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Review of the year 2006: Part 3

AUGUST

Crufts announced plans to expand the 2007 show into the Arena and Pavilion areas of the NEC at Birmingham.

The move, which will offer 15,300 sq m more space for the show, will free up areas in Hall 5 and Halls 3 and 3A when the main ring moves to the Arena and the Special Events Ring also moves. It is almost like adding on another ‘Hall 4’ on to the event in terms of additional floor area.

Crufts 2007 will occupy the Arena and Pavilions 1 and 2 as well as Halls 1 to 5. Pavilion 1 will be used exclusively for Obedience.

Placing the main ring in the 10,000 sq m Arena will also allow Crufts to provide up to 1000 more seats around the ring although it is thought that these will still be free each day, except on the last day for best in show and group judging.

Space in Hall 5 which had hosted the big ring for the last few years will be opened up for more breed rings and trade stands.


Saxon

SAXON THE police dog was still under threat of death this month. His handler PC Mike Townley had appealed against the decision by Gwent Police Authority and stated his case, making representations on Saxon’s behalf, and offering him a retirement home with his family for the rest of his life. PC Townley was told by his senior officers to attend a meeting at Pontypool police station early this month where he would be told Saxon’s fate.

Following an e-mail campaign launched by PC Townley’s wife Caroline to save Saxon’s life, Gwent Police made various statements regarding Saxon, including one on their website which stated:

‘Saxon has been denied a licence on the grounds that he is unsafe to work with and his future is currently under consideration. However an independent assessment of whether or not he presents an unacceptable risk is being arranged and will be completed before any decision is taken.’

Caroline Townley told OUR DOGS: ‘As far as we are aware NO independent assessment was done as promised. Mike had been dreading the meeting, he was already ill due to the stress of it all and just could not face hearing Saxon’s fate. Therefore he made a written declaration authorising me, as his wife, to represent him at this meeting and be told the decision that had now been made, so that I in turn could tell Mike at home.

‘Neither the Chief Inspector nor the press officer would divulge any information to myself regarding Saxon’s fate. Unbelievably I and other members of my family were asked to leave the premises by Chief Inspector Parfitt.! I then went to Police Headquarters where a meeting was held with the same press officer and another male press officer. This meeting was tape recorded by myself and during the meeting no information was given as to Saxon’s future. Strangely no senior police officer was available to speak with us as was requested at the time.’

During this meeting, representatives for Saxon made an offer to purchase the dog privately along with other key issues revolving around his future were raised.

The officers listened to everything that was said but adamantly refused in any way to divulge any information as to Saxon’s future.

Caroline left the police HQ none the wiser, but upon arriving home, she and Mike discovered from a reliable source that Gwent police had decided to sell Saxon to the Prison Service. A press release had been placed on Gwent police’s website at midday, some three hours before the scheduled meeting where Mike Townley was to have been told of Saxon’s fate, which clearly indicated that the decision had already been made and that the meeting was merely a formality.

A HUNTSMAN was convicted this month of illegally hunting foxes – the first such prosecution of its kind since the Government’s long fought-for hunting ban came into force.

Exmoor Foxhounds huntsman Tony Wright, 52, was fined £500 and ordered to pay £250 costs by District Judge Paul Palmer after a week-long hearing at Barnstaple Magistrates' Court, in Devon Wright, of Exmoor Kennels, Simonsbath, pleaded not guilty to the charge of hunting a fox on 29 April last year contrary to the Hunting Act 2004.

The private prosecution by the League Against Cruel Sports was the first in England against a fox or stag hunt under the Act. Giving the reasons for his finding, the judge said he was of the view that Wright was hunting with two dogs.

Outside Barnstaple magistrates’ court in north Devon, Wright said he would appeal. ‘I may have been found guilty but I don't feel like a criminal,’ he said. ‘I'm still convinced that what we were doing on that day was legal. It is a stupid law, which should be repealed.’

THE BELLA Moss Foundation voiced serious concerns about planned new regulations from the Environmental Agency that are causing uncertainty and concern within the veterinary profession as well as to pet owners’ groups and charities.

The regulations, which concerned the classification and disposal of ‘hazardous waste’, came into effect in July 2005 but had yet to be enforced fully because of a lack of clarity on how they should be interpreted.

