Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Fiona the Dalmatian - the ongoing battle

Julie Evans, with Fiona on her knee,  pleads with the Kennel Club...
I was a little surprised to see the Kennel Club feature in its film the registration of LUA (low-uric acid) Dalmatian Fiona (Fiacre's First and Foremost) as evidence of their forward-thinking approach towards outcrossing.

The truth is a little more nuanced. Without doubt, the Kennel Club deserves applause for registering Fiona.  It really was a good thing - brave too, given the breed club opposition and Fiona's acceptance has allowed Fiona to be shown in the UK.  So it is disappointing to learn that, at the time of Fiona's registration, the KC placed a five-year restriction on the issuing of an export pedigree for Fiona's progeny, thus preventing the pups going to Europe where demand for the LUA gene is considerable. (I assume it was standard practice in such cases, but have asked the KC for clarification.)

Fiona was registered in January 2011 under the Kennel Club's asterisk system - denoting that there is "something unusual" (as the Kennel Club describes it) about her.  Fiona herself is marked with 3 asterisks; her progeny with two; their offspring with one asterisk and, eventually, Fiona's great-grandchildren will be asterisk-free making them indistinguishable from any other KC registered dog.

Of course, it's all a bit of a madness given that the outcross to the Pointer that makes Fiona "unusual"  was all of 13 generations ago, but that's how the system worked at the time.  I should point out, too, that breeder Julie Evans, who has just had a gorgeous litter of pups from Fiona, has always known this.

However, the LUA Dalmatians - after a 30 year battle in the US - have now been accepted for registration by the American Kennel Club. In fact, Fiona (who will be returning to her owner in the States in the spring) is now herself registered with the AKC. And because the AKC has a reciprocal arrangement with the KC, if Fiona was imported to the UK and had pups now, there would be no export restrictions (and no asterisks). Julie, then, would be able to sell her pups freely to Europe where they could be registered as full Dalmatians by other Kennel Clubs.

The same goes for any other AKC-registered LUA Dalmatian - they can now be imported into the UK (and any other country with a reciprocal agreement) and immediately accepted with full KC honours. In fact, KC rules have changed, too, since the KC registered Fiona last January and two further LUA Dalmatians, Sally and Merlin, are not subject to the same export restriction.

So a few weeks ago, Julie Evans asked the Kennel Club to remove the export restriction so that Fiona's precious low-uric-acid gene, brought into the breed via a single outcross to an English Pointer in the 1970s, can benefit the breed in Europe, too.

And the Kennel Club said... "No".

Julie Evans rang them on a day we were filming with her, so I can confirm that she patiently argued her case regarding the health benefit to other Dalmatians. "This is what is all about.. getting that gene out there," she told Breeder Manager Sue Swainson who advised that there was no provision in the KC rule book to allow this.

Finally, at the end of a five minute conversation Julie pointed out that their decision now put her at an unfair disadvantage, compared to other LUA Dal breeders, in terms of her ability to sell her puppies. "I am being prevented from making use of a free market. I cannot export my puppies, but everywhere else in the world can," she said,  pleading with them to reconsider. Sue Swainson said she would get back to her.

A few days later Julie received this email from the Kennel Club:
"From its consultation with the Dalmatian breed clubs - when you first applied to register Fiona - the KC became aware that a number of people in the breed were vehemently opposed to the registration believing that the venture was commercial. As you know, the KCs decision to allow the registration was based on its commitment to consider the registration of dogs from out crossing and inter variety matings if it was felt that to do so may present potential health and welfare benefits. On this basis Fiona was registered despite the amount of discord within the breed.

"It is still the case that the KC is of the view that the decision was taken for the right reasons and we are therefore disappointed to see that you put your current argument to us in business terms – I believe you said to me that you were ’being prevented from making use of a free market’.

"I accept that this will not be the answer you are looking for but the Committee will not consider removing the asterisks."

This really is breathtakingly rude.

Are only breeders that lose money to be deemed worthy now? 

And why is the KC giving credence  to low-lying gossip from breed purists who were desperate to stop the spotted mongrel hordes sullying their precious Dalmatians?

We recently spent two days with Julie at her home on the west coast of Wales and, believe me, the only thing she was rolling in was mud.

Once KC heels have got stuck in, they rarely budge, but this is one bit of KC crazy that needs to be reconsidered - as does the information on Fiona's KC pedigree. The only name on it is Fiona's. No parents or grandparents or great-grandparents are listed despite that information being available. The reason? Because alongside the full AKC Dalmatians in her pedigree are LUA Dalmatians that are not considered "pure". This for some mad reason prevents even the AKC-registered Dals in her pedigree from being included.

Surely either the KC is a registry or not? ("The Kennel Club registers all dogs" claims Clare Balding in the KC film.) Could it not include these dogs on Fiona's official pedigree even if they had to be marked in some way to denote their ancestry?

In truth, apart from the three  LUA Dals now registered in the UK, very little new blood has been allowed into existing breeds. There was the bringing in of some packhound Bloodhounds a few years back; a few Bull Terrier x Miniature Bull Terrier matings to alleviate the smaller version of the breed of the Primary Lens Luxation endemic in the smaller version of breed; and a few intervariety matings in Belgian Shepherds.

The KC now says it will welcome applications from breeders wanting to bring in new blood and that is terrific, truly. But I believe it needs to be much more proactive on this issue - in other words, not just wait until forward-thinking breeders approach them, but to initiate discussion with Clubs of breeds that are in particular trouble genetically.

Sensible discussion on this only, please, as it's an important issue.

NB: I will not be publishing any anonymous comments from anyone claiming that Julie Evans is only in it for the money - unless, that is, they provide categorical proof.

* edited 20/1/11: correction regarding the asterisk system' correction re the restrictions on Fiona and the other two LUA Dals imported into the UK  

121 comments:

  1. this really is a NON story, the reason for non issue of a export pedigree was clear at the time, the stance that the FCI take howevere is a different matter.

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  2. I've been reading some of your viewers comments from the past, and some are pretty hurtful, and i feel Jemima you are promoting hatred. I admire how you care about the pets health, but you are not sending a positive or uplifting message to your viewers, I don't even feel hope with you. I'm probably not the first person to tell you this either.

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    1. I know what you mean about some of the comments. The homophobic 'bum chum' comments, the hysterical 'AR are coming to take your pets by pointing out when we breed irresponsibly!', the repeated attempts to link Harrison with Nazis just to promote hatred...

      It's all rather bewildering. This is as a response to variations on the basic message of "Try to breed healthier dogs, and reduce inbreeding". Which seems to me a pretty positive message, and I find plenty of uplifting stuff on this blog. Rescued dogs, LUA dalmatians, the Albany bassets (who wouldn't want one of those on their couch?)...

      Of course there's lots of depressing stuff on it too, but the author's no more responsible for that than a war correspondent is for the war. Would you tell them that they should be sending a more positive or uplifting message?

      Or would you be happy that someone cares enough to try and point it out?

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  3. I think this is a great way to re-introduce the LUA gene into the Dalmatian population and to my way of thinking, if the pointer is way back 13 generations ago I think the Dalmatian in question should certainly be considered pure bred...?

    I hope people will not think this is a plot to make big bucks? anyone who has looked into importing a dog to the UK from another country will realise the costs are huge - it certainly isn't just a case of put them on a plane and then go and pick up your dog!

    I think the objections from the breed club are even more sad than the KC's decisions...After all the breed clubs really should consist of the protectors of their chosen breed.

    I definitely think their should be guidelines on out-crossing to another breed as it could not just happen for no reason. Their should be a clear objective of what the out-cross hopes to achieve (such as it the Dalmatian LUA gene being replaced)and the KC should have sensible rules in place that help breeders that show initiative and stride to improve the health of their breed. I think it is very hard to decide what the rules should be, that's a big debate in itself but the case above just seems like the KC putting up a barrier rather than striding to help Dalmatians...I hope the KC will re-consider their decision?

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  4. Maybe because there IS no positive and uplifting message when it comes to the state of purebred dogs?

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  5. I suppose their is always the option of going back through the AKC? Then getting things straightened out via that registry and then exporting with an AKC registration? Why stop like theres a wrench in the spokes if you have alternatives? After all if the end goal is to proliferate and improve diversity. Then why stop if the KC is being idiotic about it. Use the AKC route and get on with it. In three generations time you'll meet the requisites for the KC anyway.

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    1. No, unfortunately, the KC has said it is not possible to "re-register" Fiona this way by re-importing her with the AKC registration.

      Jemima

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    2. Send her back to the US, breed her, register the pups through AKC, then export them to Europe.

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    3. Then Fiona's Children can be register via AKC then brought back to the UK. That would work like Jess suggests. It seems she can still send her pups to other countries via the USA route and the AKC while still achieving her goals. If the KC won't rescind her registration then allow her to re-register then play their game and still come out on top..

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    4. For AKC registration, the litter must be born in the US. A possible alternative would be to register the litter with UKC, as a quick perusal of their registration application doesn't indicate that the litter must be born in the US. Any pups that have the normal uric acid gene should then be eligible for registration with AKC through the open registration for LUA Dals.

      Something to look into, anyways, since the UK KC seems quite intent on punishing Fiona and her owner for being inconvenient.

