And the reality?
They're just a judge-check, not a vet-check.
Here, Crufts Chief Vet Andreas Schemel demonstrates exactly what they entail. Or rather don't entail.
Dr Schemel is, of course, a judge himself and all he does is simply repeat what a judge would do.
• there is no stethoscope;
• no pen-light to look in the dogs eyes.
• he runs his hands down the dog's limbs but doesn't make any attempt to manipulate the joints.
And as for the movement/breathing test.. the dog is asked to trot 10 metres. And back again.
Now, the Kennel Club can claim that this is a check to ensure that judges don't put up dogs with obvious problems.
But to also claim that this is any proof of the overall health of show dogs is just nonsense.
But that's what the Kennel Club is doing. Have a look at this report in DogWorld - which, incidentally, confirms that all the Crufts vets had "received training and attended the KC's high-profile seminar at Stoneleigh" (the KC's Warwickshire HQ).
I am informed that they were instructed not to check "too thoroughly".
The DogWorld article also reveals the names of the vets involved.
A quick check reveals that two are Kennel Club Members, and one of them is an owner and exhibitor of Border Terriers. Coincidentally this is the same breed as both the current and past Chairman of the Kennel Club.
If that is a high profile breed vet check then my 10 year old pug with laryngeal collapse would pass!
When the vet checks were first mooted I supported them as a valuable precedent and a small step in the right direction.ReplyDelete
This time last year it looked like they were going to be something much more important than that. For a few weeks (until the big next dog show with vet checks) we thought we might be on the verge of a revolution. Sadly we weren't!
The checks have been watered down but, more importantly, the vets doing them have been carefully selected and coached on what the Kennel Club requires.
It's all become about relativism. Relatively healthy examples of a breed are passed as fit even if they remain absolutely health compromised dogs.
We're not going backwards, the worst excesses are being left behind, but progress isn't going to be as rapid as we thought it was going to be.
The Kennel Club wasn't up for leading a revolution. Let's hope they're genuine about overseeing a steady evolution in health and welfare standards.
er are those stats they quote conveniently worded ? only 15 dogs failed vet checks out of 300 + I thought only 15 breeds actually had vet checksReplyDelete
Fifteen dogs out of 300 checked is what they mean.Delete
It is ridiculous that they allow vets with such obvious conflicts of interest to perform the checks. These checks should be done by independent vets who are not affiliated with either the KC or any KC breed club.ReplyDelete
As for this video (wonder how long it will stay up?), I notice that there is no checking of the skin inside the folds (inflammation, anybody?), no penalisation of the obvious stenotic nares and no inspection of the pharynx and soft palate, which could be easily done if the vet were allowed to use a small torch light. The 10-meter-trot is pretty laughable, too.
It seems vet checks have gone from a valuable instrument of deterrence to a corrupt system of shoulder patting in one year. What a bunch of crooks!
its not easy to open a flat faced dogs mouth to check their palate etc.ReplyDelete
though the sound was low the dog was still obviously snuffly which doesnt indicate good breathing to me.
