Kennel Club Insight
Your monthly guide to what the Kennel Club is doing for you and your dogs
By the KC Press Office
Legal victory for dog owners
The Kennel Club was involved in the successful challenge of part of a draconian Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) in Richmond, Surrey which could have seen dog owners criminalised if their dogs so much as urinated while out on a walk.
The landmark decision, which will help to protect dog owners up and down the country, comes after the use of PSPOs came into the spotlight recently when Ealing Council used a PSPO to ban protestors outside an abortion clinic.
The judgement, which was handed down on April 12 at the High Court in the case of Summers v London Borough of Richmond Upon Thames, in which Ms Summers was supported by the Kennel Club, saw two of the elements of the PSPO that would have compromised dog owner access to public spaces quashed. It is the first example of a PSPO being successfully challenged in the High Court.
The parts of the order which were successfully challenged and which were quashed included that a person could be found guilty of an offence if their dog ‘causes an annoyance to another person or animal’ or ‘causes damage to any Council structure, equipment, tree, turf or other Council property’, which could include damage to grass from urination.
The order was upheld setting a limit on the number of dogs that can be walked by one person at any one time to a maximum of four dogs. There will, however, be 18 licences available for borough-based businesses who wish to walk up to six dogs. PSPOs were introduced in 2013, giving local authorities the power to issue blanket bans on certain activities from designated areas with minimal consultation, which has led to dog walking bans and severe restrictions in hundreds of parks and open spaces since their inception.
JCF reduced fee for specialist judges
The Kennel Club has announced that judges who award CCs in a single breed and do not aspire to judge any further breeds at any level will pay only £10 for a yearly judging licence under the Judges Competency Framework (JCF).
This latest move has come about following extensive feedback received by the Kennel Club over the last year at Question Time events and JCF question and answer sessions led by Kennel Club committee members and staff. This feedback together with investment into a new Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system agreed by the Board means the Kennel Club can offer this saving to single-breed CC judges whose knowledge and experience is very important to the British pedigree dog scene.
The online JCF system is hoped to go live in the latter half of 2019. Breed clubs are still able to hold their educational events as soon as they have appointed their breed education co-ordinators and the results of any seminars held under the new code of best practice will be accepted under the JCF criteria as well as mentoring and observations held after the breed education co-ordinator meeting in July.
As a consequence of combining the two IT projects, the previously announced requirement that all those starting out on their judging career must be licensed at JCF Level 1 or above by 1st January 2019 has been put back to 1st January 2020 and new guidance has been issued.
Updated FAQs for the Judges Competency Framework can be accessed at www.thekennelclub.org.uk/jcf-faqs.
Livestock worrying campaign
The Kennel Club has added its support to a ‘sheep-wise’ video produced by Quality Meat Scotland (QMS) and the National Sheep Association.
Other organisations are also supporting the video, which warns the public about the consequences of failing to control their dogs in the countryside, including the Scottish SPCA, Police Scotland, the British Veterinary Association, NFU Scotland, Scottish Land & Estates and Scottish Natural Heritage.
The video was posted on social media coincide with the run-up to the Easter weekend, when thousands of people and dogs venture into the countryside.
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The film, first launched last year, features powerful, first-hand accounts of sheep worrying from Aberdeenshire farmer John Fyall, chairman of NSA Scotland, vet David McLaren, of Kirkton Veterinary Centre, Stonehaven and Gill MacGregor, Scottish SPCA Senior Inspector.
Narrated by a dog lover, the film also articulates the anguish which dog owners face, along with potential criminal prosecution, if they fail to control their dogs properly in the countryside.
This united awareness follows a recent radio advertising campaign by Scottish Natural Heritage and complements the Scottish Partnership Against Rural Crime (SPARC) livestock worrying campaign.
Repeatedly allowing a dog to stray is a clear sign of irresponsible ownership; it needlessly puts dogs’ lives at risk, as well as farm animals and wildlife. The Kennel Club encourages the responsible majority of dog owners to report strays and support local councils in targeting the irresponsible minority at an early stage using Dog Control Notices.
