Playing god with the dog

Tonight's BBC1 Pedigree Dogs Exposed was very strong, but it was accurate. It hit home here. I cried, who didn't? Those trusting little faces on those poor Cavaliers, how badly have they been let down by man?
Things have to change. Our chief sub Claire has just been on a non-doggie forum for mums and they're all talking about it.
Even if people thought they were ambivalent, maybe didn't even really like dogs - this show gave people an opinion. It had people throughout Britain shouting at the screen.
It moved me and I pretty much knew what was coming.
There's just been a comment posted on my earlier blog that you might otherwise miss - but I feel I have to answer some of those points. Not picking on you, just want to reply as you make some interesting points.
"I was so disappointed with the BBC over this. What a dreadful piece of over sensational journalism!!!"
I disagree. I thought it was clear, concise and very well crafted. What about you? Bravo BBC, bravo Passionate Productions. Reminded me of the gritty Chicken Out Channel 4 documentaries. TV that makes people think, makes people care. It's what the good old Beeb should be all about.
"I do worry that some dogs are over bred or in bred we know it happens. The Kennel Club is obviously trying to put schemes in place and they said that they were not a reactionary organisation (which what the media want these days - solve it and solve it YESTERDAY)"
How long do we give them? They've been making a dog's breakfast of things since 1873! Surely that's long enough? I personally filed my first constructive suggestion at the KC for compulsory health-testing back in 1980-something! That's one hell of a germination process. Surely we've been patient enough? The Swedes are 20 plus years ahead of us already!
"The problem really is with the breeders that are knowingly breeding dogs with conditions. How can the Kennel Club know what is going on breeding wise on some farm in the sticks?? They are not the secret police or Big Brother and quite rightly the head vet of the BVA said that it will be disaster if the Kennel Club became obsolete and no-one will monitor the situation."
The KC needs to develop some balls - make health testing compulsory if people want to show and breed, ban brother and sister matings and other close combinations. Strike off judges who insist on still picking dogs that are exaggerated.
Other younger KCs do it. And, as our own KC has already made health testing mandatory for one breed - the Irish Setter - why not do it for the other 200 odd?
I want the KC to step up to the plate, take the criticism on the chin and get to work sorting this mess out. It's their job to govern, they are sitting on a fortune in Piccadilly - now is the time to stop worrying about losing a bit of revenue from the bad breeders and start setting sensible rules - they have a massive rule book for all kinds of minutiae, but this documentary showed on the big issues - waffle and fresh air!
"I really didn't like the way they subversively confronted the winner the Cavalier King Charles spaniel after she had won her show. Yes the woman shouldn't be breeding with a known condition, but I actually felt sorry for her as the journalist was completely tactless and cringeworthy in her approach. And quite rightly they told the journalist outside Parliament her approach was disgusting - it was."
It did ruin her day apparently, it made her cry. But didn't you cry at watching that poor dog with SM screaming. Didn't the fact that she had produced countless pups after a positive diagnosis make you less worried about her being reminded that what she did has a consequence?
"I was in tears at the state of some of those dogs, and thought it was really sad, but they didn't talk to any breeders who have bred AWAY from conditions to remove potentially fatal illnesses. To me, if they had done that, and talked to prominent breeders about what other breeds have done to solve problems, would have convinced me this was balanced journalism. It was not. Good luck to the lady Carol Fowler who is waging a battle of awareness. You were the one positive thing in this documentary."
I agree with you here - Carol is a saint, so was the brave lady who spoke out whose own stud dog turned out to be a carrier.
There are brilliant breeders out there - but we have a system that doesn't do them justice at the moment. We need those good breeders to keep pushing the KC to reform. When the spotlight goes away will they just go back to their old ways again?
During the radio interviews I took part in today I heard something really remarkable. I was sharing airtime with the KC's secretary Caroline Kisko. Some of you may remember Crufts two years ago. I wrote an article in the Telegraph with the title "Should Crufts be Banned?"
Live on GMTV Caroline Kisko accused me of making things up about the poor health of the nation's dogs, that there wasn't a problem. That I had some weird agenda.
Nearly two years on with a major BBC documentary hanging over her... now she acknowledged there was a problem, that they might consider making health testing mandatory, may even consider crossing some pedigree breeds with others...
What an amazing conversion - Hooray!!!!
She claimed the looming documentary had nothing to do with these new policies! That the "freaky' documentary couldn't tell the KC anything they didn't already know - that they know there are serious problems.
So why were the KC crying biased reporting on their own website last week?
Let's just hope the pressure keeps up and we get some proper tangible change.
If not, please remember the poor little Cavalier, the snuffly Pug. They really don't deserve to suffer and that's the future for every breed if we don't stop inbreeding change the way dogs shows operate and make health testing mandatory.


