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BVA reports successful meeting

THE BRITISH Veterinary Association Animal Welfare Foundation hosted a round table meeting between Blue Cross, Companion Animal Welfare Council, DeFRA, Dogs Trust, Kennel Club, PDSA, RSPCA and the Universities Federation for Animal Welfare with the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons as observers.

The BVA Animal Welfare Foundation felt that all these organisations were claiming to be working for better breeding policies to ensure the health and welfare of dogs, but since the Pedigree Dogs Exposed programme was aired there were tensions and disagreements on how this was to be achieved between the organisations represented at the meeting.

The idea behind the meeting was that it is very important that these organisations do work together and strategies should be developed to help the dog buyer become more aware of what they were taking on, including how to find out what health and welfare problems they are likely to encounter in that breed or as far as possible for crossbred dogs. The meeting also looked at all dog breeding and welfare issues for pedigree and non-pedigree alike. OUR DOGS has, over the months since Pedigree Dogs Exposed was aired, stressed that these organisations should be working together to promote dog health and welfare issues and welcomes the move by the BVA.

In a successful meeting ideas were put forward by the various organisation representatives and details of plans being put into place by the organisations present were discussed and developed. The Kennel Club’s website, among other KC initiatives, was acknowledged as being a useful tool in the advancement of sound dog breeding practise.

Most breeders supply a ‘puppy pack’ when they sell a puppy and it was considered that this should also contain a ‘puppy contract’ making the breeder liable for the dog and responsible for ensuring that it is sold with every health check having been completed for the puppy and its parents.

The BVA president Nicky Paull told OUR DOGS that there was definitely a role that responsible dog breeders can play to help to educate the puppy-buying public, as well as the initiatives being set up by organisations such as the Kennel Club. Stressing that the meeting ‘was not intended to usurp or predict the outcome of the two independent reviews’ but to ‘identify initiatives that could be set in motion while the reviews were conducting their enquiries.’

Mrs Paull expressed her pleasure at the ‘willingness shown by all present to work together to develop initiatives for the benefit of dogs, whether pedigree or not.’ It is planned that another meeting will held in about ten to tweleve weeks time when further developments can be discussed.

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