Wednesday, 4 March 2009

Titanic mistakes at the KC

In whose interest is it to start rumours about the protest outside Crufts?
The demonstrators themselves perhaps?
In the Birmingham Post the organiser of the demonstration is quoted as saying:
David Best, of the Animal Rights Coalition, said: “We anticipate that there will be 20 or so protesters and we will be making it clear that we don’t agree with the event on moral grounds because of the genetic problems being bred into dogs"
Wasn't it the KC press release that first alerted us all to the Crufts demonstration? And now we have Sirius, the best informed 'non-KC insider' in the cyber world spinning in the last blog-but-two comments that even vegetarians can harm you and your dogs.
Puts a chill up your spine, doesn't it?
Yes, I expect that a percentage of the Kennel Club General Committee in the last 20 years have been veggies and by their neglect they have certainly harmed pedigree dogs - but I don't think that's what she meant.
Now who on earth would want to make all the people going to the show terrified of the campaigners outside who are advocating KC reforms? Tricky one, now let me think about it!
Perhaps to deflect the heat from those hard to defend issues?
Better the press or the breeders are scared to death than they ask why the KC is still letting the good breeders down with their lack of meaningful action on inbreeding?
An invented fight between fictional demonised animal rights thugs and poor victimised dog show people might have seemed a great PR diversion to someone. Perhaps the same cynical sort of person who thought a ban on only the closest incestual matings in Crufts week might get them out of a tight spot, too?
I believe there are many pockets of intelligent dog breeders who can see through this sham, breeders who are struggling to persuade their breed clubs to follow good practise on inbreeding. Trying to move that creaky old infrastructure and make change from the grass roots is very much harder than the alternative, having a governing body that leads everyone and really does believe in reform - rather than always trying to get away with doing the bare minimum.
It would be so much easier for the captain to steer the ship of reform rather than relying on the public to try to change the direction of the vessel.
This comment was just posted on one of the earlier blogs and I think it very much describes the real situation in the dog world.

I have just mentioned Coi at a Breed Council meeting and asked for exactly the same things Beverly has mentioned The loudest ones round the table didn't know the first thing about it despite apparently discussing it at length Ours is a very large population breed, although most seem to think this is the same as the gene pool.Coi s of 30% are common It seems unless you have been in the breed for " forty years" why is it always 40 ? its bizarre then you know nothing. Apparently publishing COi s in the BRS (ED note: the breed record supplement is a list of puppy registrations, transfers etc published quartlerly by the KC) will confuse puppy buyers, mmmmm not seen many pet owners browsing the BRS have you ?The very worst thing that came out of the discussion was that nobody wished to learn, or asked a question just simply dismissed the whole idea, it will now never be discussed again at this level, I feel a failure as in the face of such aggression and ignorance only a few facts were brought to breeders attention.Keep the COi issue to the forefront , its essential the KC implement this I need a different approach now..any ideas ?
Perhaps it's time for some of the dog show elite to make their own protest? To all start telling the KC it really isn't good enough - if they can make changes to the system for short-term PR gain surely they can now alter the rules to make it easier for people like this very sensible breeder to get her breed council to behave.
Waiting for DNA tests for every condition is like the Captain of the Titanic telling people not to worry when they are drowning as soon someone will invent helicopters and save them all.
We have to stop ancestor erosion now, not in 20 more years. By then we may have lost some of our beloved breeds to ghastly recessive conditions that might otherwise have been avoided.

So what so we want:
Searchable COI over the internet, published in breed record supplements, on registration certificates. A limit on the number of times a popular sire can be used. Guidance on breed average COI and targets. Help for breeders planning matings - calculation of COIs for test matings. Basically a desire at the KC to do things properly - embrace science at last rather than be so afraid of it.
When do we want it:
Now - although 14 years ago would have been even better - when instead the KC decided to try and sell COI software to breed clubs rather than making it freely available to all like the Swedish KC did!

I guess that chant needs a bit of sub editing! What would you write on a placard to get the message across to the KC?


Anonymous said...

For goodness sake Beverly, the KC are not our masters they are our administrators.
It's breeders who make breeding decisions and it is they who make bad decisions. I have health tested my dogs for nearly 30 years, doing everything I could with the tests available to me....only using the KC as a registry and publisher of these results.
I'm begining to think your keyboard is wired to a cash machine and every time you type KENNEL CLUB you get a pay out.
Please give it a rest and do what you said in an earlier blog entry "We do care - passionately about puppy farming - we do lots about this"
Yes the KC register some of these but they dont BREED these puppies....nasty bad people do. Have more of a go at them please and then your magazine can reach the thousands who walk into petshops and dealers and walk out with sickly pups bred from poor, sad dogs destined to spend a life of REAL misery.


alfmcmalf said...

Excellent post Beverley. I do believe the KC is far too slow to pick up on both the mood of the british public regarding dog showing and animal welfare and the mood of health campaigners within the ranks of the breed clubs.

But I am looking forward to attending Crufts, without fear of the baying mob of twenty vegans outside the NEC (!), because I really feel there is growing appetite for reform. Possibly too little to satisfy yourself but some progress is better than none.

And just a quick reminder to anon - Dogs Today is one of just two canine publications that systematically campaign on many fronts - and no doubt will continue to do so to great affect. Just because puppy farming is truly dreadful does not lessen the welfare issues attached to breeding for show wins.


Anonymous said...

"Just because puppy farming is truly dreadful does not lessen the welfare issues attached to breeding for show wins."

Perhaps a proportionate amount of this blog should be spent on it in that case.


Anonymous said...

I’m a member of a few dog forums and I could not believe the hysteria, scare mongering, a the few tall tales being told – absolutely disgraceful behaviour.

For Anonymous:
I applaud you for doing all the relevant health testing.But it is only a minority of good breeders that do the relevant health checks/tests before breeding and these breeders should be praised but the majority of breeders do not do the relevant health checks/tests before breeding and those breeders need taking to task.

If the KC and Breed clubs truly care about the welfare of the animals they would enforce changes immediately e.g.:- mandatory health checks/tests for all or at least the accredited breeder scheme , regular surprise visits to check those on the ABS, an instant ban for all bad breeders, puppy farmers etc.
Until then the KC register is really nothing but a worthless piece of registering paper that allows you to show dogs in an arena if that’s what you’re into or breed and charge a higher price.

It is time all the good breeders make your voices heard and force the KC to change. Then start educating the public. You never know if the KC, breed clubs, good breeders all stand together united then maybe we all may start to get rid of the puppy farmers and bad breeders.

For all at Dogs today keep fighting for our dog friends.