The new regulations stated that animals dying as a result of serious infectious diseases (such as MRSA) must be classified as H9 waste in the same way as tissue from surgical procedures and bodily fluids, and must be disposed of only through licensed facilities. The vast majority of pet crematoria, which up until now were permitted to cremate such animals, would now no longer be able to do the work because their equipment cannot guarantee complete destruction of every part of an infectious organism. The regulations, however, did not make the same stipulation for human remains.

Some estimates put the cost of approved disposal in the region of £6 per kilo of body weight, which would add an unbearable financial burden to practices already having to decide between improving their procedures and keeping their prices competitive, and will also encourage some pet owners to default on cremation costs.

In addition, pet charities, which often have to deal with terminally ill, ownerless animals would have to bear a huge cost as result of the new regulations if they go to the trouble of identifying infectious conditions in the animals they rescued.

AN OWNER whose dog was stolen turned detective and traced her dog to the thieves’ house, leading to the safe return of her dog and the puppies that had been illicitly bred from her.

Lavinia Broom was distraught when her Springer Spaniel bitch Molly was stolen from the garden of her home in Bratton, Wiltshire in March of last year. Knowing the dog had probably been stolen to breed, Miss Broom, scoured dozens of adverts for puppies until she found the culprits.

‘I knew she was about to come into season and worked out when she'd be likely to have puppies and looked at all the adverts within a 100-mile radius at that time. By chance I happened to look at a free paper in work and I saw a little advert saying puppies would be available on August 11th and I just had a gut feeling they'd be Molly's. I felt quite nervous phoning them up and I was also apprehensive because after visiting six other places I didn't want to be let down again.’

Miss Broom arranged to visit the puppies with a colleague and when she got there asked the householders if she could meet the puppies’ mother. The pair obliged, bringing in the Spaniel which they called Jess, although Miss Broom instantly recognised her as Molly. She continued to play detective and did not indicate that she knew Molly, although this was extremely hard for her.

‘As soon as Molly saw me she got excited and jumped all over me. I had to pretend I didn't know her, which was really difficult,’ she said. ‘I told the seller I would go away and think about buying two of them. We made out we were going to the bank to get cash and said we'd be back in an hour.

Miss Broom did return within an hour, but this time with a policeman in tow. As Molly was microchipped the officer was able to confirm he belonged to her and owner and pet were reunited.

Miss Broom also managed to take two of the puppies with her and said while Molly had been traumatised by her experience she and the two puppies were getting on well and accompanied her to work at her salon every day.

Police were investigating the case and initially said that it was unlikely the sellers would be taken to court because the dog had been returned. However, Miss Broom told OUR DOGS that the young man had subsequently admitted to stealing Molly when he saw her whilst working in a house a few doors away from where Miss Broom lives.

SEPTEMBER

DOG OWNERS fighting Breed Specific Legislation in Ontario gathered in Toronto’s Queen’s Park for a candlelight vigil to mark the first anniversary of the Ontario Government’s Bill 132, which enacted draconian BSL measures for many breeds in the province.

The vigil was deemed to be ‘ a mixed success’ by the alliance, with turnout disappointingly low. However, success was not measured in terms of numbers, but by the public profile given to the event. Media coverage by the main Canadian news networks was deemed to be largely positive and much of the ‘pit bull hysteria’, which permeated the media when Bryant brought Bill 132 forward, was absent. As with the Dangerous Dogs Act in the UK, the media seemed to have grasped the fact that innocent family pets and responsible dog owners were being hurt by the legislation and that it had done nothing to curb attacks by dogs owned by irresponsible owners.

The Irish Kennel Club and The Kennel Club announced this week that The Kennel Club will be staging a Championship Show in Dublin in 2009, with KC Challenge Certificates for Irish Native Breeds.

The show will be called ‘The Kennel Club Special Crufts Qualifying Show for Irish Native Breeds.’ The show will be part of a Festival celebrating Irish Breeds, which is to be held by the Irish Kennel Club to coincide with the FCI European Winners’ Show, set to be held in Dublin in 2009. The breeds to be scheduled with CCs at this show will be Irish Wolfhounds, Irish Setters, Irish Red and White Setters, Irish Water Spaniels, Kerry Blue Terriers, Soft Coated Wheaten Terriers, Glen of Imaal Terriers and Irish Terriers.

A MANCHASTER-BASED animal sanctuary stopped taking in greyhounds after becoming a target for animal rights activists.

Staff at the Leigh Animal Sanctuary in Greater Manchester said they had been threatened at home and at work with abusive phone calls and letters, following claims that the sanctuary had put down healthy animals.