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    5. An even quicker alternative (and far less costly too) would be to forget all the faffing about re-exporting back to the US, re-registering etc. and for the KC to just remove the asterisks, allow the pups to be exported and stop being so bloody minded in their approach and just for once see sense. Because their current stance makes no sense whatsoever.

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    6. You're right, Roger, but IME, 'making sense' has no bearing on the actions of the dog fancy. We can only hope, for Fiona and her owners sakes, and for the sake of all dogs, that the resulting bad publicity from this exceptionally boneheaded and spiteful decision from the KC will rain down on their heads like acid.

      The KC's 'progress' seems to be one step forward, two steps back.

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  6. These puppies would be exported to Europe as breeding dogs. Are there so many outstanding individuals in these litter, that would be appropriate to breed with, or are dogs that would be more suitable as pets in any other situation going to be bred from just because of the LUA gene?

    And why aren't you concerned about the breed COI in this specific case? Surely having a lot of sibling from one litter being used in breeding programmes all over Europe is going to affect the breed COI in a couple of years.

    The fact that these puppies don't have full KC papers means that the breeder can advance her own breeding programme using LUA individuals that are also suitable to breed from. Waiting 3 generations doesn't seem a lot. It actually seems sensible.

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    1. Waiting three generations doesn't seem a lot, unless you aren't counting the FOURTEEN generations that have gone before for these dogs.

      Considering that after only four generations you get dogs that are 93.75% 'pure', and that the percentage of 'purity' literally crawls upward after that, you statement is astoundingly moronic.

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    2. "Astoundingly moronic" (how I love discussing with polite people...) would be to think that just because some of these puppies have the low uric acid gene, they are all great breeding prospects. Thinking that you can breed health tests and pedigrees instead of actual dogs for theiir merits is, as you put it, astoundingly moronic.

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    3. Purity isn't the only consideration when breeding dogs. Health tests and pedigrees need to be taken in consideration, but the actual dog you are breeding and it's merits are as important. Breeding a lesser quality individual just because of one characteristic is a substandard breeding practice.

      I do understand you feel a lot of sympathy for this breeder, but sympathy is not a good enough reason to create a precedent with the Kennel Club registration system.

      There is a good reason for only getting a full KC registration after 3 generations for any dogs accepted as an initial registry. And even though this may be inconvenient for the breeder, it is not something that endangers the breed, it's development or it's health. Making the exception might endanger other breeds.

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    4. And the Anonymous Brigade once again proves that they are the true master of Missing the Point.

      Let me spell it out for you: this bitch has more than three generations of backcrossing behind her. Your three generations doesn't apply here. Fiona is already 99.97% Dalmatian. Her puppies would be 99.99% 'pure.' Their puppies will be as close to 100% as it's possible to get (remember that dogs are all the same species and share DNA, you can't get around that.)

      To think that three more generations will somehow make a difference is indeed moronic. Even more moronic is to try to hide your ignorance by blathering about health and pedigrees and breeding prospects and non-existent precidents, especially when the discussion is about a registry that doesn't require any health clearances at all for registration. A registry, btw, that recently opened an appendix registry.

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    5. The worry that an otherwise 'pet quality' dog or bitch will be used for breeding solely because it happens to have inherited the LUA gene is very real.

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  7. Jemima, I see you are being told that you are not helping the self-esteem of people who are not doing esteemable things! Bad Jemima!

    In all seriousness, and more to the point, I wonder if anyone at the Kennel Club can prove they are not negroids or mongoloids?

    I claim that they ALL are until they can show me a 14-generation pedigree proving pure caucasian blood lines! And yes, we want "long form" birth certificates for everyone!

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  8. Annie Macfarlane18 January 2012 17:00

    I think the comment from Anon 08.22 says it all really....

    "Are there so many outstanding individuals in these litter, that would be appropriate to breed with, or are dogs that would be more suitable as pets in any other situation going to be bred from just because of the LUA gene?"

    When you are talking about removing a potentially fatal gene from a breed's genepool the fact that the dogs may not fit the "breed standard" is really of no significance. Surely those that love the breed and want it to be healthy would be willing to sacrifice a few "faults" for the sake of adding healthy genes to their breeding programme? If not, then there is something seriously wrong with the mindset of those that are happy to let a dog (and breed!) suffer because they don't consider breeding to a lesser quality dog worthy of the sacrifice!

    I really do think that those that profess to love their breeds need to start thinking outside the box and praising the initiative shown by Julie Evans to help eliminate the suffering this condition can cause. Is it such a sacrifice? Why should Europe not have the privilege of sharing Julie's work....and....I would much rather buy a puppy from Julie knowing that she had done something to eradicate a serious problem from the breed, than buy one from a breeder who considers "purity" to be the most import aspect of a breed.

    Why can't Fiona's ancestors be shown in her pedigree? This is simply ridiculous! The whole thing about a pedigree is that you KNOW who the ancestors are. Did Fiona just "appear" out of nowhere? The immaculate conception! lol

    The fact that the KC included this initiative in their info-mercial and yet behind the scenes are being obstructive to others benefitting from Julie's work....is beyond comprehension. So what if the puppies cost more money; so what if they are not considered "pure" by those that profess to love the breed.....the one thing they do have that the others don't is the the gene that causes untold suffering to many dogs in this marvellous breed. Surely the most important thing in all of this is to lessen suffering.

    I would be pleased to hear from breed enthusiasts who think that it's not.

    I hope the KC change their stance in this but I won't hold my breath. Such a shame.....

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    1. That would be a great argument, if Fiona was the only LUA Dalmatian in the world.

      Is this dog and this litter so great that in this specific case genetic diversity is of no consequence?

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    2. Annie Macfarlane18 January 2012 19:22

      Julie is asking nothing more than any other breeder who wants to export a puppy! I don't know the genetic diversity of the Dalmation but surely the introduction of LUA dogs into the breeding programme would be a good thing? It won't affect genetic diversity that much. The world won't come to an end because 2 or 3 - or even 7 puppies are sold to Europe to enhance the gene pool and make it healthier! I really don't understand this way of thinking... The most important thing is the health of the breed...surely? At this moment in time everything else should pale into insignificance because of the benefits these puppies will bring to the British and European gene pool.

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    3. "To defend a breed implies to correct defects within the breed (...) over selection for certain criteria can lead to acquiring unwanted defects." at dalmatien-mon-ami.fr

      But surely that now the AKC has recognised LUA Dalmatians, there will be a lot of dogs to choose from. These puppies are no longer, as being made believe, instrumental to the health of the breed.

      And what about the other breeders that have dogs on initial registration? Wouldn't this be unfair to them, or should those dogs get full KC pedigree also? I remember the case of the Estrela Mountain Dog that had an Initial Registration from the Italian Kennel Club, and was World Winner, that was a mongrel that didn't bore the slightest similarity with the breed.

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  9. I commented yesterday on the KC response video, and I was impressed my comment was approved considering it wasn't wholly congratulatory - thank you very much for allowing such transparency.

    I have to admit that THIS is the type of thing that gets to me perhaps most of all - when petty bureaucratic structure overrides common sense. Whilst I understand the logic, it's a false logic - and smacks of the type of small scale problems which lead to a skewed overall picture.

    Also, I fundamentally take issue with the notion that introducing a different breed harms the 'purity' of a breed. Some horse stud books approve stallions outside of that particular breed, based on performance scores, for the long term improvement of the breed, or even to get back to type - surely this attitude would make sense in the case of dogs? Additionally, by adding only ONE dog with the relevant gene (or even two or three, considering the tens of thousands of registrations a year), is this not condemning a breed to generations of very close breeding as everyone clambers to add this to their line?

    One additional point - I actually think that it is potentially dangerous to consider a breeder who 'makes money' from selling a litter, despite being an ethical breeder, as a 'bad' breeder. Whilst I don't think it should be a primary motivation (I personally think the best motivation for puppies being bred should be in order to keep one back) I do think that it's totally unfair that unregulated breeders can breed entirely for profit with no health testing, from dogs with temperaments which aren't widely known, whilst those who invest a few thousand hours a year and as much money are deemed 'too expensive' for 12 years of healthy, loving companionship...

    Apologies for the rant(!) and good food for thought.

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  10. Are only breeders that lose money to be deemed worthy now?

    yes it would seem that way as so many comments here are posted throughout the blog about "greedy breeders" and people whoa dare to make a penny on any given litter.. I will give you this.. the "other list" does the same thing.. yes only breeders who lose money are worthy.. the rest are greedy..
    question.. are these Dals being sold for more than the usual rate than Dal breeders charge?
    If these males are exported will they become "frequently used sires".. are they perfectly healthy otherwise? All have passed their BAER testing.. and the parents and grandparents as well? Dals are more frequently deaf than other breeds..
    as for mini bulls/bull terriers.. they will no longer need to interbreed now that there is a DNA test for PLL.. when interbreding was done.. only the first generation was PLL free.

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    1. "are these Dals being sold for more than the usual rate than Dal breeders charge? "
      Yes; substantially more. Some nearly double the average price.

