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Partnership Statement to GSD owners



Following last weeks front cover story regarding the meeting between the Kennel Club and the GSD clubs, OUR DOGS has now received the following statement which has been issued by the partnership of GSD Clubs. The statement shows a renewed desire amongst the GSD clubs to move forward in association with the Kennel Club especially in the light of the heightened state of awareness within the world of pedigree dogs.

“The GSD League and BAGSD are members of the WUSV (World Union of Shepherd Dog Clubs) which has representation from 76 member countries, the two clubs are the largest and oldest national breed clubs. Collectively they work proactively with the GSD Breed Council which is the body formed by all GSD Clubs in the UK and charged as a collective group with the progressive development of our Breed within the UK. This partnership of the GSD Breed Council, the GSDL and BAGSD, without question makes up the largest critical mass of GSDs working and showing in the UK.

One voice one aim

Over the last 15 years progress has been made by the partners individually to implement VOLUNTARY health and welfare schemes for participating individuals within the breed. The fact is that that none of these initiatives are endorsed by the KC and none are MANDATORY. Recognition however is made of the contribution made by the KC in the development of KC/BVA schemes so far.

Over the years the Partners have independently made representations to the KC in order to try and increase the Health and Welfare of the 12,000 GSDs registered by the KC with no real success. It is clear that there has been no demonstrable improvement in the health and welfare of the GSD to date.

The KC have always maintained that they have no powers to implement mandatory breeding controls and prefer to register any/all dog regardless of physical and hereditary problems without any regards whatsoever to inbreeding and allow so called breeders to basically do as they wish with guidance notes and non mandatorty initiatives like the breeders charter etc.

The Partnership has recently been formed specifically to make the most robust of representations to the KC on the issue of the lack of mandatory control regarding the health and welfare of the GSD.

The joint national clubs and the Breed Council have been not taken seriously by the KC as previously we had been guilty of being fractious and not bringing a coherent plan to the KC to date. This has now changed. The Executives of each organisation have come together to represent the largest body of GSDs in the UK and want only one thing and that is to see the measurable improvement in the Health and Welfare of our beloved breed.

The Partners want to work in harmony with the Kennel Club to continuously improve the breed and have together devised an Improvement Plan for the GSD which has been sent to the KC.
This information appears in NEWS EXTRA on line, along with a letter which sets the scene for evolution.

The Partners realise that the improvement plan requires further work but we must do this with the KC and establish realistic and deliverable timescales. Without question the breed will only move forward with the KC agreeing to implement mandatory measures and allow registration only for dogs where proof can be provided that they are satisfying the improvement criteria which will lead to healthier GSDs.

The KC have argued that this type of control will only drive some GSD breeders away from the KC sphere of influence and that their past passive measures of “ influencing” not “raising the standard” has been effective.

If we all believe that the GSD is better now as a consequence of this route then just look at the statistics which will show GSDs are still suffering from a legacy of wholly preventable diseases like epilepsy, haemophilia still prevalent today as they have always been with no control on incest matings etc.

With the sustained press and public focus on the issue of Pedigree Dogs Health and Welfare the time is right now to implement change and the KC must realise that and not just advise breeders to change. The KC truly need to listen to the ground swell of GSD lovers and through the Partnership we wish to create a powerful cohesive lobby to the KC on the issue of improvement in the Health and Welfare of the GSD. “

The partnership goes on to ask for peoples views:

As such we welcome your views to your clubs on this issue or post your comments on the following websites: www.gsdleague.co.uk ; www.bagsd.net ; www.gsdbreedcouncil.co.uk; www.gsdleague-workingbranch.com.

The Partnership makes a commitment to its members to robustly represent them with the KC and seek to implement an improvement plan which we can all look back on when we demonstrate improvement in the reduction of epilepsy rates, the abolition of incest matings and other inbreeding problems, the unique identification of individual animals and the incremental mandatory breeding tests to be implemented in the future.

The Kennel Club registered GSD of the future will truly be a healthier dog and therefore able to reclaim its place as one of the noblest and most sought after breeds because “true quality doesn’t cost it pays.”