Wednesday, 5 November 2008

A new president (of the BVA as well as USA!), a new dawn and a new charity pulls out of Crufts

(Don't forget the last blog - clue now given for cross question and Dexter is still looking for a home...)

PDSA suspends involvement in Kennel Club events
‘We welcome and support recent progress but
evidence of real change is needed’ says charity

The UK’s leading veterinary charity, PDSA, is suspending its involvement in Kennel Club dog shows and events, including Crufts. The charity, which provides free veterinary care for the pets of people in need, has participated in these events for over 30 years.

After lengthy consideration PDSA reached its decision based on the evidence of health issues affecting some pedigree dog breeds. Despite its withdrawal from forthcoming events, the charity stresses its commitment to working with the Kennel Club and with the veterinary profession, welfare organisations and other interested parties to bring about health improvements.

PDSA currently employs nearly one thousand veterinary surgeons, veterinary nurses and support staff at its 47 PetAid hospitals and branches across the UK. They are faced by the consequences of unacceptable dog breeding practices on a daily basis. These include serious health issues brought about by inherited conditions and through compliance to breed standards.

PDSA Director of Veterinary Services, Richard Hooker, said: “We believe change is needed in the way pedigree dogs are bred. Specifically, breeding should put the dogs’ quality of life before appearance and this must be reflected in the show ring.

“Our decision reflects the weight of opinion within our charity and among our supporters. It is consistent with our Long Live Pets campaign and sends a clear message that pedigree dog breeding needs urgent review.”

Mr Hooker added: “We welcome the Kennel Club’s recent efforts to improve the health status of pedigree dogs and will support these with our input and expertise wherever possible. We believe that our position is entirely consistent with that of the veterinary profession, including the British Veterinary Association and the British Small Animal Veterinary Association.

“PDSA will require evidence that real and sufficient progress is made in the quality of life for dogs before reconsidering today’s decision. While we acknowledge that most dog breeders do observe good standards, this step will help to send a very clear message to all: that the initiatives undertaken by the Kennel Club to work towards improving the health status of pedigree dogs must be taken on board, through their agreement to revised breed standards.”

Solving health problems in certain pedigree breeds means addressing public demand as well as breed supply issues, added Richard Hooker: “The information available to dog owners and prospective owners is critical. If members of the public only want dogs that are healthy and responsibly bred, then undesirable practices will cease. That is why PDSA is committed to delivering good public information and education.”

COMMENT: Yet again we have a charity that should know better saying: "While we acknowledge that most dog breeders do observe good standards..."
At the risk of sounding like broken record. Only 60,000 Labradors Hip scored in 30 years since the hip scoring scheme started. 45,000 Labrador puppies registered by the KC last year! So the majority of breeders aren't observing good standards quite obviously as only a moron would breed from Labradors without testing them for hip dysplasia at the very least!
But great to see the vet world finally saying publicly what normal vets have been saying for years - change is long overdue!


Chapstaff said...

Who would believe that a documentary could have so much impact.
It just goes to show what can be achieved. I hope these charities continue to put pressure on the KC (while continuing to work with them) to try & make major changes.
With a bit of luck the BBC will go on to make a documentary showing the horrors of puppy farming.

Thanks Beverley

Anonymous said...

Whilst totally in agreement that some breeds of pedigree dogs needed exposing mainly because of man made exagerations which cause breeds discomfort skin and breathing problems I can't help but wonder why no action was taken years earlier before it got this bad. Breed standards need to change the KC have started with the Peke they need to get a move on before the GSD turns from a frog dog to a seal dog.
If a boycott of crufts makes them get their act together more quickly then so be it.
I just hope all the publicity is not going to encourage the breeding of cross breeds,I fear it will.