Wednesday, 31 December 2008

Tis the season to be... jolly strange!

Just in case you don't have a subscription to the Kennel Gazette you might have missed Ronnie Irving's follow up to his bizarre Queen's speech in Dog World. (For those not in the know - Ronnie is the Chairman of the Kennel Club.)

Ronnie starts off by reminding us that this time last year he was doing his Mystic Meg impression and forecasting that:
"greater interference from the outside world on how we breed, work and keep dogs will doubtless continue to plague us."

Hmmm? So where exactly does he define the edge of the world of dogs?

The front door of his offices in Clarges Street?

How very annoying for them having the troublesome meddling general public wanting to look over their shoulder.

But Ronnie really loses it in the next paragraph where he claims the:
"loudest in the media"
"the politicians"
and the
"do gooders"
(ie people who want to encourage the KC to reform and make dogs healthier)
are
"like terrorists lobbing hand grenades into a casualty hospital."

Taxi for Mr Irving to the Priory Clinic perhaps?

Possible explanations for this lapse in the company line...
  • Too much sherry at the KC office party?
  • PR guru's not working over the festive period?
  • Someone who doesn't like him has cloned his identity to get him into shed loads of trouble?
On the plus side, Ronnie's New Year message really takes all the pressure off Jonathan Ross and Russell Brand for the I really wish I hadn't said that award.

If you want to read the rant in full please email me!

10 comments:

Margaret Carter said...

Unfortunately it does illustrate how entrenched the thinking is within certain sections of the Kennel Club.

I would be sorry to think that they are just making " health is important to us " statements in the hope that all the fuss will die down & they can continue as before.

The 'outside world' does not consist of 'terrorists' but of the pet buying public, and concerned dog lovers, who want to see animal welfare given more priority.

They are the people who watch their dogs suffer, and no, they are not all from puppy farms, sometimes you run more risk of inherited health problems by buying your pet from top breeding and showing kennels.

The Kennel Club will not change and although there are many good responsible breeders, there are also plenty that do not want to test, as they may well find they have unhealthy dogs that must be removed from their breeding programme.

The only thing that will bring about lasting change is for there to be laws that force the KC to refuse to register puppies unless their parents have passed the relevant health tests for that particular breed.

This could also go some way in reducing the puppy farm problem. Many puppy farmers do actually use the KC registration system to give their puppy producing operations credibility.

KC registered puppies should be recognised as having a mark of true quality.

Margaret Carter

Julia L said...

Margaret,
you are right, it's a ghastly illustration of how entrenched this thinking is at the KC and how completely cut off from reality they and most breeders are.
If the KC were to refuse to register pups from non-health checked parents, or pups that were too inbred, or too exaggerated, I'm sure things would change pretty fast.
After all, everybody wants their litters KC registered.
It's a pity there isn't some kind of coup at the KC - a revolution forcing out the top brass, who seem unable to change their thinking.

Rose said...

As someone who is very new to the world of showing dogs, I think that Mr Irving comes across as quite hysterical in his comments. I would have thought that he would welcome all the concern shown by people towards the welfare of dogs, not castigate them.
I have been told that my dog is an excellent example of the breed and, to my amazement, he qualified for Crufts at only his second show and first championship show. I had actually only entered him so we could meet up with his breeder. Now I have a dilemma. Do I show him at Crufts or not? I supported the BBC programme and think the reaction of some breeders and Mr Irving is far too defensive. I think the breeders felt they were all tarred with the same brush, so maybe a follow up programme on good breeders could be made.
I have learned a great deal from the programme and I know that if I decided to breed from my dog it would only be when he had undergone ALL the necessary tests to prove he was a good dog. Then I would thoroughly check out prospective bitches so that any puppies would enhance the breed.
In the past, I have fallen foul of a bad breeder and I so I fully support all of the efforts to make the KC clean up its image of supporting bad breeders. In the past few weeks I have had to warn people that just because someone is an accredited breeder with the KC it does not guarantee a healthy puppy. The general public should be able to trust the KC scheme and be able to complain to them if there are serious health problems. Otherwise what's the point of the Kennel Club - just to run dog shows?

Rose said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

"Now I have a dilemma. Do I show him at Crufts or not? I supported the BBC programme and think the reaction of some breeders and Mr Irving is far too defensive. I think the breeders felt they were all tarred with the same brush,"

Why ever not Rose?

I health test my CKCS to the protocol and have beautiful, healthy dogs. Why should I leave showing dogs to a small club of 'refuseniks'?
Crufts is an international showcase for British dogs...do people really want spectators to have no-one, representing ethical breeders, to ask all their questions on health.

I know Beverley doesn't appreciate my Anon status but I do have my good points !!!

Jan said...

Anonymous I can understand why you do not wish to publish your name at present, but I am still pleased to hear from somebody who is following the health protocols.

I have heard that not only do some breeders not want to do this, they also close ranks against those who are doing so.

I hope in time that all those breeders who are MRI scanning and following the breeding protocols get their due accolades - once they feel safe to publish their names of course!

Anonymous said...

"I have heard that not only do some breeders not want to do this, they also close ranks against those who are doing so."

In fact I am very loud and proud about what I do and feel that I have influenced many people to change track in their breeding practices.
If anyone closes ranks on me I wouldn't give a toss.
My dogs are my beloved pets first and foremost and I believe that this is true for many exhibitors. The weak, the arrogant and the stupid will be affected by bully tactics but thankfully I'm not.

I'm Anon for no other reason than reluctantance to make up a name and password!
Now I kinda like it!

Elaine said...

"I'm Anon for no other reason than reluctantance to make up a name and password!"

What a pity - it would be nice to know of some good Cavalier breeders. The anti-MRI brigade seem to be more happy to come forward.

Anonymous said...

A cut above in more ways than one eh?

Actually to be completely fair, many, many breeders are now scanning and even those you'd least expect.

Positive steps and better late than never.

Anon again

Jan said...

"Positive steps and better late than never"

Totally with you on this one, and gratified to hear that changes are happening, even if they are still on the quiet side!