However, the owners said they only put down animals when there was ‘no viable alternative’ and described the threats as ‘cowardly and malicious’.

It had been claimed that the sanctuary, on East Lancashire Road, had offered to destroy two healthy dogs. The National Greyhound Racing Club (NGRC) was investigating the claims.

Linda Buxton, 48, the woman in charge of the sanctuary, refused to comment. Later, a spokesman for Leigh Animal Sanctuary issued a statement blaming animal rights campaigners for persecuting the sanctuary, whilst not admitting the allegations against the sanctuary.

TRAGEDY STRUCK this month when a five month-old baby girl died after being attacked by two Rottweilers in the living quarters above a pub.

The baby, named as Cadey-Lee Glaze, was dragged by one of the dogs on to the roof of The Rocket public house in Stephenson Drive in the New Parks area of Leicesterr. She was taken to the Leicester Royal Infirmary but died from her injuries. Her parents were looking after the pub and the dogs while the landlord was on holiday.

The dogs were subsequently destroyed.

Inevitably, in the reporting of the tragedy, many national newspapers stated that the child’s killing was the latest in a long line of recent dog attacks, which they then proceeded to list. Some of the newspapers and other ‘experts’ demanded a toughening up of dog control laws, such as the Dangerous Dogs Act, with several calling for Rottweilers to be added to the list of so-called ‘dangerous’ breeds.

Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club Secretary said: ‘Our sympathies are with the baby’s family after what has been a horrendous incident. As far as the dogs are concerned we would counsel a measured response rather than an immediate reaction. The Kennel Club continues to work with the Metropolitan police and others on the review of the Dangerous Dogs Act while at the same time promoting the education of dog owners and children through both the Safe and Sound and Good Citizen Dog Scheme.’

In the aftermath of the baby’s death, the victim of the most infamous vicious dog attack that shocked the nation broke a 15-year silence to back a campaign to ban dangerous dogs launched by the Bradford Telegraph & Argus newspaper.

Rukhsana Khan, now 21, talked exclusively to the Bradford newspaper about the terrifying ordeal she suffered when she was just six years-old when she was thrown around like a rag doll in the street by a dog alleged to be a pit bull terrier.

In the wake of her ordeal in 1991, the Dangerous Dogs Act was rushed through Parliament by then Home Secretary Kenneth Baker.

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.

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 stated that dog shows and activities mentioned by the Kennel Club will not be covered by the Regulation.

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.’

OCTOBER

Kennel Club representatives attended the Labour Party Conference this month and were encouraged by the welcome they received.

It was a 'Blair family affair' when Cherie Blair visited the stand, taking time out of her official tour to speak to the Kennel Club regarding animal welfare issues. Her father also came to the stand to talk to the KC about his love of Jack Russell Terriers! MPs who also visited the Kennel Club stand included: Diana Johnson, Adrian Bailey, Vera Baird QC, Angela Smith, David Drew and Defra Ministers Lord Rooker and Barry Gardiner.

Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club Secretary said: ‘This is the first year we have taken a stand at the Labour Party Conference and we have been very encouraged by the positive response received.

DOG THEFT Action presented its first microchip scanner to Labrador Rescue South East and Central (LRSEC) this month at the Kennel Club’s HQ in Clarges Street, London. DTA Trustees Chairman Neil Ewart, Vice Chairman Allen Parton and his canine partner Endal, Treasurer John Nawrockyi, Secretary Margaret Nawrockyi and Events Secretary Nikki Powditch attended the auspicious event. LRSEC was represented by Helen and Mark Thompson, Mark Dyer and his 9-year-old Labrador, Max who was himself a LRSEC dog.

l The four-legged friends came in all varieties – even floral – at the opening of the new Dogs Trust Rehoming Centre in Glasgow! (Flowers courtesy of Moody Cows Florists, Uddingston, Glasgow).

A PRIVATE hire taxi driver found himself in court after he left a blind woman stranded after he refused to allow her guide dog into his cab, saying that as a Muslim, the dog was ‘unclean’ and offended his religious beliefs.

Abdul Rasheed Majekodumni of West London was booked to take Mrs Jane Vernon to her home in Hammersmith after she had appeared on the BBC's Newsnight programme late on the evening of October 13th 2005.

