Sunday, 7 September 2008

Pedigree dogs exposed, transported and petitioned

This baby Chihuahua has found transport from Newcastle to Kent and is arriving with his new owner Wendy on Monday evening. He's going to be living with a load of Standard Poodles. Wonder if he'll grow up thinking that's what he is?

And if you've just read the latest magazine and are here to find out about the Pedigree Dogs Exposed e-Petition to Downing Street, unfortunately we're still trying to get the wording okayed. And no that's not because we can't help swearing so much because we're all so angry about the lack of KC action!
The PM was away on holiday when the TV prog aired and you couldn't submit any new petitions until he came back, and I was away when that was due to happen. I thought we had it covered, as one of my team was poised ready to submit our wording the minute Gordon came back and the site went live. But then Jen, our person who was charged with keeping an eye on the 10 Downing Street site, had a freak dancing-related ankle injury followed by a 24 hour sickness bug and understandably checking the 10 Downing Street website hourly must have dropped down her priority list for a small window of time. (Hard to run to the loo with a broken ankle.) Poor Jen! (I did wonder if there could have been a KC supporter responsible for tripping her up while she was throwing some shapes at her neighbour's spontanious post-pub dance-fest... but perhaps that's just me being paranoid and Kisko is probably a very common surname in Yorkshire!)
As luck would have it, someone else got in first with a petition related to the TV show, but that would still have been cool if the wording had been good - but sadly it isn't ideal.
There's a really weird bit about asking the PM to legislate that people have to travel a certain distance to use a stud dog. It would be so hard to enforce and misses the point that one of the biggest causes of inbreeding is so many people travelling to use the same top winning stud dog and rendering much of the core population instantly half brother and sister.
We'll be resubmitting new wording until we succeed and trying to differentiate ours from the existing one, but it a slow old process as it takes a while for them to read and reject!

In the meantime - here are some other petitions you might like to sign and letters/email you may want to write to keep the pressure on.

Here's one to change breed standards
And one from TV vet Joe Inglis

Here is the address of some people to write to if you feel moved:

Dogs Trust are suggesting you write to:
Lord Rooker, Minister for Sustainable Food and Farming and Animal Health at Defra,
Nobel House
17 Smith Square
London
SW1P 3JR

However - while Dogs Trust has posted quite a robust message on their website (click here to see their message) in support of the TV programme the following little tiny easily missed message has appeared on the expensive, glossy and impotent KC genetics website...

"the KC has received messages supporting the work the KC is undertaking, with breeders, to improve the health of pedigree dogs, from organizations including Dogs Trust...."

So a line to Dogs Trust might be worthwhile, too as they seem to be wanting to keep everyone happy with quiet low-key support of the KC's lack of action yet public condemnation of them at the same time to keep their supporters happy!
(It must have disappointed a lot of the dog lovers who give Dogs Trust their £40 million pounds of donations each year not see them more proactive on this vital subject when the RSPCA by contrast were so brave and outspoken.)

Dogs Trust 17 Wakley Street London EC1V 7RQ

I've had an email from a Dogs Trust supporter who did write to them and they got a reply saying that the KC had refused to print their actual letter in full on their website. Will dig out the full letter and paste here when I'm back at work and can find it.

If you want to write to your MP, here's how... go to this website to find out their name and contact details - just type in a postcode.

On of our readers' tells us her Jack Russells will be boycotting Pedigree Gravy Bones until they take down their message of support on the KC genetics website. She's written to Pedigree to tell them.

Pedigree Pet Foods Mill Street Melton Mowbray Leicestershire LE13 1BB

Click here to see other supporters of the KC stance who may also like to hear from you! A relatively new supporter is Roger Helmer an MEP.

*
Here's what he says in support of the KC....

Roger Helmer

"The BBC programme about pedigree dogs was a pure piece of tabloid sensationalism, and a hatchet-job so far as the Kennel Club is concerned. It is certainly true that a number of breeds have experienced problems, but the Kennel Club has been at the forefront of work to correct problems and to ensure that pedigree breeds are healthy. I sincerely believe that the great majority of pedigree dogs are healthy and well-cared for.

The fact is that the BBC chose to highlight a few cases of sick animals -- sadly there will always be sick animals -- and largely to ignore the responses of the Kennel Club.

Having on occasion done some work with the Kennel Club, I have no doubts about their concern for animal welfare. Sadly, it is also the case that some breeders do not always live up to the high standards that the Club recommends.

Of course there is much that needs to be done on the animal welfare front, and we cannot afford to be complacent, but I think people are perhaps worrying more than they need to.

Roger Helmer MEP"

If you think we're not 'worrying more than we need to', perhaps you might like to drop him a line. Someone must have voted for him - if you're in his constituency why not get in touch and ask him to reflect your views in future? And what exactly was the 'work' he did with the KC? Doesn't seem to fit his responsibilities listed on his website...

Roger Helmer MEP
Boswell House
9 Prospect Court
Courteen Hall RD
Blisworth
Northhamptonshire
NN7 3DG

Telephone: 01604 859728
Email: rhelmer@europarl.eu.int
rogerhelmer@tory.org

Website: www.rogerhelmer.org.uk
Responsibilities: Member of Industry, External Trade, Research and Energy Committee

And if you were moved by the Pedigree Dogs Exposed Documentary do you think that the director, editor, writer Jemima Harrison deserves some reward and recognition for bringing these important issues to the public's attention?
How about we all nominate her for a Woman of the Year award. Here's how...
Jemima took two years to make this film and it really was a labour of love. Her other projects always stick to budget, but this one certainly didn't!
While you're at it, maybe fill in a form for Carol Fowler, too? Another inspirational lady. And why not the very brave Margaret who had the stud dog that developed SM late in life. Must have took some guts to decide to be a whistleblower and speak out on the programme and reveal that Beverley Costello's winning dog had SM. Those Cav committee ladies were really very scary weren't they!

And here's a link to the existing Downing Street epetition with the dodgy stud dog distance wording, as other bits of it were okay... click here

3 comments:

Rose said...

Beverley, I think what your doing to raise awareness of these breeding problems is courageous, bearing in mind the likely response from advertisers who seem to support the KC.
I hadn't realised the problems with GSD's until I saw the programme. When I next went to dog training class I was horrified to see one there. The only GSD's I've ever come in contact with are police dogs so so it was quite upsetting to see this dog looking as though it wanted to sit down all the time. I really cannot believe that this is the 'breed standard'. It's awful to see.
I've recently got a beautiful Bernese mountain dog and have been told I must show him because he has no faults and he looks so good. Should I? I went to a great deal of trouble to ensure I got him from a good breeder, checking his family etc as I had been conned with my previous dog (a different breed). The people that I met through the breed club are only concerned with the breeding of good healthy dogs, so I was reassured. I know there are two sides to a story but something MUST be done to stop bad breeders and encourage good breeders. Keep up the good work.

Jan said...

To anybody out there reading this blog, please get your pens to paper to as many people as possible.

I've spent a lot of the week writing letters, but will now be writing to Roger Helman as well.

There's a lot of support for this campaign, so it's important to make sure the right people know this.

Don't forget to encourage any dog loving friends or relations to write to.

Anonymous said...

Beverley,
what if the show-champion male dogs were only allowed to sire a limited number of litters?
In my dog's breed, each year all the puppies seem to be fathered by either one or other of about two popular male dogs.
There also needs to be a certain amount of non-prize-winning male dogs kept entire for the purpose of siring further litters.