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SKC fights ban on docking



Newly elected Executive Council members Alan Drummond (left) and Jim Irvine (right) pictured with Convener Anne Macdonald and Vice-Convener Chris Holmes

THE SCOTTISH Kennel Club last week hosted its third informal meeting at the offices in Musselburgh to inform members and owners of docked breeds of the latest developments in the Animal Health & Welfare (Scotland) Bill.

The SKC welcomed 27 representatives from Breed Clubs, BASC, SCA and SRPBA who joined to express their views and formulate a strategy for the way ahead.

Last Tuesday, (4 April), the SKC welcomed 27 representatives from Breed Clubs, BASC, SCA and SRPBA who joined to express their views and formulate a strategy for the way ahead.

At present a total ban on docking is expected, though not in the Primary legislation. This will, most probably, appear during Secondary Legislation and assurances have been received from the civil servants in the Bill Team that there will be further consultation in the autumn.

Stage 2 of the Bill was completed on March 31 with an Amendment tabled by John Farquhar Munro to exempt working dogs being defeated in the Committee by 8:1. As yet, no timetable has been set for the completion of Stage 3, but it is envisaged that a further amendment will again be tabled to exempt working dogs.

However, it should be noted that, at this point, there is no suggestion that docked dogs will be banned from showing. The Scottish Kennel Club has already been lobbying to actively oppose such a suggestion and will continue to do so. As an aside, the Animal Welfare Bill for England and Wales has had an amendment tabled to prevent docked, working dogs from being shown. This would only affect those working dogs docked on or after the commencement of the Act and is also dependent on the second reading in the House of Lords on 18 April.

However, as previously reported, the British Association for Shooting and Conservation is hoping to find a way round this apparent ban, in conjunction with the Kennel Club, one option being that working dogs may be allowed to be shown in exhibitions of their working skills.

With the legislative clock ticking north of the border, the SKC says that is now vital that Breed Clubs urge their members to visit their MSPs and List Members as a matter of urgency. Details can be found at: http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/msp/index.htm by entering the relevant postcode.

It is highly possible that the MSPs have already been visited by constituents urging them for a total ban so it is imperative that they receive a balanced, alternative viewpoint from those who are involved in the world of dogs.

Although the Scottish Parliament is in recess from 1 to 17 April, this may be an ideal time for dog owners to make appointments to visit MSPs at their surgeries.

l Should anyone require further information, the Scottish Kennel Club will be pleased to assist. Please contact:- Jean Fairlie, Parliamentary Liaison Officer, Tel:- 01436 820478 Myra Orr, SKC Secretary, Tel:- 0131 665 3920 or info@scottishkennelclub.or

The Scottish Kennel Club held its Annual General Meeting on Thursday 30th March 2006 in Sir John Wilson Town Hall, Airdrie.

The meeting was attended by 46 members. Items on the Agenda included a proposal that Dr Val Marrian be appointed as a Vice-President of The Scottish Kennel Club. This proposal was carried unanimously.

There had been 10 nominations for 8 vacant places on Executive Council. The 6 Executive Council members standing for re-election were successful.

Mr William Campbell; Mrs Pat Dempster; Mr Tom Johnston; Mrs Sheana Martin; Miss Sheila Thomson and Mr Frank Whyte.

The two new Council members elected were Mr Allan Drummond and Mr Jim Irvine.

The first meeting of the new Executive Council was held on Wednesday 5th April where Mrs Anne Macdonald and Miss Chris Holmes were unanimously re-elected as Convener and Vice-Convener respectively.

The Scottish Show Dog of the Year competition 2005 will take place in the foyer of the Highland Hall, Royal Highland Showground, Ingliston on Thursday 18th May 2006 commencing at 7.30 p.m.
For this year only the event format has been adjusted and will be judged on a match knockout basis from 20 to 10 to 5, with the last 5 dogs being placed. The judge is Ms Anne Tove Strande (Norway) and tickets can be purchased from Scottish Kennel Club on 0131 665 3920 or e-mail info@scottishkennelclub.org at a cost of £3.00 for the event.