The EFRA Committee Report on Dog Control and Welfare was published on 15 February 2013.
It’s recommendations on Dog Welfare and Breeding include:
- Anyone breeding more than 2 litters a years should be licensed with the local authority as a breeder
- All agencies and welfare charities should work together to promote the Puppy Contract
- A voluntary Code of Practice should be set up for websites advertising dogs for sale
- The Kennel Club should refuse to register puppies that do not meet the conditions of the Assured Breeders Scheme (ABS)
- ABS health tests should be required and the results of those tests applied to breeding decisions
- The KC and breed clubs should develop outcrossing strategies for those breeds which have the most pressing health issues
- Those involved in breeding must redouble their efforts to eradicate health problems caused by conformation to breed standards
- There should be an annual review of breed standards by an independent panel of experts
- Additional health checks should be done on dogs before entry to a dog show is allowed
- The Advisory Council on the Welfare Issues of Dog Breeding should be given a regulatory role
- The Animal Welfare Act should place a duty on anyone breeding dogs to have regard to the offsprings’ health and welfare
This report is very welcome and now makes the sixth welfare report on the breeding of dogs since 2006. Campaigning must focus on getting the above recommendations translated into action.
DEFRA have announced that the Government will bring in compulsory microchipping for dogs in 2016. This is fantastic news although disappointing that we have to wait until 2016.
The Microchipping Alliance, a group overseen by the Dogs Trust, will work out the details. It is hoped that the responsibility for microchipping will be on the breeder initially and then transfer to all subsequent owners.
The Dog Advisory Council adds the ‘Guide to Buying a Puppy’ to its website: www.dogadvisorycouncil/puppy/
The on-line Guide gives general advice to puppy purchasers on finding a good breeder and a healthy puppy in a simple to use question and answer format. It does not include breed specific genetic health issues. However it advises consumers to find out about breed related diseases before choosing a breed and to make sure that a breeder has carried out all the necessary health tests.
On 12 April Carol became the CEVA Pet Lovers Welfare Award winner of 2012
This is for her focussed and dedicated approach to improving the health and welfare of the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel breed; campaigning for the reform of the dog breeding industry; her involvement with the Advisory Council on the Welfare Issues of Dog Breeding; her involvement with the Associated Parliamentary Group for Animal Welfare (APGAW).
The award also acknowledged the setting up of the Cavalier Campaign website, providing information about the genetic health problems of Cavaliers and advice to owners. Also the setting up of the Dog Breed Health website to help prospective puppy buyers make the right choice when buying a dog. The website includes information about the genetic health issues of each breed, conformation welfare issues in the relevant breeds, and any health testing /screening apppropriate for the breed.
‘I’m delighted to win this award in recognition of my work. It has given me the encouragement I needed to keep going until the breeding, selling and buying of dogs puts the welfare of the dogs first.’
On the 11th April 2012 the long awaited RSPCA / BVA AWF Puppy Contract and Puppy Information Pack (PIP) was launched at the British Small Animal Veterinary Association Congress.
The Contract can be used by any puppy purchaser or breeder by downloading it from the website: www.puppycontract.org.uk
It’s use will help puppy buyers in their search for a healthy and well socialised puppy. Breeders will also have the reassurance that the puppy purchaser is buying a puppy for the right reasons and will provide an excellent home for one of her pups.
It is hoped that Contract and PIP will become an industry standard and is designed to help good breeders demonstrate the care and attention they have devoted to their puppies’ breeding and upbringing.