I had the misfortune to spend some time with a pug the other day and it really upset me , I couldnt let my dog suffer to the extent he did. infected facial folds and having to really struggle to breath ( he wasnt even moving anywhere)
Yes they are a "Judge Check". The whol;e point of these checks is to stop judges rewarding unhealthy dogs. If a dog with a heath problem caused by conformation abnormalities is rewarded by a judge then its a problem. The judge neeeds to be eductaed and one way oif doing this is to stop his nominated BOB going forward. However the issue of "hidden" health problems that cannot be seen by the judge is a different issue and becomes a problem only if if and when the owner decides to breed. You cannot get the two areas mixed up.ReplyDelete
Quite, it was always supposed to be about checking that judges were not putting up dogs with obvious exaggerations compromising health and welfare, during the judging process (which is about 2 minutes per dog including the movement pattern. If such dogs are not rewarded then those breeding in order to be competitive in the showring will not breed from them, or choose such dogs as show specimens. Judges and breeders are not vets. As for speed of change, a canine generation is approximately 3 years so any appreciable change already is quite a step forward,a and breeders cannot be punished for not yet being all the way there, as that will take generations. If the reason they breed is to compete, then what is to keep them continuing and improving if their efforts are not appreciated/rewarded. I am here thinking for example the very fit moving bulldog that was BOB last year, far more moderate than most in the breed, so the exclusion really was a slap in the face, for a scar, assumed to be caused by conformation, not a current issue. That would leave only those in the breeds producing puppies with no selection at all (who sadly are the majority producing puppies)for health, merely for reproductive ability, as whether we like it or not the pet buying public have a thing for what many of us consider unnatural/compromised conformation. It is the very features that are a problem they are attracted to. Similar to the market for docked puppies in traditionally docked breeds, many will seek out illegally docked pups or imports to get the dog with the look they want.Delete
I hope it wasn't just me that noticed Percy was grunting even before he was moved. When the camera went back to him on the floor after movement you could clearly see he was breathing hard...evidence by looking just below his ribs. My dogs wouldnt do that after such a short trot. So basically unless the dog is just about passing out after a short trot and cursory inspection...they get through to the group ring. There is definitely a conflict of interest having KC members etc., carrying out the health checks. This needs to be done independently .... and there is no way that Peke should have gone through. As soon as he hit the floor he was out of breath.ReplyDelete
Not good enough KC. After thinking that perhaps things would change for the better for dogs...it;s back to the same old, same old. Very sad
It's a conflict of interest that if it was exposed in the medical profession there would be some sort of official inquiry. In context, if a drug manufacturer was responsible for the regulator who checked it's drugs, would we trust them to produce safe and effective products, given the fact that they are a business who exist to make a profit? No. It's why external regulation exists. We don't yet see the need for this with our dogs unfortunately but the KC give the impression they are a law unto themselves. Funny thing is, most reasonably intelligent people can see right through this debacle. So what do we do next?ReplyDelete
Complain! Send emails to the powers that be and tell them having vets that are members of or employed by the KC must find it difficult if not impossible to be objective.Delete
This is insane. You can hear him wheezing loudly even in a youtube video, yep that's a passing dog!ReplyDelete
"The two vets who conducted the checks at last year’s Crufts – Will Jeffels and Alison Skipper, who failed six breeds between them –joined the team after being invited to do so by the KC.'
you forgot this part.. so I added it for you..
so if the KC invited two judges who FAILED 6 dogs that is not good enough? why would they do that is they are supposed to be the 'good ole boys"?Delete
Great post! Love the amount of objectivity while still giving intense connotations to feel how deceptive these practices are. But again, I am not surprised, as the lazy, indifferent, and of course, those who just want their own way, is the standard for many events and organizations the world over.ReplyDelete
The vet checks are a tough one. The vet is only allowed to turf the dog if it is suffering at the time of presentation, so the fact that it's rather deformed and will likely suffer in the future can't be taken into account.ReplyDelete
The problems they are looking for should not require and equipment; inflammed conjunctiva/eye discharges, sore skin, lameness, breathing problems. Whether the dog has a heart murmur is irrelevant until the dog is health screened for breeding which is another matter altogether.
Lameness can be spotted in 10 paces by a trained eye and hot or swollen joints detected by running a hand over them.
There is a risk that if vets start conducting a full examination including joint manipulation that they will be accused of damaging the dog if it later goes lame (I've had this in practice let alone crufts!)
I have vetted in at cat shows before and it is a basic "is this cat sick" once over.
It's never going to be possible for the crufts vet checks to be totally independant. Someone has to request the vets presence and pay them (even if they volunteer they will get expenses I'm sure) and Kennel Club or RSPCA there will be concern about bias. Of course vets are regulated so if anyone feels a vet has not executed their job properly they can complain to the RCVS.
My big problem with these checks is that they are not done on all breeds. Several looked unlevel in the big ring, though this could have been due to poor handling.
Wonder if I should be a crufts vet next year!