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  11. Surely if ms Evans was in it only for the fast buck, she could have gone about it in a much easier way? Get the best-winning show HUA Dalmatians in the bleeding kingdom, breed away and sell! Wherever the HUA consequences struck, it would be the puppy buyers and the insurance companies that were left with the bill. Oh, and the dogs, of course.
    Brilliant business idea, eh? Referred to as "externalization of costs", I believe, by economists. To import a LUA Dal, struggle with the KC for registration and then put up with through venomous opposition from organized competitors jealous of their market - yes, commonly known as "breed clubs" - must have some other motive than fast money. Might it be concern for the dogs´quality of life, even?

    As for Jemima provoking hatred - ? People like Julie Evans and Jemima gives quite a few of us hope for the pedigree dogs!

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  12. Great blog Jemima!

    As you know this is of particular interest for me as I have been trying to get a dialog going on the possibility of doing a similar outcross/backcross project for the Shar Pei to replace the 2 unstable duplication mutations that cause them to over-express hyaluronan causing breedwide risk for inflammatory issues to one degree or another. In our case the breed defining trait (loose, thickened skin causing the wrinkled appearance and heavily padded muzzles)is directly linked to the hyaluronanosis related inflammation that can cause or exacerbate many health issues, some of which are potentially deadly.

    While there is a genetic test in development that may help us breed lower risk (lower CNV#) dogs, it will not eliminate the risk entirely as the mutations are unstable (and may duplicate spontaneously) as well as it (this unstable region of the gene) being susceptible to additional mutation duplications down the line) and one (or both) of these mutations are present in ALL Pei.

    I have begun discussions on both the need to revise breed standard to de-emphasize these cosmetic traits as well as discussions on the possible need to consider a outcross/backcross project similar to the LUA Dals to introduce a normal counterpart to these duplication mutations. Both these are of course meeting with resistance from the breeding community. The breeders are thus far ignoring the latter discussion and vehemently arguing against the former.

    Despite the absurdity of continuing to promote a breed standard where the breed defining trait IS the known and proven cause of such widespread suffering and death and (one would think) that it would be common sense to adjust the breed standard to shift the breed definition to other aspects and OFF of the potentially deadly traits, many breeders seem to believe that a breed standard is an edict handed down from GOD instead of the arbitrary set of ideas (often flawed HUMAN ideas) that folks agreed to at one time. In hindsight, these ideas (as in many breed standards) turned out to be bad ones and dogs are suffering and dying for their sake. Seems only logical that if something is broken, the next step should be efforts to adjust such so that it works properly.

    Even those in the fancy who agree that the Standard should be modified will then go on to argue that such changes are very difficult (if not impossible) to get accomplished. As if changing a few words to prevent a plethora of suffering is such a monumental thing to consider. It defies logic!

    Isnt our first priority to serve the dogs? Isnt it common sense to, when confronted with unequivocal facts that a trait the breed Standard emphasizes is the direct cause of suffering and death breedwide, to at LEAST consider changing a few words to encourage breeding away from this trait?

    Why are solutions to the genetic issues in so many breeds subject to such breed club and KC bureaucracy and politics that the changes (either modification of breed standards and/or outcross/backcross) as may be necessary to preserve the health of the dogs and the healthy integrity and sustainability of the population's genetics are almost impossible to accomplish? Why is the preservation of faulty policies more "sacred" and defensible than the genetic health of the breeds?

    There needs to be a monumental shift of the priorities within the purebred fancy to those which (dare I say) actually serve the DOGS. Such groundbreaking projects like the LUA Dalmatian project SHOULD have the FULL support and cooperation of the KCs and the Mother (Breed) clubs. If the KCs would have the intestinal fortitude to stand up and set a firm precedent in such matters the Breed Clubs and breeders would have no choice but to follow suit and the actual dogs might be served for a change. The KCs, as the primary custodians of population's genetic integrity, need to put policies in place that put genetic HEALTH above ALL else.

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  13. This sort of behaviour is engrained in the KC, it is a waist of time and unrealistic to expect the the KC to change it’s spots.

    When such clear and easy resolution for a disease is available and the breeders, breed clubs or KC’s stand in the way of reaching that resolution, then it is time their decision powers are limited.

    I would like to see the governments make a law that all Dals born in the UK will not be affected by this disease. The law should require that at least one parent must be DNA normal for this disease in every Dal breeding.
    Breeders can then make their own choice, either produce dal puppies not affected by this disease or don’t produce dal puppies at all. The KC can assist the breeders in this legal mandate or they can refuse.

    It is sad that this sort of government interference is needed, but they have had many years to sort this out, time is now up.

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  14. This is bad news for anybody thinking of importing a puppy from the outcross programme for Irish Red and Setters which has been approved by the Irish Kennel Club, and which has support in Europe. We have a breed with few founders, which has seen a lot of line breeding and inbreeding since the dogs arrived in the UK in 1980, and now has a very small gene pool with rising COIs. The whole reason for the Irish outcross programme is to widen the gene pool BEFORE the health and genetic problems get any worse - as they will if the inbreeding continues. The breed club in the UK is against the outcross , apparently purity is more important than genetic health.
    If I import an outcross puppy from Ireland or Norway or France, and breed from it, does this mean I will not be able to export from three generations? Not even able to send a puppy back to Ireland , whose sire was bred and registered in Ireland?
    The Irish Kennel Club has agreed they will give export pedigrees to litters born from the outcross, even the first generation, which will benefit the whole breed internationally. With a small gene pool we need to move the outcross dogs around to get the most out of the outcross. Why on earth does the UK Kennel Club not do the same?

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    1. Dalriach, Where can I learn more about this? I know next to nothing about your dogs, so could you please direct me to good source of info?

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  15. The account of Ms. Evans' attempts to negotiate with the KC make it clear that the issue is not health, it's not animal welfare, it's not purity, it's not "type."

    The issue isn't even a sort of giant-institutional brainless, faceless Catch-22.

    It's simply about power.

    Ms. Evans bowed to their power, and they granted her a boon.

    Then the world changed, and the conditions of that boon were no longer a special "privilege" for the KC to dispense.

    But they are not going to acknowledge that, are they? That would mean giving up some of their petty power.

    This is the way that tyrants go down, grasping, grasping.

    Once they have sunk low enough, their former subjects cease throwing ropes to them.

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    1. Yes, exactly.

      The fact that some cannot see the forest for the trees is beyond depressing.

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  16. 1. As Jemima pointed out, Julie Evans was aware of the restrictions that would be in place when she imported Fiona. If they were going to be an issue for her, why did she not query them at the time?

    2. I imagined the whole point of importing an LUA Dalmatian into the UK was to improve the breed in the UK, so why the need to export so urgently to Europe? Fiona has not long been in the UK so presumably there is only one litter of 8 or so pups and in the unlikely event they are all sufficient quality to be bred from, surely they should remain in the UK? Despite the opposition, I expect there are still enough UK breeders keen to have this gene, to be biting Julie Evans' hand off for the chance to own one of this litter?

    3. Breeders in Europe are perfectly able to import LUA Dalmatians themselves, if demand is so considerable, so why do they need to try and get puppies from this one particular bitch?

    As with most things in life, I expect there is more going on here than perhaps is apparent and I don't know enough about this situation to stand in judgement. I have always been broadly in favour of the concept of bringing in the 'missing' gene but I do think these are valid questions though if this subject is to be discussed properly on an open blog.

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    1. When breeders, breed clubs or KC refuse to support good health breeding choices, then it is time for the government to step in and make sure the good choice is the only choice they have. Then as a breeder they can decide if you want to breed with in the law or not breed at all.

      Frankly I could care less what the KC’s or breed clubs say about it. Isn’t that the point, if these governing groups were functioning correctly we would not be having these discussion.
      No breeder has to use the KC, that is their choice. It is very clear that the current KC systems no longer meets the health and welfare expectations of our society. So that brings us to the actual source of the pups, the breeders. This is where the change must be directed and has to happen.

      We need to move these issues along, time is up. We need to face the reality of the situation and admit that only laws directed at the breeders are going to make change happen.

      If or how the KC can adapt to the needed changes really is up to them, it is there choice, but is not central for the changes to be made. If your KC system is failing to adapt and is letting you down then tell them that. But that is no excuse to breed another litter of Dals that are affected with this disease.

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  17. Unfortunatly Anonymous 4.38, even new legislation being currently considered by governments in relation to dog breeding goes well below making any real difference. All the while it is apparently appropriate for a single establishment to legally possess in excess of 200 breeding bitches, which are bred from up to 6 times to produce endless unwanted puppies for an overstuffed market and then dumped or killed, I think it is a vain hope that specific genetic issues will be addressed.

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    1. I disagree. Here is legislation that addresses certain diseases and gives exact breeding directives. if you have a breed that these laws apply to, you have to follow the regulations. The Kennel club is still sorting out how to make their own rules for some of these same breeds/disease. But it matters not as these rules apply to everyone in or out of the kennel club. It is the law.
      http://www.dpi.vic.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0005/27932/Code-of-Practice-for-the-Responsible-Breeding-of-Animals-with-Heritable-Defects-that-cause-Disease.pdf

      As to laws about large commercial breeding farms, perhaps if the small home breeders, and in particular the breeders who belong to breed clubs or Kennel clubs were practicing in a controlled manor that was above reproach and we were not the focus of very valid criticism, then we could lead by example and have a strong voice in ending commercial puppy farming.
      We need to stop pointing at other types of breeders as if that excuses what we fail to do correctly and we need to clean up our own house. Two wrongs do not make a right.