Anonymous said…
I wonder if you can help me? I want to help in which ever way I can these poor dogs. I've tried researching on the internet for a petition or an email for carol fowler to try to get involved in helping. But to no avail. Do you know anyway of how I can get involved in helping??

Your dogs are so cute by the way. I have a gsd collie cross that we rescued who was abused and he is the most loving dog in the world.

My email is Hope to hear from you soon.
Beverley Cuddy said…
Shall we produce a petition? And if so who do we petition - the Government or the Kennel Club? And what wording should we have?
How about...
"After viewing the Pedigree Dogs Exposed documentary on BBC1 on August 19th I would like to urge the Government to urgently look into the health and welfare of pedigree dogs and ensure that the Kennel Club reacts to the scientific evidence in the programme by 1. Limiting inbreeding and outcrossing with other breeds where genetically necessary 2. Making health testing mandatory where testings schemes exist 3. Making radical changes to the judging system to make sure that exaggerated dogs are no longer being awarded prizes.

Can anyone improve or add to this wording?
Badger said…

Thats the link you need!

Badger x
There were so many things about this programme that stood out and that I could comment on but a couple of things really had me swearing at the tv.

The arrogant judge talking about young vets these days who won't put healthy pups to sleep because they don't meet the breed standard. Where the heck does she get off?

Those German Shepherds in the show ring who could barely walk and yet these are championship dogs? How can that not be wrong.

The Cavaliers, words failed me.

I've already vented my spleen on my own blog but IF this is an accurate picture of the state of pedigree dogs to day, the KC has to get off it's well-padded backside and take ownership of this problem that they have caused.
Anonymous said…
That sounds good to me! Talking to people in the office this morning everyone was appalled so signitures would not be a problem. Will think about wording at lunch!!

Beverley Cuddy said…
Sadly the Prime Minister is away from his desk until Sept 1st so no new on line petitions can start till then. Can it wait that long or do we need something in the interim?

How about a group we can join - Pedigree in Peril

Pedigree Dogs exposed and Vulnerable?

We could make the fabulous Cavalier owner Carol Fowler our President - what an example she is... any idea folks?
Beverley Cuddy said…
Further news on Carol Fowler - she's now a health advisor on the Cavalier for us on Furry Godmother, and we're doing a feature on her next issue. What a brave woman.
Anonymous said…
I was aware of the need to health test pedigree dogs before this programme - but even I was shocked at this documentary. My partner and I were both in tears watching it.
WHAT A DISGRACE THE KENNEL CLUB IS. Shame on them for standing by and allowing this to happen to dogs. That poor Boxer - and his poor owners having to cope with his fits, the show winning GSDs, Cavalier and Peke - and the Crufts-winning related Pug with all those defects - unforgivable!
I'm glad that Cav breeder was embarrassed, she should be mortified being caught out using a stud dog to sire 20-odd litters AFTER he'd tested positive for syringomyelia. She should be BANNED by the KC and forced to neuter the dog. Its appalling.
I think YES a petition is needed and agree with your wording Beverley, but think there should be something in there about banning the culling of puppies which don't meet the breed standards. One of the most shocking things on the programme was the terrible Dermoid Sinus in Rhodesian Ridgebacks - and the fact that puppies born perfectly (ie. without the genetic mutatation that is the ridge!) do not suffer from the condition. This is evidence if ever it were needed that KC Breed Standards are a load of rubbish!
Hats off to the film-makers - it was an excellent programme - well-researched, well-made, and well done BBC for showing it. Now refuse to show Crufts!
Rubies Puppies said…
I have NEVER felt the need to comment on ANY thing else I have seen on the "net" but felt that I could not pass up this oppertunity to give my suport for any petition or other action that was decided upon to help these poor helpless dogs. I myself have 1 Cocker Spaniel bitch who is expecting a litter in the near future I was able to travel the 100 + mies to get her eyes tested and then to find a stud dog who was also tested so shorly those who make "Loads of money" from breading should be expected to do the same. It is time to take action NOW
Rubies Puppies said…
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Skibble said…
Hi Beverley

It is my comment that you have dissected this morning on your blog, and would like the opportunity to respond.

