Thursday, 5 March 2009

The Sky chat continues on line

...should you like to join in...

Live web chat going on from 12.30 onwards

Click here for the link.

Rather oddly I'll be doing a few live radio interviews at the same time - so many apologies if there any typos!

Did you see the Sky report? Do you think it's unreasonable to expect the KC to take some positive action on COI,not banning high COI - just making people aware of them and setting targets. And is it about time they started taking action on the overuse of popular sires?

Here's the web chat in full...


[Close]

Close
12:30 Debate: Crufts (03/05/2009)
12:28
[Comment From Beverley Cuddy]
Hello everyone, I'm the editor of Dogs Today a monthly magazine aimed at pet owners. I was on Sky News earlier today talking about Crufts, the Kennel Club and inbreeding. I'd be very happy to answer any questions on dogs generally!
12:29
Neal@Sky: Hi Beverley, thanks for joining us.
12:29
[Comment From jo]
hi as a dog owner and a dog lover, the kennel club should be shot for what they have insisted on the breeds, for show dogs over the years they have changed what any of the breeds look like just for the ring at cruffs.
12:29
[Comment From Tony]
do you think the issues are that serious when crufts lose TV & RSPCA backing?
12:29
[Comment From Daniel]
Afternoon, I suppose the main question that happens to be on most peoples lips regarding crufts, is, whether or not its in fact cruel to the animals ?
12:31
Neal@Sky: Beverley, as Jo and Daniel both ask, do you see it as a cruelty issue?
12:32
[Comment From jo]
if you look at some of the breed british bulldog it has changed over the year now it can not breath very well, amoung other problems with it.. to what it was like say 100 years ago
12:32
Beverley Cuddy: While I am not the Kennel club's biggest fan, I still think there's a chance they'll reform if we keep nipping at their ankles. We need a really strong Kennel club that starts governing properly with the dogs best interests at heart. Atthe moment they are just changing some things to get themselves out of a tight corner. Is it cruel - I say they are cruel rather than the show per se by their neglect of their duties.
12:34
Neal@Sky:

Beverley - What do you see as the future for Crufts? Losing television coverage must have come as a shock to the Kennel Club, and the loss of advertising revenue from Pedigree must be potentially devastating for the show?
12:35
[Comment From Ryan, K9]
Hi all, my name is Ryan O'Meara and I am the editor of K9 Magazine. I watched the earlier exchange between Beverley and Caroline Kisko. When Ms Kisko referred to the debate as 'boring' that really reveals where their (the Kennel Club's) minds are at on this issue. They really, truly don't believe that there's all that much wrong and in my view even the withdrawal of the BBC, sponsors, RSPCA etc STILL hasn't been enough to hit home the message that there is a LOT wrong and that it could in fact be tackled with some simple, basic reforms.
12:35
[Comment From Claire]
What should the Kennel Club be doing to rectify the health issues? Why hasn't it been protecting dogs all along? Why is it now only acting – or saying it is making changes - because of outside pressure? Can it be trusted to safeguard our dogs in the future?
12:35
Beverley Cuddy: In the 1980s the KC made a huge fuss about changing the Bulldog breed standard and that was meant to stop all the exaggerations - didn't work. And I have to say all these recent changes to breed standards rushed through after the BBC documentary Pedigree Dogs Exposed last August are not going solve everything either. We needed joined up thinking rather than PR spin.
12:37
Beverley Cuddy: There are so many significant reforms that the KC needs to do and some of them quite simple, but the biggest change is their mind set. They need to embrace science, recognise the problems exist and start acting sincerely to protect dogs. I coudl write you a book on what they need to do, but limiting the overuse of popular sires woudl be a start!
12:38
[Comment From Paul]
I'm a big fan of dogs but have always felt the RSPCA has way to much power in this country.
12:38
[Comment From dee]
i HAVE 2 ENGLISH MASTIFFS BOTH WITH POBLEMS THROUGH FATHER DAUGHTER BREEDING WHICH THE KENNEL CLUB ALLOW, i WOULD NEVER BY ANOTHER SO CALLED PEDIGREE AGAIN
12:38
[Comment From Claire]
What would you do if you were the chairperson of the KC?
12:39
[Comment From Sara]
My parents dog a Maltese has suffered the most awful time with inherited problems, when I contacted the Maltese Breeder's they didnt even respond to my mail. As long as they can sell on the puppies they couldnt care less. I'll never buy a pure breed dog and maybe breeders & Crufts will get the message if more people do the same
12:39
[Comment From Iain]
What's your favourite type of dog ?
12:40
[Comment From Eddie]
Beverley, As I understand it The kennel Club is a Private Members Club of approximately 1500 members and yet there are 22,000 dogs being shown at Crufts. Do you think it would be a good idea to change the constitution of the club and let the people who are the grass roots exhibitors and breeders vote for the people they would like to govern their hobby.
12:41
[Comment From Ryan, K9]
Should we really, in 2009, still be looking at dogs in a style similar to how we judge beauty contests and, more aptly, giant vegetable contests? Looking at a Spaniel as if it was a 'prime' example of a 'perfect' cabbage? Surely, we're progressive enough to be able to enjoy and recognise dogs for what they give us as a society rather than what they happen to look like?
12:42
[Comment From Simon]
Do you not think that all the recent press has tarred every breeder with the same brush. Looking through news articles and forums people seem to think all breeders are evil now. Surely that isn't the case and some balance needs to be restored?
12:44
Neal@Sky: I must belatedly introduce Ryan O'Meara to the debate. Ryan is Editor of K9 Magazine. Thanks for joining us Ryan!
12:44
[Comment From val]
hi beverley having been an kc accredited breeder for some time i was amazed to find all you need to do to be one is send in a form no one came to check that i was doing the right thing by my dogs it is not enforced in any way but is premoted as the best of the best surley the public could be duped by this as not all acc breeders follow the rules and yet are still promoted as being better than the run of the mill breeder in my opinion the kc should be promoting healthy dogs not raking in money for nothing
12:44
[Comment From Ryan OMeara]
Hello, thanks for having me
12:45
[Comment From Claire]
Eddie, many exhibitors and breeders are opposed to reform too. Perhaps they need to be balanced with vets, charity organisations and other interested canine parties, to form a club for all genuine dog lovers - not just those who show?
12:45
[Comment From Penny]
By the BBC pulling the plug on CRUFTS the only people to suffer are the people that enjoy watching the dogs - not everyones breeds are ruined by the show breeders but we are all suffering because of we are not being able to watch it on the TV. As for the loss of revenue from the main sponsors the KC will get the money back by putting up the entry fees to CRUFTS and charging dog clubs more for the Membership to the Kennel Club.
12:46
[Comment From Skippy]
This "news" hasn't come as a surprise to anybody involved with dogs. Why has it not been highlighted before? Why has the RSPCA taken so long to act?
12:46
[Comment From Al]
is the media with there rush in headline grabbing not giving the public all the facts, the opinion ive formed is that most if not all pedigree dogs have health issues due to there breeding?
12:48
[Comment From louise]
travelling from cumbria to crufts each year setting off approx 3 am cant believe we cant leave with our dogs before 4pm as the kennel club say the public are paying to see the dogs !! what about the welfare of the dogs being locked in cages at crufts for roughly 9 hours in a car for 4 hours travelling down and then another 4 travelling home ??
12:48
Ryan, K9: I honestly don't think anyone has tarred all breeders with the same brush. In fact I'm amazed that the good breeders are not more cross at the Kennel Club for not insisting on higher standards. If the bad breeders are able to thrive under Kennel Club's lapse standards, is is THAT which causes problems for the good breeders. There's has been way too much emphasis on trying to shoot the messenger and not enough on fixing the very real problems.
12:48
Beverley Cuddy: I have to say I've been critical of teh RSPCA myself, too in the past - but their reaction to this situation has been like a breath of fresh air. Their independent scientific review into pedigree dog health was 75 pages long full of vaulable information - it's freely available from tehir website and great resource.
