The "extraordinary steps" at the Kennel Club...
And there's another couple of letters of support up on the site, but this one caught my eye...
DOG NEWS (USA)
The BBC Attack
...Indeed more than virtually any kennel club in the world has The Kennel Club in the UK taken extraordinary steps in attempts to introduce positive breeding programs within the breeding community to help stamp out long standing health issues. It has gone so far as to controversially introduce the concept of health into a judge’s decision at the shows, something, to our knowledge, no other kennel club has ever even considered. And then to be stabbed in the back that way by both BBC and the production company is particularly upsetting and unfair.
Extraordinary steps in getting the judges to consider health! Well that certainly would be news.
Well, yes they changed the wording on the piece of paper that the judges hand out - but sadly they didn't actually tell the judges to judge any differently than before! (See my earlier post.)
I've since had copies of the correspondence between the judge and the KC and the wording (at least) is really very strong...
"Having assessed the dog and penalized any features or exaggerations which I consider detrimental to the soundness, health or welfare, I am clearly of the opinion that ... is of such outstanding merit as to be worthy of the title of Champion."
Just such a pity that this text change wasn't communicated to the judge - she only noticed it after she had awarded the CC! I think a covering letter at the very least is needed - but ideally there needs to be some training by a vet to explain how and why exaggerations are likely to be detrimental.
As I've said before, this text change is a great way of passing the buck to the judges - but if this is to be a significant change it needs to be applied properly and followed through to have any impact.
Please don't forget the petition... keep spreading the word - you're doing a great job! The petition stands at 752 as I write. See the previous post for ideas of how to reach the people who don't yet know about it.
(the distressing documentary about the health of dogs shown on BBC1 in August?)
Here's the petition wording:
Following the powerful Pedigree Dogs Exposed documentary on
BBC1 the Kennel Club still seems reluctant to grasp the nettle,
face the problems and reform itself. The program revealed it
urgently needs to bring in mandatory minimum standards on
levels of inbreeding, make health testing mandatory, prevent
unhealthy physical exaggerations being rewarded and stop the
culling of healthy non-standard pups by changing breed
standards. The KC continually complains that it lacks the
backing of legislation to bring in these urgent and much needed
reforms, so we the undersigned urge the Prime Minister please
instigate legislation to ensure pedigree dogs are saved from
unnecessary future suffering.
If you would like to add your name to this petition please go to this link:
If you'd like to know more about the issues raised by the TV programme, follow the petitioner's blog for all the latest developments http://coldwetnose.blogspot.com/
For example, did you know that the Cavalier Club are holding a Special General Meeting to expel one of their members from the health committee. Had they chosen to expel the woman who knowingly bred 20 plus litters from a dog affected by syringomyelia - the disease that was so memorably described on TV as "like a having a brain like a size 10 foot stuffed into a size 6 shoe," we'd all be very happy - but still no action has been taken against that breeder who used the affected dog at stud twice more after the documentary makers confronted her on camera! But no, astonishingly, the club instead plan to expel Margaret Carter, the brave lady who revealed on camera that this dog had been diagnosed with SM and that the owner had been advised not to breed from him. The meeting will be held on October 5th - more details to come on the blog as we know them.
(Please see the previous blog for more info!)