I am totally shocked at the way some breeders behave, and I think the majority of viewers were last night.

What I found mostly disappointing about the piece it was unbalanced as a whole. I own 2 Beardies but I am not a breeder, however I read the collie forums, and there are many upset today at the way the programme perhaps was edited, and possibly tarred all breeders as irresponsible. These people now have to go about their daily lives defending themselves and their practices perhaps when they have not done anything wrong.

There was no positives about how conditions have been phased out or work done to help these dogs. A big condition across many dogs - hip dysplasia, wasn't even mentioned, and I thought to balance the argument a list of what people should look for when buying a dog would have been appropriate (i.e. hips scores). Also how to possibly spot in-breeding through a pedigree certificate would also have been useful information.

Many people who have possibly been considering a breed puppy may now be confused by this programme, and many not be confident in what they are looking for.

I thought the main presenter's journalistic style was sensationalist, and the BBC have missed a real chance to highlight the poor practices but also show how the dog breeding world can move on, and what GOOD practice is out there.

The KC seemingly have made mistakes in the past, but they cannot become discredited. It will drive breeding underground and possibly make things worse. The Chief Vet at the BVA made this point.

You are right in your quest to highlight poor practice, but for every unscrupulous breeder there are many more responsible ones. That should not be forgotten and today they may feel a little bit picked on through no fault of their own.
Beverley Cuddy said…
Sadly, I have to disagree with you the that majority of breeders are good. That is patently not the case. If you look at the numbers of dogs going through the available testing schemes it is pitifully low.

I think the KC website says they register approx 45,000 Labradors every year. In total only 60,000 Labradors have ever been hip scored since the scheme started 30 years ago!!! And that's a breed where you'd have to be completely nuts to buy an untested breed.

The poor old Cavalier - over 50% have life-limiting heart problems, yet still people don't bother testing and using the scheme that started 10 years ago!

There are some hero breeders - but there a great many more mediocre ones that won't test unless someone tells them to.

We need a reformed KC and we need it now!

Having now seen the programme you'll find the message on the opening page of the BVA website is somewhat more critical. And Dogs Trust is having a polite growl too - think they probably are feeling a bit jealous that the RSPCA stole their limelight!

Some astonishing sycophantic messages of support on the KC website though! Made me nearly choke on my cereal one of them did! Do have a look!
Anonymous said…
I was appalled and horrified by the willingness of the Kennel Club and breeders to mate dogs with their parents, grandparents, siblings, in fact any other dog that will give them a 'goodlooking' puppy from which they can financially gain. I initially thought the comparison with Nazi eugenics was over the top but by the end of the programme it was clear it was completely justified. The people who do this are utterly sick, totally lacking in morals and some of the worst abusers of animals I have ever encountered.
Vicky's Blog said…
Having watched the BBC’s documentary about the pedigree dogs I am disgusted to be human. Exploiting certain breed characteristics “to fit in” with an interpretation of a breed “standard” is cruel, egotistical and irresponsible. Since when did we start to believe our knowledge is supreme compared to nature itself?! The number of middle-class, 50-somethings that breed these dogs for so-called beauty appear to be the ones spear-heading stud dogs and bitches with major genetic flaws. Why do they continue to breed unhealthy dogs? Money? Prestige? Ego? It sure isn’t “love of the breed” that some claim or a desire to see the best, healthy specimen of the breed. We wouldn’t do it to future generations of the human race – it’s immoral, arrogant and dangerous for any species in question.