      Personally I think it has all gone on way too long and it will soon be done for us and we only have ourselves to blame if we do not like the laws.

      Delete
  18. I think the KC has lost the point (or chosen to ignore it). Fiona is now AKC registered. She can be shown in America and she and her future American puppies are granted all AKC privileges. So why is the UK refusing to accept her AKC registration number as an import? Hmmmmm ... could it political? or maybe I'm just paranoid after so much interaction with the gods of registration trying to open their eyes to the science behind the dogs.

    I am at a loss as to why the people with the power have no science sense. This is really a no-brainer. Julie went to great expense to bring this gene to the UK and hopefully beyond while the AKC sat on it hands claiming foul. The UK did the right thing and registered the dog but now have lost sight of the goal... to pass the gene on to breeders who would like to incorporate it in their breeding program. Since Fiona is AKC registered, the UK should accept that registration and allow the puppies to be exported where ever they can make a difference. Isn't that the purpose of the gene anyway. Healthy Dals is all its ever been about. I praise Julie for stepping up and being a leader in a time when it is much easier to just go about your business and let others do the work.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Carols said "Julie went to great expense to bring this gene to the UK" but th report above says the dog is to go back to her owner, so she didnt buy the dog, beyong any quarantine (and she may well have used the pets passport scheme so even cheaper) she has paid out Less than you average pet owner bringing their dog back home or anyo ther show, breeder bring in a new dog! Who is teh owner and why wasnt it them who applied inthe first place? As for the pupiies , well just ONE mating litter here if over used will make the COI much much higher

      Delete
    2. that is not including 2 years work to get her registered with the Kc to begin with! you have no idea of the paper work & 'hoops' involved with getting this whole thing!
      Juli Evans

      Delete
    3. There is now 3 LUa litters that have been born, ALL bilateral hearing 29 pups in all. we now have 18 LUA dals in the UK. A litter of 8 born in France also bilateral hearing. Another litter is planned for the summer!
      Julie Evans

      Delete
    4. The other expence I think I need to add is the cost of showing Fiona last year, I HAD TO show her, just to prove she was a 'normal' Dalmatian to all the dalmatian fraternity, I could of well done without that expence of around £2,500. But again money well spent, it got the message accross (she won a CC) amongst many other awards!
      Julie Evans

      Delete
    5. Sarah Morgan, PhD19 January 2012 13:50

      The KC decision is not about health or even about the dogs. They specifically state that their problem is that Julie chose the wrong words when making her request!

      She accepted the restricted UK registration because, at the time, there was no guarantee that the AKC would register LUAs in the foreseeable future.

      After much heated debate, this is now changed and LUAs are being registered by the AKC. If Fiona were brought over now, she would be given full UK registration without any restrictions including that against granting an export pedigree.

      Fiona is just one of a small number of LUA Dalmatians brought into Europe. In order to spread the working SLC2A9 gene as widely as possible without creating any genetic bottlenecks, it makes sense to disperse the offspring (especially the females) as widely as possible so that a variety of lines become available in different areas.

      If the KC had regard only for the health of the breed, they would deal with the formalities (and at the point that's all they are) that interfere with this.

      Instead, they are ignoring the health of Dalmatians and concentrating solely on PR and rhetoric.

      Delete
    6. Thank you Sarah for putting that across in much better terms than I could!
      I find it so very difficult to take in the complete lack of understanding by those who argue against better health for our dogs, but instead choose to say such meaningless things!
      This costs thing may not seem to be huge by some but to me it is! To answer anon for the last time as I am too busy with important things, I had no intensions of showing last year, I simply new I could not streach to it. but because of people like you, I had to! Julie Evans

      Delete
  19. It cost over £1000 to import Fiona. It will cost me a further £1300 to send her back!

    Julie Evans

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    Replies
    1. And the average cost of a Dalie puppy is? as for show expenses, everyone has that and is not a valid expense to say she endured, you still dont say who oens the dog, and if you dont own her you cant be registeringthe puppies anyway unless you have signed a breeding agreement in advance

      Delete
    2. so what any person who flies their dog in to show at Crufts this year will have the same expense, think back to the days of 6 months quarrantine, then you might have something to moan about!

      Delete
    3. Annie Macfarlane19 January 2012 20:46

      Anon 0838.

      Breeders insist that dog breeding is not a money making exercise. All breeders advise that the expenses factored into the cost of a puppy are:

      travelling back/forth AND show entries;time involved in attending shows; health screening; payment of stud fee; raising of the litters and the cost/time involved; puppy packs; and vet checks - I'm sure there are more... All this can be found on Champdogs.

      The reason that the showing is so important - we are told - is the value of having your dog assessed by your peers to ensure that it is of sufficient standard - comformationally - to be bred. I therefore think that Julie factoring in the cost of showing is particularly relevant here, bearing in mind what she has done has been extremely controversial. I'm sure it was very important for her peers to see Fiona and to acknowledge that she is very much a Dalmation.

      As for the question of Julie being able to register the puppies from Fiona! This practice happens all the time in dog breeding. The dog is sent over on loan and for the time she/he is here she is registered in the person's name she/he is living with. If it is OK for other breeders to operate in this way...why is it so bad for Julie to do the same?

      At one time this was the only way to increase genetic diversity. We now have frozen semen which makes things a lot easier but I would always say that the best way to mate a dog is to have it covered by a male.

      For a project such as this it would be the only way that Julie could bring the desired gene into her own breeding programme. There are still costs with using frozen semen and the chances of producing puppies is reduced.

      I don't think there is anything wrong with that...in fact I think her efforts should be applauded.

      I really do think that these comments are very unfair.

      Delete
    4. "The dog is sent over on loan and for the time she/he is here she is registered in the person's name she/he is living with. " no either she owns the dog outright, in partnership or its on breeding terms, which one is it? when the move to bring in this dog was reported it was stated that Julie, OWNED the dog, and now it seems not as the plan they now say was ALWAYS to send it back. The folly to say that it had to be shown and so the cost of the shows were a thing she has to bear is silly, would she still say that if she had been chucked out each time, or if budget were tight most people have a champ show an hour or less away from home, no the dog was "Campaigned" that was a decision made. Much has been made of the dog being brought into "save" the breed yet ONE maiting does not save any breed, the offspring if over used will bottleneck the breed in time too. The way in which this dog and its ofspring are no different to any other dog/breed registered in this way, are people up in arms over those dogs too, no!

      Delete
    5. Wow Anonymous 04:37PM is way off track. The object of all of this effort is to spread the LUA gene to who ever would like to incorporate it into their Dalmatian line. It required a lot of money and time and effort to accomplish this task in the UK and in American. Julie is asking the KC to accept Fiona's newly acquired AKC number to be used to register the puppies so their future puppies can go outside of the UK. Can you see an issue with this?

      Delete
    6. I think the opposition to Julia moving forward is absurd. It is ridiculous red-tape and politics that is unnecessarily detrimental not only to Julia's specific plans for Fiona's progeny but in the larger scope of bringing this genetic improvement option to the overall Dalmation gene pool worldwide.

      If one looks at this from a viewpoint of healthy sustainable population genetics these LUA Dals could greatly benefit the breed worldwide. It takes time to effectively introduce a healthy genetic counterpart into a worldwide population and still maintain the genetic diversity and a viable and sustainable gene pool. This utterly unnecessary red-tape is costing the breed by wasting precious time in this endeavor.

      With so many breeds in such a dire state due to breedwide genetic health problems, the KCs ALL need to start being more pro-active in assisting those bringing viable solutions to resolving these population-wide genetic health issues.

      Health should be FIRST priority for the KCs (and the Breed clubs) in both word AND in DEED.

      Delete
  20. This is another KC dinosaur own goal. Frankly Julie should ask for the footage of her in the film to be removed - until they see sense. The Dally clubs should come down on this ridiculous loophole hard and fast. Well done to Julie for promoting a pain free dog.

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  21. I am at a loss as to what Mrs Evans is discussing here, if it is her litter from Fiona then as far as I am aware there were only 2 puppies carrying the LUA gene in that litter, a bitch that she is keeping and a dog that another family member is keeping, so I fail to see why the need to export a puppy from this litter if it is not LUA, unless of course the puppies that she wants to export are not from her own litter, so therefore not her discussion really anyway.

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  22. Anon Seems you are on my FB 'fiends' you seem to no more than I do or think you do! The point you miss is... I am doing this for everyone who chooses to breed LUA Dalmatians!
    I'ts about stopping the KC from limiting the gene, rather than making it easy for the rest of the world to incorperate into breeding programs! in other words it's about the dogs!!!
    Julie Evans

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    Replies
    1. But that is not true is it? It is reasonably easy for breeders around the world to incorporate the gene if they want to, by using the now AKC registered dogs direct from the US, and in fact creating even more diversity, without increasing the COI. What you mean is that they can't easily incorporate your kennel name, and your lines, so I wonder if this about the dogs, as you say, or is this about your own self promotion.

