Awakenings around the world of dogs

If you want something interesting to watch before the Endal fest this evening at 9pm on Sky Real Lives check out this... Click here
Last night approx four million people watched ABC Nightline (the US equivalent of our Newsnight) featuring an item on dog showing, Pedigree Dogs Exposed, the AKC etc. And for fans of the wonderful Terrierman blog, see a 3d Patrick Burns in action - too!
Good item. Does make everything so simple.
The woman who bred her Dalmatian with a partially deaf one because it was a really good specimen.... Doh!
Take a step back and the answers are obvious.

Next week an abridged Pedigree Dogs Exposed airs in New Zealand. The NZKC is already spinning away in preparation...

New Zealand Kennel Club has discovered that TVNZ's Sunday programme is planning to screen the BBC programme 'Pedigree Dogs Exposed' this weekend, 15 March at 7.30pm. The programme attracted widespread criticism when originally screened in Britain in August 2008, for being extreme, alarmist, and lacking fair balance.

TVNZ intends to screen about 22 minutes of the original programme. It is not known what they will omit and whether any of the comment from The Kennel Club (UK) will be retained. When screened the programme may well give the impression that it represents New Zealand conditions: nothing could be less accurate.

But a look at their web site makes it difficult to discover what health initiatives they have taken to remove the threat of inbreeding, exaggeration and hereditary problems from the NZ pedigree dog population.
However, it doesn't take much to discover their accreditation programme for people who are not vets who want to chop tails off. Their policy statement on electric collars - they are pro-choice. Their policy decision on debarking - they are pro-choice. Their policy on secrecy - they are pro-secrecy!

By the sounds of it, it is true PDE doesn't represent the NZ situation - could this be the only country in the world with a worse KC than ours? Wow!

And now for some good news, in the current Veterinary Record (the publication of the British Veterinary Association), March 7, 2009 there is the following uplifting editorial...

Breeding opportunity

It may have been controversial, and the
issues highlighted may not have been new.
but the programme 'Pedigree Dogs Exposed'
broadcast on BBC last August has certainly
stimulated interest in tackling some of
the inherited animal welfare problems
associated with the selective breeding of dogs.
Subsequent developments have included a
revision of breed standards by the Kennel
Club, and the initiation of various reviews
into the welfare aspects of dog breeding. The
ramifications continue, and the topic will
no doubt be the subject of much discussion
among those attending Crufts this week.
Among other things, this year's event will
include a dedicated 'health zone', at which
vets and scientists will be on hand to discuss
some of the means available for reducing the
risks of inherited defects in dogs. Crufts itself
will not be broadcast by the BBC this year,
as the Corporation decided to suspend its
coverage of the event in the light of some of
the issues raised by the programme.
The BVA has called for an independent
review of the breeding of all dogs, not just
pedigrees, and for all registered pedigree dogs
to be permanently identified (VR, November
8, W08, vol163, p 553). Earlier this week,
it welcomed news that the chairmen of a
review of breeding being undertaken by the
Associated Parliamentary Group on Animal
Welfare and of an independent review
commissioned by the Kennel Club and Dogs
Trust have agreed to collaborate on the
grounds that this will add weight to the case
for action (see p 286 of this issue).
The current level of interest presents an
ideal opportunity to make progress in tackling
hereditary defects in dogs. However, this will
be a long and difficult process requiring the
active collaboration of everyone involved.
Some of the challenges have been highlighted
in recent reports from the Companion

