Following on from our recent articles and debate about the state of the UK’s pedigree dogs, it comes as no surprise really that the RSPCA is now getting involved. With all the publicity, they couldn’t really continue to stay quiet any longer I imagine. I can’t help feeling what a shame it is that it has taken this long to come to light.
Are they seriously saying that they hadn’t noticed any issues until now? And surely, now that it has been brought to their attention, they should be working with the Kennel Club to resolve the problem rather than just backing away? I think the RSPCA is doing a bit of a PR stunt to minimise any possible damage to their own reputation.
Anyway, the RSPCA has got on the bandwagon now and is saying that next year it will boycott the Kennel Club’s Crufts dog show as it accuses the Kennel Club of encouraging the breeding of deformed and unhealthy dogs.
Their chief veterinary adviser, Mark Evans, said:
Intentionally breeding deformed and disabled animals is morally unjustifiable and it has to stop. Dog shows using current breed standards as the main judging criteria actively encourage both the intentional breeding of deformed and disabled dogs and the in-breeding of closely related animals.
The Kennel Club may say otherwise (see their response to the BBC exposure documentary), however, it is their breed standards that breeders are trying to conform to, so I see it as fairly easy for them to influence. After all, the breeders can hardly boycott the Kennel Club can they? They would have no dog shows to compete in otherwise.
If the Kennel Club is not careful, it may alienate the public. That means that the public will not want to buy Kennel Club registered pedigrees simply because they think breeders are breeding unhealthy dogs. That will allow other dog clubs, which generally means the Dog Lovers Registration Club (DLRC) at present, to step in. Other dog registration clubs are likely to start up then and get a following. I fear this will confuse matters, result in more cross-breeding without proof and mean the public will not know what they are buying.
In the meantime, pedigree dogs are being abandoned, partly because of the current economic climate, but this trend is likely to be exacerbated by all the bad publicity for pedigree dogs.
The RSPCA has requested a review of dog breeding, which is likely to result in a radical change in dog breeding requirements, breeding strategies and the way that pedigree dogs are registered. Could this spell the end of the Kennel Club as we know it?