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Dogs Trust’s response to Pedigree Dogs Exposed – Three Years On

Dogs Trust’s response to Pedigree Dogs Exposed – Three Years On
 
28th February 2012
 
Dogs Trust, the UK’s largest dog welfare charity, commends the BBC for further highlighting the health and welfare problems affecting pedigree dogs.
 
Dogs Trust feels that there is still extensive work to be done to protect the future health of pedigree dogs. Most importantly, it is vital to establish and collate sufficient data on the prevalence of hereditary diseases in dogs to determine the scale of the problem and what needs to be done on a breed by breed basis. The veterinary profession has its part to play in better surveillance and reporting of genetic problems.
 
Dogs Trust Chief Executive, Clarissa Baldwin OBE, comments:
 
“While some headway has been made by breeders and The Kennel Club to put beauty on the back burner and review breed standards to prioritise the health and welfare of our dogs, there is still a lot to be achieved. We believe it is unacceptable for dogs with breathing problems to be held up as a pinnacle for good breeding at shows. We would like to see a further review of breed standards to ensure that they are firmly focused on the health and wellbeing of the dog and for breeders and show judges to adhere to these revised breed standards.

While educating breeders and consumers is part of the answer, legislation to guard against irresponsible breeding practices is also needed.  Dogs Trust would like the government to introduce legislation to help prevent inappropriate breeding practices, particularly the intentional inbreeding of closely related dogs or those with known debilitating genetic illnesses.

We are pleased that this documentary has drawn attention to the unscrupulous breeders who fall under the radar of regulation and churn out puppies for profit with little or no regard for their welfare or the breeding bitches left behind to continue the cycle. Dogs Trust has long been calling on the government to strengthen the Breeding and Sale of Dogs Act to tackle this issue. We urgently need to see the full force of the law applied to breeders who allow their breeding stock to continue to have litters when scientific knowledge has determined that their stock is unhealthy.

There needs to be more investment in education, not only for breeders but, crucially for prospective puppy buyers to understand how to buy a dog responsibly and the questions they need to ask of breeders to help secure the future health of our dogs.
 
Dogs do so much for humans - it is time we put our investment back in ensuring their health and well being.”

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