KENNEL CLUB ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
21 MAY 2019
Report by Steve Croxford, Kennel Club Chairman
On behalf of the Board, I’m pleased to report on the activities of the Kennel Club since its last Annual General Meeting in May 2018. This report complements the annual report which was sent to you prior to this meeting.
I believe that the annual report offers a clear reflection of the work carried out by the Kennel Club over the past year on behalf of dogs and dog owners everywhere. I will therefore not repeat anything contained within it and very much encourage you to read it if you have not yet had chance to do so.
Before I provide you with a brief update on some of the activity and achievements which have taken place since the annual report was sent to print, I have a separate item to address.
Further to the three items which we will discuss on the agenda today, Mr Gadsby also wished to raise the matter of concerns over the kennel construction project at Emblehope. We have advised him in person, and now wish to advise all of the members in a formal setting, that we determined that the correct route was to submit this matter to the Kennel Club’s Audit & Risk Committee in order to review the Emblehope Kennelling project in terms of procurement, costs, quality issues and so on.
It was determined that this was the appropriate, constitutional and procedural next step.
The Audit & Risk Committee will review the matter and provide a report to the Board which will include findings on the management of the project and also current management processes for Emblehope. A summary of the findings will be reported back to the enquirer and a decision will be taken as to what further action if any is required.
We expect that everyone involved will provide the Audit & Risk Committee with all due co-operation with the investigation. We further expect that the Audit & Risk Committee will conduct its investigation in a timely manner.
With that matter addressed, I shall now turn back to the update on our activity since the annual report was published.
I was pleased to attend my first Kennel Club Question Time as Chairman back in April when we held a very successful evening in Cheadle in Cheshire. The evening was very positive and covered a wide range of topics so I was glad to have back up on the panel around me! I made a short presentation on my vision for the Kennel Club over the next three years and the topics covered included encouraging young people to take part in canine activities, licensing of breeders and breed establishments, and judges’ training amongst others.
We are already looking forward to the next communication event aimed at giving members and others interested, the opportunity to have their say on a wide range of subjects affecting the everyday dog world. This will take place in July, and is the Kennel Club Forum at Stoneleigh which I mentioned earlier.
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Our health work continues apace, and just last week we launched a new heart scheme for the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel in consultation with Cavalier breed clubs and supported by the Veterinary Cardiovascular Society. The heart scheme is the first collaboration between all of the parties involved, and has been developed to reduce the prevalence of Mitral Valve Disease (MVD), a deadly heart disorder that affects a significant number of Cavaliers in the UK alone.
In April we celebrated a 10 year partnership with the Animal Health Trust where our funding through the Kennel Club Charitable Trust has had a profound impact on the treatment of dogs. The work we have done has contributed to helping to breed 163,000 hereditarily clear puppies – just one small example of how the surpluses we create from managing the business effectively has a positive impact on the welfare of dogs.
Later this month we look forward to hosting the fourth International Dog Health Workshop on behalf of the International Partnership For Dogs, of which we are a member. The three-day event will bring together dog health experts; breed clubs; health, welfare and breeding experts and organisations; and vets and academics from across the world to facilitate collaboration and sharing of resources to enhance the health, well-being and welfare of dogs.
As part of this event, we will once again be hosting the International Canine Health Awards which are run in conjunction with our Kennel Club Charitable Trust.
Another event which we organised recently was the annual Holyrood Dog of the Year competition, the Scottish sibling of our long-established Westminster Dog of the Year competition. I know we may well have a large contingent of Welsh members here today and rest assured we continue in our efforts to have the Welsh Assembly join the fold.
Both the Westminster and Holyrood competitions allow our external affairs team to lobby MPs and MSPs on matters which are important to us, and we saw years of lobbying bear fruit last week with the announcement by the government in England of new legislation to end third party puppy sales, known as ‘Lucy’s Law’. We have campaigned for many years for an end to the sale of puppies in pet shops and by other third party retailers and this will be the next vital step forward to tackling the puppy farming industry.
We have been actively promoting new initiatives in the show world with the All Breeds Championship Shows now a reality and the new initiative – Have-a-Go Dog Shows which have proved very popular with those taking part.
There are some fundamental changes ahead in Agility with the introduction of a new height for dogs next which will mean changes to Championship classes and our finals at Olympia and Crufts. We are also well ahead with our plans for hosting the FCI European Agility Championships for the first time in our country next year.
I am looking forward to attending the gundog working tests and International Retriever Challenge Cup at Chatsworth House next month. This is the 9th year the club has hosted the event and I am told there are 10 countries taking part this year – a record for this event.
You may also be aware that the Kennel Club Gallery has loaned artefacts to the Chatsworth Estate for its fascinating exhibition of dogs in art. The exhibition of the Dog is well worth a visit and I can recommend it.
This is just a flavour of the wide range of canine activities that the club is involved in. I hope that this report, combined with the information previously circulated to members in the Kennel Club Annual Report gives members an insight into the wide variety of work which the staff and committees of the Kennel Club are undertaking at this time.