      Delete
    2. As you say Anon 09:48 it is reasonably easy for anyone to import one of the LUA Dals from the US, but really why should they when they could just as easily have one of Fionas pups? Your argument would only make sense if the AKC LUA Dals were any better than Fiona but they aren't - they are the result of the same single outcross, so the question is simply WHY are the KC (who were happy to include Fiona in their film to show how progressive and proactive they are being about health issues) being so damn stubborn? There is nothing to stop you or me from importing a LUA Dal, breeding from it and then exporting the puppies to Europe. Fiona is no different to any other imported LUA Dal, but the KC WON'T allow her puppies to be exported, simply because she was imported earlier than the others. The KC's stance on this matter makes no sense at all. What part of that don't you understand?

      Delete
  23. Out of interest, is anyone willing to confirm what Anon 8.07 has posted? It is relevant to the discussion I would have thought and not 'sensitive'. If none of the 'potential exports' carry the LUA gene, where's the added benefit to the breed?

    ReplyDelete
  24. There are two LUA pups in the litter - a bitch and a dog. Julie is keeping the bitch (always the plan). If the rules were different, as I understand it Julie would have exported the boy. As it is, he is staying in the UK.

    There are two other LUA litters currently in the UK. As the person who initiated the importation of the LUA gene into the UK, Julie has been arguing the case on their behalf, too. (And she started the process before she knew what she had in her litter).

    Remember it isn't just this litter. Fiona's daughter, if good enough, will be bred from in time. These pups too can't be exported. Neither can those pups' pups.

    I would really love the KC to admit they have made a mistake on this one.

    Jemima

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    Replies
    1. I believe the only mistake the KCs thinks they have made is letting someone like Julie get his far.
      The mistake was to allow themselves to be pushed to the point of having to open the flood gates to these crossbred mongrel (healthy) dals. They can not let persons like Julie have an impact on what they control, it is their club and they make the rules and she needs to be reminded of that now. Just imagine if health and welfare really were put first, what kind of KC’s would we have then? LOL

      But not to worry, the old school breeders and judges will unit and refuse to use the healthy dals, calling them mongrels.
      Fear will take over as most other breeders will feel if they use a healthy dal in their breeding program that their dogs will be shunned. Those who do use them will have a ready market for their pups and the public will rightly want a healthy pup, but then (as is happening now in this conversation) they will label these breeders as opportunists and puppy farmers breeding for profit.
      So no real damage will be done and the KC dal will stay pure and unhealthy. It is the same old same old status quo. These are people who have lost their way in the KC's very dysfunctional system and they will fight to the end to keep it just the way it is.

      I just hope that the end comes soon so the rest of us can move on in working towards breeding healthy dogs.

      Delete
  25. Jemima, I might be mistaken, but the information in the Kennel Club site says that export pedigrees won't be issued for 5 years. It does not state that a number of generation is required for the issue of export pedigrees.

    ReplyDelete
  26. And if it was a LUA boy that was to be exported, why was it announced on her site that a girl was still available due to the KC not lifting her "not for export" endorsement? Maybe Julie would be so kind to explain that, and why did it disappear from the site.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Julie was pretty sure she had more than two LUA pups initially (but it turned out that the rough-and-ready fridge urine test was not accurate in this case).

      I have published this comment but can't bear the constant cowardly pot-shots at Julie who are not man enough to put a name to their posts. It is vile, really, and I am not publishing any more.

      Sensible questions/comments (even from Anons) continue to be welcome.

      Jemima

      Delete
    2. Annie Macfarlane19 January 2012 20:54

      What difference does it make? That is not the issue here and whether Julie decided to keep the male pup or the female pup is up to her as the owner/breeder.

      I didn't realise that only a few in the litter would be LUA. I don't know much about this programme to be honest and I can only comment on what it means for the breed in the longer term.

      I think people making these comments are being very unfair to Julie, bearing in mind that she has jumped through hoops to make the breed healthier and less prone to pain and suffering.

      Surely that should be the over-riding concern here...not harrassing Julie about her plans or otherwise?

      I have to say I do find it more than a little bit hypocritical for the KC to include Julie and Fiona in their film...and yet refuse to allow her puppies to be exported...for the betterment of the breed.

      I just can't understand it at all. I can't understand a lot of what goes on at the KC though, so that's not something new.

      Delete
  27. For AKC registration, the litter must be born in the US.
    says Jess..
    not so.. you can import litters of puppies if you afford it.. they have to have a pedigree from their place of birth and then the AKC will register them. This is the problem here.. The KC will not issue an export pedigree for the pups so they cannot be registered in Europe.. is that right
    jan

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    Replies
    1. To register a LITTER with AKC the litter must be born in the US. Since a litter from Fiona would not have full registration, and thus no export pedigree, they cannot be registered via AKC unless she is brought into the US to whelp the litter.

      http://www.akc.org/reg/registeralitter.cfm

      Delete
    2. yes you are correct.. thanks The KC will not issue an export pedigree. Since Fiona is going back to the USA I assume they will breed her her and send whatever pups test out for LUA to the appropriate buyers. What I do not understand is if Julie knew in advance the pups could not be sent why complain now? or was she totally unaware that was the rule
      Jan

      Delete
  28. Julie and Jemima both - just don´t let them get you down. If there´s actually a future for pedigreed dogs, all these Anon:s won´t be remembered in it; but you will be.
    Julie, you have done right by your breed. Other people, in your breed and in others, will follow.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Jemima - thank you for replying with the information in relation to the number of LUA puppies in the litter.

    Incidentally, with the 2012 changes in the Pet Passort requirements, it will be much easier to import LUA dalmatians (or any dog) into the UK, especially from Europe. If there are only at present 18 LUA Dalmatians in the UK, in contrast to the 1470 odd that were registered by the KC in 2010 (last annual figures), isn't it more important to concentrate on importing more from Europe and the USA rather than exporting the precious few already here? Wouldn't that be a more effective way of increasing the genepool in the short term?

    I also think that some European Kennel Clubs will accept a dog for registration providing it has passed the relevant health checks for the breed and been passed by a couple of Ch Show judges - along the lines of the KC B register, If this is the case it would be possible to export and gain registration by this method? I agree it is long winded but the endorsement on registered export (physical is not being prevented) is only for a finite period.

    I just want to reiterate that I'm open minded on this issue as it seems anyone not condemning the KC for their desicion is being accused of being unfair, unkind etc to Julie. Rest assured that this is the last thing I would wish to do. It is just useful to have as clear and factual picture as possible in this sort of discussion.

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  30. This seems a non arguement to me - and frankly some elements of it puzzle me - I had an intervariety litter last year and the resulting pups were all registered with 3 *** -when I applied for permission to do the mating I knew and accepted the restrictions - and presumably so did Julie ? ... after all did she not import Fiona in the first place to establish the LUA gene here in the UK ? - she has only 2 pups with this gene WHY on earth does she want to send one of these to Europe ? -especially when breeders can now import direct from America or use other LUA lines already established in Europe ? - think about it - would the dog puppy not do far more good being kept here to be used at stud thus spreading the LUA gene far more widely in the UK population that the single bitch puppy she's keeping ? - Frozen semen can be exported around the world nowadays too so European breeders who want the LUA gene can use this facility in addition to importing dogs directly .

    "as does the information on Fiona's KC pedigree. The only name on it is Fiona's. No parents or grandparents or great-grandparents are listed despite that information being available. "

    This bit puzzled me too - all my 3*** pups have their full 5 generation pedigree from the Kc so I'm unsure why Fiona's pups would not - but you know - if for some reason, Fiona has an incomplete pedigree, presumably Julie knows her full lineage and can give a complete 5 generation pedigree to any prospective puppy buyers or breeders interested in her lines.

    Given all the options available to European breeders now there appears no compelling reason why Julie NEEDS to export those two pups - the reasons she gave to apply for Kc registration under the 3*** rule were all about introducing the gene in the UK not selling her pups abroad - if puppy sales waere an important criteria for her then she should not have accepted the 3*** restrictions in the first place !!

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    1. Kudos to you Bijou. Seems as though this person knew the rules BEFORE embarking upon her quest but now that she has the pups she wants the rules changed.. stamping her foot and claiming "foul" Jemima you yourself state here that Julie knew the rules so why does she think they should be changed more than three quarters into the game? I see this question asked in this post but do not see an answer.
      Although I do agree that she has the right to "free market' I do not see where a pedigree is a part of that right.

      Delete
    2. Gods save me from people with poor reading comprehension.

      OF COURSE she understood the rules. She initiated the process to get Fiona recognized in the first place, because Fiona could NOT be AKC registered at the time. At that time, it looked as though the DCA was NOT going to vote to allow registration of the LUA Dals. Well, they did vote yes, those dogs, INCLUDING FIONA, can now be AKC registered, but the KC refuses to change Fiona's status now that she is registered with AKC, and even though they will accept the registration of other AKC registered LUA Dals. Those dogs are not any different than Fiona.

      Exactly what about this is so difficult to understand?

      Delete
    3. what's so difficult to understand is why Julie thinks the 3*** rules should apply to other breeders but NOT to her I could understand the need to change the rules if the LUA gene did not already exist in other European countries and Fiona's was the ONLY LUA litter - but this is not the case - as you can see there have been several litters here in the Uk and in Germany and France http://www.nuadalseurope.co.uk/ -Given that the LUA gene is already " out there " I believe the following quot is the true reaaon for her grievance with the KC "I am being prevented from making use of a free market. I cannot export my puppies, but everywhere else in the world can," ..sorry but I believe this is NOT what was submitted to the Kc as a reason for Fionas' 3*** registration and they are quite right to refuse to change the rules simply because she now realises that she has lost a market for her pups .