Animal Welfare Council (VR, December
6, 2008. Vol 263, p 669). Given the nature
of the task, the BVA feels it is important
that the reviews currently under way should
consider solutions that would benefit the
health and welfare of dogs in the long term.
These include permanent identification,
accreditation schemes, genetic testing and
better use of the Animal Welfare Act.
The BVA believes that secondary
legislation could be put in place under the
Animal Welfare Act to protect the health
and welfare of potential offspring produced
as a result of breeding from dogs with known
hereditary defects. It further believes that
guidelines being developed under the animal
welfare code for dogs could he amended to
include a recommendation against mating
closely related dogs and restricting the
number of puppies an individual stud dog can
sire. As well as making best use of the legal
means available for restricting inappropriate
breeding, it believes that there is scope for
progress through voluntary mechanisms such
as breeder accreditation schemes.
As with any other measures aimed at
improving animal health and welfare, it is
important to he able to relate any actions
to the animals concerned. Permanent
identification of all registered pedigree dogs
would facilitate the reporting of hereditary
health problems and of surgical procedures
resulting in conformational changes. In
addition, the introduction of a 'pet passport'
database, linked to an identification
microchip, would allow information such as
parentage, DNA and health test results to be
known for a particular animal.
To introduce breeding programmes
which control hereditary defects without
eliminating desirable traits, it will be
necessary to isolate the specific genetic
mutation(s) responsible. Funding will
be required to create DNA databases of
affected and unaffected animals and for the
development of appropriate tests.
The BVA believes that breed standards
should be based primarily on health and
temperament, with less emphasis on the
conformation of the dog. While welcoming a
commitment from the Kennel Club to review
all breed standards in consultation with the
veterinary profession, it believes that, in
addition, an independent expert advisory
group should be formed to review and advise
on the way forward on a case-by-case basis.
Vets see the impact of inbreeding on
a daily basis in practices across the UK.
Consultations provide an opportunity to
advise clients but, unless veterinary advice is
sought before animals are purchased, options
are limited to reactive advice and treatment.
Methods to enable owners to make more
informed choices before they purchase their
animals need to be investigated.
Advances in genetics, diagnostic tests
and information technology, combined
with the current leveI of interest, present
unprecedented opportunities for tackling
inherited welfare problems in dogs. The
current level of interest in the subject makes
it all the more important that these are used
to best effect.


