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KC meets GSD Breed Council

‘Constructive’ meeting held on Tuesday

The German Shepherd Dog situation has moved on since the announcement in OUR DOGS of the non-allocation of CCs for the breed in 2012.

The focus on the GSD comes at a time when the German Sieger show is about to take place in Ulm in Germany and when the two-day GSD Championship show has taken place in Wales (see photo); also coming soon is the British Sieger show for the breed in September.

We reported in a recent issue of the continued dialogue between the Chairman of the GSD Breed Council, John Cullen and Kathryn Symns of the Kennel Club, and covered the long letter sent by Mr Cullen stating the case on behalf of the Breed Council and the GSD Partnership.
It would appear that there is a general feeling that agreement is both necessary and almost within reach and to that end, OUR DOGS has learned of a meeting taking place at the Kennel Club on the day we went to press (Tuesday August 18th).

Kennel Club Communications spokesperson Caroline Kisko told us: ‘We have met with the GSD Breed Council on two occasions and also had a very constructive meeting with the newly formed GSD partnership in April. A further meeting with the partnership is being held at the Kennel Club today to discuss the most appropriate ways to tailor the Kennel Club Accredited Breeder Scheme to the German Shepherd Dog breed. The GSD partnership represents all the German Shepherd Dog breed clubs in the UK, the first time all the clubs have been united for many years–which we believe is a very positive step forward.’

It is believed that a number of points concerning the testing of the breed could be embodied into the principles of the Accredited Breeder scheme as the Kennel Club still is as such basically a recorder of births and litters, ‘hatch match and despatch’ as it used to be known in the old days of classified advertising for births and deaths!

Putting his views forward in this week’s OUR DOGS, David Payne (Videx GSDs), a top breeder of the GSD for 30 years and a Championship show judge since 1992, said: ‘I wrote this article because I was astounded with the letter from the Kennel Club suspending our CCs for 2012. I found it very hard to believe that the KC would so “over-react” to Jemima Harrison’s sensationalist film, a person with an apparent minimum knowledge of pedigree dogs. I was strongly affected by the overwhelming anger, frustration and feeling of betrayal amongst many GSD enthusiasts with decades of experience and knowledge. I was determined to accurately capture the genuine despair and frustrations of the GSD fraternity with the Kennel Club.’

Mr Payne will find our next paragraph equally frustrating as Ms Harrison’s views are promoted once more in the Veterinary Times.

Genetic research

On a wider front, but involving the whole health issue (not just the GSD), and symbolising the problems the Kennel Club and dog breeders in general now have to face, the Veterinary Times has just covered the story of the AHT and Kennel Club project for the Kennel Club Genetics Centre. This is clearly a very positive step and one that was welcomed by the AHT’s head of research, Mark Vaudin, and also BVA President Nicky Paul who said she was ‘delighted that the Kennel Club was supplying funding and support for the AHT, to move forward for the health and welfare of pedigree dogs.’

What is disturbing about the article is that this veterinary-based paper felt it necessary to get the views of TV producer Jemima Harrison, and devote yet more column space to her comments than the head of the BVA or the Head of the AHT research. Does Jemima Harrison know more about this subject than the head of the BVA? Is she qualified to say that ‘pedigree dogs are burdened with inherited disease’? She went on to be quoted as saying that ‘it was the equivalent of shutting the stable door after the horse had bolted.’

OUR DOGS and many others will find her attitude both self-righteous and negative and perhaps a way of trying to self fulfil her own prophecies made in her own one-sided documentary (perhaps paving the way for an equally sensationalist follow-up programme).

Clearly this is a person who will never be happy with any sort of progress and typifies what the world of pedigree dogs is up against at large, and shows that not only GSDs but all breeds have to be vigilant in order to restore the reputation of pedigree dogs and dog breeders.

OUR DOGS welcomes readers’ views on this whole subject in print and below.

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