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Reaction to Bath Vet Checks

The Canine Alliance, which was founded as a result of the first use of the Veterinary Tests in 2012, has consistently denounced the whole system of veterinary tests to exclude a Best of Breed as nonsensical.We have always declared that they serve no purpose whatsoever other than to provide a fee to a vet who could otherwise be looking after sick and unhealthy animals.The quality and health of pedigree dogs is not advanced in any way whatsoever by the checks.

The stupidity of the system is amplified when a dog can fail one week and then pass the following.No doubt, the Kennel Club will be telling us that “it is on the day” – so please, Kennel Club, please tell us how this has improves the health of the breed?All it has done – once again – is cause fury and anger for experienced judges who have their ability questioned, and heartache for exhibitors/breeders who put their life (and considerable amounts of money) into breeding and showing healthy dogs – only to find that this is cast aside by an inexplicable veterinary decision.We hear that the St Bernard failed at Bath because of “mucoid discharge in the eye” and yet nobody else – I emphasise, nobody else – could see this.And yet, in this great exhibition of fairness and sport the Kennel Club allows no court of appeal.Some system of sporting fairness!

Even more ridiculous is the fact that the previous weeks’ BOB failure was resubmitted and passed this week! Yet she had been failed before NOT for any supposed transient condition or ANY health issue whatsoever but because of the suggestion her eye was too small for the socket?! That’s not capable of being changed or treated. That seems to us to be very open to argument and more the province of the judge than the vet.

We have already been contacted by some highly experienced judges, in this country and from overseas, who have said that they will not accept an appointment to judge one of the High Profile/Category 3 breeds as they do not agree with the veterinary tests and would not wish to have their skill and integrity as judges tested in this way.This does nothing but damage these breeds who are now losing the opportunity of having the input from these top judges.We have also had numerous requests from our membership to seek clarification of who actually voted for this procedure to be introduced – by this, they do not mean it was the “General Committee”, but which individual members….we know, collective responsibility and all that….”can’t possibly say, announces the Kennel Club”.But these changes have had such a damaging impact on our sport/hobby, they – we – surely have a right to know?

The Kennel Club is uber-fast in reacting to pressure from people outside of the world of dog showing and dog breeding, especially if a camera and sound boom is involved, and yet it will not listen to the people that it seeks to govern.This heavy handed, illogical approach will do nothing to bring longevity to our hobby – is this what the Kennel Club really want?We have to live in hope that the mucoid discharge in the eye was, in reality, mud from the car park on the lens of the ophthalmoscope.

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  • Michael Fullerton June 1, 2014 at 10:58 AM

    Inappropriate use of expensively-acquired Vet skills! As the writer points out, there are far more valuable uses of such medical competencies!

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