      Delete
    4. "what's so difficult to understand is why Julie thinks the 3*** rules should apply to other breeders but NOT to her"

      Once again with the poor reading comprehension! Julie is upset because the KC is applying the three gen rule ONLY to Fiona now. With AKC registration, other LUA Dals will immediately be accepted with full registration by the KC. But NOT Fiona, because the KC refuses to change her status although she is now AKC registered.

      The rest of your comment is irrelevant nastiness. Does the KC require breeders to prove motive for other registrations? No? I see people on here whining about KC registered puppy farm dogs often enough.

      Delete
    5. "Does the KC require breeders to prove motive for other registrations? No?"


      ..actually yes ...when I applied I had to include a written submission detailing how my proposed inter variety mating would benefit my breed - Julie would have had to submit one also - I'm surmising from the KC's reply to her that enhancing the value of any resulting pups was not on her original submission !

      and the Kc is not applying the 3 gen rule ONLY to her it applies to all dogs on the 3*** register and this would include any other 3*** registered LUA Dals who have subsequently achieved AKC registration

      Delete
    6. Then it really shouldn't matter that she expected to break even, should it, if the KC accepted her original application? The money thing is just a specious excuse for the KC.

      And where are all these other LUA Dals that are on the three gen register? How many? Are their owners protesting? Or is Fiona the only one?

      Delete
  31. JL Wortham I think that peis are affected with a lethal gene that kills them I wonder if the scientist actually looked into this.

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    1. Actually there is some recently published research (March 2011, PLos Genetics http://www.plosgenetics.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pgen.1001332 )on the cause of the many Hyaluronanosis related health issues in the Shar Pei breed. For further info you can check my website's health section. The article at the top gives a brief explanation (in laymens's terms)of the HAS2 duplication mutations and the mechanism of the hyaluronanosis related health issues as well as multiple links to the articles written by the breed health experts and researchers on this. If you have any questions please feel free to contact me at the email posted on my website (Blessing's Shar Pei). I would be more than happy to help you educate yourself on the scientific facts. :)

      Delete
    2. Julia,

      I would REALLY like to talk with you regarding your knowledge, experience and insight regarding the LUA Dals project as I am researching such as a possible long term solution to the health issues in my breed (Shar Pei) and need to learn as much as is possible about the ins and outs of this type of project so I can make some educated decisions before I move forward with anything of this magnitude. jl@blessingssharpei.com

      Delete
  32. I completely agree with the essence of the post. The KC is being incredibly stupid in not encouraging the introduction of LUA dallies.

    But I have to chuckle that 'pedigree dogs exposed' is objecting to the KC's unwillingness to supply a proper pedigree.

    The problem is not pedigrees. The problem is that dog registration in the UK is monopolized by a backward institution, which values 'purity' more than health and temperament/function. Pedigrees, pre se are a good thing if you want to breed healthy dogs with desired traits. Purity is rubbish. Cripes, if you want to go back 30 generations, I think you'll find most of the UK origin spaniels, pointers, retrievers, etc. are far from pure. . . . and I'll bet you find the same with most working breeds. Form should follow function. Dogs must be allowed to evolve with the times. 'Purity' is a trumped up commodity.

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  33. @Annie Mc Farlane---"I have to say I do find it more than a little bit hypocritical for the KC to include Julie and Fiona in their film..."
    Mmmm So if Julie feels the way she does towatds the KC why indeed did she appear on their film as in speaking so positively on it as well!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  34. Julie, raising the issue of competition moved the debate into one of commerce and if you believe you have a case you ought to be having an informal chat with the Office of Fair Trading. It was a mistake and you lost ground with the KC.

    To regain ground, you need to focus on the issue of welfare, our legal system gives you more support under animal welfare legislation. A good message to focus on would be why there is a benefit to dogs from Fiona or her puppies having a KC registration without the restrictions.

    If the puppies are still in their adorable and photogenic stage, you could get some really good media coverage from the press and television news with a photocall (ideally outside the KC building). Get an authoritative voice to answer questions, someone from the BVA or RSPCA, to give you credence.

    The more often the KC is hit by poor publicity, the more it is hit financially by the loss of licensing and sponsorship revenue - that'll work quicker than all reasoned pleas!

    Meant to be supportive, but written in a rush, so may not seem that way.

    H

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  35. I am bemused by the notion that the mention of money somehow makes you a bad breeder. It's total nonsense. Indeed, it's easy to argue that making a few quid allows you to not skimp on a dogs' health and welfare needs. So although you're right, H, that the KC has used it to mark Julie down, it shouldn't have done in my view.

    I think it very unlikely that Julie would have made much money on this litter, regardless of securing higher prices for selling a pup abroad (is this always the case anyway?). But even if she had, it's irrelevant. The manner in which she's bred these pups is the key issue.

    We filmed the call Julie made to the KC so there is a record of the Julie-end of the conversation. That's why I can state categorically that mention of money was a very small part of it. The rest of the conversation was all about getting the gene into Europe and the health of the Dals, hence why it is so disappointing that the KC focused on the commercial aspect. Julie is absolutely passionate about the Backcross Project.

    Julie is currently dealing with a family bereavement so won't be able to directly answer questions here for a while.

    Jemima

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  36. Jemima, I tried not to leave anything open to misunderstanding.

    I support the concept of breeders running commercial businesses with healthy profits, if they are selling physically and mentally healthy dogs then the consumer should be prepared to pay for it.

    I sincerely hope that Julie has made a profit, one large enough to allow her to cover her costs and import further dalmations that will have full KC registration.

    Yes, of course, in an ideal world the KC would be providing breeders with a profitable business model and accepting that dog breeding should be financially viable. They should be policing and educating for financial viability, but they don't. Which is why, in my opinion, the issue of commerce would have been better left out of the equation, there was enough ammunition from the welfare issues.

    I didn't realise that Julie was coping with a bereavement, so please remove either of my posts if you feel they add any distress. That wasn't the intention.

    H

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  37. H, apologies if it sounded like I was challenging you - was not intended. I think you make some very good points; was just adding to them really.

    Jemima

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    Replies
    1. Jemima, no need to apologise, I didn't feel I was being berated.

      One of my chief gripes with the dog world is the perception that everything ought to be done for "love", and that excuses a lack of standards and professionalism which would be prevalent in a commercial market.

      The only sector which has managed to claw its way out of the "love" trap seems to be the veterinarians!

      H

      Delete
  38. It seems to me that four of the criticisms levelled at Julie are unfair.

    1. She knew the rules when she registered Fiona so she has no right to complain.

    Yes, but the rules of the game changed AFTER Julie registered the dog, didn’t they? She simply wants to be treated the same way as everyone else working under the new rules now that the AKC will register LUA Dalmatians. I think she does have a right to complain.

    2. There are only two LUA puppies in her litter so what does it matter?

    But it’s not just about this litter, is it? It’s about every litter that Fiona produces because, and do correct me if I’m wrong here, the same rules will apply.

    3. There are already LUA Dalmatians in Europe so they don’t need Fiona’s puppies.

    This argument is groundless for two reasons. Firstly, it is utterly irrelevent to an argument about treating a breeder fairly i.e. in the same way as other breeders with the same type of dog. Secondly, this argument displays a lack of understanding of very basic population genetics.

    4. The KC justifies its stance by criticising the language Julie used regarding ‘the free market’.

    Of course. Breeding dogs is the prerogative of the independently wealthy gentleman to whom money is not simply unimportant but actually downright distasteful.

    Do I detect the faintest whiff of Victorian class-consciousness and snobbery?

    Here’s the reality. Many fine dog breeders are not independently wealthy these days. They charge a fairly high price for their dogs, not to make money but to cover their costs. It is an expensive hobby. Nobody who knows anything about dog breeding, including those of us who are often harsh critics, has a problem with this. Why shouldn’t Julie be allowed to play on a level playing field when it comes to selling her puppies?

    I strongly suspect that the fears regarding crass commercialism referred to by Ms Swainson are actually an expression of well-founded fears of HUA Dalmatian breeders that if the market were allowed to be free, THEY will have a hard time finding homes for their puppies when the puppy-buying public realize they have a choice and will not be prepared to pay premium prices for puppies with an avoidable health problem.

    I too watched the KC’s promotional video and truly applaud their decision to register LUA Dalmatians. However, it is hypocritical to use Fiona to promote their claims to prioritize health when they simultaneously penalize Julie unnecessarily through Kafkaesque bureaucracy and tunnel vision. Surely if the KC really whole-heartedly supported the improvement of canine health through the LUA Dalmatian project, it would bend over backwards to be accommodating.

    It is not just the rudeness of the KC’s written response that is breathtaking; it is also the arrogance of an out-of-touch organization that thinks those of us who do not adhere to their outdated ideals are too stupid to notice the dots, let alone connect them.

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  39. "Do I detect the faintest whiff of Victorian class-consciousness and snobbery?