Do they think that selective breeding to “set the better characteristics” won’t cause problems 10-fold in 2 or 3 generations? They must know that narrowing the gene pool only leads to immunity weakness and genetic instability?! After all they are renowned breeders whose dogs are “the finest specimens” of the breed! Eugenics is long gone isn’t it? Genocide has never been an acceptable practice for humans and neither has euthanasia, so why is it different for dogs? Well, dogs do not have autonomy so the responsibility falls to us. Just because they can’t say no to being bred from doesn’t mean that they should be producing litter after litter of pups regardless of the consequences. We are responsible for their care and needs in this day and age because we have bred most of their survival instincts out of them, but obviously it has not always been so. Dogs were and still are very resourceful scavengers and they lived perfectly well in the wild, long before we came along and “domesticated” them. Not surprisingly, looks weren’t high on their agenda for living. Provided they could remain blended with their landscape and able to adapt to different conditions quickly, they survived, and that was all that mattered. It’s only humans – the vain, narcissistic species that we are – that got so hung up on what was ‘prettier’ and supposedly we knew more about what was more beneficial to the dog than nature did. Conceit and arrogance in abundance helped us to convince ourselves and others that what we were doing was in the best interests for the breed and we are still doing it! A pug doesn’t need a shorter nose and a Basset Hound does not need shorter legs, no matter what any breeder says! The Kennel Club breed standards are fundamentally flawed: they no longer celebrate what the dog’s breeding and purpose was but they celebrate a written standard that is far out of date, open to wide (and often incorrect) interpretation and it’s superficial at best.

In a race that seems to obsess over the “unique” and “individual”, we have successfully narrowed the gene pool in most dog breeds so that one day we will be obsessing over the last remaining dog of the breed and lamenting at the loss that we so tragically brought about ourselves. All because we thought it should have a curlier tail, or a shorter nose, or a longer back, or more of a thicker, heavier coat or broad-set haunches or shorter legs, or smaller eyes, or longer legs. Need I go on? We have single-handedly bred our beautiful dogs out of existence. Humans saw a way of creating something very unique, easily, and took it upon themselves to bastardise the breeds that were already more beautiful and unique than we could ever create through short-sighted greed and self-propelled prestige. The desire for an easy way to make a name for yourself became too tempting for many and the dogs suffer as well as future generations as they will never see the healthy, fit and shining examples of many breeds now as they are past the point of being able to widen the gene-pool to what it was.
When did it become morally right to choose to breed from genetically flawed specimens of a race/breed? When did it become acceptable that we exploit the characteristics of an animal purely for aesthetic purposes, because it makes us smile because it’s cute or laugh because it walks funny? The principle is this: A Ridgeback with a ridge (with Dermoid Sinus - a form of spina bifida) is carrying a genetic disability. According to the theory of evolution and natural selection, this means that the animal will have a weakness and thus will not survive to procreate or at least will not reproduce their genetic flaw so abundantly as a stronger animal as they are weaker and will have a shorter life span. More generations with stronger genes will grow in numbers and slowly but surely nature will find a way of weeding out the ones with the genetic problems. The same applies to humans having the illness – natural selection (in the presence and absence of modern day drugs) would determine that the strongest specimens of the race survive the longest and the weakest, well… they do not. If you had a child with autism that didn’t have the capacity for autonomy, would you still match them with another autism sufferer and let them reproduce so that you could keep the blood line going and make some money? Of course not!! It’s illegal, immoral, and potentially produces a very unstable pool of DNA from which future generations will come.

Lets see the breeding process compares to human life… Firstly, it is often us that chooses to bring puppies into the world by intentionally mating our dog or bitch, just as a man and woman would have sex to procreate and produce a child. These offspring are dependant on us for food, security and affection. With dogs this isn’t just the puppies but the dog/bitch as well so the level of dependency is also parallel with a child’s existence. As a child grows up, it is taught good habits and “trained” to some extent so that they do as they are told – social conditioning I suppose you could call it. A misbehaving or unruly dog in today’s society is, at best a nuisance and at worst, a danger to the public. Children develop their own personalities. So does each dog! (No dog owner that really knows their dog(s) would say that they all have identical temperaments!) They have traits that are common to the breed just as humans have influences from certain backgrounds – different races, different cultures etc. Some of this is genetic (nature) and some partly learned (nurture). With so few differences, why and how can we just justify ending perfectly healthy canine lives on the basis that they are physically not akin to what was written by the Kennel Club up to 100 years ago?