I think you should sign up. You sound level headed!Delete
This is very disappointing. I am a complete layman to the world of showing and had hoped that the introduction of the vet checks would indeed mean an improvement in the health and conformation standard of the dogs being put up, leading *hopefully* to a change in the publics perception of what healthy dogs in the breeds *should look like. Ie giving Joe Public looking for a dog an education as to which were the best and healthiest types of the breed they were looking for. It seems the KC still has a very long way to go in eradicating the bad breeding from the good and that to Joe Public it will still be a lottery as to whether the pup they decide to purchase from a well known breeder is actually as healthy and sound as its sire or dams win at Crufts ought to suggest. The vet checks appear to have been watered down and lost their bite such as to be pretty pointless. Unless the vets used are independant of KC and breed there will always be conflict of interest. But more than any of these points it is the Judges that should be free from bias. They are really the ones who are most responsible for the putting up of dogs with extreme conformation and masked health problems.ReplyDelete
What a joke! Can't a comprehensive vet exam be attached to the animals some how, like through microchipping and then simply don't allow animals and offspring of animals that don't meet certain health requirements to be eligible to participate in shows?ReplyDelete
What gets me is the Kennel Club wringing their hands and wailing that they can do nothing. They have ALL the power and don't seem to know it, or don't want to know it. They can say who is and isn't eligible to win and since these breeders seem to ONLY care about winning they will do what is necessary to win on the big day. Even if the breeders do set up some other system and abandon the Kennel Club, which sounds ludicrous to me, how can they not do everything in their power to TRY and help, even if it doesn't work?
The pug "Percy" has obvious breathing difficulty! But he passed his 'health' check. So the serious and real issue of this breed was glossed over!ReplyDelete
Breeders and exhibitors have issue with these checks not being done on ALL BOB winners too.ReplyDelete
Anyone who thought these vet checks were anything more than an educational tool for judges and a confirmation of a dogs welbeing on the day really are living in another world with their own agenda and unrealistic expectations!
Judges personal preferrances can make a huge difference to a breed with some, we all understand a breed standard differently, so what I would consider a bad specimen another would give awards to. This is a problem of human nature not the KC or regulation and yes the vet checks are making a difference re what is being placed ie dogs that have always been shown and there but rarely given high awards because of that personal preferrance.
I really start asking myself why our kennel's Frenchies have a CT scan before we decide showing/breeding them when there are vets who see the health in a dog within like 3 minutes. On the other hand what do I expect when the official health checks for my breed require just an 11 minutes walk (for like 1 kilometer) to check breathing (what a joke!), a little patella lux check plus having to show two spine X-rays to the club vet - but regardless how bad the spine is deciding to breed with the dog is up to the owner alone. That's all a weird kind of marketing strategy in my eyes just to imply we care about health, we do all to improve but insuring on the other side that not many dogs fail.ReplyDelete
It's such a shame
This is a disgrace! Conflict of interest aside, this "check" doesn't really check anything. The Kennel Club shows once more that they care more about PR and watching each other's backs rather than the health problems of our beloved breeds...ReplyDelete
The answer lies outside vet checks within shows. The checks should be done as a requirement for every dog that is entered for a show and should be a minimum of a bi-annual, possibly quad-annually, event certifying that your dog is healthy and sound.ReplyDelete
If you have to spend £25 (nominal figure!) per certification check then you are damned well going to make sure your dog is healthy before you even venture out the door.
There would be a burden of extra administration on show societies but this would be, in my opinion, a price worth paying by the organisers to ensure their show is populated only by dogs that are healthy.
The so it becomes a sport for a even smaller well off community who will then take the breed in whatever direction they fancy.Delete
You do know what it costs to enter a show I presume?
I think it safer to impose compulsory health testing and independent vet check on all breeding stock, there are plenty out there that enjoy showing theirs dogs that don't breed from them (its their choice) why should they be penalised? I personally think the dogs that are on KC list should be prohibited from the showring until satisfactory improvements are made, I wonder how much pussyfooting around there would be if they couldn't participate in the ring?Delete
Odd h ow so manyhere complain aboutthe standard of the vet checks yet when the former chief vet of the RSPCA (and other so called "experts " picked by the filme makers) made remarks about the health and soundess of dogs, they didnt examine the dogs they remarked over, indeed they had never seen them in real life only based their judgement on film shown to them. So who is fair in that case?ReplyDelete
One doesn't have to physically examine these dogs to see the bleedin' obvious. How do you know that they actually haven't handled or examined these types of dogs personally?
Steve Jones is an expert in the science of genetics. Therefore, his knowledge and expertise in this field is applied to how inbreeding manifests in the organism under discussion, regardless of species, breed etc. Jemima could have been researching feline leukaemia or cancer in rats and he would have been able to advise her regardless as DNA and the transcription of genetic codes into proteins and how mutant genes give rise to diseases is common to every living thing on earth. He is not a dog expert but doesn't need to be understand the inbreeding in the pedigree dog world.
