Sunday, March 12, 2017

The Shame of the Kennel Club

Photo by Emma Milne
Because smashed-face brachycephalic breeds like English Bulldogs, Pugs, Pekingese, Boston Terriers, and the like, cannot breath well, they often overheat at normal room temperature, with their tongues hanging out, and their bodies refusing to so much as walk across a rug.

So what do dog shows do?

They crank up the air conditioning to the point folks are putting on winter coats.  As the Sunday Times noted in an article entitled Crufts turns heating down as row over cruelty warms up:

Obese pugs and panting bulldogs sat under cooling fans at Crufts yesterday to prevent the overheating caused by inbreeding.

On the second day of the show, heating in the arena where flat-nosed utility dogs competed was turned off, staff at the venue said.

A large number of French and English bulldogs, pugs and Boston terriers suffer from breathing problems associated with the squashed noses for which they are prized. Coupled with the extra weight that some carry in order to achieve the sought-after folded neck skin and chubby face, many are at risk of overheating.

On what is known as “bad nose day”, the large hangar at the NEC in Birmingham was noticeably colder than the previous day, when it was used for gun dogs and hounds. Many English bulldogs and “Frenchies” sat in cages with miniature fans. “The heating was turned on this morning at about 6.30am but was then shut down. As you can tell, it is a lot colder in here today,” a member of the floor staff said.
Photo by Emma Milne
Jemima Harrison, a documentary-maker and founder of the Campaign for the Responsible Use of Flat-Faced Animals (Cruffa on Facebook) told Facebook followers going to Crufts to take pictures of the noses of brachycephalic dogs and post them.

Pictures of dogs with good noses would show it could be done, and pictures of dogs with bad noses would be evidence it too often was not.

So what did the self-aware and culpable dog breeders do? They covered their cages to thwart camera lenses, and to hide the shame of their progeny.

Jemima notes that Owners at Crufts say their dogs are just fine, that there are problems in every breed and that they are doing everything to tackle them. Except for the obvious. Give them back a face. Or legs. Or the ability to give birth naturally.”

Emma Milne, who appeared on the Vets in Practice TV show broke her own 18-year boycott of Crufts to give a 30,000-person petition to the Kennel Club calling for mandatory health checks on breeds with severe congenital defects. “These dogs are in constant pain. They can’t breathe, they can’t cool themselves down internally,” she said.

And what did the Kennel Club do?

Why it lied, as lying liars are wont to do, putting up the dim-witted Clare Balding to interview "independent" veterinarian Noel Fitzpatrick and Kennel Club veterinarian Nick Blayney.

Either no one in this interview knows their ass from a tea cup, or else these folks are willfully lying as they suggest to a gullible television audience that health checks are required  in order to show or breed a dog for Crufts. In fact they are not, which is exactly the point!

Lying is so common at the Kennel Club that it can be said to be one of their primary communication tools, as I have noted in the past.

So what's the truth?  Here it is:

  • Health is given ZERO points at Kennel Club and AKC dog shows.

  • Temperament is given ZERO points at Kennel Club and AKC dog hows.

  • Work is given ZERO points at Kennel Club and AKC dog shows.

  • To be registered, dogs MUST be inbred within a small and closed genetic pool that never expands, and is always shrinking, which is why disease is so common in Kennel Club and AKC dogs.

  • Breed standards often celebrate deformity and dysfunction, while breed judges often know nothing about either the health or the work requirements of the dogs they are judging.

The good news is that the bleating of the know-nothing brigade is growing thin now.

The dog show breeders are hiding the visual shame of their dogs, and do not want their kennels or their names associated with pictures of their dogs and an honest discussion of pedigree dog heath. They do not want to stand next to the pain and misery they are inflicting on dogs as they chase the blue ribbons they apparently need to fill some hole in their soul.

And now the Kennel Club's vet is forced to lie -- or else he is so jaw-dropping ignorant that he thinks the obvious is already required, when it is not.

 Which one of those is worse?

Finally, here in the U.S., American Kennel Club registrations are in free-fall, even as dog ownership is at record levels.

Slowly, slowly the public is getting informed, and the curtain is pulled back to show the monstrous ethics and twisted history that underpins the world of pedigree dog shows.

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