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Thread: News: Nothin' breeding's changed at Crufts, mate

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    Default News: Nothin' breeding's changed at Crufts, mate

    From today's London Sunday Times. Incidentally the winning BIB and CC CKCS male at Crufts, Lanola Santana of Maibee, was first bred at 11 months then again at 15 months (from a quick check of databases...). So much for the MVD protocol.

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/new...cle5864228.ece

    From The Sunday Times
    March 8, 2009

    Nothing’s breedin’ changed at Crufts, mate
    Her film on the plight of inbred show dogs caused a storm. Jemima Harrison visits Crufts incognito to look for progress

    The whippet breeder is outraged. “All this talk of health is spoiling our fun,” she complained. “Really, I could kill that Jemima Harrison.”

    Indeed she could. She is standing right next to me. But she doesn’t know this, because I am at Crufts 2009 incognito. The Kennel Club has refused me permission to film. It says it doesn’t want me spoiling its day. I am, in the eyes of some here, the most hated woman in dogdom. The reason? I directed Pedigree Dogs Exposed – the documentary that my company Passionate Productions made for the BBC last August highlighting health and welfare problems in some of our best-loved breeds.

    Now, unwanted but curious, I am back as a paying customer. And what do I think? I think it stinks.

    It’s not the gamey whiff of the Irish terrier strung up on a table, groomed to millimetre perfection. It’s not the acrid aroma from the splashes of urine pooling by the rows of benches where hundreds of bored-looking dogs doze, waiting their turn in the ring. It’s the stench of continuing denial in the face of overwhelming evidence that there is something terribly wrong with our pedigree dogs.

    The fallout from Pedigree Dogs Exposed was swift and substantial. The RSPCA, Dogs Trust and People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals (PDSA) pulled out of Crufts. So did Pedigree, the show’s main sponsor. Finally, after appointing an independent panel to advise on the health issues raised by the film, the BBC suspended its coverage of Crufts for the first time in more than 40 years.

    “The majority of pedigree dogs are perfectly healthy,” has become the Kennel Club’s defence mantra. True, many of the dogs here at Crufts will live long and healthy lives. But saying this is not enough: it’s like Hannibal Lecter’s defence lawyer parading a stream of men and women through the courtroom and proclaiming: “Members of the jury . . . I give you . . . all these people the defendant didn’t eat.”

    At the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham, huge banners hang across the entrance to the show halls. They declare, “Crufts . . . celebrating happy, healthy dogs”, and I want to be convinced, I do. But I’m not.

    It’s not that the basset and bloodhounds’ red-rimmed eyes are as sore and saggy as last year, because of course it’s going to take time to change things. No, the reason for my heavy heart is that, apart from a few pockets of hope, Crufts 2009 burns with resentment that outsiders have come in and turned the world upside down.

    The past weeks have seen the Kennel Club alternate between accepting the charges levelled at it by its critics and stamping its feet like a spoilt child.

    On Thursday I watch as Caroline Kisko, the Kennel Club secretary, tells a Sky News crew: “We shouldn’t be humanising this. What we are talking about here are dogs and dogs have a very different genetic structure to us.” She then adds that all this talk about “inbreeding” is boring. Boring? Try telling that to the whippets here. Many of the show dogs are very inbred and suffer from the immune system problems that occur frequently when you mate close relatives together for generation after generation.

    After Pedigree Dogs Exposed, the Kennel Club announced that from March 1, 2009 it would no longer register the progeny of mother-to-son, father-to-daughter and brother-to-sister matings. These kinds of unions have traditionally allowed breeders to replicate champions – at the expense of genetic diversity. Banning such mating, then, is an important first step.

    But at Crufts on Thursday, I overhear Jeff Sampson, the Kennel Club’s genetics adviser, tell one inquirer to the new Crufts Health Zone that the ban on incest matings is “just a PR thing”. Also in the wake of the programme the Kennel Club has revised 78 breed standards – the written descriptions that dictate what a breed should look like. There are 56 changes to the bulldog standard alone – although some are minimal. The bulldog’s head must no longer be “large”, just “relatively large”.

    A more moderate bulldog does win best of breed at Crufts this year, but several very big, very wrinkled, lumbering beasts are awarded with rosettes in clear defiance of the revised breed standard. “The general public just doesn’t understand them,” insists one exhibitor, who thinks it is okay that most bulldogs are born by caesarean section, because, after all, “Victoria Beck-ham has them. They’re simply too posh to push”, he explains, eyes twinkling.