Magistrates at Marylebone fined Majekodumni £200 and ordered him to pay £1,200 for failing to comply with regulations set out under the Disability Discrimination Act. After the case Majekodunmi remained defiant and insisted that he would continue refusing to carry passengers accompanied by guide dogs.

LOCAL AUTHORITIES in Scotland gained the power to remove animals from their owners and keepers if they believe them to be at risk of suffering following enactment this month of the Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Act.

The new law introduced a duty of care on anyone responsible for animals, and stiffer penalties of up to 12 months in prison and a £20,000 fine for people found guilty of animal abuse.

The legislation had been discussed over many months by the Scottish Assembly and at times proved very controversial. One such issue was the complete ban on the docking of dogs’ tails without any exemption for working dogs, similar to that built into the Westminster Government’s own Animal Welfare Bill.

Libby Anderson, Policy Director of the Edinburgh-based animal welfare charity Advocates for Animals, broadly welcomed the new Act, saying: ‘We must recognise the significance of the change in animal welfare legislation, as of today. From now on anyone in Scotland who has responsibility for an animal will have to ensure that it enjoys a reasonable standard of welfare.

Enforcement agencies will not have to wait for evidence of an animal's suffering before they can step in. That was always too late. Let us hope that the new obligation on animal owners will mean no more ponies left neglected in fields, no more dogs tied up outside for days on end, and no more animals kept in conditions which are barely tolerable.’

The anti-puppy farming organisation WAG also welcomed the new Act and were delighted that a number of their submissions regarding a crackdown on puppy farming been taken up. But the group feared that unless the provisions within the Act were carried out, the situation will not improve and dogs bred in such farm would continue to suffer.

Ken McKie, Secretary of WAG said: ‘Whilst we are delighted that a new piece of legislation is now on enacted we still have reservations. Many of those charged with enforcing the current legislations fail miserably in this task and sad to say it will still be down to them to enforce the new legislation. How will things improve? We are anxious on this.’

POLICE DOG Saxon - who faced destruction due to a decision by Gwent police authority not to renew the dog’s operating - is reprieved following an in-depth assessment by an independent dog behaviourist.

The official announcement that Saxon had been spared came late on the afternoon of Monday October 23rd when Gwent Police Authority issued a formal statement, together with a copy of the assessment carried out on the dog by Assessor Charles Wall of A1 K9 training company, based in Swansea. Mr Wall, a member of the British Institute of Professional Dog Trainers donated his fee for conducting Saxon’ assessment to Macmillan Cancer Support, so as not to be seen to making any financial gain from the assessment. Mr Wall concluded that although Saxon was unsuitable as a police dog and as an ordinary family pet, he should continue to be a working dog, perhaps ideally employed as a guard dog.

ANIMAL FANCIERS and animal welfare charities welcomed new measures that will be introduced under the new Animal Welfare Bill allowing ‘pet fairs’ to continue without licensing.

DEFRA announced that whilst commercial sales of animals would be banned, pet shows – which the department insist on referring to as ‘pet fairs’ - that do not involve the sale of animals, or that do involve the sale of animals but not in the course of a business, can continue without the need for a licence.

The move followed a judicial review earlier this year on the legality of pet fairs. The Pet Care Trust was one of the organisations that welcomed the news. Meriel France, Education and Animal Care Manager for the Trust, herself an avid dog exhibitor commented: ‘The bulk of the 10,000 pet events that take place often in village halls, at county shows or schools, are attended by thousands of animal lovers who use them to show animals as a leisure activity.’

‘Breeders and pet enthusiasts use them to compare stock and improve husbandry techniques.’
Janet Nunn, Chief Executive of the Pet Care Trust added: ‘This is great news for pet lovers. Fairs can now continue without the addition of red tape and costly bureaucracy.’

THE ROYAL British Legion have, through their Poppy Fund, enabled the well-known Allen and Endal partnership to keep on rolling for many more years to come.

Allen Parton, a Royal Navy Gulf war veteran, suffered a head injury in the 1991 war which left him with severe physical and mental trauma, wheelchair bound and with short and long term memory problems. Endal, who hardly needs an introduction these days, is his loyal helping hound, who has been enabling Allen every day for the last 10 years.

The RBL replaced both of Allen's aging manual and power wheelchairs. Allen said most people tended to think of the poppy appeal as a fund raising for those injured in the world wars but the appeal helps so many of us that have served in more recent conflicts and their families.

