Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act
The Kennel Club is working with Defra and other animal welfare organisations on the accompanying regulations for the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act, particularly those relating to stray dogs and dog control orders. The Kennel Club attended the first stakeholders group meeting at the end of June.
Electric Shock Collars Campaign
The KC is continuing its press and lobbying campaign for Defra to keep its promise to undertake research on the harmful effects of Electric Shock Collars. The KC is providing a form of words to supportive members of the public who wish to lobby their local MPs to add to the pressure on Defra, and are heartened that many have done so.
Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee
The Kennel Club has written to the new and re-selected members of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee to introduce the KC or update members on its activities, and of course, wish them every success in their role as a Committee member.
Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals)
The KC was heartened that Mike Hancock MP recently tabled an Early Day Motion (EDM) calling upon the Government ‘to use the forthcoming presidency of the Council of Ministers to ensure that the Council’s Common Position on REACH prioritises mechanisms to eliminate animal testing from the legislation’. The office wrote to all MPs with an interest in animal welfare to bring the EDM to their attention and urge them to sign it.
The KC has recently produced a report summarising the Nuffield Council on Bioethics’ report on the ethics of research involving animals. The KC has circulated its report, which focuses on the REACH proposals, to the Nuffield Council on Bioethics and numerous interested MPs as part of its lobbying campaign for the Government to reconsider its position on REACH in Europe.
England Implementation Group
The KC attended the first meeting of the England Implementation Group (EIG) earlier this month. The EIG is still in its developing stages, working out what the driving forces are in animal health and welfare, and what they will be in the future. Some stakeholders agreed with the KC that the EIG was too focused on animal health in relation to livestock and farm animals and that neither the strategy nor the group focused enough on companion animals. The KC has produced a briefing note for the EIG outlining what it thinks should be included in the Group’s driving forces.
Review of the Veterinary Surgeons’ Act
Following the publication of the Review of the Veterinary Surgeons Act, the KC has responded to the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) highlighting its views on the RCVS Council and Board.
Meeting with Defra Officials
In July the KC met with Defra officials responsible for the Animal Welfare Bill, to see how the proposed legislation was progressing and to offer further help if required. The meeting went well and the general consensus was confidence that the Bill would move forward. However, there is still no room for complacency, so the KC, in conjunction with the welfare industry, will continue to lobby in an attempt to ensure that Government gives the issue parliamentary time. In August, KC representatives will be visiting Defra to meet with Mr Ben Bradshaw, the Minister responsible for the legislation.
Welsh Access Group Launch
Over the last eighteen months the Kennel Club has worked in partnership with various land owners and managers such as the Countryside Agency, the Countryside Council for Wales, the Forestry Commission and English Nature to produce information for dog owners to give constructive and helpful advice and promote responsible ways of enjoying the countryside with their dogs. This work was initiated after the Kennel Club approached the organisations in advance of the implementation of the Countryside and Rights Of Way Act in September 2004.
The reason for the Kennel Club’s involvement was that it wanted to ensure that the rights of responsible dog owners were fully considered as part of the process, with an interest in the building of partnerships with the agencies and to establish a clear mutual understanding of rights and responsibilities between dog owners and land managers. In July, KC representatives travelled to the Royal Welsh Show to launch a concordat with the Welsh Forestry Commission and a leaflet with the Countryside Council for Wales. The Kennel Club is delighted with the feedback that has been received with regard to these initiatives. To obtain further information please go to: www.countrysideaccess.gov.uk