Couldn't agree with you more, Karlin.Unfortunately some of the better known breeders and judges, and the ones who tend to become involved in (micro) managing things, have a lot of reasons to have nothing change: going from the inconvenience in changing the way they have always practiced their 'hobby', to a threat to the money they make from puppies and stud fees (which in turn supports their 'hobby' and often more), to their reputation suddenly turning hollow if (and when) EBVs reveal the poor health in their lines and some of their key dogs of the past (as they never chose to tell other breeders of the problems they knew were coming from that line), to determination to keep pet owners, other breeders, or documentaries from revealing problems in their lines.., lots and lots of reasons.
There are also many decent breeders who do not support the approach and attitude of these others at all --mostly quite small breeders but some with more significant involvement. The bullies you see posting (and revealing themselves ) regularly elsewhere ensure most of these people are too afraid to speak out though many work quietly and with determination behind the scenes. Most of them are utterly fed up with clubs and individual breeders who keep trying to bury the health issues and who refuse to do more than window-dressing acts on behalf of breed health, if even that. But it is hard to risk losing your ability to show in your own country much less get a fair chance at being judged when so many of the names you will all recognise from their comments elsewhere on breed health issues are the ones who judge their dogs. Fortunately, many breeders are now concerned about SM and are scanning their dogs despite the best efforts of some;hopefully, they will also go forward using whatever tools for breeding emerge. What (little) has been done about MVD though remains a pretty sad example to date of how the bulk of club breeders respond to serious health issues. They will do a little bit here and there but the puppy gazettes show how many breed dogs, especially studs, long before they should be bred, when health tests are meaningless in progressive diseases. By the time a problem might show, that dog's genes are spread far and wide in the breed.
Club elections are intimidating because they turn into the sort of farce we all saw with the EGM at which Margaret was removed from the committee, having been the one person with the courage and decency and dedication to the breed to say publicly what many, many knew and about what widely goes on. Some of public criticism comes from the ones who keep insisting they have never bred a dog with SM or never been informed of such by an owner of one of their dogs and this, quite simply, is a pack of lies (in one case admitting they have a dog with SM but it was 'bought in from outside' as one post stated, not explaining that the dog's sire was the breeder's own stud dog and hence was hardly 'from outside'. These people know they produce SM; some of the affected dogs' owners have sent them registered letters; I have seen copies of the correspondence in many, many cases. It is a corrupt and morally bereft system overall which needs outside regulation. It is a system populated by some good people who actually care about ensuring a future for this breed, outweighed by far too many people trying to protect their cash flow and show profiles and nice trips abroad to attend and judge dog shows around the world.
Margaret, I am sure your writings will be followed with great interest by many publications, dog owners, and dare I say, the same breeders who seem to spend so much time reading this board and writing about it amongst themselves... I am sure many TDs and people involved with the parliamentary enquiry groups on dog breeding will also find the insights helpful of someone who knows the breeding world as well as you do.