NOVEMBER

IN LIGHT of claims that there was ‘no room in prison for animal abusers’ the Government was forced to issue a statement clarifying that there was the chance that the ‘worst offenders’ could receive custodial sentences of ‘up to six months’. It was unclear whether this a maximum sentence, as the Government did not clarify this.

The previous month, the Pet Care Trust had claimed that DEFRA barrister Chloe Nash told a London conference on the Animal Welfare Bill in October that, back in July 2004 when pre-legislative scrutiny work on the Bill had been carried out, the Home Office had been ‘final and adamant’ in rejecting the idea of sending the worst offenders to prison. The Pet Care Trust was ‘furious’ at this admission and said that the lack of power within the Bill to punish offenders made nonsense out of amending the animal cruelty laws.

‘This is not acceptable to the Pet Care Trust and its members and not to the people of Britain,’ said Janet Nunn, Chief Executive of the Pet Care Trust. ‘People in Britain want to see the punishment fit the crime and this will just not happen with the Animal Welfare Bill.’

DEFRA’s admission came within days of the release of a survey, carried out for the Halifax Building Society, which showed that 80% of people think there should be stiffer penalties for crimes against animals.

An RSPCA spokesperson told OUR DOGS: ‘There is a basic error underpinning the Pet Care Trust's press release which states: ‘[the Government] won't make the worst cases of animal cruelty into criminal offences because there aren't enough prison places. Animal cruelty is and will continue to be a criminal offence, an offence which carries the maximum possible penalty for cases heard in magistrates courts. The RSPCA welcomes increased penalties for animal cruelty as it send a clear message that society will not tolerate the abuse of animals, and hopefully acts as a deterrent to crime. However, highest on the Society's wish list is for those convicted of animal cruelty to be deprived of keeping other animals, so that they are unable to inflict future harm.’

DOG THEFT Action joined forces with Vets Get Scanning at Discover Dogs on the 11th & 12th November at Earls Court 2 to reinforce the need for permanent identification together with a strong backup service of routine scanning, for all dogs.

Vets Get Scanning (VGS) was founded by Bruce Forsyth and his daughter Debbie Matthews after Debbie’s dogs - Yorkshire terriers Widget and Gizmo - were stolen from her parked car earlier in the year. A massive media campaign proved successful when both dogs were returned safely to their distraught owner after being sold on in a London market. Bruce and Debbie decided to set up their appeal to focus on this issue especially by encouraging vets to routinely scan dogs when presented for routine treatment.

CANINE LEISHMANNIASIS hit the canine news this month when world famous expert, Robert Kendrick Killick travelled to the UK at the invitation of the Northern Maremma Association, to talk on the horrors - and prevention of - the disease.

Maremma owner Charlotte Walsh wanted people to be more aware of the disaease, which sadly took her own dog’s life earlier in the year, and to this end, she and Leslie Braund (along with OUR DOGS) secured a venue and a date...and the rest is history. An informative day and one that will, hopefully, be rerun again this year.

A PETITION bearing 129,387 names all calling for a ban on the retail sale of fireworks was delivered to No.10 Downing Street ahead of Bonfire Night.

Long-time Fireworks control campaigner Teresa Kulkarni made her own and the voices of thousands of supporters heard on the steps of 10 Downing Street, flanked by MPs in sympathy with her aims.

Pet shop owner Kulkarni from Kings Lynn, Norfolk had fought against the indiscriminate sale and use of fireworks for several years, due to their impact on animals and people. She had raised petitions in the past. She hauled the petition in suitcases to the Prime Minister's residence calling for fireworks to be restricted to licensed displays on a few specified dates to protect animals and the elderly from endless disruption

She said tightening of firework laws in 2003 did little to help – still allowing fireworks to be set off 16 hours a day, 365 days of the year. She also wanted to see permitted firework noise levels brought down, and she questioned why powerful category three fireworks are still available to the public to buy.


photo by Elain MacDonald
Best in Show at the very busy World Dog Show in Poznan Poland last weekend was the popular Bracco Italiano AXEL del Monte Alago, handled by Britta Ahrens and owned by Snr Tripoli from Italy writes Vince Hogan.On the left in second place, the Newfoundland, which had won this years European Show in Helsinki, the Hungarian owned EMPERIOR KING OF HELLULAND Skipper's, owned by B Siklosi ,and handled once more by Gabor, and in third place, the superb Maltese BEACH GIRL FUNNY LADIES, owned by Nanta Tansacha from Thailand.