Why do we feel the need to be, or try to prove we are, omnipotent?! We may like playing God in these matters but a lot of the breeders in the documentary as well as the Kennel Club geneticist, Jeff Sampson and the Chairman, Ronnie Irving, don't champion these breeds one bit. THEY are culling them but in a slower and far more painful and distressing way for the poor dog in question with huge expense to the poor owners. The owners thought their beloved pet and family member was a healthy pup because it was KC registered and comes from a good, healthy lineage, otherwise the KC wouldn’t register them surely?? The KC clearly DON'T care about the health and well being of the dogs and they don’t appear to even fully understand what is written within their own code of ethics, as was shown on the BBC. I genuinely believe that if breeders are knowingly found to be breeding from dogs with predisposed conditions they should be banned from owning dogs and breeding them, totally.

Euthanasia would not be so necessary either, if we hadn’t bred dogs to the extremes that we have. Obviously there will be weak traits within any breed, the same goes for all species: genetics are not set in stone. Genes are changing constantly which is why the human race is so varied and rich in all aspects of life. What happened to allowing natural selection; surely evolution should have the say here, not us? Evidently not.

Are breeders now kicking themselves that they haven’t done something sooner and trying to sweep it under the carpet for future generations to deal with and miss out on? They need to accept responsibility for the future generations of the breeds, not just talk the talk and make some money and a name for themselves along the way.

After Jeff Sampson’s pathetic claim that “things could be worse” in an attempt to put a positive spin on the situation, they need to realise that inaction is not the answer! The KC need to grow some testicles and assert their authority. If breed clubs refuse to support the need for compulsory health tests, they should not longer be affiliated with the KC.

1. The Kennel Club needs to relax the rules surrounding the pedigree breed standards so that healthy variation is celebrated rather than criticised, make health testing obligatory for existing stud dogs/bitches and if found to be carrying genetic disease all owners of their offspring should be notified that breeding is not allowed.

2. Breed standards ought to support the healthy examples of the breed and should be exemplary specimens of what they were bred for. Toy dogs and utility groups that have more obscure roles can still be “pretty” but more importantly, they should be healthy, happy dogs with a good temperament and no physical disfigurements or exaggerated characteristics.

3. Carriers of congenital diseases should be neutered or spayed and they should also not be shown as examples of the breed. From this point forward all breeds should be tested for the biggest health risks known to the breed within the next year from the notification if their registration with the KC is to continue.

4. No puppies should be bred from carriers and new puppies should be tested before their pedigree is awarded by the Kennel Club.

5. The Kennel Club should be keeping better tabs on the medical advancements that are occurring (in partnership with the RCVS), so that as and when new tests are available for known problems within breeds, they should be made compulsory for existing dogs to be tested before further litters are bred and future generations should be tested prior to registration by the Kennel Club.

6. The primary concern should be for the welfare and health of the breed for all future generations. The Kennel Club should be protecting the breeds, not condoning their demise through irresponsible breeding and this should be done irrespective of whether they will take a loss for the costs of this. It’s the Kennel Club’s fault for not remaining vigilant to the issue in the first place. WE NEED RADICAL OVERHAUL OF THE WAY DOGS ARE BRED AND REGISTERED.

If we end up with some of our favourite breeds endangered or worse, extinct, all we’ll have left is pictures and I don’t think taking a picture for a walk is much fun whatsoever.
Anonymous said…
This is a quote from one of the KC's messages of support on their website:
In 'Pedigree Dogs Exposed' all the progress made by the Kennel Club and these responsible breeders was not recognised, and indeed the public were emotionally force-fed a scandal that is nearly a decade out of date without showing them the positive side of the issue.
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

I'm sorry, but the Chairman of the KC himself (and the other KC spokesman) were interviewed extensively and had to admit that health testing is mandatory in only one out of the 200+ breeds. They were given ample opportunity to present their case and didn't have a valid argument with which to defend themselves. And this "scandal" is not a decade out of date - these horrors are going on NOW!!!! at KC shows up and down the country. These unhealthy and malformed dogs are being bred from NOW!!!!!
Anonymous said…
After watching last nighs programme I felt I had to come online and take part in the debate - I can't imagine being an animal lover and not wanting to! I have never really been a dog person - having grown up with and always owning cats - but the "horrors" (no I don't think this is too strong a word) that this programme highlighted made my blood boil. I'm someone who is rarily moved to tears by tv or film - but within ten minutes of this programme I was in floods. The boxer with epilepsy was particuarly difficult for me and my fiancee to watch as he has epilepsy and his fits start in an almost identical way.

