KC AGM votes to continue vet checks
THE STRENGTH of feeling about the high-profile breed veterinary checks was evident at the Kennel Club’s AGM – where, despite angry and sometimes impassioned discussion, a proposal to review the process thoroughly was lost.
This week the KC said the fact that members had supported continuation of the checks – by 92 votes to 56 – ‘sent out a strong message about its commitment to ensuring that winning show dogs are healthy examples of the breed’. Chairman Steve Dean said: "The various and challenging views raised by members will not be ignored and will form part of the discussions about how this process evolves in the future.
"We do need to have in place a system which unites us and of which we are all proud.”
Views raised at the AGM would be taken to General Committee and a wider consultation would be instigated to decide how the checks should evolve, he said.
Also discussed at the AGM in London was the formation of a two-tier registration system ‘taking into account the use of the KC authenticated pedigree as a basic registration, and to consider the introduction of an enhanced registration for animals to be bred and shown’.
This too will be debated by the General Committee at a later date.
Prof Dean said on Tuesday: "We recognise that our registration system must be balanced with the need to ensure that puppy farmers are not included, and do not tarnish, the reputation of the KC registration system.
"This is why we now ask high volume breeders to produce a copy of their local authority breeding licence before they register, and we prioritise our Assured Breeder visits towards high volume breeders so that they are inspected regularly.
"We want to celebrate the breeders who register with the KC and we welcome the discussion at the AGM which has ignited a renewed approach towards ensuring that people can feel proud of their pedigree dog.”
It was also agreed that registration fees would be increased by £2, from £13 to £15, in order to support the KC’s work. This means that registration fees have increased by £3 in the last ten years, the KC stressed.
Members also agreed to advance the change towards the KC becoming a company limited by guarantee. Prof Dean said: "The membership made an historic and important decision which will make a difference to the operational success of the KC.
"We will continue our work to ensure we maintain our leadership in preserving the future of the pedigree dog.
"More importantly, alongside the responsible breeders that we represent we will continue to strive for the improvement of dog health and welfare for all types of dog. The change for the KC in becoming a company limited by guarantee and the small increase in registration fees will all help to achieve these aims.”
Crufts chairman Gerald King confirmed that Channel 4 was considering televising best in show on Sunday evening due to the success of ratings on More4 this year, which saw more than 2.7 million viewers tune in.
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