    Here’s the reality. Many fine dog breeders are not independently wealthy these days. They charge a fairly high price for their dogs, not to make money but to cover their costs. It is an expensive hobby. Nobody who knows anything about dog breeding, including those of us who are often harsh critics, has a problem with this. Why shouldn’t Julie be allowed to play on a level playing field when it comes to selling her puppies?"

    says sarah..
    I really have to laugh at this.. nothing to do with Julie.. although it would be nice to know if she is selling the pups for more than the "usual rate" for Dals.. It is her right to do so if she thinks she has a special item.. or has a buyer willing to pay her price.or if she just thinks her dogs d=command a certain price.. but i see her stating how much it cost to import the dog.. how much it will cost to send her back.. and even how much it cost to show her as if we didn't know that.. also many here believe in out crossing and its importance and deride those who would register and "chase ribbons" or "parade their dogs around a ring" when Julie did just that and them talked about how much it cost her and how important it was to her. WHY?.Sell the pups wherever you want to.. that is the free market system.. BUT I must take issue with this.. most of you here deride anyone making one thin dime on breeding.. you call people "puppy farmers' and worse if they dare to say they made any money breeding dogs and God forbid they actually should make a nice profit. I submit that you fit right in with that Victorian snobbery you write about.

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  40. "most of you here deride anyone making one thin dime on breeding.. you call people "puppy farmers' and worse if they dare to say they made any money breeding dogs and God forbid they actually should make a nice profit."

    I would love to know who you are speaking about, because I know numerous who comment here regularly have made it clear that they do not hold these opinions that you imagine they have.

    Kary

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  41. This is so true. I breed mix breeds, and people say I do it for the money (they also say this for the merle gene). I sell my pups for 400 each, while they are selling theirs for 1,200 each. Irony much? Such hypocrites.

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  42. Getting back to Fiona...

    I suspect the KC may well have a good reason for sticking to their desicion. When they originally registered Fiona, both they and Julie agreed to the terms of the registration and endorsements. There was no clause that this would be reviewed should the situation change and they haven't altered their position or shifted the goalposts further back. They accepted the resistration dispite considerable opposition from dalmatian breeders and clubs and part of the 'sop' if you like was to identify this dog and the next two generations - standard practice I believe when there is something 'unusual'. Fair enough the KC can register whichever dogs it likes. Nonetheless, having ongoing feuds and disputes with breeders makes life very difficult for all concerned, when the KC are accused of arrogance and disregarding the wishes of breeders...
    Should they back track on their desicion now, it will leave breeders with no confidence that this will not happen again and again. This could result in even more bitter opposition to future outcrosses, especially if there are fewer obvious benefits - and set the process back considerably. It is essential for the KC (at least try ) to retain the trust of breeders if any progress at all is going to be made. More carrot and less stick.

    I must correct Sarah when she says this will affect Fiona's future litters - apparently she will be returning to the States in the spring so this will be her only UK litter. There are also only 2 LUA puppies, one is being apparently being kept by Julie and so there is only one puppy for potential export. In respect of 'population genetics' one individual exported or not to Europe won't be making a significant difference. I think it is a male so if desired, semen can always be shipped so he doesn't even have to be physically present to impart his genes, as Bijou pointed out earlier (as well as other interesting background to the process). Additionally, it transpires the export restriction is in place for 5 years, rather than the 3 generations originally stated, so it is reasonable to assume it will be removed in this puppy's lifetime.
    The other two LUA dalmatians are not subject to the same restrictions as the regulations changed after they were imported. It's ill luck for Julie and one can only sympathise as with hindsight, had she waited perhaps a few months, her task would have been a great deal easier (however, possibly her actions instigated the rule change). In general life though, there is usually some type of cut off which adversely affects someone.

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    1. "Should they back track on their desicion now, it will leave breeders with no confidence that this will not happen again and again. This could result in even more bitter opposition to future outcrosses, especially if there are fewer obvious benefits - and set the process back considerably. It is essential for the KC (at least try ) to retain the trust of breeders if any progress at all is going to be made. More carrot and less stick."

      Nonsense. This was not an outcrossed dog, nor even one with a recent cross behind it. This was a dog that has fourteen generations of backcrossing behind it. A dog that, by your own admission, had they simply waited, could have been registered without issues. (That, btw is extremely specious; the DCAs track record was such that there was literally no expectation that they would ever change their minds on the LUA Dals.)

      This was an exceptionally boneheaded decision on the part of the KC. All the goodwill they generated by accepting Fiona in the first place, especially considering the opposition of the Dal club, went right down the toilet. It looks, to the public, like the KC is acting punitively towards Fiona because her owner had the gall to work, for two years, to get her registered, despite opposition.

      Changing Fiona's registration from conditional to full does not set any strange precedents, does not undermine the position of the KC as keeper of pedigrees (she does, after all, have fourteen generations of 'pure' breeding behind her,) and should not undermine the confidence of ANY breeder who can think in a critical manner.

      This should not "jepordise future 'outcross projects'" because this bitch WASN'T THE PRODUCT OF A RECENT OUTCROSS. She has, once again, FOURTEEN generations behind her. If anyone doubts her genetic 'purebred' status, I suggest you look at the Mars analysis of the LUA Dals, which makes the KC's decision look even more foolish from a scientific standpoint:

      http://www.luadalmatians.com/H_W_Comm_Report_to_AKC_April_30__2010.pdf

      The KC needs a new PR firm, badly.

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  43. As I said earlier, it is also now much easier with the change in the Pet Passport rules to import dogs into the UK from Europe, so this has the potential to improve the genepool here too.

    Obviously the KC are not going to be posting a comment on here to explain their desicion, so this is all conjecture - however it sounds plausible and reasonable to me. Why potentially jepordise future 'outcross projects' simply to permit one person to export one puppy?

    I also think the suggestion is flawed that the basis for UK Dalmatian breeders' opposition is a financial fear their puppies will become less saleable when the LUA gene is more widely available . If they were commercially motivated, then surely they would be fighting over each other to get this lucrative and exclusive gene into their kennels, so they could profit too?

    Sometimes, the wishes of an individual do have to be set against what the best course of action will be in the longer term. This desicion might seem to be irrational but somehow I think there is more to it than simple stubborness. Not every issue is cut and dried and it is worth considering other aspects before condemning any person or organisation outright. It does seem that commentators here are sometimes so determined to believe the KC is wrong on EVERY occasion that they do not even want to listen when alternative viewpoints are made - and anyone who disagrees is accused of being unfair/unintelligent. This is patronising and dissapointing and serves only to polarise rather than unite people. Dog breeders are frequently said to have closed minds but perhaps they are not the only ones...?

    I wish Julie every sucess with her LUA Dalmatians and extend my condolences to her on the family berevement she has suffered.

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  44. Thank you for the clarification, Julia. I misunderstood.

    Welcome back!

    Sarah

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  45. an excellent post Julia ...to be honest it saddens me that there whenever an alternative point of view is posted the default stance for many on here seems to be to insult and 'name call' instead of listening . Prof Crispin is quite right - the only way forward is for this stupid animosity to stop and for all sides to actually listen to what the other is saying ......do we not all want the same thing, happy healthy pedigree dogs ? ...both sides need to come out of their bunkers and acknowledge that yes there are problems that need addressing and yes this means changing the way we breed some of the worst affected breeds but equally that yes there are a great many good show breeders out there who ARE making a difference ....and be honest, what other body apart form the kC has supported those breeders and is committed to introducing new initiatives and funding solutions to the problems that exist ? - why not give kudos where it's due instead of the kind of automatic negativity that's such a feature of posts on here whenever the show world and the KC are mentioned.

    For heavens sake stop the playground bullyng and stop trying to alienate the very people who CAN make a difference .

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  46. Bijou said: "to be honest it saddens me that there whenever an alternative point of view is posted the default stance for many on here seems to be to insult and 'name call' instead of listening"

    Well said Bijou. Both camps are guilty of this to some degree and it HAS to stop. Jemima allows most replys through unaltered which is good, it allows for healthy debate and people from both sides can air their views. However, when it spirals into name calling and insults the debate suffers and we get nowhere. If, on the other hand she only allowed pro PDE posts through then she would be accused of censorship. What to do for the best? Nobody wants their reply to be censored or not posted so I suggest we all take a minute before hitting the send button to read back what we've just written and deciding if it was really necessary to call someone an idiot or moron or Jemimas bum chum etc. Once the insults have stopped flying we MIGHT just find some common ground and start getting somewhere.

    Bijou, with reference to what you said about listening to alternative points of view, is it safe to assume you recognise that it works both ways? Some don't, and theirs is the only opinion that will ever matter to them.

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  47. "is it safe to assume you recognise that it works both ways?"

    yes - most certainly -there are valid points from both camps and both sides are equally guilty of keeping the war of attrition going - it's almost as if it's the point scoring , finger pointing and blame game that matters rather than the end result.....I'm going to be honest and say that yes there are some breeds that make me wince when I look at them ..and Jemima was right to point this out - but equally there are many many good breeders from the show world who are a force for good ( as shown by the Bulldog breeder on the KC film ) and who are making changes

    When I first stared breeding ( over 25 years ago ) there were no health tests, no thought of calculating COi's , no DNA testing, line breeding was considered the way to maintain good breed type and genes were something you wore to walk the dog ! - science has changed the landscape of dog breeding and I along with most dog breeders have had a steep learning curve ...and one sector has taken the changes on board more rapidly and comprehensively than any other - be honest is it not the SHOW world that now health tests, forms breed specific health committees , attends health seminars and can recite the COi's of their litters off by heart ! ...is it not this sector of breeders who most often use the advances in artificial insemination to bring in new lines , who take their bitches abroad to be mated and import new dogs ?...and yet all those positives are rarely acknowledged in favour of yet more KC/Show bashing !

