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IKC is censured by Competition Authorities


Sieger-style GSD shows get the green light

THE IRISH Kennel Club has been censured by the Competition Authority for interfering in the running of the German Shepherd Association of Ireland's annual Sieger show.

Although specifics of the IKC's 'interference' was not clarified, it is understood that the IKC objected to GSA Ireland staging the show along 'Germanic' lines, with Schutzhund displays taking place - all very much against the proscribed IKC and Kennel Club line.

Gradings

A source close to GSA Ireland told OUR DOGS: "Basically GSA Ireland is a working club and wants to run its shows on European lines, with gradings, fewer classes, conditions for dogs, such as hip scoring and qualifications for entry. Essentially, they are raising the standard for exhibition and are gravitating more towards FCI rules. The IKC obviously felt their own level of control was slipping.

‘There are several accounts of the IKC contacting judges and exhibitors – largely by word of mouth or via other sources – making veiled threats of ‘consequences’ if they took part in the GSA Ireland’s Sieger show. These consequences could only be that they would be banned from participating in any IKC sanction event. This put GSA Ireland in a difficult position – they hadn’t sought a confrontation with the IKC, so they had no option but to take the matter to the Irish Competition Authority.’

GSA Ireland's official statement says: ‘This in our view is a historic decision and justifies the time and effort we put into ensuring GSD enthusiasts who share in our ideals and commitment to our unique breed can exhibit, trial, train, breed and register their dogs in any manner they see fit, providing it is in compliance with Irish civil law.

Support

‘Although we were never in any doubt that this was in fact the case, our view now has the support of a body with statutory powers. The authority ruled that if the allegations as presented were in fact to take place that it ‘would give rise to concerns, under the act’ (Irish Competition Act 2002).’

‘Although the IKC did not agree that they had in fact acted in a manner contrary to the Act they gave a number of undertakings to the Authority. These undertakings were given to "ensure future behaviour would be in compliance with the Act’.

‘The IKC Ltd has undertaken to refrain from:

‘a) Actively deterring, monetarily penalising or otherwise disciplining its members from joining, participating in events that are sponsored by entities

that are actual or potential competitors of the IKC Ltd within the Republic of Ireland.

‘b) Actively deterring, monetarily penalising or otherwise disciplining persons who serve as judges for IKC Ltd sanctioned events from or for serving as judges for events that are sponsored by entities that are actual or potential competitors of the IKC Ltd within the Republic of Ireland.’

GSA Ireland's statement added: ‘As we have stated many times in the past, GSA Ireland is not interested in conflict with any body or organisation. We know there are many who are happy with the system provided for by the IKC Ltd. We wish them well.’

At the time of going to press, the Irish Kennel Club was not able to issue a statement although invited to do so.