KC says it's all Clare Baldings fault...

I've just been sent this KC statement...

'As part of More4’s commitment to having an open debate about the health and welfare of dogs during the 2010 coverage of Crufts, it was inevitable that there would be some discussion about the issues that exist in certain breeds. Clare Balding chose to highlight a health issue which was also subsequently noted by the BVA. The Kennel Club has since received a number of emails and phone calls from viewers concerned at the appearance of the dog.

The Kennel Club would not and could not interfere with More4 reporting on these issues in the way that it sees fit.

Although the Kennel Club cannot comment on this case in particular it should be noted that within all of the high profile breeds, both judges and monitors were required to submit a report about the dogs that they saw before them at DFS Crufts. These reports will, as always, go to the Kennel Club’s Dog Health Group and if there is a discrepancy between them the Kennel Club will ask the relevant judge to provide an explanation, which will be assessed accordingly.

The Kennel Club is taking firm action to address the problems which it perceives in the GSD breed generally and has asked all GSD clubs to sign an undertaking to confirm that they recognise that there is a problem with the conformation of the breed at present and only those which sign will be allocated CCs from 2011 onwards.'

So are we to believe that the KC had no input to the content of the much vaunted 'health' section in the Saturday edition of the More4 Crufts coverage?
Why the need to distance themselves from pointing the finger at the German Shepherd and put the blame on Clare Balding? There was plenty of opportunity for seasoned broadcaster Caroline Kisko to inject some balance to point out to the viewers that the GSD certainly wasn't the unhealthiest pedigree breed and that Clare's observations about Lagos's back end were not backed up by any scientific evidence. That in fact the dog featured had been widely praised for his rear action by top judges from all over the world. That he had excellent hips and had even passed a 20km endurance test with flying colours.
Lagos's owner was told by Caroline Kisko that the item was rehearsed in broad terms and elsewhere it has been reported that the Kennel Club had to 'hold the hand' of More4 considerably as it was their first year covering Crufts.
Why are they attempting to distance themselves from the Crufts TV programme?

Lagos's owner Carol Keen has just issued this statement:

<“To breed and own a GSD like Clokelly Lagos has been my life’s ambition. I am dedicated to this lovely GSD breed. I have taken Lagos through every health screening test appropriate for our breed, which he has passed with flying colours. I have also taken Lagos through the most stringent assessment tests and examinations for GSD in Germany, our breed motherland. Again he has passed them ALL with flying colours. I have actively supported the Kennel Club and its licensed shows for many years, something I am currently questioning very seriously indeed. I find the latest Kennel Club Statement deeply offensive, and like me, I am sure the majority of our GSD breed enthusiasts will be deeply insulted by it. The kennel Club have failed to make any reference to the complaints made to them about the television interview itself being unfair, and insulting, and in very bad taste. Particularly against a GSD judged to be best of breed, and a GSD specialist judge. A GSD Judge specifically selected by the Kennel Club for his qualifications and qualities, who was singularly abandoned, unsupported by the Kennel Club Secretary in this TV interview. The Kennel Club Secretary surely had a duty to the exhibitor and the GSD exhibit correctly entered and judged at its own Crufts Show, and the GSD Judge, during that infamous TV interview. She completely failed in this respect, concentrating solely and unjustifiably on scoring points against the GSD breed, disgraceful indeed. Especially considering the exemplary status of my dogs show record, health screening record and assessments record. The Kennel Club Statement is clearly a COP-OUT, and they should be thoroughly ashamed of themselves. Our GSD exhibiters within Great Britain clearly lead the way for all pedigree dogs breeds in Health Screening and Fit for Function assessments. The Kennel Club’s choosing to focus on UNSOUNDNESS is simply to steer attention away from compulsory health screening tests, onto “visible faults”. In other words “Out of sight – Out of mind” – Then the majority of people registering GSD litters can continue ‘unrestricted’, because NO ONE will be looking at their breeding stock for UNSOUNDNESS, and they can continue NOT doing any health screening, such as Hips, Elbows, Haemophilia tests, DNA tests etc. They can continue NOT having their breeding stock assessed in any way whatsoever, especially for suitable characters and temperaments, which to the General Public is the MOST IMPORTANT ASSESSMENT FOR OUR GSD BREED. The Kennel Club should enter meaningful discussions with our GSD breed Clubs, without further delay. The Kennel Club could all too obviously learn a great deal from them.”