    We all want happy healthy dogs - why not support and celebrate those breeders and organisations who are working towards that end -whether they be show breeders, the DAC, the KC or Jemima herself ) ...

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  48. Why was she being filmed?

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  49. We have filmed a sequence with Julie for PDE2. We recorded the phone call as she made it while we were there and general views (what are known as GVs ) are always needed to cover edits in interviews. Don't think anyone expected the call to go the way it went.

    But there's no intention to use it in the film, as it happens.

    Jemima

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    1. yeah but I bet you mention it dont you!!!!

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  50. I've just been re-reading the RSPCA commissioned report: Pedigree dog breeding in the UK: a major welfare concern? By Rooney and Sargen. On p22 the authors discuss the impact of the fifth generation KC registration rule for the Dalmation: "This provides a financial disincentive for breeders to outcross."

    If the scientists feel that finance is a genuine issue in repairing our dogs, then surely the Kennel Club should view it the same way.

    H

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    1. As if there aren't enough 'cultural' disincentives regarding outcrossing anways. A telling conversation I had with a Dal person, who insisted that the LUA Dals will never be purebred (I have actually had variations of this conversation with several people):

      Me: If you want a desired characteristic or gene, you find a breed that has it and cross it in.

      Dal person: But what do you do with the puppies?

      Me: What do you mean, what do you do with the puppies? You grow them out and pick the best one with the characteristics you want, then breed it back into the purebred line and see what you get.

      Dal person: But you can’t *show them* until they look like purebreds again! What do you *do* with them?

      Me: :::runs head into brick wall repeatedly:::

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  51. I am afraaid I dont understand the KC decision here at all, nor do I understnd the breed clubs decisons SURLEY they want to protect their chosen breed ? and quite why the KC need to take so much notice of the breed club is beyond me this is an idiotic and backwards step. It will encouurage the perception that the KC is not idependent but driven by whaat the breed clubs want. (not the perception given in the recent KC film at all) and also that the KC and the breed clubs do not care about the breeds just purity and image

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  52. what a silly thing the previous person put about this case, if the KC were so hung up on breed purity they wouldnt of registed either the Dam or the offspring now would they! Indeed the KC registered the Dam before the American KC would, its only because the "Current"owner wants to BACK PEDDLE on what THEY agreed in the last 12 months.

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  53. Not really a silly thing to say at all because this was not smethingthe KC wanted to do to register Fiona more something they probably felt they had to. They have now shown their true colours again.

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  54. "they probably felt they had to" would that be before the AKC or indeed any other KC, well what other pressure you mean then? Shame peopel on here never look to see just what work the KC has, does, and has planned for the health of all dogs, but if you will be soo blinked, not even the truth can change a harden view

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  55. How does when the AKC accepts out crosses make any difference to when the KC should, should we judge ourselves by when the AKC or any other KC choose to do something or by when we have the courage to do it ourselves.

    As for what the KC does or has planned for the heath of dogs this does not excuse what they have failed to do already

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  56. ...and, for the record, the AKC allows mix breeds to compete in performance events, it does not allow them to be registered as breeding stock. There is a difference.

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  57. Beth F, The KC allowed (and registered) mixed, indeed dogs of unknown parentage for many years now and have ALWAYS allowed them to compete in performance events UNLIKE the AKC, as for this case it was the KC that accepted registration BEFORE the AKC. to the previous ANONYMOUS, the KC were the one who started health check back in the 1940's the hipo,eye and many othere schems and tests used by breeders and owners and KCs around the world started either here or were fianance via the KC here, if you care tou check facts you will see those who have used these schemes have had good results and improved the breeds, indeed many conditions suffered by breeds are no longer problems for them, just do some research on INDIVIDUAL breeds (why not start with the Irish Setter) and you can see what has been achived as it unlikely it will be given anytime in PDE2, like its wasnt in PDE1 (which i suspect is why this post wont be published!)

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  58. I’m not up to speed with my URL’s and http’s but rest assured I am Kevin Colwill or Convict225 if you prefer.
    Let’s try to sort wood from trees here. The Kennel Club, to their credit, has never had a problem with non-purebreds and outright crosses taking part in events like agility. This reflects the KC’s history as a rather broader church than many imagine. It has always included people focused on a dog’s working abilities rather than on breed purity.
    Agility, obedience, gun dog trials, heelwork to music and so on operate very much as separate disciplines under the KC umbrella. They are very separate worlds with very little cross over and very little cross over with the show world.
    When we talk of “the KC” we are most often using shorthand for the KC’s stewardship of the world of conformation showing- dog shows and pedigree dog breeding. It’s here that the KC has a very mixed record on health and welfare. There are examples of good initiatives and many others of ignoring problems. Even where good work has been done and problems tackled there are examples of the KC leading and examples of it failing to back health focused breed clubs and individual breeders.
    A lot has changed but core problems remain. I’m alarmed that even today there is a great reluctance to make health and welfare the unambiguous first priority. Somehow the concept of “type” or “beauty” always wheedles its way into joint first place. For me these are clearly secondary considerations.
    There is also a reluctance to admit fault. The show community wants to believe only a tiny minority of breeders in a tiny minority of breeds were doing anything wrong. There is no acceptance that showing generally had gone in the wrong direction and the mindset of breeders needs to change.
    Finally we see again and again the dislike of outside scrutiny. Scratch the surface and you still get the attitude that if you’re not “in” dogs you can’t understand those who are. This is often coupled with the deferential notion that whoever has the most CC’s must automatically win any argument.
    I hope and expect PDE2 to reflect the positive changes in the dog world since 2008. I also expect it to reflect the problems that still exist. I just wish the KC had engaged with the programme rather than sitting back ready to rubbish it. I think it was President Lyndon B Johnson who said it was “better to [have a trouble maker] in the tent pissing out than outside pissing in”

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  59. but PDE will change the flow of that "piss" to suit what every point they want to make, so who can blame the KC for not entering such a pissing contest!

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    1. I see I've set up an unwelcome analogy! So let’s put LBJ’s famous quote to one side and try to look at it from a different angle.
      If you’re a politician looking to get their point across where would you go...an interview on the Today programme with hard questioning but an audience of millions or would you post your views on a friendly website where you can set out your stall unchallenged but run a serious risk of reaching just your own supporters and a few political anoraks?

      Kevin/Convict225

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  60. Kevin says "an interview on the Today programme with hard questioning but an audience of millions" but teh Today programme is LIVE and cannot be editied to suit agenda of the interviewer, how many of the people/organisation duped by PDE! will take part in PDE2 I think will show why this is not the same.

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  61. Rumour now has it thats as PDE2 is no longer under the Panorama, label, but a one persons view (like thats what is wasnt before!!!) that the BBC will not have to defend its contents or views indeed they will let it fend for itself, it seems the cup they extended might have a botter taste to it!

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  62. Good try, illiterate anon. But PDE1 was never a Panorama. And I think you'll find that all the BBC's output is subject to the exact same level of scrutiny, whatever channel it is on.

    Jemima

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  63. "BBC's output is subject to the exact same level of scrutiny, whatever channel it is on" then that level cant be very high now can it!!!!!! as for the Panorama link yes it was under their banner..........but I think you will left out to float onyour own this time, the fact the saem gauy commissioned you once and has to do again I think needs to be invesitgated, if dogs are inbred ....that would appear to be a far closer "relationship" and not a healthy one for the liscence fee payer.

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  64. Do you honestly think I wouldn't know if the film went out under the Panorama banner or not?

    But by all means phone the BBC and ask them.

    Jemima

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  65. @ Anon 07.19 -- I'm on radio Devon on Thursday 23rd (not under the Panorama banner). I was on the lunchtime programme last year talking about pedigree dogs in the run up to Crufts and the same producer has asked me back. It’s very small beer compared to Jemima but maybe it's all part of one big dark conspiracy!! Perhaps you'd like me investigated too?

    Kevin Colwill... a.k.a. Convict225

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  66. Come on Kevin C anyone who knows you knows like Jemima and Ms Cuddy you would show up to the Opening of an Envelope to get you face pictures or your name in print

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    1. Careful anon 06.39... you don't want to break the KC policy on playing nice on the internet! Oh, I forgot, that particular policy only applies when you're attacking judges and exhibitors. It seems you can post what you like about KC critics.
      If you did know me you'd know I certainly don't always agree with Jemima or Beverly Cuddy but I'm flattered to be put that sort of company!

      Kevin/Convict225

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    2. Kevin I am not sure which wouydl apply to you better the words of Noel Coward or Edith Sitwell, well the Knight said "I love criticism just so long as it's unqualified praise" and the Dame said "The aim of flattery is to soothe and encourage us by assuring us of the truth of an opinion we have already formed about ourselves" ......perhaps its both

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  67. this really is a NON story, the reason for non issue of a export pedigree was clear at the time, the stance that the FCI take howevere is a different matter. Agreed

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