Of course breeding animals isn't the same as eugenics in humans - the moral issue is different - but I agree that it was still a justified comparison. The concept of breeding animals to achieve a desired outcome does have its benefits and I believe is something we should be able to do - but the outcomes should be beneficial to all - both humans and dogs. In what twisted world is breeding an animal to the point of disease and malformation an actual benefit? How can a cosmetic outcome and desired breed standard - which is after all something that has been set up by a small group of people - be justification for this? If a breed standard results in dogs that are sick and in pain why can't the standard be changed?
The "culling" of healthy puppys who don't come up to standard (lets facce it it won't just be the breeds mentioned where this happens) is just repulsive and should be considered a form of animal abuse. If the situation has to continue (ie standards set ensure x% of puppies aren't up to the grade) can't breeders neuter them and home them or even pass onto animal welfare organisations for homing?
Thinking back about the people I have known who have owned breed dogs - I now realise that every single one had massive health problems that resulted in early death.

I have to admit I did feel slightly sorry for the KC (plus I did respect those who took part in a programme that must have been very difficult for them) in that I agree that they can't "police" all breeders and that there is the risk of issues moving outside the UK. BUT they could change the breed standards - so that breeding an unhealthy, pain ridden, malformed dog didn't result in winning UK based dog shows and making large amounts of money from breeding them. Yes, some breeders might not fall in line and attend events such as crufts - but many would. Just because we know something we disagree with happens in another country doesn't mean we can't work to stop or ban it here. I don't agree with tiny cages for battery hens and am glad the very worst of it is banned here. I know it happens in other countries and some chicken production has moved there because of the UK's position - but that doesn't mean I want to live in a country that allows it because others do!
I for one will not be watching crufts again and will be making sure all my family and friends know about this. Until the KC and breeders change their behaviour I strongly believe that there are certain breeds that people shouldn't support by buying - whatever the response from the public is to this film - while ordinary people continue to buy and pay high prices for dogs like the Cavalier - there is no real motivation to change.
Anonymous said…
Beverley - it's not often you and I agree, although perhaps we should more often. That said, I was immensely impressed with all that last night's programme achieved - if it can shake the establishment, it's not only long overdue, but essential. This is a copy of a letter I've just sent to the Independent:

Sir -

The BBC is to be congratulated on a timely, passionate, intelligent, reasoned documentary on the breeding of pedigree dogs. Given the limited time, they did an excellent job of highlighting the issues and I look forward to legislation that will begin to correct the catatrophes of in-breeding currently assailing pedigree dogs in this country. I would suggest the following as a useful starting point:

- only licensed breeders should be permitted to sell pups or adult dogs (if you want to breed 'for fun' then the puppies can be given away but it should be made clear to the pet owning public that there are dangers in this)
- licensed breeders should only be permitted to breed from licensed dogs and bitches
- dogs should only be licensed if they have undergone the required health tests for the breed
- the required health tests should be set by a panel of independent vets and geneticists, who are not paid by the Kennel Club or have any breed affiliations
- all licensed breeders should be required to demonstrate a solid understanding of genetic science, with a requirement for regular continuing professional education
- all dog breed standards should be revised by a panel of vets and geneticists, with input from licensed breeders. Licensed dogs should conform to this standard. There will need to be a 'levelling in' time to allow for the reduction of breed extremes
- pedigree stud books should be opened forthwith to allow fresh blood into the genetic pool

The UK could lead in this. Actually, it must.

