Jay Hogan, Dobermann Breed Note Correspondent in Dog World and a Canine Alliance member, recently wrote the following which is reproduced with the kind permission of Dog World.
Reviewing the new Assured Breeder Scheme Requirements, I see we are all being asked to meet ever more stringent standards of record keeping and veterinary confirmation of our puppies’ health. Most readers of Dog World have been breeding exemplary puppies and keeping good records for years, so it won’t require much effort to adapt to the requirements – if indeed one wants to be an ABS member. Many breeders still don’t and shouldn’t be penalised in any way for their right to opt out of the scheme requirement, as all this has really only come about since PDE, and many spurn what they see as kow-towing to political interference. Indeed at a time when a dealer is importing litters of docked (legally of course), Dobermann puppies from Ireland to apparently sell for up to £1900, it sticks firmly in the throat to have to be a box ticker for our breeding. I know they have to be seen to put their own house in order, and most of us already do that, but everyone wants to see the KC turn its’ attention outwards instead of inwards, otherwise it will find it has no house to keep spic and span. Is there any other way in which we can make these quangos see that by applying increasingly onerous requirements on us, they are simply paving an easy path for the puppy farmers.
On the subject of the ABS, how many of us want to see the introduction of a ruling that a bitch may not be bred from before the age of two years, as a condition of the ABS. We all know that the two year ruling is in the code of ethics of most breed clubs, but that is superseded by the KC who allow breeding from one year of age. As it stands, a breeder can have the (alleged) advantages and prestige of being an ABS breeder, without being a member of a breed club (who takes notice of Accolades anyway?), and breed from a thirteen month old bitch. I know I am not alone in having raised this with the breeds’ top brass a couple of years ago but nothing changed. I can’t understand why, as I would imagine we all want to protect very young bitches from being bred and as other breed clubs have implemented this ruling for their ABS members it is quite feasible to implement. If it is of interest to you as a welfare issue, you can write to your club and ask them to act accordingly as no initiative will be taken otherwise. Alternatively wait until it happens then kick up a fuss!
This article originally appeared in Dog World, 15th March 2013 and is reproduced with the permission of the author and the publishers.