Bateson Report now available

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After a ten month long inquiry, Professor Sir Patrick Bateson FRS called for a non-statutory Advisory Council on Dog Breeding, changes in the law including a requirement for all puppies to be micro-chipped prior to sale, and an up-graded Accredited Breeder Scheme.

Speaking in London today, Prof Bateson (of Cambridge University and President of the Zoological Society of London) said:

“Many breeders exercise high standards of welfare, but negligent management on puppy farms is a major welfare issue as is inbreeding in pure-bred dogs. Fashions for extreme conformations are also a cause of welfare problems.”

Professor Bateson also called for a system to collect data from veterinary practices in order to generate robust prevalence data breed by breed; and for the veterinary profession as a whole to support enforcement authorities, help educate the public, and lead a shift towards a preventative approach to dog health.

The Report concludes that dog-breeding raises a number of serious concerns about the welfare of dogs.  Key recommendations include:

·         The creation of an independent non-statutory Council to develop breeding strategies which address issues of inherited disease, extreme conformation and inbreeding.
·         Changes in the law including requirements for the compulsory micro-chipping of all puppies and a duty of care on all breeders to have regard to the health and welfare of both the parents and the offspring of a mating.
·         The need for a robust Accredited Breeder Scheme setting out requirements with regard to pre-mating health tests, purchasers being able to view a puppy with its mother, all puppies micro-chipped before sale etc.
·         An urgent need for the creation of a computer-based system for the collection of anonymised diagnoses from veterinary surgeries in order to provide prevalence data for each breed.
·         New regulations to replace the now out-dated breeding and sales of dogs legislation, and much better enforcement of good welfare on licensed dog breeding premises.
·         A new publicity and education campaign, delivered by all key dog and welfare organisations working together, to encourage a major improvement in how the public go about buying dogs.

A summary:
  1. Best scientific research and advice should be available to breeders

  1. Prospective dog owners should be advised on:
    1. What constitutes good welfare in dogs
    2. How to identify the correct dog breed for their circumstances
    3. How to find a reliable dog breeder

  1. A non-statutory Independent Advisory Council on Dog Breeding should be established

  1. The chairman and members of this should be appointed under the Nolan Principles

  1. Creation of a computer- based system for the collection of anonymous diagnoses from vets in order to provide statistically significant prevalence data for each breed

  1. Those drafting Breed Standards should avoid the selection for extreme morphologies and should refer to the guidance from the Advisory Council where possible

  1. Upgrades to the Accredited Breeder scheme should be made (with a written standard to inspect this against) guaranteeing:
    1. That all pre-mating tests for inherited disease are undertaken for both parents and that no mating should take place if the tests indicate that this would be inadvisable
    2. That any prospective puppy purchaser is able to view a litter with the breeding bitch
    3. That every puppy is identified by microchip prior to sale
    4. That all pre-sale tests on the puppy that are appropriate to the breed have been carried out
    5. That all breeders have a duty of care to all parent dog and litters with regard to health and welfare
    6. The Accredited Breeder Scheme should be UKAS accredited

  1. ALL puppies should be microchipped before they are sold

  1. Local Authorities should address requirements of the duty of care in the AWA 2006 when inspecting breeding premises for licenses

  1. A statutory Code of Practice on the breeding of dogs should be established under the AWA 2006

  Regs under the AWA should be made to replace existing Breeding and Sales of Dogs Acts

  1. The BVA should compile and have available to LA’s a list of Vets willing to carry out inspections of licensed breeding premises

              A public awareness and education campaign should be designed to change public behaviour when buying a dog

              Working with the profession as a whole, the RCVS and the BVA should lead a shift in emphasis towards preventative veterinary medicine rather than simply focus on the correction of the problems after they have occurred

              Regulations should be made under the AWA 2006 in order to:
    1. Create an obligation to any person breeding dog to have regard to the health and welfare of both the parents and the offspring of the mating
    2. Require that any body laying down breed standards must have regard to the health and welfare of the dogs and the need to avoid breed specific health problems. The body could thus be regarded as exercising a power of a public nature and this is susceptible to judicial review

