ensure that the KC is kept abreast of the latest developments with regard to new DNA technologies in particular, but also with regard to developments in other types of health screening.

Currently, worldwide, there are 45 breed-specific DNA tests available commercially, and research into such tests in UK laboratories has never been more active. Increasingly, additions to this list are the result of the application of information provided by the canine genome map. Later this year the KC Health Foundation Fund, which as I have said is part of the Charitable Trust, will disburse funds to a number of projects designed to develop new DNA tests for specific diseases in UK canine populations.

In the field of clinical screening a concerted effort is being made by a number of nations to develop an international eye examination certificate. A successful Eye Disease Control meeting was held in Stockholm during February 2001 and the second meeting will be in London, hosted by the KC, during February 2003.

The past few years has seen increasing numbers of dogs being examined under the aegis of the European College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists (ECVO). Since the results of such examinations have not thus far been published, a significant amount of valuable clinical data on individual dogs has been lost to the breeding community. In order to rectify this the KC has decided to publish the results of ECVO eye examinations from January 2002 both in the Breed Records Supplement (BRS) and on the KC web-site.

In future the Kennel Club will receive information from accredited health schemes, whether from the BVA, the ECVO or elsewhere, but will itself be the arbiter, with appropriate scientific advice, of what of this information it publishes, and where. It has been decided to cease publishing MRD results in the BRS, but to maintain an open registry of such results at the Kennel Club that will be available on request to any one who may wish to access the information.


RogerFrench - retires after seven years as Chief Executive

One of the ways that health information is disseminated to breeders is via seminars, which are either breed specific, as in the case of the one-day Copper Toxicosis Seminar, or which cover topics of general interest such as the Breeder Symposium run jointly by the KC with the BSAVA and the PFMA (Pet Food Manufacturers’ Association) last October. This was attended by over 250 breeders.

The KC/BSAVA Scientific Committee continues to correspond with and advise breed clubs and councils regarding any aspect of identification and control of inherited disease in breeds. Members of the committee offer advice on the design, execution and analysis of breed health surveys to help achieve maximum effect. The Committee is currently focussing on the concept of a breed-wide Kennel Club Health Survey to collect hitherto unavailable information on the occurrence and frequency of important conditions in dogs. This survey would be scientifically designed and the data professionally analysed to provide baseline information for breeders, vets and scientists. You should hear more of this in the coming months.

The John MacDougall Visitors’ Centre, Newmarket

In my last report I mentioned the change of role of the John MacDougall Centre at the AHT into an Educational Resource area which will present various aspects of the Genetics of the Dog. This resource will be aimed primarily at GCSE level students, but will also have some relevance to the GCE A level syllabus. This brings the dog into schools in a new and exciting format. Masterfoods have joined with the KC and AHT in helping to fund this important initiative, under the enthusiastic direction of Valerie Foss and Jeff Sampson. The progress plan is in two stages.

The first stage sees a new set of display material in the KC Display Area in the Visitors’ centre at the AHT. The existing display will be replaced with twelve new poster displays ranging from the Genetics of Coat Colour to the Development of a breed, using the Golden Retriever as an example. These displays will be supported by worksheets and additional material. Stage 1 is well underway and we hope to trial this material with a small number of selected schools at the start of the academic year. Stage 2 will develop the stable block adjacent to the display area into an educational resource area that will provide work space, and a fully networked computer system that will allow students to explore on-line material that will reveal more about the genetics of the dog.

Much of this material will be specifically written for this purpose, but students will also have limited access to existing material on the internet that has been pre-screened for its quality and relevance. This on-line facility will be in the form of a new website that students will be able to access from their own school at any time. In addition to this educational resource, the AHT is planning to produce video displays that will demonstrate the various activities of the Trust and these will be displayed in a video theatre in a separate part of the Visitors’ Centre. The proposed changes will provide an ideal day's field trip for schools who will be able to bring their students to learn more about genetics, using the dog as their example.

The KCJO was re-launched at Crufts 2002 as the Young Kennel Club, with Mrs Daphne MacDougall as President, and Eric Smethurst as Chairman, and with a new name to mark a new structure. The new club will benefit from the knowledge and commitment of canine activity co-ordinators for Handling and Events, Obedience and Dog Training, Agility and Flyball, Education and Communication and New Initiatives. These co-ordinators will organise activities and social events in conjunction with YKC staff on a national basis whilst being assisted by Kennel Club registered and listed clubs and Liaison Officers in Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and England.

A successful members’ consultative meeting has recently been held to seek the views of members over 16, in the development of the Young Kennel Club. Many issues were raised which will be considered by the new management team in the coming months. An important aim of the new Club will be to be forward thinking and looking to protect the interests of both the members and their dogs for the future. There are currently 1350 YKC members, and four YKC members are now actively involved with the Committee and are working as group stewards, main ring stewards and as assistant secretary.

Crufts Committee expanded the opportunities for members to be involved in administration at the Show and YKC members were involved in the Stewards’ Office, Results, Judges’ Reception, Main Ring Collecting Ring, Veterinary Office and as trainee stewards. It is hoped that other shows will also be encouraged to use the services of these well-qualified YKC members.

