View Full Version : One of Crufts' high-profile check vets speaks out
16th March 2012, 06:01 PM
"VET Alison Skipper, who carried out the high-profile vet checks at Crufts on the Saturday and Sunday has sent us her statement. "One of the few positive things about being one of the two independent vets at the centre of this controversy is that I am, at least, independent. What I am about to write is my own opinion, and nobody has told me what to say, or even asked me to say it. Most of the other big players in this story have a vested interest of some kind: they are important people in the Kennel Club, or the British Veterinary Association (BVA), and so can’t speak completely freely, or they are well known people within the dog world, such as important judges or exhibitors. "Will Jeffels and I are not any of these things: we trained as vets because we like animals and wanted to work with them, and we volunteered to be the first vets implementing the new show checks because we supported the initiative and decided – rashly, perhaps – to get involved"
Published in Dog World. Read the rest of this sensible and logical explanation:
16th March 2012, 07:19 PM
It was a very good article.
It's really a tremendous gesture that the vets did this for almost no compensation. As the vets names are public, perhaps members here would like to send encouraging letters thanking them for their participation in this important scheme. (and if you don't have anything nice to say please keep it to yourself)
16th March 2012, 07:41 PM
Very brave lady.
I wish some people would remember this. The world would still spin on its axis if there were no dog shows. If we choose to spend our leisure time, or in some cases our careers, in the world of dog showing, we should remember that we wouldn’t be able to do it without the dogs, and the least we can do in return is to choose healthy body shapes for them to live their lives within.”
And Nobody can say she is anti showing or anti pedigree as her family has a showing background.
That’s normally what certain people like to say that people are anti showing because they make some noice about the heath problems. Heard it many times before.
20th March 2012, 11:39 AM
It's great to hear from one of the vets.
I wish some people would remember this. The world would still spin on its axis if there were no dog shows. If we choose to spend our leisure time, or in some cases our careers, in the world of dog showing, we should remember that we wouldn’t be able to do it without the dogs, and the least we can do in return is to choose healthy body shapes for them to live their lives within.
21st March 2012, 09:17 PM
(http://www.dogworld.co.uk/product.php/67383)The background to this of course is that a large number of irate exhibitors have set up a group called Canine Alliance after the Kennel Club instigated vet checks on 15 high profile breeds.
Six of the winning dogs in these exaggerated breeds were examined and found to have health issues that disqualified them from going forward to the group judging.
It has been suggested that Exhibitors Alliance may be a better name considering that the concerns do not seem to be about the dogs at all.
The KC Chairman has made a comprehensive and reasonable reply.........
"KENNEL Club chairman Prof Steve Dean has responded to the ferocious criticism of the veterinary checks at Crufts, answering some of the questions posed by DOG WORLD but showing no signs of the KC weakening in its resolve."
21st March 2012, 10:07 PM
22nd March 2012, 11:13 AM
Some wise words from the Our Dogs writer of breed notes for Salukis - she had been discussing the blue merle collie who won BOB at Westminster and the difficulty when judges have to try to judge the dog by the standard as it appears on the day, ignoring anything they know about its background, breeding etc. She wrote:
It would seem to me that the dilemma which needs to be addressed by the ruling bodies is not so much how one changes dogs in order to produce healthy, sound specimens, but how one changes the mind set of breeders and exhibitors to bring about that outcome.
Kate, Oliver and Aled
22nd March 2012, 09:30 PM
Thanks for that, Kate -- a good way of looking at the issue.
23rd March 2012, 06:39 PM
The Mission Statement of the new Canine Alliance states: "Its aims are to protect and support the well-being of pedigree dogs, to uphold the ethics of responsible dog breeding, to encourage health checking of all dogs and to allow the exhibition of pedigree dogs without bias or discrimination."
Obviously the singling out of fifteen breeds for physical appearance genetic disorders was discriminatory, since other breeds, like the cavalier, have serious genetic disorders which do not show up on the skin surface.
I have a suggestion as to how the Canine Alliance can "encourage health checking of all dogs and to allow the exhibition of pedigree dogs without bias or discrimination." It is to follow the lead of the CKCSC,USA, which has an official "health & conformation" class in all of its conformation shows. The definition of that class is:
"Health & Conformation: Dogs 5 years of age and older with an OFA certificate that shows and OFA registry number and states that the dog has no evidence of hip displaysia after 2 years of age and is certified clear within 1 year of the postmark closing date for that show of the following diseases: 1) Heart – by a board certified cardiologist; 2) Patellar Luxation – by a licensed veterinarian or via an OFA patella certificate; 3) Eyes – by CERF or by a board certified veterinary ophthalmologist’s exam sheet indicating that eyes are “normal”. Copies of the 4 certificates must accompany the entry form for any dog entering this class."
Following that lead, every breed could have it's own set of health tests which all entries would be required to have passed in order to compete. That would be the ultimate way "to encourage health checking of all dogs and to allow the exhibition of pedigree dogs without bias or discrimination."
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