Anonymous said…
Well I see you still think I am sort of subversive mole from Clarges Street, but it now seems no matter how much reassurance I give you that I have not and do not work for the KC, it will not stop the paranoia that I must be, however now seeing you quote information i have brought to your attention in other forms of media does afford me a wry smile!!! Well four very busy days of Crufts have now been and gone, and it’s a shame that the few readers of Dogs Today (last month’s issue still seemed very much in evidence on the shelves in WH Smiths, but the credit crunch affect in all kinds of ways!!) will not be able to enjoy a full and balanced report of the thousands and thousands of happy healthy dogs enjoying their time at the show in so many different forms of competition, as I assume the lack of press pass supplied to you from the KC, and reduced income from the normal pre Crufts bashing you use to get from the national press, that now has been lining Jemima Harrison’s pocket this year (i suspect though she will be giving all of it to the KC Charitable Trust so they can give it out with the £4,000,000.00 they have given out in recent year to the benefit of ALL dogs and the advance of canine research and medicine, but perhaps she is use to taking money from them like the RSPCA and not t to give it!!!, so I wont be holding my breath to see her donation being made). Well BC I had plenty of time to show my dogs (some nice wins too) and catch up with folks from all over the world of Dogs, and just to report back JH stating that “certain” parts of the PDE was removed due to the need for advertising breaks in some countries, are again one of her misleading (I am too much of gentleman to say lies) as I have been assured by one of the most senior person in a Scandinavian KC that one channel on which it was shown has no advertising yet the totally inaccurate and insulting angle used in the programme the that KC was based on Eugenics movement and therefore implying that breeder of pedigree dogs could be likened to the views of Nazis had been removed........................ would JH like to comment ???? or is she still too busy spinning her next sound byte for the press?!?! Sirius PS you must check back on that blog I did not start your Fluffy credential rumours, that was Philippa (I believe termed by some as a cyber troll !!!, but her double standards on in breeding and breeding from health check stock do make her that credible to most people)
In the pink said…
I am still almost speechless that everyone - especially those who had the opportunity to show their dogs at Crufts - is not embracing the whole topic of health reforms. Why is every bit of info criticised? Surley anyone who shows and breeds should be devouring every word. I can only think those who are getting so very upset must be feeling guilty - otherwise why feel 'got at'???
Anonymous said…
In Belgium, they showed 'pedigree dogs exposed' too, recently. Our jouralists are making a study too. :-)
Anonymous said…
It would appear that as usual these "crufts cronies" do not give a toss about the health of the dogs, all they want is the "prestige" of doing well in crufts, not about health reforms!! oh well, its what we come to expect. money before health as usual.
Anonymous said…
Its a shame that Jo S did not go to Crufts as she might have a more informed opinion, like many of thousands of people who both show and breed their dogs I and they carry out many health test each and every year, as we work with the BVA and KC to ensure that our dogs live long and happy lives, many of my own dogs live well over the age of 16 with no health problems at all, but as mine and many other breeds have made testing for conditions a priority before breeding for over 30 years and have reduced many of the condition that once occurred (unlike many cross breed and mongrels) we also ensure that our dogs temperaments are the very best they can be ( a fact supported my DR Mugford) not just for the show ring but for in the home where they spend the vast majority of their time. Yes we would love to be able to do even more test i.e. with a simple blood/D.N.A. test but science has not yet been able to provide this for us, and we have been raising funds along with the Kennel Club and other breeder and breed clubs around the world for many decades to do so, and this research will benefit ALL dogs and even some humans as they too share most of the same problems that dogs do. There are very few people who show their dogs would ever be able to make a profit out of them, those that do are puppy farmers who would never be seen around any show be it the small companion shoe, a breed club limit show, a local open show or a national championship show. Indeed most breeds now have national or world congresses to discuss and swap information n the health and welfare of their breed, if the likes of Jo S really looked into what the so flippantly criticize other for not doing they would not see there is a need for health “Reforms” as the so called reforms are the “Norms” carried out by the vast majority of caring breeders who also show and they have done so for many year, the point which the makers of PDE and their “lapdog cronies” decided NOT to show. I spoke to one nice lady who came to Crufts to show her two children the dogs there, Discover Dogs being the ideal place as she put it to get a informed opinion on each breed from people who really know and care about them, she had just given up a job in PR , having worked for the PDSA , and in her opinion their knee jerk reaction to withdrawing from Crufts was not just the wrong one in the short but also the long terms as it was the best time in year they had to get their message out to an educated audience and gain support for their work from not just the visitors but also the exhibitors who they felt can inform potential new owners of any dogs better than any campaign they had ever run. I also spent time speaking at length with some of the most senior vets in the country who criticize the recent RSPCA report on breeding and welfare of dogs as at best they think it is a miss match of previous reports which included some of breeds that have never been in this country to an over blown PR stunt as it never stated its TOR, or what limitations it would be working within and how this might affect its deliverables, the goals that were set had predefined but it did not state by who or on what basis, which means that the report is one that will just confirm existing “Opinions” and not set out to establish facts, the greatest flaw they agree which will undermine it as being a useful report is that it automatically makes the incorrect assumption that cross breeds and mongrels suffer from NO health problem by excluding them from the report/study as one put it “it would be like the Government deciding that in future children from families who parents are not together should be excluded from any health or welfare surveys!!”, surly those who proclaim themselves as the health reformers for dogs would not support such a move?? !!?? Sirius
Beverley Cuddy said…
Oh come on Sirius, lighten up and get off the KC soap box for five minutes. It's Saturday.
Everyone else pretty much is concentrating on the Endal story but you're still point scoring.
If you're so proud of health testing why isn't it mandatory?
Why haven't we got searchable COI, limits on the overuse of popular sires. And if Dr Mugford is so spot on re temperaments of show dogs - how come one exhibitor ended up in hospital after being bitten in the thigh during a class?
Just give it a break and use your efforts to convince the KC to make good breeding the norm and not just the elite. The majority of breeders simply DON'T health test. That is a fact.
Why spend all this energy trying to persuade all of us that the KC is doing enough when it's patently obviously not the case.
As for the criticism of the RSPCA report, ridiculous. It is a compilation of research by definition!
Spin Spin Spin - you're making me dizzy!
Why no action on COI? Why no limits of on stud dog use? Why drag the heels on mandatory testing?
Anonymous said…
Come on Beverley, you say "the
majority of breeders simply dont
health test" what evidence/figures from a RELIABLE source do you offer
to substantiate this claim, we can all make a statement as if its fact
Stan Berry
Beverley Cuddy said…
Okay Stan

Let's look at Hip Dysplasia. Since 1984 only 100,000 dogs have gone through the official BVA/KC scheme (source KC website). In that time approximately 4.8 million dogs have been registered by the Kennel Club (Assuming a fairly low average figure approx 200k dogs a year - real figure for 2008 271k).
I'd love to see the spin doctor that come make those figures equate to a majority testing! Remember too that not all pedigree dogs are KC registered.

Stan, the people you know may test - but the majority of pups produced are from completely untested parents. It's got to be the case. The GSD people say that 70% of the registered pups produced in their breed are untested - and they want the KC to start being fussier as they have been asking for mandatory testing for almost as long as me!

I'm writing a new blog today about this as I think it's interesting that that's how you perceive it.

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