The Good Citizen Dog Scheme has continued to progress positively over the last six months. Despite the environmental restrictions due to the Foot and Mouth outbreak in 2001, which in turn limited many canine activities, the Scheme continued to develop and over 9300 Good Citizen certificates were awarded and an additional level of the Scheme was introduced. The scheme has now recorded 165 Puppy Foundation, 53,000 Bronze, 7091 Silver and 2325 Gold award achievers since its inception. There are now over 1150 organisations that participate in the Scheme including 276 local councils and 48 Adult Education Centres. As reported to you at last year’s AGM, following research conducted in 2000, it was established that there had been a steep rise in non-KC registered dog training clubs.

The Kennel Club decided to introduce the Kennel Club Good Citizen Listed Status and I am pleased to inform you that this initiative has had a significant effect on the scheme’s development. By incorporating smaller based training establishments and veterinary practices as scheme hosts, we have increased Good Citizen dog training opportunities. To date over 180 new training organisations have enrolled with the Scheme through Listed Status, and as a result a greater geographical spread of KC linked training clubs has been established. In November 2001 the Scheme launched a new Good Citizen Award aimed at puppies and young dogs. This new award level has been introduced to provide education at a vital dog training period and aims to encourage veterinary practices to incorporate this training programme within puppy socialisation classes already in operation.

The Annual Good Citizen Awards were held for the fourth consecutive year. These Awards encourage GCDS organisations to become involved within their local communities. The overall winners were Hertfordshire South (Hatfield) Dog Training who have made considerable efforts in terms of promoting the positive side of dog ownership. This is a vital role for all listed and registered clubs and we have much still to do together in the community to promote all that is positive about the dog.

The Scheme was represented at 12 General Championship and 2 Group Championship Shows in 2001, a significant advance on 2000, and one we hope to surpass in 2002. A total of 404 dogs and their owners were awarded certificates for passing the bronze test at these events. Monies raised collectively totalled £442, which was donated to the Kennel Club Charitable Trust or the host society’s nominated canine charity.

Scheme demonstrations were presented at Crufts and Discover Dogs. Interest in the Good Citizen ring at these events has continued to grow and provides a non-stop source of canine educational activity and entertainment for visitors. In October 2001 Westminster Dog of the Year was awarded to Lord Lucas and his Lucas Terrier Puffin, both of whom took part in a demonstration of the Bronze award at Crufts 2002. Other demonstrations in 2002 took place at the Town & Country Festival, Game Fair, Young Kennel Club National Camp and Open Breed and Obedience shows. This growth has attracted many enquiries from overseas kennel clubs wishing to develop the Scheme in their own countries. A proposal has been agreed which will allow overseas organisations to run the scheme under Kennel Club Guidelines.

The Kennel Club increasingly works alongside Members of Parliament, both here and in Europe, and in more and more circumstances we are the first port of call on matters canine. The Kennel Club provides the Secretariat for the Dog Legislation Advisory Group. Members include the RSPCA, NCDL, Blue Cross, BSAVA and the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons.

This Group works well together and meets bi-monthly both to scrutinise current legislation and to monitor forthcoming issues prior to them reaching the statute book. It is refreshing that, whilst we may not always agree on particular issues, we endeavour to work collectively with the other organisations for the common good of the dog. Independently, the Kennel Club continues to make representations to Government.

Examples include the Animal Welfare Bill, the proposed Hunting With Dogs Bill and we have also petitioned, in conjunction with the Pet Care Trust, against the London Local Authorities Bill, which, in its original draft, would have discriminated heavily against dog owners in London when exercising their dogs. These three examples of legislation have wide ranging implications for dogs and their owners in this country and it remains our intention to both monitor, and lobby against, pernicious ‘anti-dog’ legislation.

Recently we have addressed The Associate Parliamentary Group for Animal Welfare at Westminster on both the dangerous dog issue and the use of electric shock collars. On the European front, we have travelled to the European Parliament to present to MEPs regarding dangerous dog legislation and the Kennel Club’s ‘Domino’ Campaign, so named to illustrate the way that anti-dog legislation appears to be sweeping Europe and other parts of the world.

This campaign, co-ordinated in conjunction with concerned UK dog lovers continues to go from strength to strength, but we must all remain vigilant. Spain and Austria have recently mirrored Germany’s ‘knee jerk’ reaction and are in the process of adopting their own draconian Breed Specific Legislation unfortunately, the dominoes appear to continue to fall, even when there is no scientific evidence, but the campaign will continue in earnest.

Last month a delegation of the vice-Chairman, the Secretary, and the KC Genetics Co-ordinator visited the Minister and his advisory team at DEFRA to make representation on behalf of the Kennel Club on the European Convention for the Protection of Pet Animals.

They presented what the KC has done to date on breed standards and advice to judges, plus the work of the KC Convention Study Group and our plans for the future, and our contributions to
canine health via the health Schemes and DNA research. The Minister received the presentation positively, and referred in radio interviews subsequently to the responsible attitude of the Kennel Club. He seemed open to our suggestion that signing the Convention was unnecessary, although making it clear that only hard fact and scientifically-based research will convince him of the need to preserve the option of docking.

The opportunity was taken to raise the omission of the DDA from the Animal Welfare Bill, and to press the fundamental injustice and cost of this bad piece of legislation and I can tell you that at the Minister's invitation we will present him with a written report on the DDA.

Your Committee views it as ever more important to the welfare of the Dog that the Kennel Club is seen by Government as the reasoned and responsible first port of call on canine matters.

To our Management and Staff I offer grateful thanks on behalf of the membership. To my colleagues on Committees, and to all others who give so generously of their time and skills I also offer thanks on your behalf.

Thank you for your patience with this long report.