Mark Evans - I can't imagine the RSPCA appointing anyone to chief vet without the necessary experience and knowledge in companion animals can you!? He's a hero!
"Mark Evans - I can't imagine the RSPCA appointing anyone to chief vet without the necessary experience and knowledge in companion animals can you!? He's a hero!" well you would think that the RSPCA would do some sort of checking before wasting hundreds of thousands of the publics donated money on Mr Evans as to his ability but you would be wrong (he didnt say very long did he?!) Mr Evans has spent moe time doing TV work making over gardens, building cars, planes than he ever did work as a vet, he has NEVER been to a dog show and NEVER examined any show dog thathe has made public comments on, go figure. A quick slimpse at his twitter account shows his biased views when it comes to pedigree dogs, and I suspect now that Channel $ have enjoyed another successful year showing Crufts his last programme butchering natures animals will numbered, indeed its the very reason the RSPCA let him go as it broke thier own animal welfare charter.Delete
Inside Nature's Giants did not break the RSPCA's animal welfare charter.Delete
Mark is as popular as ever with the Channel 4 commissioners. His new series, Easter Eggs Live, starts in a week or so:
It is probably true that he has spent more years working as a TV presenter than a vet.
But that's still more years working as a vet than you.
Jemima so how can you (or Mr Evans) justify slicing up natures giants on TV when the RSPCA's own Policies on Animal Welfare (revised 2012) section : 4.7,Dissection of Dead Animals, in 4.7.1 it states :- The RSPCA is opposed to the dissection of vertebrates and invertebrate animals in education establishments, except for veterinary degree courses where no alternative are yet available. In 4.7.3. it goes on to say “ The RSPCA advocates the creation and use of educational resources which provide alternatives to dissection. As the programme fronted by Mr Evans is Not and educational programme (and if it was not just solely aimed at Veterinary students) it would go wholly against the policy of chopping up such dead animals, indeed if it just wanted to inform the general public with out such mutilation to such creatures remains it could use a whole host of CGI techniques as ALL the dissection they choose to do have been done in the past and are well recorded so would be simple to recreate them with CGI. I suspect you cant wriggle out of this abuse of animals in the name of entertainment. As for Mr Evan, a hidden Easter egg I suspect is about his level of value to the Veterinary world. As for my time in Animal Welfare I suspect its been a lot longer and better used than Mr Evans, hours spent tinkering with cars to make biennial TV fodder. This I appreciate will not be allowed on your blog but thank goodness even the RSPCA finally learned what he and you are all about.Delete
I think I probably can wriggle out of "this abuse of animals in the name of entertainment", Anon.Delete
First, the RSPCA guidelines relate to the rearing and killing of animals specifically for dissection - which is not what happens on Inside Nature's Giants, which only uses animals that have died a natural death or been euthanised because they needed to be, independent of the TV series. Second, the audience at the dissections on Inside Nature's Giants are trainee vets on veterinary degree courses.
After all, if you're right - that Mark was booted out and the RSPCA has "finally learned" what he is "all about", how come there is no statement condemning Inside Nature's Giants from the RSPCA.
"...thank goodness even the RSPCA finally learned what he and you are all about."
As for my relationship with the RSPCA... perhaps you could provide some evidence to support the notion that it is not what it was?
But of course you won't. Because there isn't any.
Mark Evans had the guts to stand up and say what he found morally and ethically wrong with the pedigree dog show world. I respect that immensely. I may speculate that he felt so strongly about it, perhaps he was prepared to put his veterinary career on the line? We'll never know will we? you have absolutely no idea what he may have experienced in his career with regard to sick show dogs. I would imagine that if you love the species and you witnes the damage that people are doing in the name of aesthetics, you would feel pretty sick yourself. He speaks with authoritative knowledge and education on these issues- hardly biased is it if you have experience and education? However, he does appear to be a man with many interests outside his veterinary career, including TV and engineering. You aren't in demand in this area if you are untalented!