12:49
[Comment From Sieglinde]
Beverley, it is not just some breeds that have been changed dramatically. I have showed, bred, worked and most of all loved Weimaraners for over30 years. I stopped showing about 10+ years ago, because the show side of things got totally out of hand with a few people dominating the ring in so many breeds (and not because they had superior dogs!!) I am a good looser to a better dog, but it was getting ridiculous. My motto has always been – if the kitchen gets too hot, get out now!
12:49
[Comment From bill]
whats a bad breeder?
12:51
Beverley Cuddy: Sorry everyone got distracted for a few minutes doing a radio interview - back paying full attention now! Hello everyone that joined in the last few minutes.
12:51
[Comment From val]
the main problem with showing and breeding at the same time is that tall show people want the perfect dog and are willing to sacrafice health issues in a litter for that one perfect dog i have seen this first hand and think it is shameful it opened my eyes to what was going on and i have since stopped showing and breeding
12:51
[Comment From Sara]
Bad breeder ? someone who continues to use dogs that they know have health problems that may pass onto the puppies
12:52
[Comment From Al]
do the dogs actually enjoy these events or is it purely for the owners enjoyment in presenting a dog at these events?
12:52
[Comment From jo]
a bad breeder is some one that will do anything to get the right dog for the show ring inbreeding over breeding from a bitch. father/dauther/son /mother all done for the money at the end of the day champions make money
12:52
Ryan, K9: There is footage in existence from 24 years ago - it's easy to find - of the Kennel Club pretty much saying the exact same things that they're saying now, that breed standards will be changed and that that will be the solution. Firstly, one has to wonder why were there elements to the breed standards which were - by admission - 'detrimental' to the dog's health, any way? And secondly, it's missing the real point - which is that levels of inbreeding in some breeds are crippling dogs. The KC argues that it needs more 'scientific evidence' - this is patently ridiculous, how much scientific evidence is required to know that inbreeding is seriously detrimental to long term health?
12:53
Beverley Cuddy: Scrolling back a bit, the Accredited Breeder Scheme could have been so good. Such a wasted opportunity. This is what I mean by there needing to be a change of mind set at the KC. They need to honestly want to sort this all out not just deflect unwanted outside interest.
12:54
Beverley Cuddy: Totally agree with you Ryan. We can all see the road ourt of here so clearly - why can't they!
12:55
Neal@Sky: OK so we have the editors of two popular dog magazines here, both with strong criticisms of the Kennel Club and its breeding procedures - is this something that has long been known by people in the breeding industry, or did it take the BBC expose to highlight these issues?
12:55
Ryan, K9: A person doesn't need to have a bred single dog to be an accredited breeder. I know how cheated I'd feel if employed an 'accredited' plumber only to learn he'd never even fixed a leaking tap. Again, lapse in standards causes problems across the whole spectrum of dog breeding.
12:55
[Comment From Liz]
i have 2 wonderful dogs, a rotty and a bullmastiff but both have health problems and its only through bad breeding. I never wanted to show my dogs as i never found the need to do so. but i did want to buy a healthy dog! Now loving the dogs i would buy another but i would want to be more sure that i wouldn't end up with the porblems i have now.
12:55
[Comment From Jo]
Can't see what the problem is, yes I agree some breeds need sorting out but its gonna take years to get it right again as for crufts my dads been showing there for years and i'm gonna miss it this year as it isn't on telly
12:55
[Comment From Piers, Dog World]
Good afternoon, Piers from Dog World here, wondering if I might participat in your discussion?
12:56
Neal@Sky: Hi Piers, welcome. What are your thoughts on KC breeding procedures?
12:56
[Comment From Sara]
Perhaps the KC should take a trip the the Vet Hospital at Potters Bar - I'm sure they would come across many heartbroken owners whose dogs are suffering from inherited problems - they wont because the simply dont care.
12:56
[Comment From Trevor]
Jo - regarding bad breeders. Shame your definition didn't include all the back street people churning out puppies for a few pounds a go season after season.
12:56
[Comment From Bob,]
I for one can see the enjoyment from obedience or agility, (as my own dog loves to be made a fuss of), but I can not really see the point of finding the best looking dog. A dog is a dog, let them live and have fun. STOP the bad breading!
12:56
Beverley Cuddy: We have all been pointing out the failings for years - in my case 20 years. It was a lonely place to be 20 years ago - now there are many more of us saying the same thing. But when it was a lone voice talking rationally they didn't reform. It did take a documentary to shame them into action. Terrible really that they let themselves get so far behind.
12:56
[Comment From Sieglinde]
Breeding for any RESPONSIBLE Breeder is a labour of love and all the litter I ever had (not breeding anymore now) did not make me any money.
12:57
Ryan, K9: The BBC documentary, in my opinion, put in to the public's hands the facts and information that has been an open secret (or a gaping wound) known to many inside the dog world for years. Personally, I believe it did a superb job in highlighting some of the, frankly, scary attitudes of breeders and the complete lack of leadership. It also shocked but not in a 'sensationalist' way, as some have claimed, there was absolutely NOTHING 'sensational' about seeing those poor Cavaliers suffering. It was something that the public needed to see and needs to know will continue to happen unless genuine reform is forthcoming.
12:58
[Comment From Al]
theres a lot of doing this wrong and that wrong pointing the finger is one thing what actions have been proposed why isnt the kennel club even entertaining these ideas do they have something to loss out of new regulations, isnt this a form of aninmal cruelty if its knows why isnt the law getting involved
12:58
[Comment From Claire]
Is the Kennel Club capable of reform? Wouldn't it be better to scrap it and start from scratch: this time with dogs' wellbeing at the heart, rather than the KC's self-servicing interests?
