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APGAW moves forward before recess

THE FIRST of the Associate Parliamentary Group for Animal Welfare (APGAW) meetings took place last week. The meeting was held for the committee to get together and to formalise how they would proceed with their investigations into pedigree dogs and breeding. Over the next few weeks, there will be further meetings to decide who will be called to give evidence to the committee. Organisations and individual people will be called from the end of April through May to give evidence to the committee.

There will now be a break of one week as next week there is a Parliamentary recess. After that it is expected that the all party review board will be hearing from breeders, the Kennel Club, the Dogs Trust and the RSPCA.

It can be no surprise that the RSPCA has timed the release of its Pedigree Dog Breeding in the UK: a major welfare concern? report to coincide with the recess to gain maximum coverage in the press and, no doubt, TV coverage. This could be a double edged sword as it will give the KC and dog breeders time to review their report and the evidence they have from their scientific advisors before proceeding themselves when called to give evidence.

Marisa Heath, who is in charge of the administration for the APGAW committee, told Our Dogs that although the closing date for submissions has past, she is still getting e-mails and letters from distressed breeders and owners, many asking why the committee will be supporting the RSPCA and stopping them from breeding their dogs or owning a dog of a certain breed.


Ms Heath has reported that there are no intentions to disallow the continuance of any breed or breeds. After the main organisations have been heard the committee will be calling people they feel have invaluable evidence to give. Many of the committee members are dog owners and some have bred dogs themselves, so understand the concerns of dog breeders and owners.

The first thing the committee will be looking at is whether there are serious problems and if there are found to be problems with any aspect of breeding, they will then look at ways of resolving these problems. This is where the breeder’s experiences will be very helpful. Once all the evidence is gathered in they will then consider everything and a decision on how things should proceed from there on will be issued. Ideally evidence given should be proven fact, not hearsay. Precise and detailed information should really be the order of the day for anyone called to go to the committee meetings.

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