Thursday, 26 February 2009

No BBC, No DT....

Possibly in a moment of euphoric madness I thought I'd apply for a press pass for Crufts this year - for the first time in ages.
I think I thought it might have been interesting to check out the start of the much awaited KC reformation.
But any hopes that the Dalmatian might have changed its spots since the days the KC penned a memo to their staff banning them from even reading Dogs Today seems so have been somewhat premature.
There wasn't an immediate no, so I thought maybe things might be thawing between us - now that they are finally starting on the long road to behaving themselves.
That they may soon be on the same side as us.

But no, just got this email...

Dear Ms Cuddy

After careful consideration of the situation, the Kennel Club has once again taken the decision not to accept any applications for press registration from yourself and anyone else representing Dogs Today at this year’s Crufts. I am sorry for any inconvenience caused.
Yours sincerely etc

I stopped being surprised by the KC's approach to media relations some time ago.
I would so dearly love to be surprised by them on many fronts.
Imagine if they brought in automatic searchable Coefficients of Inbreeding over the Internet without them having to be put in a corner and bullied into it?
Introduced guidelines for breeders to help them move away from intense inbreeding.
Willingly grasping those nettles before it's too late for breeds already riddled with recessive nasties that might have been avoided with less tardy action to counter the overuse of popular sires.
Wouldn't it be lovely if they'd instantly changed the rules about weighing Dachshunds instead of just trying to cover up the starved and dehydrated dogs by banning this practise at only one show in the year.

I could go on... but I think you get the point.

Never mind, maybe next year we'll have a KC which will be on the same side as us, in the vital battle for pedigree dog health.
Hope so for dog's sake.


Emma said...

Can you blame them? I'm all for reforming pedigree dogs, but even I, a former avid reader of your mag, am getting a little tired of the constant beating you're giving pedigree dogs and the KC. What about all those puppy farms churning out thousands of sickly pedigree pups, they seem to have been forgotten???

I certainly don't expect you to forget about the state of pedigree dogs thanks to certain dog breeders (and this includes working gundog breeders btw, they're just as guilty for inbreeding to further their own egos as show dog breeders), but a little balance wouldn't go amiss so I can enjoy your magazine again.

jon said...

I would just go and cover it anyway, Beverley.
You can still talk to people.

Interesting to see how much flack there is from the breeds that were featured in PDExposed.

Anonymous said...

My immediate reaction to this would be "what have they got to hide" ?

I would have expected them to welcome good critical coverage of their new "welfare focussed" approach in a national publication striving to educate the public along the same lines ??

Beverley Cuddy said...

In reply to Emma, what a shame you're not reading Dogs Today these days as in the last year we have had some outstanding investigative articles on puppy farming.

Unfortunately many of the puppy farmers are still registering with the KC, hence confusing the general public who imagine KC registration to be a mark of quality.

We care deeply about all issues concerning dogs, but inbreeding seems to be a topic that keeps slipping off the radar and we do believe that a reversal of ancestor erosion needs to be addressed urgently. The overuse of popular sires and the lack of education and help for breeders on the important issue of Coefficients of Inbreeding isn't something that we can ignore.

Rewriting breed standards is needed, but compared with tackling inbreeding I'm afraid its not just fiddling while Rome burns, it's the Kc fumbling to even get the violin of reform out of the case!

Do come back and read the whole magazine Emma, we're not anti-pedigree - far from it. We're fighting for their survival and to reduce their future suffering.

A strong KC could crush puppy farming, could start sorting out this mess. Just look at the simple issue of the size zero Dachshunds.

We need the KC to be as eager to rise to the challenge and properly sort out the dog world as they are to reject press passes for those who still dare to criticise them!

Believe me once the KC start governing properly and acting responsibly without the media having to breathe down their neck we'll be praising them to the hilt as we'll all be on the same side.

Balance is something sadly lacking in some other quarters where coverage has been incredibly biased in favour of the KC. Commercial pressure has been shamelessly applied and some organs obviously rate fiscal issues more highly than ethics.

Beverley Cuddy, Editor

Anonymous said...

I would urge supporters to email the KC protesting at this discriminatory ban!

Emma said...


I'm all for reform of the KC (and pedigree dogs) and the flushing out of the self obsessed idiots that appear to reside within it's midst, but what you need to remember is your magazine is desigend for dog lovers, it's publicated mainly to entertain. I want to put down your magazine and feel happy, not feel like I have to hang my head in shame.

I love my dogs, in fact I live for them. They are my life!

I'm planning to breed my dog this Spring. She's been health tested to the hilt, I've chosen a slightly older stud of different lines that has only been used a handful of times. I'm breeding primarily for health and temperament. I know my dogs COI and that of the intended offspring, it will improve with this mating. I'm also breeding to try and retain the working instinct and to ensure the breed adhere's to the breed standard. To do this I attend dog shows. And yet I know that inspite of the above paragraph to many at your publication the last sentence wipes out all the positive endeavours and reduces me to an ego tripping self obsessed maniac.

Improvements are definitely necessary, no doubt about that, but Rome wasn't built in a day.
My worry is the large audience you're loosing through the apparent constant KC/pedigree bashing.

There's no the point in shouting, if people aren't there to listen.

I do still read your magazine, I have stopped subscribing, however, and pick and choose which editions to buy based on the individual content, but I truly can't remember the last time I put it down without being left with a heavy heart. I keep asking myself, what have I done to be made to feel like this?

Beverley Cuddy said...

Hi Emma

You sound a tip top breeder to me, exactly the sort of breeder we'd like to see egging the KC on to make what you do standard practise. We're definitely on the same side. It is exhausting keeping up the pressure for change and I'd love to feel the work was done, but we do try to move on all fronts that need attention and have a bit of fun, too where possible.
Please stand along side us, together we can achieve so much.
It's obvious how much you care, please don't feel got at - we really do value the hero breeders that elevated standards without pressure.
I am sure we all want and need a strong, responsive KC that will make things better for every pup born, sadly history shows that polite encouragement to reform has been ignored.
I'm hopeful that progress is speeding up, but this is such an important issue that I feel morally we can't just look the other way and trust someone else to sort it out.

Anonymous said...


Yet again you always seem to omit the fact that you have shown pedigree dogs and worked for three institutions that support pedigree dogs, the two weekly canine newspapers, Dog World and Our Dogs and also the Kennel Club itself!

Why are you so anti pedigree dogs?!!

Beverley Cuddy said...

Anonymous, for goodness sake - most people reading this blog must know my history.
I have never hidden the fact that as a child I grew up in the show world, showed dogs, bred dogs, judged, been a breed club secretary. Worked for Our Dogs, Dog World the Kennel Club. A lifetime around pedigree dogs and I can assure you I love them passionately! That is why I want to protect them.

Anonymous said...

Emma, do you really read Beverley's magazine only to be entertained? If there was nothing in it other than entertaining stories about dogs, it wouldn't be worth reading.
I read it because it seems to be the only dog magazine that takes dog issues seriously.
OK it may make one sad but at least it is voicing opinions that once were not brought out into the open (such as the scandal of puppy farming, inbreeding and breeding for beauty). It's much better that these things should be discussed openly and dog lovers know what is going on.
Things will eventually get better for dogs, thanks to magazines like Dogs Today and Jemima's programme.
Julia L