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THE KENNEL Club refused to turn up for an important House of Lords meeting about dog breeding on Tuesday evening after it heard that Passionate Productions would be filming it for the new Pedigree Dogs Exposed programme due to be broadcast early next year.
The Associate Parliamentary Group for Animal Welfare (APGAW) had invited along the main players to hear what progress had been made in the three years since the first programme was aired and following the various reports into dog breeding.
The KC should have joined a panel comprising Dog Advisory Council (DAC) chairman Prof Sheila Crispin, former British Veterinary Association president Harvey Locke, DAC member and former Dogs Trust veterinary director Chris Laurence, and the RSPCAís head of companion animals James Yeates for a thorough airing of the current state of play.
But at the start of the meeting APGAW chairman Neil Parish announced that the KC had declined his invitation, and read out a statement from the club instead. This said that although canine health and welfare issues were of paramount importance to the KC it had elected not to attend because it did not trust Passionate Productions Ďto provide an unbiased account of proceedingsí.
Mr Parish told those present in the packed committee room: ďI told the KC it would be a good idea to put their point of view at the meeting, but at the end of the day the decision is theirs and one which I respect.Ē
During the meeting there was a consensus view that although a lot of progress had been made, including much work by the KC, there should be an independent and expert review of the breed Standards. Mr Locke said the KC should be more aggressive and radical with them.
ďThe person who sets the Standards has to realise that the way a dog looks will affect the whole of its life.,Ē Mr Laurence said. ďSome dogs canít breathe and walk freely because of the way they look. They have to realise that and modify the Standards accordingly.Ē
Full story in next weekís DOG WORLD.