Carol Keen

Carol Keen


Unknown said…
*These reports will, as always, go to the Kennel Club’s Dog Health Group*

Is this the same group who wont make health compulsory, what a cop out, there was many officials round Gsd ring who have been given authority over the judge

Rule states
Kennel Club officials and show officials are expected to refer any dogs that they believe to be unhealthy to the on-site vet, who can authorise the dog’s removal from further competition at that show

Clearly there is no case to answer Unless the KC are taking advice of the new expert on Gsd's Clair Balding
Anonymous said…
The KC statement is pure spin, a waste of pen and paper. Lets blame somebody else for their error of judgement. Lets blame More 4, or Claire Balding, or the BVA vet, or .........

I would 100% agree with the statement issued by Carol Keen, and all the while a large majority of GSD exhibitors in the UK carry on with their health testing and many now working qualifications/AD tests etc etc at least WE the GSD breeders and exhibitors have a clear consience.
missbeeb said…
I'm appalled at the attitude of the KC... not even big enough to hold its' collective hand up and apologise!
Lagos, his owner and the judge were ridiculed on national TV because the KC are furious with the real GSD people! How dare we ask for MANDATORY health checks, how dare we point out the useless, toothless ABS, introduced by the KC as a panacea for Joe Public. Our KC should hang its' head in shame for the appalling way they govern dogdom in this country... high time Joe Public knew the truth!
Unknown said…
Does anyone know who from the KC respond to the postings on Facebook who pick and choose what posts stay and witch are deleted.

I posted the KC Statement there this morning with a question it was deleted, I then posted the Question WHY are inoffensive questions getting deleted, Again deleted !!

I have as much faith in the KC as I have in Politicians and Bankers
Annie said…
I watched this programme and was appalled at the comments made about this dog. Caroline Kisko said that the ultimate sanction would be to remove CCs from the breed. Now, while this might be somewhat frightening to regular show goers, it matters not a jot to me or anybody else who doesn't show regularly. It seems that the KC were trying to make a statement about the GSD with the puppy being asked to leave the ring too. I feel very sorry for their breeders and owners. This is not the way forward for any breed and it is pretty sleazy tactics displayed by the KC where the owner/breeder had no way to comment. What about showing bulldogs; pugs; pekinese. These dogs can hardly breathe!! No, pick on the good old GSD whose breed clubs appear to be at the forefront of mandatory health testing. It seems to me that people are obsessed with "image". If a dog doesnt look right, then of course it can't be right. There is currently a debate going on in my breed about the registering of tri colour puppies. This isnt recognised in the Breed Standard but they are still pedigree dogs. This has been discussed in great detail on Facebook but when you come back with a counter-argument, you are accused of bullying!!! I give up!! YOu can never change people's perceptions or ideas - well not the self-righteous people that seem to permeate each breed as it becomes more popular. They then go on to ruin the breed. In my breed, the Bracco Italiano, a breed in its infancy, we have people shouting about colour that are happy to breed from dogs without fully health testing with known problems in the bloodlines. I get called a troublemaker because I highlight the fact that I couldn't care if my dog had a patch of orange instead of being all chestnut - as long as it's healthy and can do a day's work in the field. That is my breed's birthright!
Annie said…
I think it's Bill Lambert or Caroline Kisko that handles the Facebook site. They were the ones that held a meeting on "how to handle the media" prior to Crufts. Makes you laugh really considering the mess they made of it!!
Anonymous said…
The KC must still be fighting The War.

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