EXHIBITORS and supporters of the campaigning group Docked and Denied will be getting together at Crufts to make known their feelings about legally-docked dogs being barred from competition at the show.
They will be gathering at lunchtime in the German Wirehaired Pointer ring – 17, hall 4 – on Friday.
The law dictates that dogs born after 2007 who have been docked legally must be excluded from shows which charge the public admittance.
Docked and Denied has made considerable inroads since it began campaigning; in December East of England ch show agreed to drop its admission charge, and at the beginning of 2015 Leeds also dropped the charge.
Both will now charge a parking fee instead.
Only Crufts and LKA – both held at the NEC – still charge admission, and it is believed the former’s committee has plans to discuss the issue this year. Docked and Denied believes an area of the NEC could be allocated with a separate entrance and closed to the public where docked dogs could be exhibited.
Campaigner Maxine McCullough hopes Crufts will eventually ‘come on board’.
“At Crufts you can see docked dogs in agility, flyball, obedience and the Discover Dogs’ booths, so I just don’t see why they can’t be shown there,” she said. “And LKA has no reason not to let them compete. Like the others it could easily drop the admission charge – unlike Crufts, which makes a fortune from the public paying to get in.”
Last year the Kennel Club said: “The difference between Crufts and many other championship shows is that we have to charge for public entry. Dogs who are docked are only allowed into the gamekeepers’ classes if they were docked before the change in the law. The classes are show classes and are subject to the law in exactly the same way as the rest of the show.
“There is little doubt that the local authority would take a dim view if we were to introduce an area with no payment for entry, as the law is intended to stop people showing docked dogs and it would be clear that this was being done to circumvent the law, thus putting the KC’s credibility at risk.”
Discussing her plans for Crufts 2016, fellow campaigner Wendy Oxman said: “We will be getting together to show the world that there are many fit for function dogs who are not entered for breed judging, thus reducing entries in the gundog/hunt point retrieve sub-group.
“This limits the number of docked dog entries from all the breeds involved.
“LKA will be our main aim this year in the hope that they support the docked breeds, as have all the other championship shows, by dropping their admission fee to the public.
“We look forward to exhibitors’ support in 2016.”