There are many dog owners, vets, and members of animal welfare groups that continue to lobby for improvements in dog welfare.
Boring political stuff that can seem to be of little importance to the ordinary dog owner but this is the only way that lasting changes will eventually be achieved.
A Select Committee of MPs have just issued a report.......
"Among its list of recommendations was that anyone breeding two or more litters a year should be licensed and face welfare checks; that the KC should refuse to register puppies from breeders who are not ‘Assured Breeder Scheme (ABS) compliant’ and conduct an annual review of breed Standards; high-profile veterinary checks should be extended to other breeds and ‘additional’ checks made on other dogs before their show entry is accepted.
The committee was outspoken in its criticism of DEFRA Minister Lord de Mauley, who gave evidence to the enquiry, saying he appeared ‘poorly briefed and ill prepared’ to provide information on DEFRA’s views on a range of dog issues.
"His evidence has done nothing to reassure us about the priority DEFRA gives to the number of dog attacks,” said the committee in its recent report.
It was also disappointed, the report said, that DEFRA had done little to improve dog welfare linked to dog breeding"..................................
"Currently, breeders producing five or more litters a year must be licensed, but the committee wants this number reduced.
"We consider this threshold too high,” the report said, adding that this could mean licensed breeders could produce ‘some 40 to 50 dogs’ a year.
The proposed annual review of breed Standards should be led by vets, the committee said, and the KC should do far more to use its influence on the pedigree dog community, including refusing to register puppies from breeders not compliant with the ABS.
The committee said the KC had told its members that ‘significant and effective steps’ had been taken both before and since Professor Sir Patrick Bateson’s report into breeding. But, the committee said, the KC was in a ‘strong position to influence, help and work with relevant parties, as its registered breeders were ‘obliged to follow its rules’.
However, the report said, there remained irresponsible breeders who operated outside the club’s sphere of control.
"The KC has a general code of ethics by which all breeders who register their puppies or dogs must abide,” the report said. "This includes a statement that a breeder should agree not to breed from a dog or bitch which could in ‘any way be harmful to the dog or to the breed’. But the KC does not appear to collate data on compliance with this requirement.”
Requirements under the ABS for breeders to health screen their dogs should be made mandatory to all breeders, it said.
"Nevertheless, the KC continues to accept registration of dogs not bred under this scheme. Furthermore, as Professor Bateson’s report notes, there is no requirement under the ABS to apply the results of health tests to breeding decisions.”