12:59
[Comment From Jo]
Breeding doesn't make u any money, people think it easy, buy yourself a bich breed from her make loads of money not like that at all, iy
12:59
[Comment From Jo]
its hard work from birth to eight weeks
1:00
Beverley Cuddy: There are hero breeders out there that do every test possible, that have found out for themselves about coefficients of inbreeding and I'd urge them to start pressurising the KC to be more reflective of them - to elevate the bar and make their good practise the norm. We need a good strong Kennel Club protecting the health of all the dogs in England.
1:00
[Comment From Skippy]
Given that the Queen is patron of both the Kennel Club and the RSPCA, isn't it time for her to distance herself from the former?
1:00
[Comment From Carol Fowler]
Hello Beverley You did an excellent job today in putting across the point about inbeeding and showing your genuine concern for the health and welfare of dogs. I agree that some of the new measures implemented by the Kennel Club, such as changes to the breed standards of some breeds, are welcome, but these minimal changes are not going to help the dogs a great deal. There needs to be much more fundamental change, such as opening up the gene pools of many or our highly inbred dog populations. I would also like to see the Kennel Club refusing to register litters of puppies from parents which have not been health screened and reached a minimum standard of health for breeding. I'm afraid I do not have much faith in the competence or willingness of the current regime at the KC to implement the changes necessary to really make a difference to the health of pedigree dogs.
1:01
[Comment From penny]
I think that every breed should have to prove that they can do the job they were bred for. For example could one of the fat labrador's that are in the show ring spend all day out on a shoot! Could a bassett hound spend all day out on a drag hunt? If they can prove they can work then they should be allowed to breed from them.
1:01
[Comment From Sieglinde]
Claire, I coudn't agree more
1:01
Beverley Cuddy: I'm sure the Queen loves her dogs, previous monarchs have intervened at the KC and made their wishes known. That's how ear cropping was banned in this country. How wonderful it would be if she did get involved.
1:02
Ryan, K9: Re the Queen, personally I think she should indeed make a stand. The reality is, for too long now this animal welfare abuses have just been tacitly 'endorsed' by too many, when we see a genuinely disabled dog now, we don't even flinch. Because abnormal has become 'the norm'. It's incredibly sad.
1:02
[Comment From Kelly]
personally i think a dog should be part of the family, not there to make money regardless of the health problems. i have just bought a pure bred puppy but not from the kc as the breeders dont agree with what there doing so refused to be part of them
1:02
[Comment From Bob,]
Penny, how many dogs are working dogs today - most are pets or for show.
1:02
[Comment From Guest]
It think that some breeders seem to be laying the blame for all bad health problems at the feet of puppy factories. Yes there are poor dogs coming from those farms and yes they are kennel club registered alot of the time so why instead of berating the people who are fighting to stop mass breeding of dogs do they not instead help by crying out for change. If the accredited breeder scheme enforced health testing and identified each dog to prevent fraud then it would send a clear and easily defined message to the consumer about where best to get the best chance of a healthy puppy.
1:03
[Comment From Jo]
makes me laugh how people think breeders make loads of money, its untrue...........
1:04
[Comment From Mary Clarke]
Amazing how the so-called "status" in owning a dog from breeders continues. Friends of mine who have got dogs from breeders, discovered afterwards they were in-bred, i.e. brother with sister. Both dogs suffered from epilepsy and died young. Crufts are simply arrogant by going ahead. I support the RSPCA actions - they were made with, I am sure, with plenty of research into the matter.
1:04
Beverley Cuddy: The vast majority of dogs in Britain have one very important job - to be our pets. And I know very well that even when someone has a tragedy - like a two year old Boxer dropping dead with a heart attack, the owners still go back and buy another - taking a lot more care to research health testing. Welove our pedigree dogs and hate to see them suffer. We need a KC that gets this and puts health at the very top of the agenda. And one we can trust to get on with the job when the media stops looking over their shoulder.
1:04
[Comment From Guest]
im not breeding any more and let my affix go because the kc will not do anything to stop bad practices even when they know about them i got fed up to the back teeth with them sitting on the fence when important issues were being discussed for the dog welfare act tail docking is cruel but bad mating practices producing cripples is fine i truly think it is time for radical change and if the kc wont make the changes needed its time to turn our backs on them no money comming in might wake this antiquated establishment
1:04
Ryan, K9: We are constantly told that change can't happen overnight. Well no but the KC have had 100 years and they are still persisting with practices that were outdated even a century ago. The reality is modern, progressive forward thinking is what is required - be radical, don't be scared of breeders just do the right thing by the dogs. At no point, ever, should aesthetics come before health.
1:06
Neal@Sky: Well unfortunately we need to wrap things up. Thanks very much to both Beverley from Dogs Today Magazine, and Ryan from K9 Magazine, its been a very interesting discussion.
1:08
Beverley Cuddy: In Sweden every dog owner is a member of the Kennel Club and they have voting rights. Is it any surprise that their system is 20 years ahead of ours? Health testing has been mandatory for all before breeding for decades. Dogs have to pass a temperament test to become a champion. You can log onto their website to check out the inbreeding percentage on any registered dog and even type in intended matings and calculate the inbreeding. They limited the use of popular sires years ago. Our KC has a very small closed membership. It is our KC's constitution that has made change so difficult to achieve.
Enjoyed this chat!
1:09
Neal@Sky: Thanks to everyone who has contributed today. Join us for another debate soon!
1:09

