Okay, this one is going to cause disagreement and discord, but will it do any good for dogs in the long run? Enforced microchipping is controversial, but I can't help thinking it would solve many problems - dog theft not the least of them. It would of course also allow the tracing of dogs back to breeders, so if health issues keep cropping up with dogs from a particular source, it will be evident and provable. Puppy farms are an obvious evil and must be stamped out one way or another.
Another question that occurs to me is this report is based on 135 written responses and 50 interviews - is that really enough or even representative of dog breeding as a whole in the UK? What are your thoughts? I'd love to know.
The saddest thing to me is that in all these headlines the great work that the excellent breeders (and they are out there whether they are KC approved or not!) are doing for the love of their breed is being overlooked, although they do get a mention in the press release below:
Independent Inquiry into Dog Breeding
After a ten month long inquiry, Professor Sir Patrick Bateson FRS called for a non-statutory Advisory Council on Dog Breeding, changes in the law including a requirement for all puppies to be micro-chipped prior to sale, and an up-graded Accredited Breeder Scheme.
Speaking in London today, Prof Bateson (of Cambridge University and President of the Zoological Society of London) said:
“Many breeders exercise high standards of welfare, but negligent management on puppy farms is a major welfare issue as is inbreeding in pure-bred dogs. Fashions for extreme conformations are also a cause of welfare problems.”
Professor Bateson also called for a system to collect data from veterinary practices in order to generate robust prevalence data breed by breed; and for the veterinary profession as a whole to support enforcement authorities, help educate the public, and lead a shift towards a preventative approach to dog health.
The Report concludes that dog-breeding raises a number of serious concerns about the welfare of dogs. Key recommendations include:
· The creation of an independent non-statutory Council to develop breeding strategies which address issues of inherited disease, extreme conformation and inbreeding.
· Changes in the law including requirements for the compulsory micro-chipping of all puppies and a duty of care on all breeders to have regard to the health and welfare of both the parents and the offspring of a mating.
· The need for a robust Accredited Breeder Scheme setting out requirements with regard to pre-mating health tests, purchasers being able to view a puppy with its mother, all puppies micro-chipped before sale etc.
· An urgent need for the creation of a computer-based system for the collection of anonymised diagnoses from veterinary surgeries in order to provide prevalence data for each breed.
· New regulations to replace the now out-dated breeding and sales of dogs legislation, and much better enforcement of good welfare on licensed dog breeding premises.
new publicity and education campaign, delivered by all key dog and welfare organisations working together, to encourage a major improvement in how the public go about buying dogs.
The Inquiry received 135 written responses to the invitation to submit evidence. Subsequently Prof Bateson and his associate, Heather Peck, interviewed 50 people including dog breeders and representatives of animal charities.
The full report may be down-loaded from www.dogbreedinginquiry.com
The Independent Inquiry was funded by the Kennel Club and Dogs Trust and supported by Defra.
The Advisory Group was made up as follows:
Chairman: Professor Sir Patrick Bateson MA PhD ScD FRS
Members: Professor William Amos BA PhD,
Andrew Ash BVet Med, MRCVS,
Dr Brian Catchpole BVetMed PhD MRCVS ,
Dr Bruce M Cattanach BSc PhD DSc FRS ,
Professor Sheila Crispin PhD FRCVS,
Professor Ian McConnell BVMS MA PhD MRCVS,
Dr Roger Mugford PhD,
Professor Christine Nicol MA DPhil,
Secretary: Mrs Heather Peck BSc FCIPD
The Report represents the views of Professor Bateson and has been subject to peer review by eminent scientists in relevant disciplines. Neither of the funding bodies nor Defra had any hand in the drafting of the Report.