Wilma is taking a well-earned rest after her exciting few days and after many years of experience of being a dog I thought I’d have a bit of a rant. I watched Crufts from home while they were away. There was so much talk about health testing and getting breeding right, which is of course very important. However, my concern is with the Kennel Club itself. People watching the tv coverage would be pleased about all the Kennel Club is doing, but it is not that simple. At the moment pedigree dogs can be registered as pedigree even if the breeders don’t do any health testing at all. It’s all very well having a special scheme for ‘Assured Breeders’ which means they sign up to health test and work to a high standard, but nothing is going to change until every breeder has to work to those standards.
Of course dogs want to be healthy and we need all the help we can get. Many of the general public buying a puppy don’t understand what questions to ask or know what they are looking for. The Kennel Club needs to help us safeguard the health and welfare of dogs by being more of a protector of good breeding than is the case at the moment. Oh by all means dismiss my rant as me being ‘only a dog’, but I’m a dog who can speak from experience. I was not allowed to become a stud dog because I have a heart murmur and an undescended testicle. It was the rules of our Club that mean I can’t, not any that are set by The Kennel Club.
It is not as though they will insist on health tests that are established as essential for our breed in other more established breed clubs around the world. Now, we have to apply for each one to be considered separately and in some cases, even where the condition is widely known about and where good breeding has minimised problems, they want five years of data to prove there is a problem. And it gets worse. The tests have to be carried out with the company they approve, which is not the same company used by the other breed clubs around Europe. Meaning in some cases an expensive test has to be redone with their ‘approved’ company before they will record the result.
So here is an appeal on behalf of all pedigree dogs for the benefit of our future health, please make health testing compulsory for us to be registered. Only by doing that will all breeders start to take it seriously.
Ok rant over
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