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Stand up and be counted


The Kennel Club has issued a most robust statement this week in its defence of pedigree dog owners and breeders. In a further move to confirm that the vast majority of breeders and exhibitors in this country are people who care passionately for the dogs they own, breed and show, the Kennel Club has also set up an online petition for people to actively show their support.

OUR DOGS fully endorses this message as we have ever since the furore over the BBC TV programme and comments made by TV Vet and RSPCA spokesman Mark Evans, which seemed to suggest that breeders were at fault in so many ways. Ironically it has also take a vet from Kentucky USA to absolutely nail down some of the absurdities of the opinions now being promulgated suggesting that pedigree dogs are the ones riddled with disease and most likely to cause genetic defaults.

Libbye Miller DVM from Kentucky has retaliated against animal rights group PETA and its logic behind its argument - that the American KC and dog breeders in general are ‘cruel’ and willingly cause genetic defects because of their ‘incestuous inbreeding of dogs and genetic manipulation’ She calls their logic absurd and insufficient in its evidence.

‘“Adorable mixed breeds” get cancer, epilepsy, allergies, heart disease, and orthopaedic problems just like purebreds. I see it every day in my veterinary practice but mixed breed dogs aren’t tracked like the purebreds so they have a reputation as “healthier” that is actually undeserved in many cases says the vet (Full story here)

Agenda

Ms Miller also suggests that vet schools have been infiltrated by animal rights extremists who are using such institutions to push their agenda.The animal-loving vet also makes a point of highlighting the huge efforts on the American Kennel Club and Canine Health foundation’s part to help alleviate some of the health issues that have raised concern in dog breeding.

Well said Ms Miller! For USA, read UK for AKC, read KC and readers need to be aware, and to BEWARE this creeping threat that could threaten our beloved breeds and way of life. It happened with hunting with dogs, it could happen to dog shows. If you do not believe that, we recommend you read the story inside this week’s issue concerning the attitude of the RSPCA to companion dog shows which they say should not be judged to KC standards. Quite bizarre.

The Kennel Club and breeders have for years championed the cause of buying from a reputable breeder.

Why, we ask, all of a sudden are breeders being so mistrusted by people like Mark Evans and organisations like the RSPCA who surely have many cases of REAL cruelty to occupy their time?
Sure, we all know things are not perfect, and so the KC and Breed Clubs have to respond and get their act together.

But no one must be complacent,and you should sign the online petition now.

The full Kennel Club statement is as follows:

The latter half of 2008 was a tumultuous and often painful time for the pedigree dog world. Many of those who breed pedigree dogs have felt almost as if they were on trial, thrust under a harsh media spotlight. The questions that have been raised are serious ones, regarding the health and welfare of our pedigree dogs. It has been a source of frustration that the answers are being found not by the people who are pointing the fingers, but by the people at whom the fingers are being pointed.

Forefront

The Kennel Club knows that over the years it is breeders and dog show people who have been at the very forefront of moves to improve the health and welfare of our pedigree dogs. That is why the Kennel Club has now set up a petition asking the government to give support and protection to those responsible breeders. The petition reads as follows:

‘We, the undersigned, call on the government to apply the basic principles embodied in the Kennel Club's Accredited Breeder Scheme to the breeding of all dogs in the UK.’

We are not asking people to join the scheme itself, but to support the principles that it represents, so that every single breeder in this country - whether affiliated with the Kennel Club or not; whether involved in dog shows or not; whether a breeder of crossbreeds or pedigrees – is fundamentally a responsible one.

The reason we need to do this is twofold. Firstly, we have worked for many years in order to ensure that the health and welfare of our dogs comes first and foremost. Whether by supporting the development of health screening and DNA testing, showing our commitment to high standards of breeding to give puppies the best possible start in life, through research into the health of our breeds, and the revision of breed standards when required, the Kennel Club is committed to the health and welfare of pedigree dogs.

The Kennel Club seeks to work together with responsible breeders to ensure that the decisions we make are the right ones for our dogs – even if, at times, there may be differences of opinion about what these might be. But we must remember that the biggest difference of opinion right now, is not between the Kennel Club and the responsible breeders with whom we work, but between us and those breeders who see puppy breeding as a cash crop, and who put their own selfish needs above the health and welfare of their dogs. It is these people who are helping to bring the responsible dog community into disrepute.

Secondly, there is another gulf emerging and that is, again, not within our own ranks but between what we know to be the truth and others perceive to be the case. What we know is that we all work to ensure that every pedigree dog is bred primarily with health, welfare and temperament in mind. There are others, such as the RSPCA, who claim that this is not the case. In order to stand together against those who do not share our beliefs and aims – or in defiance of those whose understanding and comments about our aims are wrong – we need to unite behind one simple and common goal; that of responsible breeding practice.

The Kennel Club needs all responsible dog breeders to unite and sign this petition – so that we can counter effectively the false impressions about the world of pedigree dog breeding and, more importantly, so that we can continue to work together to make a real difference for every single dog.

Sign our petition at
www.fitforfunction.org.uk


Send your opinion of this story below
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Having read the supposedly scientific data on the RSPCA's report all I can say is that it is not substantiated in any way and is full of emotive hearsay,it is not based on science just a trawl through the internet re hashing old stories and mostly not from the UK either .Then it asks supposed experts for their opinion ,it contradicts itself in many sections and there is nothing that hasn't been said before if this is what they say is proof of bad breedng well what a waste of doners money !

V Collins Nattrass 

Fit for function should be embodied in the judges code of practice. Every dog should be judged on comformation and soundness. Asthetic qualities while desirable should not take preference over soundness. Ask any reputable breeder who is responsible for undesirable traits and the answer will be "judges".

Roy Gregg

I understand that some folks are in dog breeding just for the money, BUT, there are more folks in pure bred dogs, just for the dogs.
Folks have made many friendships over the years in showing their dogs.
Idiots, such as, peta, hsus, rspca, are nothing but people haters.
Ever watch a sci-fi movie, billions of folks, Not one animal.
It scares me to watch them, because if the animal rights folks have their way, we will have No animals, even as pets!
Wayne purcell, I think he is the chairman of the hsus,says he doesn't care if there are No more domestic pets for anyone.

J Fossum




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