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the Link Beverley, some good comments but sadly I don't think that anyone who needed to hear what was said was listening.

Mutthouse xx

Anonymous said...

Bev, I thought you did very well. You were professional, concise, to the point and very clear in what you wanted to say and the issues you wanted to put across. Not suprisingly, the same can not be said about Ms Kisco. Yet again, in an interview Ms K was unprofessional, angry, personal and downright childish. She lost all credibility when she uttered the now imortal words ""bleeting on about in-breeding constantly is just boring". Why do the KC keep putting this woman in their front line when all she does is discredit them?!!

Speedymax said...

Interesting discussion, shame it wasn't longer. Would have liked to have heard what Piers at Dog World had to say as well. My point about good breeders being tarred with the same brush stands though, there is no distinction in press articles between those trying hard to be a good breeder and those that are not. I take on board Ryan's comment about good breeders taking things up with the Kennel Club but my point was that the general public are just reading that breeders are deliberatly producing unheathy dogs and perhapes some clarification (ie bad breeders) should be shown when reporting. Personally I've read no end of forum replies about all breeder should be shot etc and had a couple of conversation with people who instinctively start by thinking I'm not a good person because I breed pedigree dogs, sound ridiculous I know but its true and very sad.
We've never breed for profit and always take the greatest care when breeding to choose the best sire checking breed lines, health tests etc. For us, like many people, our dogs are part of our family and we love and care for them all dearly.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Speedymax, it is daft to think that some elements of the public haven't been misled by that documentary and its those ignorant ones that need the most education - one woman was quite convinced that pugs are now illegal as a breed needless to say I explained things to her. I missed the boat but tried to put in a comment about how I still believe that a better Accredited Breeder Scheme that enforces testing ( working in conjunction with the breed clubs) and only allows dogs that have permanent id ( ie microchip and or tattoo ) would give a clear indication of excellent breeding and would support all those good breeders many of whom I believe are frightened of asking for change for fear of repurcussions.

Mutthouse xx

Anonymous said...

I wish someone would include where to find a healthy dog in these discussions.

Take

1:02
[Comment From Kelly] ... i have just bought a pure bred puppy but not from the kc as the breeders dont agree with what there doing so refused to be part of them

There's every chance that Kelly has bought a puppy from a brother/sister mating. She'll never know because the breeders aren't likely to admit that.

There are plenty of people who buy litter mates, let them have litters and sell without papers to the unsuspecting.