THE KENNEL Club is no longer 'the enemy' in the eyes of politicians, veterinary professionals, animal charities and the public.
This perception has been 'successfully altered', and the club is now seen as an important part of any solution designed to address canine health, welfare and behavioural problems.
So said KC chairman Steve Dean during his 'state of the nation' speech at the Welsh Kennel Club's annual dinner, as he discussed changes he felt had moved opinion 'a considerable distance away' from the KC's previous image as the enemy.
"We are increasingly seen as an important part of any solution designed to address dog behaviour or health and welfare," he said. "In fact, this past year has seen a number of examples where we are very much on the front foot on an issue rather than on the back foot trying to defend the pedigree dog against inaccurate perceptions.
"This is not an accidental change and has required a considerable degree of hard work by our staff and many breed clubs."
One significant example, Prof Dean said, was 'the increasing acceptance' that the source of much of the poor health and welfare of recognised breeds lay outside the KC registration system. And the introduction of compulsory microchipping would be a major contribution towards identifying people who bred 'with poor attention to health and welfare', he went on.
"On an even more positive note, microchips will help us demonstrate how the vast majority of those who register dogs with the KC are the people to be cherished and encouraged," he said.
Prof Dean also updated those present on the Assured Breeder Scheme saying he believed it would become the standard of all breeding in the UK. And he also touched on the hot topic of how to boost entry figures, saying that although the KC believed increasing CCs was not the answer, the club would 'continue to search for areas' where it could help.
For the full story see DW this week.