Extrordinary response to You Tube video
OUR DOGS’ own David Cavill (pictured) was so incensed at the distorted view of pedigree breeds put forward by Pedigree Dogs Exposed he made his own video and uploaded it onto You Tube. The response has been amazing with more than 3,500 people viewing his talk which generated an enormous number of comments, including many from Jemima Harrison, the maker of the programme.
David said he was concerned not so much about the content - much of which, of course, was true, but long term damage the programme inflicted on pedigree dog ownership. He said: 'The damage this programme has inflicted will not easily be undone and this saddens me as I believe that dogs are good for people and are an important element of the cultural fabric of our society.’
That said, the programme highlighted many important issues which both the Kennel Club as an organisation and David, as one of many, many individuals, have been working at for years. David published the ‘Dog Directory’ with Joe Cartledge in 1974, and wrote the ‘Dog Breeding Diploma’ in 1982 and ‘All About Mating, Whelping and Weaning’ in 1986 showing that he has been on the side of the reformers for many years. In David’s opinion the KC virtually ignored these problems until about ten years ago but since then have worked hard (often against the interests of its own members) to make improvements. They have not been unsuccessful but they would be the first to admit that there is still much to do.
‘Jemima’s programme gave them no credit for the effort they have made and the considerable sums of money which have been given to the Animal Health Trust, among others, to improve the situation,’ said David.
David’s speech in the You Tube video does not challenge much of what is in the programme but the statistics quoted and the way in which clips were used so selectively to support Jemima’s contentions, which he believes resulted in a programme that was biased and distorted.
‘I strongly object to this type of journalism, which is sensationalist in every sense and took advantage of naïve breeders and a Kennel Club still inexperienced in the ways of the modern media that allowed its senior spokesmen to walk into the traps set.
‘By carefully editing short sections from long interviews the Kennel Club gave over three hours of interviews to the programme - and masquerading as ‘scientific’ while bringing in emotionally charged elements such as the suffering of dogs and the gratuitous clips of Nazis and discussion of eugenics the programme implied that all pedigree dogs were “falling apart” when this is demonstrably not true,’ added David.
David was so appalled by the programme’s insinuations that he felt he had no choice but to share his feelings with the public, not to dispute many of the facts contained in the programme but to redress the balance. In just five days his talk was viewed over 3,500 times with many supportive comments being added to the website’s message board. Others have been less so but most have suggested that he was challenging the information in the programme.
‘I have challenged some of it, certainly, but my main concern has been that the approach was entirely one sided and ignored the fact that many breeds do not have genetic defects in any case and that selective breeding, rather than genetic disease, have made just as significant a contribution to those problems discussed. And selective breeding is easily reversed – a much more sensible and realistic approach.’
David has since added several other insights which have been triggered by the programme and you can listen to his talks at http://www.youtube.com/user/davidcavill or read the texts at http://davidcavill.wordpress.com.