The ‘sheep-wise’ video can be accessed on YouTube at www.youtube.com/watch?v=PiPdcK_hVcM&feature=youtu.be.
More information for dog owners is available by visiting www.outdooraccess-scotland.com or www.jessthedog.org.uk.
Crufts competitions galore!
Crufts always gives the Kennel Club the opportunity to highlight its own competitions which promote pedigree dogs. This year was no exception and a number of different breeds were in the winners’ circle, creating valuable publicity for their breed at this world famous show which attracts enormous media interest.
The winner of the Kennel Club Junior Warrant Winner of the Year competition final was Ch Optimus Daffyd JW, a Bullmastiff owned by Peter Myers and Deborah Morgan of Porth, Mid Glamorgan. The judge was Robin Newhouse.
As the competition name suggests, each of the ten finalists must have won their Junior Warrant, an award for pedigree dogs from the ages of 6 to 18 months which have won a series of first prizes at both open and championship shows.
Victorious in the Kennel Club Breeders’ Competition at Crufts judged by Ronnie Irving were the Zentarr Lhasa Apsos bred by Margaret Anderson of Coventry, West Midlands. Forty teams entered this stand-alone event on a first come, first served basis.
Margaret’s team, which has been triumphant in this competition previously, this year comprised Zentarr Brockman handled by Margaret, Ch Zentarr George handled by Leah Scales, Zentarr Matthew handled by Beverley Manners and Cro Ch Zentarr Tobias handled by Belinda Yaxley. All these dogs are descended from Margaret’s Crufts BIS winner Ch Zentarr Elizabeth who has clearly more than proven her worth as both a show dog and a brood bitch.
A team of Labrador Retrievers won the Kennel Club Obreedience competition. The Lively Labs proved themselves more obedient than the nine other breed teams which made it to the final at Crufts. The winning team comprised Miranda Humphreys and seven-year-old ‘Jolie’ from Harwich, Essex; Sally Partridge and seven-year-old ‘Harvey’ from Chesham, Buckinghamshire; Claire Bloomfield and five-year-old ‘Meg’ from Ongar, Essex; and Stephanie Mayne and eight-year-old ‘Betty’ from Chesham, Buckinghamshire.
Each Obreedience team comprised four handlers and dogs, who took part in two rounds. The first was a heelwork round completed as a group, with the dogs being assessed on their ability to complete different moves while remaining synchronised with their team mates. The second round featured four set exercises and each member needed to complete one of the four different exercises successfully. Points were deducted for any faults and the team with the most points won. The exercises were a retrieve (handler’s own article), a send to bed, stop the dog, and scent over articles. People enjoy watching this relatively new event at Crufts and join in the spirit of the occasion by cheering on their favourite breed.
An Irish Wolfhound, Ch Hydebeck Imperial Ruler JW, owned by Louise Pinkney from Carnaby, Bridlington in East Yorkshire, won the grand final of the Kennel Club Vulnerable British and Irish Breeds competition at Crufts judged by Tom Mather. Thirty dogs had qualified for the final at designated group championship shows held throughout 2017.
The competition helps raise awareness of rare native breeds whose annual puppy registrations stand at fewer than 300, thus leaving them at risk from disappearing from the UK’s streets and parks.
Just 256 Irish Wolfhounds were registered with the Kennel Club in 2016, but the breed will be ineligible to compete in this competition at Crufts next year, as its registrations increased to 372 in 2017 – which is very good news for the breed. The Irish Wolfhound has now been transferred to the ‘At Watch’ list, for British and Irish native breeds with between 300 and 450 registrations.
In the run-up to Crufts 2018, the Kennel Club launched its Save Forgotten Dog Breeds campaign which aims to remind people about all 220 breeds of pedigree dog in the UK, including those historic native breeds that are at risk of disappearing, as they become forgotten. The campaign encouraged people to meet these breeds at Crufts as part of the Kennel Club’s overall public relations strategy in relation to promoting pedigree dog breeds.
Photo:Aberdeenshire farmer John Fyall, chairman of NSA Scotland, and Gill MacGregor, Scottish SPCA Senior Inspector, who both appear in the film about livestock worrying. The Kennel Club has added its support to the campaign.