- Pet forum for dogs cats and humans 


UK Kennel Club Clamping Down On Breeders

October 7th, 2008, 10:41 AM

The Kennel Club is launching a complete review of every pedigree dog breed
in the UK in a move that will have far-reaching benefits for the health of
many breeds. It has also called on the government to give it the statutory
powers to clamp down on breeders who fail to make a dog's health their top

A breed health plan will be coordinated for each of the UK's 209 pedigree
breeds and will benefit from the extensive research that has been funded by
the Kennel Club in conjunction with renowned veterinary research centres
over the past 40+ years. This will include updated breed standards to
ensure that no dog is bred for features that might prevent it from seeing,
walking and breathing freely. Judges will be fully briefed on the new
breed standards so that only the healthiest dogs are rewarded in the show

The Kennel Club is releasing the first of these new breed standards today,
for the Pekingese, and has taken a tough line with the breed following
extensive and abortive consultations. This is set to radically improve the
health of the Pekingese which for nearly a hundred years was bred to have a
flat face; a feature which can lead to breathing problems; under the new
health plan the breed will be required to have a defined muzzle.

The breed health plans, which are scheduled to be completed by early next
year, will also incorporate the results of a thorough, ongoing analysis of
the health status and genetic diversity of each breed, drawing on results
from the world's largest dog health survey, conducted by the Animal Health
Trust and funded by the Kennel Club Charitable Trust in 2004. This will
ensure that breeders and buyers are aware of the health tests that should be
carried out for each breed. The final part of the plans will look at ways
breeders can expand the gene pool of the breed.

In order to ensure that the plans are effective and reach all dogs, the
Kennel Club has called on the government to give it statutory powers to make
its established Accredited Breeder Scheme compulsory throughout the country.

If successful, this would mean that all breeders who are not part of the
scheme and who have not officially confirmed their willingness to follow the
health standards set by the Kennel Club would be unable to produce or sell
puppies within the law.
Additionally, breed clubs are now required to adopt the Kennel Club's Code
of Ethics, to ensure that their practices fall in line with Kennel Club
policy for putting the health and welfare of puppies first. This includes a
clause that explicitly forbids the compulsory culling of healthy puppies.

To complement these steps the Kennel Club is developing plans for a new
Canine Genetics Centre. This will be run in conjunction with the Animal
Health Trust, confirming the Kennel Club's commitment to research into
inherited diseases and the provision of DNA testing programmes which
identify the genes underlying inherited health problems.

Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club Secretary, 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.
"Steps such as our breed health plans will enable us to ensure that the
health of every dog is the number one priority and we are taking a tougher
line with breed clubs by adjusting those breed standards that fail to
promote good health. By asking the government for statutory powers we will
be able to take a tougher line with all breeders and breed clubs that fail
to abide by our high standards. This in turn will enable us to extend the
reach of our Accredited Breeder Scheme, which is the quality control
mechanism within our registration process, so that all dogs will be bred by
people who abide by our stringent rules and regulations for the breeding of
healthy, happy dogs.

"We have been working hard in recent years to identify and address health
problems that exist in dogs, and we are taking advantage of the
opportunities that advances in science have given us to improve dog health.
We look forward to continuing our work with various institutions and
organisations that share the same objective: to protect the health and
welfare of all dogs."

For further information, images and interview requests please contact:
The Kennel Club press office
020 7518 1008<WBR>thekennelclub.<WBR>

October 7th, 2008, 01:00 PM
Wow. Definitely a step in the right direction. I've said for a long time that part of the reason that purebred dogs have so many health issues is because the established kennel clubs are pushing aesthetics, not health - and for a breed that is rare, the gene pool is so small that health issues are almost a given. I especially like the part about it being against the law to cull healthy pups and to breed without the proper testing.