Aims and Objectives
(March 2015)

Dog Breeding Reform Group

Aims

To promote and support initiatives and reforms that will effectively improve dog welfare related to a) genetic and breed health; b) breeding, rearing and selling practices.

(Whilst acknowledging the numerous dog welfare issues in the UK, this group will retain a focus on breed and breeding issues (from which many other welfare issues ensue).

Objectives

  1. A single accepted Puppy Contract 1
  2. A single accepted Standard for Breeding 2
  3. A requirement for registration of all dog breeders with their local authorities
  4. Reduction of the perceived default local authority licensing requirement for dog breeders to three litters or more in any 12 month period
  5. Repeal of the Breeding of Dogs Acts 1973, 1991, 1999 and replacement with new regulations under the Animal Welfare Act 2006, that ensure high standards of welfare for dogs; that protect the genetic health of offspring; and that effectively regulate the sale of puppies 3
  6. Enforcement of the Animal Welfare Act as a statutory duty
  7. All advertisements for the sale of dogs/puppies to include a breeder’s registration number provided by the relevant local authority
  8. A ban on the sale of puppies by anyone other than the breeder 4
  9. Measures by the Kennel Club to improve dog health 5
  10. Inclusion of animal welfare as a core part of the national curriculum, in particular with regard to the purchase, lifelong care and welfare of dogs.
  11. Establishment of a Government-funded body to provide independent advice on companion animal welfare 6

 

Footnotes:

  1. Widely accepted by organisations that also include the Kennel Club, British Veterinary Association – Animal Welfare Foundation, RSPCA, Dogs Trust, PDSA
  2. Currently there are three ‘Standards’: Dog Advisory Council Standard for Breeding Dogs; Kennel Club Assured Breeders’ Scheme Standard and Guidance; CIEH Model Licence Conditions for Dog Breeding Establishments
  3. As proposed in the Dog Advisory Council’s Advice to Governments ‘Recommendations on regulations and legislation’
  4. Or by re-homing organisations affiliated to the Association of Dogs and Cats Homes
  5. Measures would  include: banning the mating of second-degree relatives (ie, grandson to granddaughter); maintenance of effective population sizes (EPS)to above 100; outcrossing breeding strategies where the burden of genetic diseases cannot easily be remedied within the existing gene pool; limiting the number of times a ‘popular sire’ is used; requiring genetic/clinical health testing/screening/use of Estimated Breeding Values (EBVs); eliminating exaggerated physical traits which impede a dog’s ability to enjoy a normal active life
  6. For example, by setting up a Companion Animal Welfare Committee, comprising  independent experts selected according to Nolan principles

Members

Julia Carr (Canine Action UK)
Stephen and Julia Charlton (Cockapoo Club of GB)
Dr Fiona Cooke (Animal Law Expert, Aberdeen University)
Professor Sheila Crispin (Dog Advisory Council) (DAC)
Mrs Lesley Field (DAC)
Carol Fowler (Cavalier Campaign)
David Grimsell
Marisa Heath (Associate Parliamentary Group for Animal Welfare) (APGAW)
Chris Laurence, MBE (DAC)
Dr Dan O’Neill (Royal Veterinary College, VetCompass)
Dr Clare Rusbridge (DAC) (Veterinary Neurologist)
Sean Wensley (Junior Vice President, British Veterinary Association) (JVP, BVA)
Tania Ledger (Cavalier Matters)
Charlotte Mackaness
Margaret Carter (Companion Cavalier Club)