              Once a robust and audited accreditation scheme is available the buying public should be pointed with confidence towards the accredited breeders

              A meeting of the relevant parties to bring all recommendations from the APGAW and RSPCA reports together should be embraced

              The Dangerous Dogs Act should be amended to apply to all dogs that have been shown to be dangerous rather than to specified breeds and should address the problem of dogs being bred and reared specifically as weapons for fighting

              Dog shows are a powerful and effective lever for change and should be applied to achieve welfare improvements




Anonymous said…
18. The Dangerous Dogs Act should be amended to apply to all dogs that have been shown to be dangerous

Huh? The DDA already applies to ALL dogs. If a Chihuahua behaves dangerously, it can eb charged under the DDA.

Cloverleafk9 said…
Added a FB comment. Does this report mean that all breeders have to have pups microchipped and be responsible for them for their lives or is it just breeders of pedigree dogs who are registering them with KC or breed societies?
Anonymous said…
Celfyddydau its ALL DOGS, be they pedigree registered with the Kennel Club, Pedigrees not registered with the Kennel Club, Cross breed (or those gullible enough to think they are a Designer breed) or just plain mongrels, after all they ALL face the same problems and should only be bred by responsible breeders who will offer to take back or rehome a puppy for the rest of its life. The rescue centres (the Dogs Trust were joint commissioners of the report) are normally full of the last three, as most caring breeders of KC Registered pedigree dogs already do offer such a thing along with very hard working breed club rescues.
Anonymous said…
its ironic how the main points that keep getting brought up on the news and radio in regard to this enquiry are MICROCHIPS and seeing the puppy with its MUM. which is a combination of the abs and old wives' tales.

the message is so completely convoluted.
Anonymous said…
How dissapointing that the report arrives at last, yet promotes far more questions than answers.

Dog breeding is not as simple as those responsible 'breeders' and puppy mills. The space inbetween is filled with offspring from accidental matings, the lie of one litter before spaying, I could make some money if I use my dog as stud ... and so on - as any rescue will attest to.

There is also alot of emphasis on microchipping and it being made compulsory. Great when your beloved pet becomes lost but far more can't even be bothered with a collar and tag - which is already a legal requirement.

Taking breed standards away from the body which invented them is a step in the right direction, but where do we go from there.

Claire is absolutely right. There have been many dogs and owners put through the mill upon owning a 'banned breed' but the DDA applies to any dog of any age, breed or size - if the behaviour is deemed to be dangerous.

Once fully studied, I fear my list of questions will be longer than the report itself.

Anonymous said…
Emma "Taking breed standards away from the body which invented them is a step in the right direction, but where do we go from there. " why is it step in the right direction? More than half the breeds in this country come from abroad so the KC never wrote the original breed standards for them, and who would you have ownership of them? the RSPCA who’s own vet only see dogs as mutants or mongrels, and who so dismissive about the former when the last changes to the breed standards where issued ........... he hadn’t even bothered to read them before making his damming quote to the press (heaven help any poor animal as he must say what’s wrong with them before even bothering to examine them!!!) the number largest number of pedigree dogs are not registered with the kennel club, they are by people who wouldn’t even recognise or look at a breed standard let alone consider it when breeding a litter, of the ones that are registered with the kennel club less than 2% will be shown so a liberal estimate would be that only 20% of those registered would of been by show breeders who are the ones who consider the breed standards so if less than 10% of puppies bred are by people who look at standards, why does so many feel it’s fair to criticise those standards the figures don’t just add up!! The breed standards have over the years have been under constant revision (the chow chows, pugs and alike were review just 4 or 5 years ago when the KC raised concern) and it was only about 18 years ago (which for breeding dogs is less than 5 generations and it take time for changes to be seen) was done by a panel of canine experts with the vet nary world well represented including the former chairman of the BVA.
Tc27 said…
I do think the RSPCA and other organisations should take note of point 19.
'19. Dog shows are a powerful and effective lever for change and should be applied to achieve welfare improvements.'
It's something I've always felt.

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