If my vet could easily refurb my Land Rover; advise me on landscape architecture (I freakin' LOVED Garden Invaders); had a passion for conservation and nature and happened to be an extremely personable and thoroughly all round entertaining chap, I would advise him to jack in the day job and move into TV. Better pay, better hours and no caring for sick, pathetic excuses for dogs whose owners and breeders can be ignorant of the truth staring them in the face.Delete
Who knows what Mark Evans has had to endure in the RSPCA? It's hardly going to be uplifting work is it? They are at the sharp end of animal welfare and I would speculate that the head vet has a pretty gruelling and emotionally draining job. Life is short and if you are banging your head against a brick wall, perhaps it is time to move on to new and brighter pastures. Good luck to him. And Inside Nature's Giant is one of the most educational, fascinating and progressive TV programs that has ever graced out TV screens. Hence ithe recognition, Awards and respect it has in the scientific community.
Vet checks or not the responsibility for presenting healthy dogs in the ring lies with only one group....the owners! Really we shouldn't need vet checks at all...rather sad that we do. And although I don't judge 'proper' dog shows I've judged plenty of pet dog shows and people still put unhealthy dogs in front of the judge (lame, eye problems, skin problems, grim mouths). If I'm judging no prize for the unhealthy!ReplyDelete
I fervently wish there were fewer anonymous posters!Delete
If the KC really wants to do the right thing then they simply need to allow an external not partisan veterinary group perform actual Veterinary checks. I believe from your first coverage on this topic a while back that was actually the case. But, now it seems the breed clubs pushed back in protest and have now gotten the vet checks scaled back to nothing more than an opinion of another one of their own.ReplyDelete
Not very revolutionary there. Perhaps another groundbreaking spanking with a hard hitting documentary is needed????
More spanking required! Here here!ReplyDelete
Do you have any irons in the fire in this regard Jemima?
This is suppose to mirror what a judge would do when going over a show exhibit?ReplyDelete
If my dog was given such a perfunctory hands-on examination by a championship show judge, I would feel cheated out of my £25 entry fee.
Tell us Margaret when did you last judge at a champ show?Delete
Anonymous 17th March 02.17ReplyDelete
I'm not sure what relevance my judging career has to do with what I wrote? I do hope you are going to enlighten me.
I have shown my dogs at Championship shows for over thirty years. I have been awarded Challenge Certificates in two different breeds. I think experiencing that amount of 'judge checks' qualifies me to say that I would feel short changed by a judging examination as minimal as that shown on the video.
For the information of anyone else who, like Anonymous, considers that only a championship show judge is qualified to give an opinion on this subject........... I was offered the chance to judge at Championship shows in the late 1990s, but I was becoming increasingly disabled so I felt I should regretfully refuse.
So you havnt judges for over 20 YEARS and yet you feel quailifed to comment on other who do? odd that I thinkDelete
You need to read my post again, I did not say I had not judged for twenty years.ReplyDelete
I doubt whether other people would think it odd if a long term exhibitor commented on the manner in which an examination of a dog is conducted.
Your spitefulness is getting boring now. I will not be answering any more of your remarks until you post something that adds to the subject under discussion.
