The Kennel Club is changing some rules ( but not till 2012 )
The Kennel Club has had discussions with the major veterinary organisations over restrictions on the number of litters born by caesarean section which may be registered from an individual bitch from 2012.
The Kennel Club has confirmed that it will no longer register any puppies born by caesarean section from any bitch which has previously had two such operations, except for scientifically proven welfare reasons and in such cases normally provided that the application is made prior to mating. Refusal to register a third or subsequent litters of puppies born by caesarean section would occur irrespective of whether the progeny from either of the first two operations had been registered with the Club.
Following discussions with the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, the British Veterinary Association and the British Small Animal Veterinary Association, the organisations have agreed to advise their members that any caesarean sections which they perform on a Kennel Club registered bitch should be reported to the Kennel Club.
To allow the reporting of such operations by veterinary surgeons, an additional section will be incorporated into the form which is presently completed to notify the Kennel Club of any operation which alters the natural conformation of a registered pedigree dog.
This policy will become effective for all litters born on or after 1st January 2012. Further details relating to the timing of reporting by veterinary surgeons will be announced in due course.
Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club Communications Director, said: “Adding the reporting of litters born by caesarean section to the paperwork already used by veterinary surgeons will go a long way to enabling us to achieve our objective of improving the health and welfare of all pedigree dogs.
“It is particularly vital that the Kennel Club knows as much as possible about surgical operations which alter a dog’s natural conformation, so that we can continue to ensure that only those pedigree dogs which are healthy are likely be used for future breeding.”
Peter Jinman OBE, President of the RCVS, said: “We are very pleased to see that the Kennel Club is taking steps to limit the number of litters which it will register born by caesarean section from a bitch. We are keen to support this move, although in time we would very much like the limit to be reduced to one caesarean only. But this is the first step, which demonstrates that we are all working towards the same end: an improvement in health for all dogs.”
The Kennel Club will amend its regulation B22c to cover the new policy regarding the registration of puppies born by caesarean section. The amended part of the regulation will read as follows:
‘The General Committee will not accept an application to register a litter when:-
(5) The dam has already had two litters delivered by caesarean section, save for scientifically proven welfare reasons and this only normally provided the application is made prior to the mating.’
The litter form to be completed by breeders will also be amended to incorporate the new policy. A new section will appear in red on the form asking the breeder if the litter was delivered as a result of a caesarean section, and whether this was elective or an emergency procedure. The form will request details of how many caesareans, including the litter in question, the bitch has had.
Guidance notes will also appear on the litter application form/online services relating to the above under the heading ‘Caesarean Sections’ and will confirm the revised Regulation B22c. All puppies born by caesarean section will be marked accordingly in the Breed Record Supplement.
The Kennel Club recognises that some breeds will be affected more than others by this new policy and intends to review its efficiency after a period of a year.
The Kennel Club has announced that from 2012 it will normally register no more than four litters from any one bitch because of concerns that the current legal limit of six litters can potentially be detrimental to a bitch’s welfare.
The decision was made by the Kennel Club General Committee after receiving a recommendation from its Dog Health Group and will be effective for litters born on or after 1st January 2012.
Six litters per bitch is the current legal limit enshrined in the Breeding and Sale of Dogs (Welfare) Act 1999.
Bill Lambert, the Kennel Club’s Health and Breeder Services Manager, said: “The Kennel Club wants to ensure that all breeders put the health and welfare of their puppies and breeding bitches first and foremost, and this decision underlines our commitment to this issue.
“Whilst the law allows bitches to have six litters in a lifetime and our registration system has previously fallen in line with this, the vast majority of responsible breeders feel that this is too high and that there is potential for this to have a negative impact on the welfare of the bitch.
“Very serious consideration has to be given to the matter if a breeder wishes a bitch to have more than four litters but the Kennel Club may grant permission for this to happen if it believes that there is good and justifiable reason for doing so on a case by case basis.”
The Kennel Club has also urged the government to follow suit and to tighten up the law in order to help clamp down on puppy farmers.
Mr Lambert added: “Of course, this decision will sadly not impact on those people who do not register their litters with the Kennel Club, in particular puppy farmers who breed purely for profit and tend to show little consideration for an animal’s welfare. Legislation needs to be tightened so that these people can be brought to account.”
The Kennel Club has called for the principles and standards of the Kennel Club Accredited Breeder Scheme to be made mandatory for all dog breeders. This means that breeders would have to put the health and welfare of their puppies first, for example by giving their dogs the required health tests for their breed and ensuring that potential buyers see the puppies with their mothers and in their home environment. A petition with 15,000 signatures supporting this objective was handed in to Number Ten Downing Street just a year ago by Ian Cawsey MP.
Cavaliers......Faith, The Ginger Tank and Woody.
Japanese Chins.... Dandy, Benny, Bridgette and Hana.
Remembered with love......... Tommy Tuppence and Fonzi