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Government and KC asked to consider over 20 requirements


Barely a week goes by that a petition or protest is promoted since the Pedigree Dogs Exposed programme was aired. Some petitions are to defend dogs and the rights of dog owners, such as those currently trying to stop the draconian dog control laws across the UK. Others call for an end to the dog shows and/or the Kennel Club. The latest to be spotted is on Pets Parliament, while it may not be a petition as such it is being seen as a petition by a number of people. This document is being circulated around the world asking for support. One UK dog breeder reports having it forwarded to her from the USA!

The author of this document is Carol Fowler who was involved with the Pedigree Dogs Exposed programme. It appears on first read through as being a “one size fits all” for every breed, but a second read through certainly seems to have a definite leaning towards the cavalier breeders in particular. It does not recognise the efforts many breed clubs have been taking over many years and certainly is only addressing areas which are already regulated.

Subtitled ‘What the Government needs to do -| What the Kennel Club needs to do’, it lists six requirements which Ms Fowler believes needs addressing on government and a further fourteen which the Kennel Club needs to address.

The first proposal for the government to consider asks that “Under the Animal Welfare Act 2006, secondary legislation, provide protection for dogs from the suffering and premature death which is the result of inherited diseases and traits”, however as all breeders know nature will take its own course and while testing is necessary, what happens when all tests are carried out for generations and then the breeder produces an affected puppy? Where will this leave breeders? The second proposal asks the Government to sign the EU Convention for the protection of animals.

The third requirement asks the Government to “Authorise and fund an independent welfare organization, such as the Companion Animal Welfare Council (CAWC), to monitor the work of the Kennel Club and breed clubs”. Has the CAWC really got the time and money to fund such an enterprise, as it deals with many species and other issues. The fact that APGAW is already reviewing this appears to have by passed this documents author. As to permanent identification, listed at point 4, most people have permanent identification in one form or another, some people will not want a system of identification imposed on them because it suits some official body. For example many people do not like micro-chips being implanted in their dogs they prefer tattoo or DNA identification.

Calling for a “Law requiring veterinary profession to provide data on breed specific diseases”, it does not really help, since most responsible breeders are doing every health test available already and have been for many years. When a dog is taken into the vets, and it looks like it is a for example a westie, the vet will record it is a westie, they do not ask who bred it? It maybe that it was bred by a puppy farmer and bought from a retail outlet, it might be that it was bred by a pet owner who just wanted their bitch to have one litter, to finance the new car or it might even be a crossbred sold as a pedigree! How can the vet tell? Pedigrees as we all know can be made up. The final point asks for consumer protection which is already covered by the sale of goods act and has been used by puppy buyers in the past.

Covered

The list of requirements of the Kennel Club is made up of fourteen points, most of which are already in place and others we are advised by the KC are being brought in so with the moves the KC are making and the APGAW review most of the fourteen points are already covered.
The first point requires all stock to be health screened, which no reputable breeder would disagree with, but as with many things requiring people to register puppies only from health tested stock would leave a lot of dogs with no official registration unless the breeder used another register, which would further split the available gene pools even more. The final point requires that dogs should be tested for “all schemes not just the BVA and other official schemes”. Would this mean having every dog in every breed having to be MRI scanned or BAER tested? Every dog in every breed having tests for problems they do not suffer from?

The second point suggests that the KC scrap the Accredited Breeder Scheme, which we all know has it’s faults but it is a step in the right direction and is constantly under review. The claim that it would still leave the majority of dogs unprotected, is rather odd since many people who refuse to join the scheme are respected and responsible breeders. In the notes to this document it suggests a two tiered registration system “A tiered registration system might be an alternative which would include an improved Accredited Breeder Scheme”, so why scrap it, when it is known that it is under constant review?

Point three calls for the active collection of DNA as is done in Finland. When the KC introduced the Accredited Breeder Scheme it required DNA registration, but this was dropped when breeders felt that as they had chosen a permanent method of identification by micro-chipping their dogs that the DNA collection was not something they wanted to support. DNA testing may well turn out to be a double edged sword since it might end up limiting gene pools further.

certificate

The next two points are already in the process of being introduced. The requirement for “breed specific Certificate of Health for entry to dog shows and for breeding” it has been known since last year that the KC have been proposing to bring in a health passport scheme and “Limit the use of stud dogs to no more than 12 litters (number would depend on existing genetic diversity and would therefore need to be breed specific)” already this proposal is in place as can be seen from the reviewed codes of ethics for breeders by KC and the breed clubs. Again points six and seven are being addressed by the KC.

Point 8 calls for a ban on the close inbreeding of dogs, mother to son, father to daughter etc. Apart from puppy farmed puppies this is now considered to be as rare as hens teeth by many breeders, unless an accidental mating has taken place unknown to the breeder. Point 9 calls for the opening of the registers and this has taken place over the years, there are many examples which could be quoted so again this point is not really relevant.

Points 10, 11, and 12 concern the rights of puppy buyers. In many breeds puppy buyers already are being given the health testing results for their puppy and the results are often written on the pedigree as well, so again this is nothing new. The next two points ask that breed clubs are open and transparent ordinary members being able to see the minutes of the committee meetings, and that each breed club should have one person on the committee to represent the pet owners. Most clubs will print a report from their committee meetings already and very few breeders do not consider their dogs their pets first and foremost, this being the case pet owners it would seem therefore will already be represented.

Point 13 asks for a data base where owners can add their information online entering health records and include date of death. What would happen if a leading vet did not believe the information put on there? Perhaps the owner records an exceptionally long life, for example? What happens if somebody adds some information which is incorrect as some health problems appear to be one thing then turn out to be something entirely different? Would this be corrected?
The final point Ms Fowler raises is the training of judges, which again the KC already has in place and has had for a few months now. Further actions before breeding called for in the notes section of the document call for a vet to issue a “fit for breeding” certificate based on DNA submitted, COI and health testing. Is the DNA to be used for testing or simply stored for future research? Some breeds do not yet have any DNA tests in place.

The final note will probably be the most controversial, since it calls for ‘Fit for breeding’ certificates should also be issued by professionally qualified breed wardens from within each breed who would assess temperament and physical qualities”. Who would pick these breed wardens? What training would they need? There could be a lot of problems with this if it were to be taken up, as some wardens may not like a certain type of the breed for example and there fore eliminate them from the gene pool. This would not sit easily with many breeders, not because they have anything to hide but because it could set one breeder against another. Perhaps the KC has the better ideas for the advancement of dog breeding after all.


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This is outright communism. when are the people of the world going to stand up and tell those politicians, peta, hsus and telling c.fowler to go back home and leave the dogs alone.
Communism is not good, and we are all just sitting by and letting it happen.
What will we do when we have no more pets, or the government thinks and feels that you don't know how to take care of your pets and they come and take them from you????   too late by then!



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