Whoever Anon 15;01 is Margaret is quite correct you are spiteful and your remarks are totally unnecessary. To judge or not to judge is a personal preference. But Margaret clearly states that she showed for very many years and would be fully aware of what would be acceptable for a judge to do when going over a dog. The vet checks were minimal and it seems that the vets had to follow set KC procedure so if one were showing under that "vet as a dog show judge", one would feel pretty hard done to, there is no question. Perhaps you are unaware of what is expected from a dog show judge which resulted in your unkind remarks. SynsisDelete
Synsis as Ms Harrisonis the puppet master here and only allows what she likes to be published and did not approve my last post you would of known that I am more than qualified in my experience and achivements in the dog show world to make such observations as to Ms Carter lack of experience as a judge to have any valid ability to comment others who are. Ms Carter say she was "offered" the chance to judge at a champ show inthe laste 1990's which mean it couldof been an appointment without CCs and as CKCS are a Band E studbook breed ANYONE could do that, and even if was CC appointment the fact an invite was offered does not prove she was either quailifed, experience enough to award CCs let alone be supported by the Breed Clubs or approved by the KC, a cheap statement she makes with no valid foundation. To quantify this I have been in my own breeds for over 30 years judges them for over 25 (the last 15 years given CCs) judges at CACIB level, and owned/bred 15 champions an a number of other CC winners, worked behind the the scences at shows and at BVA health testings and yes all in two breeds that have had many health problems that I have worked hard to ensure none of mine ever had (with close work with the BVA and KC), this was done in a quite and manner and not running off to the press to make a name for myself. Who would you say was more qualified to talk about the role of the vet checks at shows and the role of a Championship breed judge ?Delete
The one who is not anonymous? If you want to make an argument from authority, don't hide behind anonymity. For all I know, you could be a dog.Delete
Anon 21:43 Say what you mean, do you have a personal problem with Mrs Carter because you seem to be self promoting, when all Mrs Carter seems to be saying is that if the vet check were likened to be judged at a dog show, for an entry fee of £25 she would feel hard done by and so would 99.9% of the dog showing population. The judging jibe seems to be totally irrelevant. Mrs Carter isn't hiding behind anon, be brave and expose yourself if you want to be so rude and if your self promotion is going to be worthwhile we would need to know who this temple of virtue is so that we can lay homage at your feet. Anon 22:57 you took the words right out of my mouth!!Delete
If you find Ms Harrison and this site so unpleasant, don't visit it and go out and walk your dogs or count through your show cards and admire how well you have done if you have too much time on your hands. Synsis
Synsis you postings are as anonymous asthe ones your complain about who are you, what breeds do you have/had? as for Mrs Carter she says one thing but has no "Pedigree" to back up her claims.Delete
Well, besides breeding and showing two breeds for years... owning a top stud dog... being health rep for the breed club..Delete
Please deal with the issues, rather than lob ad hominen attacks from behind the cloak of anonymity.They don't make you look bit or clever.
My history is irrelevant, the difference between us is, is that I am not self promoting and nor am I being deliberately hurtful to another contributor, whereas you are and to be thus revelation of whoever you are is appropriate. Like Margaret, I will not respond to you again.Delete
Too right Jemima, wasting people's time, be constructive not destructive, hope Anon 12:30 gets the message.Delete
May I enquire what continuing professional development the KC accredited breeders and show judges are obliged to obtain in order to ensure that they are up to date with current scientific understanding. How do they ensure that the breed standards are fit for purpose, given the fact that animal welfare should be of primary importance.ReplyDelete
Hi Anon 17:37, goodness only knows, but it sounds good doesn't it... Accredited breeders is just another jolly good idea for extra income stream. Monitoring by KC is impossible, they can't even patrol the benches at Crufts and see the dangerous practices being undertaken by the west highland terrier breeders. They seem to be using hairspray, chalk, talc and god knows what else, all I thought were banned procedures. As someone else said, they'll be dipping their dogs in neat bleach next so their dogs really are brighter and shinier than any other dog. The dog who couldn't stand, the huffing and puffing pugs/pekes etc etc. And this is in their back yard. No AB won't be monitored either fairly or sensibly, by why should they bother, the get the money from the ABs, registration of the puppies, transfer fees and anything else they can pick out of the pockets of dog lovers. In the breed I showed for nearly 40 years, a well known breeder bred another litter from a bitch who had produced a puppy that bloated and died. The KC were notified, nothing. The club where the breeder is on the committee were notified, nothing, and this club are pushing forward hard on research on this very subject. The breeder continues to show and breed and carry on - she shouldn't she should have been dismissed for breaking the codes of ethics set down by both the KC and the breed club. Hypocrites the lot of them, "given the fact that animal welfare should be of primary importance". I think it is so sad, I am not undermining some of the good work the KC do, but they could do so much more. Good question though, I suspect you wish I hadn't responded, sorry!! SynsisDelete
Thanks for your reply. So in short, nothing then.ReplyDelete
Mmm, not for nothing have I titled myself synsis!!! Not very satisfactory state of affairs though. As far as I know the KC still haven't been seen or heard to do anything about the shocking programme Undercover Designer Dogs where crossbred puppies from E Europe are being shipped in as commercial goods, not livestock. That's where the KC could use their influence so strongly with the Government via Defra etc. The health issues to humans is huge, no worming, vacc, rabies.Delete
Never mind though, somebody else may well come back and reassure you, might even be somebody from the KC................... Synsis