Yours sincerely

Manda Scott MA CertVA BVMS MRCVS
Indiana Rowz said…
I did as you suggested and posted my support of the documentary on the BBC website. If they don't post it, this is it:
'Well done the BBC for warning people of the behaviour of certain dog breeders. I bought a badly bred dog many years ago and he suffered health problems his entire life. I recently bought another pedigree dog whose background I thoroughly checked to give him the best chance for a healthy life. I was disgusted with the attitude of some of those interviewed and think that they should be thoroughly ashamed of themselves, particularly those who lied on camera. They only care about winning, not the dogs.'
Something really has to be done about this, the public need to be protected from unscrupulous dealers who refuse to stop breeding from unhealthy dogs.
I think you should be running the Kennel Club, Beverley. You've got more common sense and concern for dogs than any of them appear to have!
Anonymous said…
I was very uplifted to read the majority of comments on your blog following lasts night programme .It saddens me, however,as I have been aware of these problems for many years, yet like the ongoing sorrow of puppy farming nothing is done ,no one will take reposibility. Trying to find someone to explain why the Animal Welfare Act is not enforced has been impossible .We are a srange lot we quite happily cuddle and spoil OUR dogs but quite happily turn away when faced with the truth of the dog world,or people say 'its so sad" what is sad is that we let it happen.When you buy a puppy do NOT buy one whose breeders cannot show commitment to health screening.Do NOT buy one without seeing the mother at least.NO pedigree dogs should need to be advertised breeders should always have a waiting list,this would so cut down the number of unwanted dogs. So yes lets start and COMPLETE a campaign to make these organisations and councils responsible for dogs welfare once and for all.
Anonymous said…
I’m sure none of you watch Belgian Television. We Belgians however, saw the program on BBC1. It was appalling what our great example “England” does with our favourite breed of dog. We are a Cavalier King Charles walking club in Flanders. We don’t care if the dog has his spots on the right place or not, if his nose is too long, or his ears are too short. We just love them. We don’t need a pedigree to love them. We walk in group with every Cavalier King Charles that wants to join us.

In the Netherlands the dog is even more popular than in Belgium because a famous and murdered politician had two Cavalier King Charles. The Syringo disease is more spread over there than in Belgium. Lucky for us, in our group of 85 cavaliers we have not one case of the disease. Some of our Cavaliers (Cavjes as we call them) do have a slight heart condition.

If you decide to run a petition of some sort, please let us know. We will spread it all over the Dutch speaking area of Belgium and all over the Netherlands. We have our contacts here. Maybe some overseas signatures will open the eyes of the breeders over the canal.

Keep up the good work, and please let us know if we can be of any help.
I am sure you will not understand one word on our website. But if you look at the webpage : “Cavjes Identiteitskaart” meaning Cavaliers ID. You can see our little darlings.
Anonymous said…
Mutants breeding Mutants.

When will humans ever learn !
Anonymous said…
Why can't dogs from abroad be used to widen the gene pool ?.

If the breeders refuse to take any measures to improve the current genetic deficiencies, then one can only assume that these breeders care only for themselves and all this talk of "loving their dogs" is just so much guff. It appears to me they love dogs in much the same way that a paedophile "loves" children.
eloise said…
Lets start a petition.

Re: Beverley Cuddy - the petition should be to Government - it is they who hold the ultimate power, not the kennel club.

Re: Beverley Cuddy - I completely agree that Carol Fowler should be President - she is an inspiration to us all.

I am an avid dog lover and I am the very proud owner of two very beautiful Cavaliers.
I found the programme deeply moving and motivating and I am disgusted at the sheer lack of ethics some 'breeders' have demonstrated.


If my support is required - please contact me.
Anonymous said…
It will be very interesting to see if the Kennel Club ban the BBC like they banned Beverley and Dogs Today from Crufts!

I bet they don't, too much money involved!
Anonymous said…
OK stop talking about it, DO SOMETHING ! It is so easy :

And let’s start.
Surely you don’t want a Belgian from Antwerp to start this petition. I hope you are too proud to let that happen.
We will help you, we will translate in Dutch, French and German if you like.
Come on, take a deep breath and do it ! What are you afraid of? Are they that powerful?
Or is everyone waiting for the other to take initiative ?
Anonymous said…
Five days without any comment. It is frightening !


A dog club rules England !
This was our last comment, our help will always be there if you need it. Just mail.

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