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International events affected

Issue: 20/03/2020

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In the same way that the UK dog show scene has been hit for six, the international showing community have been similarly affected.
The biggest event to fall by the wayside is the World Dog Show in Madrid. In fact this has been postponed until July due to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. It had been due to take place between the 23 - 26 April but it is now slated to take place between the 9 - 12 July. A world dog show is not easy to toll on to the following year as other countries are already lined up for 2021, 2022 and 2023.
The Spanish Kennel Club issued a statement after weeks of uncertainy, saying,  ‘Due to the escalating propagation of COVID-19 (Coronavirus), the Real Sociedad Canina de España (RSCE) and its Organising Committee have to face the situation of new restrictions regarding the celebration of public events in the area of Madrid.
‘After a meeting held on 11 March 2020 with the representatives of the IFEMA showground and local authorities responsible for public events, we have no other option than to announce that the 2020 FCI World Dog Show cannot be held in Madrid on the scheduled dates of 23-26 April, 2020.
‘The only available dates, for the year 2020, to use the IFEMA showground in Madrid are 9-12 July 2020.
‘The FCI and the RSCE officially announce that the 2020 FCI World Dog Show is postponed and will be held in Madrid, from 9-12 July 2020.’

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Concern has been raised about the temperature in Spain at that time of year. The organisers were keen to point out there is excellent air conditioning at the showground and fresh water points. Also there will be security measures to make sure dogs are not left in hot cars. Dogs entering the show in the early morning should find temperatures around the 20 degree mark it was pointed out.

Lockdown

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Photo: 
Vince Hogan

FCI President 
Tamas Jakkel went face to face on social media


With countries around the world going in to lockdown and limiting the amount of people that can congregate in general,  kennel clubs around the world have had no option but to cancel dog shows.
On March 2 the FCI, organisers of international dog shows, said, ‘The FCI does not plan any general action related to the Coronavirus because the handling of the given situation strictly depends on the local status. Nevertheless, the FCI wishes to draw attention to the fact that the local authorities have the right and responsibility to implement local regulations related to public events, whenever needed.’
In China, where the pandemic started, the Chinese Kennel Club (CKU) cancelled all shows from February to April. Members of staff at the CKU have been working from home for many months. In a novel way to maintain interest, the CKU have offered their members a chance to have their dogs judged through video live streaming. ‘Our judges will give their dogs a critique and advise so that our members can learn from our experts. During this “NO SHOW DAYS”, it could be a good compensation for our members,’ they said.

European shows 

European shows across the board have been virtually wiped out, especially in Spain, Italy and many other places. Luxembourg’s Kennel Club (FCL) has postponed the 99th International Dog Show that was due to take place on April 11 and 12. They said, ‘We would like to inform (our exhibitors) that the FCL has decided to postpone its 99th International Dog Show to a later date. 
‘As far as possible the scheduled jury in April will be maintained. You will be informed of the new date as soon as possible. Further, we would like to confirm you the inscriptions done for the 99th IDS will be taken into account for another IDS in Luxembourg as well as the payments of the fees. Possible reimbursements could be considered. Thank you for understanding.’
‘Other considerations include the size of the event, indoor/outdoor settings, access to hand washing stations, local transportation systems, and the availability of judges. The AKC is here to assist in any way possible.’
In Finland all dog shows were cancelled until the end of May. In a statement the Finnish Kennel Club said, ‘On Thursday, March 12, 2020, the Kennel Federation government decided on measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 coronavirus. 
‘All dog shows, trials and competitions, as well as other events organized by the Finnish Kennel Club will be cancelled until May 31, 2020. Visits from friends and reading dogs will also be cancelled.
‘We understand that the situation is challenging for many member associations. However, it is also our job to safeguard the health and well-being of those involved in hobby events, and to take this (decision)also takes into account the situation in society at large.
‘The decision is in line with the recommendation of the Finnish Government. On March 12, 2020, the Finnish government decided to restrict public events to prevent coronavirus infections. According to the decision, all public events of more than 500 people will be cancelled until May 31, 2020. In addition, it is recommended that meeting organizers also consider organizing similar events based on risk assessments.’
The Swedish Kennel Club has cancelled all meetings where more than 500 people congregrate. In Belgium all meetings with more than 100 people or more have been banned until March 31 and in Germany the German Kennel Club (VDH) announced that everything will be cancelled for the next four weeks. Meetings with more than a 100 people have been banned in the Netherlands and France. Italy is in lockdown and the Italian Kennel Club (ENCI) was forced to close its offices until March 25.
Travel through Europe is restricted, with many airlines grounding flights, and national borders have being closed across the continent. Social media has been awash with cancellations and also comments from dog people already getting withdrawal symptoms from not being able to attend shows!
Whether this whole crisis will impact on the sport in the future or whether there will be a ‘bounce back’ remains to be seen. 

USA situation

A statement from the American Kennel Club said, ‘The American Kennel Club is closely monitoring the situation surrounding the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. 
‘We encourage all staff, judges and exhibitors to follow the World Health Organization and Center for Disease Control’s recommendations to maintain proper hand, respiratory and personal hygiene, practice social distancing and be mindful of any and all travel restrictions/guidelines. 
‘We further advise that show chairs and organizers have copious amounts of hand sanitizer and hand washing stations available to participants and exhibitors.
‘Local clubs are in the best position to determine if their event should be cancelled or delayed given the specifics of their situation. 
‘These decisions should be made in consultation with the facility provider and information from state/local governments. 
All the international kennel clubs clearly hope things will return to normal as soon as possible. FCI President Mr Tamas Jakkel from Hungary went on air on the FCI Facebook and You Tube Channels to add his own words in a ‘face to face’ broadcast.
OUR DOGS will continue to monitor and report on all developments.


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