    “Put your tongue back in,” says the owner of a rasping pug, who then helpfully pops the dog’s protruding appendage back into its mouth herself.

    “He has an elongated soft palate,” she explains, “and his sister has luxating patellas.” Both are serious faults. And yet here they are at the mecca of pedigree dogdom. “They are a very ill breed,” she then whispers conspiratorially. “Some of the breeders are very bad.”

    In the peke ring, dogs with the flattest of faces are still winning, again despite the newly revised breed standard that demands the dogs have at least a bit of a muzzle in order to ease the respiratory problems that are common. “Let’s go for a little walk,” says one owner to the ball of fluff at her feet that has just won its class. The peke walks about five yards, then refuses to go any further. I think of my own dogs, which cover up to 20 miles a day on Salisbury Plain.

    Yet on Thursday the Kennel Club issued a statement stating it was “unfair” that its critics have forced it to rush through these changes. “We have been working on this for the past five years,” says Caroline Kisko. “But these things take time.”

    A very long time. In 1985 the Kennel Club’s Bill Edmond answered the critics of the day with this: “We are coming to the end of a review of the breed standards where we are removing clauses in those standards that require exaggeration. We recognise, and most of the breeders recognise, that you don’t need exaggeration in any animal in fact. It’s a very big revision: we’re taking out clauses which were deleterious to the breeds.”

    They said exactly the same to me in an interview last year – before the film was aired. And now they’re saying it again. Forgive me for thinking it’s groundhog day. Or perhaps that should be ground-dog day.
    Karlin
    Cavaliers: Jaspar Leo Lily Tansy Libby (foster) Mindy (foster)
    In memory: Lucy
    Cavalier SM Infosite:www.smcavaliers.com

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    Why am I not surpassed the poor dogs I really dont know what to say
    --Aileen and the gang(Barney---Jazzie---Jake)
    Cavaliers at the bridge Mattie and Rocky& Sam
    Better to light a candle for one lost dog than to curse the darkness of man's indifference.Saving just one dog won't change the world but it surely will change the world for that one dog.

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    I read this earlier and left a message on the paper, not sure if its the same one, go jemima she really has got up their goats, and some media attention too, she can do more for these dogs then you or I could possibly dream, so lets all back her 100% and let her know that us careing breeders and dog owners dont care about crufts which is after all a glorified freak show.
    She may not always right, but least people are taking notice and they WILL have to do something to address the situation.
    What's the difference between a new husband and a new dog? After a year, the dog is still excited to see you.

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    She can do more for these dogs then you or I could possibly dream, so lets all back her 100% and let her know that us careing breeders and dog owners dont care about crufts which is after all a glorified freak show.


    (sorry I cannot get the tag to work re above quote ( Harleyfarley)

    As a former dog shower and breeder of Cavaliers I would just like to comment on the post above. First and foremost the Health of my Dogs has and always will be my No1 priority, but with respect I cannot condemn a hobby which to me it was. There are many caring people who participate in this sport who also care about the health of their dogs. I would never consider them as freaks, all dogs are precious and deserve to be held in the highest esteem. What I totally disagree with as many of you know is the practice of unscrupulous breeding be it with the puppy farmers or with breeders who do not follow protocols, continue to mate stock that are affected with genetic disease or any disease for that matter.
    I would consider them as the freaks and not the dogs.
    HollyDolly

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    You can just click the quotes option then paste in the selected text. That is what I always do.
    Karlin
    Cavaliers: Jaspar Leo Lily Tansy Libby (foster) Mindy (foster)
    In memory: Lucy
    Cavalier SM Infosite:www.smcavaliers.com

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    The pekingese who won BOB was referred to the Crufts vet by a steward who was concerned by it's breathing and was passed fit to compete.
    See the piece from Dogworld here:
    http://dogworldblogs.blogspot.com/20...vet-under.html

