Leading dog breeder accuses Kennel Club of being in denial

by Darren Jamieson on September 21, 2008

A leading dog breeder has stated that the Kennel Club are living in denial over the accusations they’ve faced about deformed dogs from the recent BBC television show Pedigree Dogs Exposed.

Alison Jeffers is a breeder of Basset Hounds and she says the Kennel Club has to accept the problems and take action to rectify them, for the sake of the health of the dogs. When talking about her dogs, she says:

Our dogs are in good health and can work all day covering 25 to 30 miles.

But the Bassets bred for shows like Crufts are so inbred that most are incapable of being working dogs even though they win prizes in that category.

They weigh 35-40kg compared with our dogs’ 20kg. They have very short legs, skin, ear and eye problems and suffer from arthritis, and yet judges turn a blind eye to all of that as if it is irrelevant.

The Kennel Club and many breeders are in denial. They have to admit the scale of the problem and take urgent action to solve it.

This criticism, coming from one of the country’s leading dog breeders, puts added pressure on the Kennel Club to introduce health checks for the dogs entered into shows. Only last week the RSPCA announced they would have no more dealings with Crufts, amid reports from the BBC that dogs had won the prestigious dog show despite suffering from health problems.

Alison Jeffers runs Albany Bassets, though she was part of the Kennel Club originally. The Kennel Club expelled her in 2002 after she’d criticised the Kennel Club for inbreeding with their Basset Hounds.

The Kennel Club-registered basset hound had developed into a ponderous mutant incapable of hunting so we had to outcross.

The Club took umbrage at this and expelled us, an easier option than admitting to the fact they had ruined the breed.

The Kennel Club however fear that the BBC documentary, and statements by breeders such as Alison Jeffers will lead to puppy buyers looking for breeders who aren’t registered with the Kennel Club, and only have commercial interests at heart.

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