Kennel Club’s Decision to Ban Incest: Just a PR Stunt?

In a revealing interview with dog newspaper Dog World, Caroline Kisko of the Kennel Club answered questions in relation to the hard-hitting independent report on pedigree dog health.

In an amazing set of responses, sure to draw astonishment from animal welfare campaigners, Ms Kisco made a series of stunning claims:

On the expert-led independent report on pedigree dogs:

“out of date and largely irrelevant”

Questioning the credibility of the report, Ms Kisko argued:

“how can something which is completely independent have any real knowledge”

“We have to have an independent panel that knows what it’s talking about”

On the Kennel Club’s own review in conjunction with the Dogs Trust:

“The panel is completely independent”

On why there were still serious problems affecting pedigree dogs:

“We can’t change things over night”

On the report’s recommendation to steer away from close in-breeding:

“Sweeping changes are possibly not necessary in relation to report’s recommendation on close breeding”

On the Kennel Club’s decision to rule against incest:

“From a PR aspect, KC and dog breeders needed to be shown to be whiter than white”

And most stunningly, on whether the Kennel Club would, finally, accept the need for the enforcement of health screening on all Kennel Club registered dogs:

“(The Kennel Club) We will not go down that route for KC registered dogs if it is not the same for other dogs”

“The Kennel Club and dog breeders are doing a pretty good job any way”

This bombshell of an interview clearly demonstrates that the Kennel Club still absolutely does not understand the concerns of the public.

The mention of a need – from a PR perspective – for breeders to be ’seen as’ being whiter that white in response to the question about ruling against incest is revealing.

But that the Kennel Club still maintains this abominable attitude that it won’t insist on health screening ‘unless everyone else does’ is staggering. It proves what many animal welfare campaigners have been saying for decades and decades, the Kennel Club is NOT about to properly reform when it can throw up absolutely appalling excuses as to why it feels it doesn’t need to change.

On WHAT PLANET should an organisation dictate its own standards, when there is CLEAR, UNDENIABLE evidence to demonstrate that a CHANGE is URGENTLY needed because ‘we won’t until everyone else does”.

This interview 100% vindicates the BBC decision to withdraw from Crufts and will make interesting listening amongst those who make the decision on whether to ever broadcast Crufts again whilst the current KC regime is spouting apologist nonsense about why it won’t take the lead and implement standards based on what is the RIGHT THING TO DO, rather than on what everyone else and their uncle is doing.

Legally I have no obligation to bathe, brush my teeth and use indoor bathrooms – other people, however, whilst governed by the same laws as me, tend to adopt different standards – they don’t bathe, don’t clean their teeth and they’ll use pretty much any outdoor space as a toilet. If, one day, I decide to stop cleaning myself and weeing where I stand, I may say: “No. I won’t imrove my standards. Not unless you make EVERYONE agree to the same standards you’re holding me to, I shall continue to soil myself whenever I choose. Either make everyone live according to the same standards or don’t expect me to hold myself personally accountable for my OWN standards!” – I shall call it, ‘doing a Kennel Club.’

If the BBC adopted a broadcasting standards charter on the basis that ‘We won’t implement our own standards unless every other broadcaster follows them as well’ it should hit home the magnitude of this weak reasoning from the Kennel Club.

The BBC should pin the transcript of this interview on their wall. Boy, did they dodge a bullet! They may have been forgiven for believing the KC was working away on a package of wholesale reforms when it announced its review of breed standards. But, as it turns out, it felt the need to outlaw incest because there was a PR element, it has no intention of insisting on health screening for all of the dogs it registers (unless everyone else has to) and it, as usual, refuses to acknowledge – even when genuine, independent experts say so – that it needs to immediately overhaul its policies on closed genetic breeding practices.

When I was 15-years old, my brother was 10. I remember how the argument’s went:

Sean, your bed time is 8 O’clock.”

“But that’s not fair. I’m not going to go to bed at 8 O’Clock unless you make Ryan go to bed at 8 O’clock”

The following would be accompanied with much pouting, feet stamping and general resistance. The resistance, pouting and foot stamping you OFTEN see with a petulant child.

Further to the shocking revelations that the KC doesn’t feel the independent report was either ‘in date’ or ‘credible’ because the panel was ‘independent’ comes the amazing claim that the Kennel Club is STILL maintaining it ‘can’t change things over night’ – well as we know, they were saying the EXACT same things 24 years ago.

For those who have suggested to me that maybe it would be better to ‘work with’ the Kennel Club – please, read what you have just read again and ask yourself this: If you genuinely cared about animal welfare and wanted to see an end to the century and more of Kennel Club mismanagement, denials and refusal to reform – would you REALLY be encouraged to think that things were about to change?

Whatever support the Kennel Club was hoping to achieve from health concerned pet lovers is sure to have evaporated in a puff of smoke. The Kennel Club, the leopard that needs, but point blank refuses to change its spots (unless all the leopards are prepared to do it too!).

Source: – the K9 Magazine blog

Kennel Club’s Decision to Ban Incest: Just a PR Stunt?

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