Interesting Dog World opinion pieces this week
First off, the main opinion piece The Opinion column discusses the RSPCA and Dog Trust withdrawals and calls for discussions and then goes on to talk about the Cavalier Club, KC and Animal Health Trust working to combat the two major problems in the breed. Indeed the current EBV (estimated breeding values) programme is the most significant investment in breed health taken by the KC and CKCS Club and builds on and will work directly with the substantial work already done by many researchers, especially the genome work initiated and continuing now by Clare Rusbridge and Penny Knowler, which is directly connected to the EBV project.
It then states:
Exactly. The KC and club seriously need to discuss the damage this will cause the breed and the club, setting aside the fact that the club is using two completely different approaches to the same issue -- an ethics complaint -- with Margaret Carter and Beverly Costello. That fact alone will make this look like a pathetic public lynching of the whistleblower while protection is given to the breeder whose breeding practice is in question.
That is a positive note, but the same cannot be said about the parent breed club holding a special general meeting with the aim of expelling a member who appeared in the recent TV programme. We can understand how a great many of the members must feel, but surely this is not the way forward? We have said before that dog people have little idea how their actions may be perceived by the world outside. This is a case in
In addition see:
Where judge Sheila Atter notes:
What we cannot do is assess the likelihood or otherwise of the dogs being shown under us carrying some serious inherited defect. I particularly like the idea of a ‘Veterinary Passport’ but it seems to me that this is something that needs careful consideration before it is implemented. Why limit its use to ‘certain breeds’?
According to the KC statement: “This would be designed specifically for particular breeds, confirming the status of a dog’s health and conformation in relation to certain prescribed aspects before they could be shown.”
Why not make it mandatory that every dog, of every breed, should have a basic passport before being entered at its first show. In most other European countries, dogs are now required by law to have an official passport, similar to the Pet Passport issued in the UK to dogs travelling abroad – and horses have their own passports. Why does the KC not issue each dog that is to be exhibited with a Show Passport? There could be spaces for recording health tests and their results – and the passport would have to be taken to all shows where random checks could be carried out by a Field Officer.
Which weighs up various angles and notes:
From what I have read I think that Andrew Brace’s piece, A wake up call from the BBC (DW, Sept 5) seems to hit the nail on the head. We cannot deny the validity of a lot of the issues that the programme tried to tackle and we need to pay stark attention to how we are perceived by the outside world.
The world of pedigree dog breeding and showing, like all human endeavours that involve competition and money, has its murky corners. We are foolish if we do not recognise that the job of television producers like those who made Pedigree Dogs Exposed is to draw in large audiences by rooting out and exposing that darker side. They can only do this if that darker side exists and we need to face the fact that it does. It seems to me that what we need is pro-active, high profile, efficient, well informed and highly visible promotion and regulation of good pedigree dog breeding so that the public can easily see the difference between this and the rogue element.
As a group we lay ourselves wide open to this sort of criticism when we have people operating in the world of pedigree dogs who persist in bad practice. How can it ever be right for a breeder to carry on using a brood bitch or a stud dog after it has had a serious health problem identified or is known to produce a debilitating condition in its puppies?
But, equally, how can they be prevented from doing so unless the governing body is able to control and police such practice with compulsory health testing and restricted registrations? As breeders we enjoy the freedom to register our puppies by supplying the bare minimum of information, but should we? We know that we simply cannot rely on the fact that all pedigree dog breeders have the good of their breed at heart, even if the majority do. That, I am afraid, is naïve nonsense.