    Sins

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    Reports suggested that a steward became concerned about the Peke’s breathing, so the dog was brought to the veterinary centre where he was examined by Crufts chief vet Steve Dean.
    “We looked at all the dog’s parameters – things such as heart rate – and all the clinical signs appeared normal,” Mr Dean said. “The breathing was a bit noisy, but not badly. He was just a bit warm and panting.
    "But not badly"? Sheesh -- isn't this precisely the problem -- that so many breeds are now compromised but as long as they are not actually collapsing it isn't worth concern? Isn't this the point Jemima makes -- that there's literally *no change* at all in how judge's are judging the breeds and they will continue to be bred with these physically limiting and inhibiting features?
    Karlin
    Cavaliers: Jaspar Leo Lily Tansy Libby (foster) Mindy (foster)
    In memory: Lucy
    Cavalier SM Infosite:www.smcavaliers.com

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    Quote Originally Posted by HollyDolly View Post
    She can do more for these dogs then you or I could possibly dream, so lets all back her 100% and let her know that us careing breeders and dog owners dont care about crufts which is after all a glorified freak show.


    (sorry I cannot get the tag to work re above quote ( Harleyfarley)

    As a former dog shower and breeder of Cavaliers I would just like to comment on the post above. First and foremost the Health of my Dogs has and always will be my No1 priority, but with respect I cannot condemn a hobby which to me it was. There are many caring people who participate in this sport who also care about the health of their dogs. I would never consider them as freaks, all dogs are precious and deserve to be held in the highest esteem. What I totally disagree with as many of you know is the practice of unscrupulous breeding be it with the puppy farmers or with breeders who do not follow protocols, continue to mate stock that are affected with genetic disease or any disease for that matter.
    I would consider them as the freaks and not the dogs.
    I do understand what you are saying, I still show my Japanese Chin sometimes and thoroughly enjoy my day out, but, while trying to get breeders to realise the seriousness of SM, I was so often dismissed with " I just want to enjoy a day out with my dogs, this is my hobby" that I now take a slightly different view of a phrase that is so often trotted out as an excuse for not taking responsibility.

    The problem is that with most hobbies people use instruments or props such as golf clubs or model aeroplanes.
    When using living, breathing, feeling animals of any species for a sport or pursuit the owners desire to compete & win can have a very detrimental effect on the animals quality of life.

    Responsible breeders will take the results, both good & bad, from health results and add them to the balancing act that has to be done when breeding for health & beauty. Ambitious breeders make their task simpler by cutting out the testing, or ignoring unwelcome results, and just concentrating on producing for beauty.

    In cavaliers there are lots of breeders that do health test & they all get hurt when lumped in with uncaring breeders. Time & time again I read indignant comments that say "I do all the tests and my dog is healthy" but very few, before the PDE film was shown, were from breeders who dominate in the show ring or anyone who produces more than one or two litters a year.

    If only concerned breeders would look at the wider picture, instead of taking criticism of poor dog breeding practices as if they are directed at them personally. If they refused to turn a blind eye to those who do not put the health of their dogs & the breed first, and demanded to see certificates before they use stud dogs, or before they accepted bitches for mating, what a difference that could make.

    I applaud everyone that puts the health & welfare of their dogs first but my experience of working to raise awareness of SM over a number of years has shown me that a few individuals' personal efforts cannot save a breed when others refuse to accept there is a problem.
    If top breeders are not going to support health testing schemes then nothing will change.

    Margaret C

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    bang goes my feeling of hope. i wanna hug Jemima for sticking to her guns.
    Mommy to Pepper the Guinea-Pig, Adoring fan of Peaches the Blenheim
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    [quote=Margaret C;311918]I do understand what you are saying, I still show my Japanese Chin sometimes and thoroughly enjoy my day out, but, while trying to get breeders to realise the seriousness of SM, I was so often dismissed with " I just want to enjoy a day out with my dogs, this is my hobby" that I now take a slightly different view of a phrase that is so often trotted out as an excuse for not taking responsibility.

    In reply to the above quote (sorry still cannnot get it to go in the blue box)


    There might be some confusion over the post I had written, I was replying to Harleyfarley who stated that Crufts was nothing more than a freak show, and it looks like I have written that but I did not.

    As far as what Margaret has written re taking a different view when someone says "I just want to enjoy my day out with my dogs" That I took my dogs health very seriously, they were all heart and eye tested and were only campaigned in perefct health but it was still my hobby. I met some wonderful people and not so wonderful, and am still in touch with those wonderful people today who I know take their dogs health very seriously.
    Being perfectly honest I was a little upset at Maragret's comments as I had always considered myself a responsible person when it came to the breeding and showing of my dogs.

    Nanette
    HollyDolly

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