[T]he Kennel Club has announced that it will crack down on the small number of breeders who continue to use the practice of mating close relatives by refusing to register those puppies that are born from any mother/son, father/daughter or brother/sister mating, taking place on or after 1st March 2009.
Never mind that this idea is firmly esconced in the Bible and every other major religious tome, and has been since the beginning of recorded history.
Let us applaud the Kennel Club for their bold new idea about genetic health!
But wait, there's more!
The Kennel Club has also boldly come out to make this extreme statement about canine health:
"The breed standards - the picture in words that describes each breed of dog - have been revised so that they will not include anything that could in any way be interpreted as encouraging features that might prevent a dog from breathing,walking and seeing freely."
Wooooeeee! More applause!
We are thrilled.
Now, let's see if we can open up the registries for the 40 breeds which are deeply inbred, and set real benchmarks to reduce specific Coefficients of Inbreeding (COI) and specific diseases by breed.
That would be the start of real progress. Breeds that do not make their benchmarks will be deemed to be "at health risk," and only those dogs whose sire and dam had all the required health tests AND a lower-than-benchmark COI would be registered.
What? Still more needs to be done asks the Kennel Club??! You are not going to shower us with unending praises for this?
And no, we are not.
You see, the only reason the Kennel Club has seen the light is because they have felt the heat.
The Kennel Club is not moving towards change because of any pressure for reform from within, but due to pressure from without.
A hundred dog writers over 50 years set the stage, Pedigree Dogs Exposed smacked the ball into the middle of the field for the video age, and now U.K. politicians are moving around saying that perhaps the Kennel Club needs be taken apart at the seams and put together properly.
Like a man in a burning airplane hurtling towards the ground, the Kennel Club is suddenly very interested in learning about parachutes!
What's that about Coefficients of Inbreeding, they ask?
Tell us more about the benefits of an open registry!
What? It's possible to have a registry of dogs that are only registered as individuals and as adults, and not as entire litters of untested puppies?
You mean there are Kennel Clubs that require health and performance tests?
Yes, yes, yes, yes, and yes.