Wednesday, 5 May 2010

The Ballot Box-er or the straw-dog poll

If dogs could vote we'd get a much different result tomorrow. Dogs are so much more intuitive than we are, just one sniff and they'd know which leader to follow.
As far as we know, all three candidates don't even have a dog in their lives!
In fact we're struggling to remember a time when there was last a dog at 10 Downing Street!
Would they have a Red Setter, a Kerry Blue or a Yellow Lab?
Do any of the three parties say anything in their manifestos to delight the dog vote? Hardly.
Labour doesn't mention man's best friend even once and the Tories only give the species just the one namecheck and that's with the word "Dangerous" close by.
Liberal Democrats have a little bit about animals generally, but they've all missed a trick.
Not one party has yet adopted the Dogifesto!
But there's still time for one or all to adopt it and encourage the 10.5 million dogs to drag their owners to the polling stations to record a vote for a much better future for our four legged friends.
So what's in the Dogifesto?
Quite simply - the introduction of the Universal Puppy Contract for all sales of dogs. If the contract was included in the already existing Animal Welfare Act we'd have an end to people breeding dogs passively or just plain badly. We'd have the same system as they have in Sweden were a breeder recognises the consequences of breeding a litter and has to do their best to prevent health problems or pick up the vet bills.
We'd see an end to puppy farmers and fickle people breeding from untested dogs for pin money. And the other side of the puppy contract is that puppy buyers would be made aware of their responsibilities.
End result, fewer dogs badly bred. Fewer dogs in rescue. Clearer guidance to consumers and breeders as to good practise.
It would cost the country nothing - which should appeal to the treasurey. And it would be easy to bring in - no long-winded new legislation. And it's tried and tested and already successful in Sweden.
If you'd like a copy of the Dogifesto and some more information about puppy contracts email me and don't forget to get your dog to vote in our poll! (
And Gordon, Nick and David - there's still time to adopt our Dogifesto. 10.5 million extra votes might just come in very, very handy!

Support for the Dogifesto!

Burgess Supadog supports dogifesto

As Election fever sweeps the country, leading family pet food company, Burgess Pet Care is stepping up to support the wagging tails of Britain’s 12 million dogs for the introduction of a universal puppy contract.

The Dogifesto, first launched in April by leading pet magazine, Dogs Today, is looking to encourage dog owners everywhere to speak out on behalf of their furry friends and to lobby local MPs to support the introduction of a universal puppy contract. 

The idea was first suggested and is supported  by the Dog Breeding Stakeholder group which in a collaboration of organisations and charities that was set up in 2009 and is spearheaded by the British Veterinary Association (BVA).

The proposal:  A puppy contract would be added into the existing Animal Welfare Act and entail the signing of a legally-binding document between the dog breeder or pet shot retailer and puppy buyer.

The idea behind the contract is to protect both parties and to try and counteract any unnecessary hurdles that can lead to poor treatment and abandonment of dogs.

The document would ensure the protection of the future health and well-being of each puppy – for example if you are breeder and breed puppies without hip testing this would be declared and would mean you could be l
For more information on buying a dog responsibly go to
If you would like to add your companies support do let us know!


Anonymous said...

As a floating voter I emailed my local candidates and asked for their positions on dog controls, nuisance behaviours and the positive effects of dogs and the only chap to reply was the Lib Dem man - so he has my vote. I hope to be working closely with him, even if he doesn't get in, to campaign for a better future for our four legged friends.

Mutthouse xx

Beverley Cuddy said...

Well done Mutthouse, if we all did the same I reckon we'd get things changed. Politicians would see that the Puppy Contract is a win win situation, cheap to implement, easy to do but a massive effect.
If we all push, it could happen!

Laura Patricia said...

Dear Anonymous - I too emailed my local candidates asking what their parties stances were on the Bateston Report and KC reform, as I was undecided and that was an issue that could swing my vote.
A week later, the Tories got back to me, not with an answer to my question, but with spam! Labour sent a stock response that was full of talk about animal welfare, like what they have done for farmed fish and battery hens, but the only mention of dogs was greyhound racing and dogs as weapons. Important issues to be sure, but not quite what I asked!

chris said...

The Conservatives are going to try and repeal the Hunting Act so one can deduce from this what their policy will be on animal welfare!! Go to Brian May's (Queen guitar legend) campaign Save-Me to see what 36,000 people think about it!

Anonymous said...

Puppy contract cant work, as no cross breeds/mongrels would ever use them, the vast majority of show breeders already use a form of (or even better type) of puppy contract. Where it will fail is that none of the vets will want to set themselves up to be sued if they give a signature on a form to say the dog will never get ill, after all HD is only 25 hereditary and can be as a result of many other factors ie diet, over exercise, injury. Indeed even if its parents have 0/0 scores it still can end up with hip dysplasia. The same can happen in many other conditions. The puppy contract will end up like a cars MOT and mean its only valid and statement of condition for that puppy on the DAY it is sold.

Beverley Cuddy said...

Oh anonymous, you really are a glass half full person aren't you!
The Puppy Contract is already working perfectly well in Sweden. Every niggle you can think of to make it not worth even trying to do anything has already been chewed over and overcome.
The puppy contract would apply to everyone, Labradoodles, pedigrees, mongrels - anyone selling a pup. It puts the power in the hands of the consumer and ignites existing legislation.
The contract will be thoroughly legalled and will be a fair contract between puppy buyer and puppy seller, the contracts used at the moment by the TINY number of show breeders compared to the general population are all individually written and unlikely to stand up in court if challenged as they don't protect both sides in the sale.
And the attitude that says we're not interested in ALL dogs, we're already doing this is incredibly short sighted. If there are 10.5 million dogs in Britain - the KC only register 250,000 a year. THere are millions of dogs being bred outside their jurisdiction.
Puppy Contract would be for EVERY transaction, not just the elite.
The vet doesn't sign it, either!
It's a transaction between the breeder and the puppy buyer.
It is elegantly simple but beautifully effective - and someone else has thankfully trialled it and ironed out the problems.
Time for all standing behind something that changes the way dogs are bred in this country.
Unite don't fight!
If a breeder has done all they can to avoid a problem they have nothing to fear. Plus the insurance world will have a product for good breeders just like they do in Sweden.
It will just make breeders responsible for producing poor quality pups that run up massive vet bills - and that responsibility will make running a puppy farm or selling dogs in a pet shop simply uneconomic.
It will also make pet owners perfectly aware of what's expected from them, too.
Impulse purchasing from dodgy outlets should become a dim and distant memory.
Which dog lover would not support this?