Stazjia’s Commentary

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This is the big question with Crufts Dog Show only 3 months away.

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White Pekingese Puppy
Originally uploaded by patisotagami

There have been further developments in the scandal of pedigree dogs and the way faults causing pain, deformity and early death are deliberately bred into dogs so they meet the Kennel Club’s criteria to win at its shows. If you missed my early posts on the subject you can catch up on The Scandal of Pedigree Dogs and More about the Pedigree Dog Scandal.

At the beginning of October the Kennel Club addressed the issue of inbreeding faults into pedigree dogs. In a statement, it said:

“The groundswell of public attention on the very important matters surrounding dog breeding is a welcomed momentum that will enable us to drive through, with added urgency, new and extended initiatives that will help to safeguard the health of our pedigree dogs.

“We have been listening and agree with the general public’s view that more needs to be done. We have also been encouraging people to use the health schemes available for dogs.”

The Kennel Club also wants the British Government to pass legislation making its Accredited Breeder Scheme compulsory so that it would be illegal to sell puppies unless the seller is a member. Of course, this would require inspectors to police it otherwise it would be relying on members of the public to complain.

The Kennel Club is also issuing new breed standards, the first of which will apply to pekingese whose flat faces cause severe breathing problems. Additionally, breeders will have to sign up to the club’s code of ethics forbidding the culling of healthy puppies. Again, how will this be policed? If a breeder kills the puppies, who is to know its been done?

In spite of the Kennel Club’s statement, at the end of October the major petfood manufacturer, Pedigree which has sponsored the Crufts Dog Show for 44 years, has announced they are withdrawing their sponsorship. The company issued a statement:

“After careful consideration, Pedigree has decided to withdraw its sponsorship of Crufts,” the company said. “The Pedigree brand has evolved and we are prioritizing initiatives that support the broadest possible community of dog owners such as our successful program the Pedigree Adoption Drive, and our online service for breeders,”

Meanwhile the Dogs’ Trust issued a statement on 28th October:

Two Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, about 5 weeks old.

Two Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, about 5 weeks old.

“With the announcement that Pedigree is no longer sponsoring Crufts, many newspapers and online forums reported the news this weekend. You may have incorrectly read that the Kennel Club is working with Dogs Trust to review breeding standards for 209 species of pedigree dogs. Dogs Trust has no involvement with the review of breed standards which is currently underway; this is something the Kennel Club is conducting independently.

Although Dogs Trust has withdrawn from Crufts and Discover Dogs, we are firmly committed to ensuring that changes are now made to safeguard the health and wellbeing of dogs. This is why we have been in regular dialogue with the Kennel Club and have jointly called for Government support for a review into the breeding, registration and showing of all dogs. Timings and full details for this review have not yet been confirmed. We will be able to update our supporters about this review shortly.”

Perhaps the BBC documentary will be instrumental in forcing breeders to change thereby improving the health and welfare of dogs. Let’s hope so. There are many of us who will be watching this with interest.


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