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KC wins EU exemption for dog shows

The Kennel Club announced this week that it has won a significant victory by ensuring that dog show activities and displays will be exempted from new EU regulations designed to protect circus animals.

In May the Kennel Club met with Defra officials to discuss the new European Union Regulation: ‘Animal Health Requirements for the Movement of Circus Animals Between EU Member States’ as it had concerns that the proposals could have an adverse effect on the world of dogs.

Following this meeting it remained unclear as to whether the loosely drafted regulations applied to certain activities at dog shows - such as heelwork to music and flyball, so the KC implemented a lobbying campaign to ensure an exemption.

The Regulation aims to set a common animal health movement regime for circus animals by laying down health conditions and inspections before permitting animals to travel to another EU Member State and the Regulation requirements apply to animal acts just as they do to circuses, with suitable adaptation.

Due to the potentially wide scope of this Regulation, Defra requested that the Kennel Club should produce an impact assessment on the effect that the new Regulation would have on the world of dogs if indeed it was intended to cover activities or displays at dog shows.

The Kennel Club responded to Defra, explaining why dog shows and activities that took place at dog shows such as heelwork to music, agility, flyball and obedience, should not fall under the scope of the new EU Regulation, and concluded that: ‘Since dog shows themselves do not travel with dogs (as circuses do for instance) and involve competition between dogs kept as pets (whose owners compete with them as a hobby and/or a sport), they should not fall under the forthcoming Commission Regulation’.

As a result Defra has stated in its recently published consultation that dog shows and activities mentioned by the Kennel Club will not be covered by the Regulation. The consultation states:

‘There was some initial confusion about the scope of this Regulation. However the European Commission has now clarified that it is their intention that the Regulation only covers movements of circus and animal acts moving between circuses. We intend to move forward on this basis’.

Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club Secretary, said: ‘The Kennel Club is extremely relieved that its input into the scope of the regulation has convinced Defra that dog shows should be exempt and we welcome the fact that dog shows, and activities and displays that commonly take place at shows, will indeed be exempt.’