Making the presentation was Mr. Andrzej Mania President of Polish Kennel Club, pictured here with the BIS judge Mr. Zygmunt Jakubowski. Also pictured on the right are Mr. Hans Muller President of the FCI and Stefan Stefik, the FCI observer at the event. Four days of hectic showing was witnessed by more than 75,000 visitors who came in droves to the International Fair grounds despite cool weather. During the show, Eukanuba and the FCI signed a new partnership agreement which will be featured in next weeks issue along with additional material from the show.

THE ANIMAL WELFARE ACT 2006, hailed as the most fundamental piece of animal welfare legislation for nearly a century passed into law when it received Royal Assent on Tuesday, November 7th.

The key points of the Animal Welfare Bill had been hotly debated over four years of discussion and amendment between both Houses of Parliament, with input from many animal welfare groups and hobby organisations, including the Kennel Club.
The law:

introduced a duty of care on people to ensure the needs of any animal for which they are responsible;

created a new offence of failing to provide for the needs of an animal in your care;

allowed action to protect animals to be taken much earlier rather than have to wait for an animal to show the signs of suffering, enforcers will be able to intervene before suffering begins;

placed more emphasis on owners and keepers who will need to understand their responsibilities and take all reasonable steps to provide for the needs of their animals.

Animal Health Minister Ben Bradshaw said: ‘The Government believes that by extending the duty of care to non-farmed animals, it will reduce animal suffering in this country. This is the culmination of several years’ work during which the government has worked closely with stakeholders. The result is legislation of which we can all be rightly proud.’

The Act was due to come into effect in England and Wales on 6 April 2007, and was largely an enabling Act, and would pave the way for further rafts of animal-related laws under secondary legislation.

The RSPCA welcomed the enactment of the new legislation. ‘At last people will have a legal duty to properly care for their animals and the RSPCA will be able to respond positively to reported incidents of neglect,’ said Jackie Ballard, RSPCA Director General. Our whole purpose is to prevent animals from suffering at the hands of cruel or ignorant people, and this new law will help us in that mission.’

The Pet Care Trust also welcomed the Act. Janet Nunn, the Trust’s Chief Executive commented:

‘We are pleased the Bill has been approved and will pass into law next April as it enshrines in law the standards that good pet care businesses and pet owners are already working to on a daily basis, This common informers’ act is unique in its reach as it will apply not only to every relevant business but to each of the 25.9 million households that own a pet in our country.’

A PEACEFUL march through Central London that was organised to highlight the atrocities perpetrated by some trainers towards racing greyhounds once their racing careers are over, took place this month.

Many greyhound rescues and groups came together at the march to show their unanimous disgust at the way many dogs had been culled. This had been highlighted by the recent revelations of the ‘killing fields’ at Seaham, County Durham and at Leigh Animal Sanctuary during the summer.

Over 350 marchers, some of whom had travelled from France especially to support the event, gathered to raise awareness surrounding the fate of many racing greyhounds and to call for the Government to make measures to prevent the killing and abandonment of greyhounds that had been bred for racing.

The traffic stopped and heads turned as the police led the march along Park Lane and into Hyde Park where a rally took place at Speakers’ Corner. Issues were highlighted by guest speakers, including actress and Greyhounds UK campaigner Annette Crosbie, greyhound poet John Ratcliffe, and animal welfare campaigner John Curtin.

March for Greyhounds Spokesperson, Anne Hewson said: ‘There are tens of thousands of greyhounds bred each year in the UK and Ireland for use in this ‘sport’. These dogs are massively over-bred and there is no or little protection for the ones who either don’t race or once they are finished racing.

DECEMBER

DOG OWNERS would be exempt from the new EU Transport Of Animals Directive which was due to come in to force in January 2007. This followed intervention by the Kennel Club, which had monitored developments and consulted with DEFRA to ensure that those in the world of dogs were not placed under any undue restrictions.

The new rules, which came into force across Member States on January 5th 2007, were in place to affect anyone transporting animals in connection with economic activity and if animals are to be transported for commercial gain and over 65km, an application will need to be made for a ‘Transporter Authorisation’.

The Kennel Club had initially received assurances from DEFRA that the dog showing fraternity would not be affected by the regulations, but concern was raised when DEFRA Animal Minister Ben Bradshaw responded to a Parliamentary Question raised, by saying that ‘professional’ breeders would be affected. As a result of this statement the KC sought a meeting with DEFRA to define what exactly was meant by ‘professional’,