Proposed Regulations in Wales Regarding Showing Dogs

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Proposed Regulations in Wales Regarding Showing Dogs

Post by zeta1454 » 23 Sep 2019, 14:47

It might seem hard to compete with the fiasco surrounding Brexit for Raving Loony Proposal of the year but the Welsh Government seem set on having a go =))

Not sure whether this is laughable or tragic really considering this comes from the Puppy Farming capital of the UK but the Welsh Government are proposing to improve animal welfare by introducing a new licensing scheme for "animal exhibits" which includes anyone who shows their dog more than once or twice a year at a local show. Under the proposals, any individual or family who have a hobby of showing their dog at any show, large or small, with an entry fee or without, will have to apply for a licence, pay a fee and be subject to inspections. This is despite the fact that for almost all shows the "exhibitor" actually pays a fee to the show organisers to enter their dog (up to £30 per class at the biggest shows) and receives neither payment from the "audience" nor (with very few exceptions) a financial reward even if they gain first placing, so no-one is showing their dogs for commercial gain.

Not only will this apply to those who live in Wales but also anyone who wants to show their dog in Wales and to anyone in Wales who may only be taking their dogs to shows outside of that country. The logistics of administering such a scheme seems mind boggling even despite the madness of the proposal. Anyone who has attended dog shows or knows people who show one or more of their dogs will know that, outside of the competition, the dogs are family pets who live exactly the same lives as any other dog in the home. Without a doubt there may be people who show their dogs who do not have love and care as their highest priority but this is no different from any other person who never shows their dogs but has a low standard of care for their pets. In fact, lack of care / welfare is more likely to be picked up at a show where owners and dogs are under particular scrutiny. Veterinary professionals are in attendance at dog shows and a number of the larger shows or breed specialist shows have, for example, specialist eye vets offering eye testing at reduced cost to attendees so there is no lack of health provision if that is a concern.

Considering Wales is somewhere that licences are given out to individuals who breed hundreds if not thousands of puppies in squalid and appalling conditions, it might have been thought that a more urgent priority of animal welfare where dogs are concerned would be to immediately close down all such facilities. Introducing a law that would not allow anyone to have a licence to breed more than e.g. Six litters a year or to have more than 10 breeding bitches would be a more significant act of welfare than this proposed law.

There is a link here to more details from the UK Kennel Club:

https://www.thekennelclub.org.uk/welshcon

And a petition:

https://www.assembly.wales/en/gethome/e ... ionID=1638
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Re: Proposed Regulations in Wales Regarding Showing Dogs

Post by Oscar 12345 » 24 Sep 2019, 09:05

Absolute madness...
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we also need a schnauzer.

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Re: Proposed Regulations in Wales Regarding Showing Dogs

Post by Schnauzer Sam » 24 Sep 2019, 14:55

Leigh, I've read this legislation very differently and really don't think it affects dog shows at all. That said, I can understand why people would want to see dog show specifically be exempted as there does seem to be an unusually wide interpretation of the proposals possible.

My interpretation is that it is for mobile animal exhibits (MAE) that are using a loophole in the law to circumvent current legislation and that this is an attempt to close that loophole. Under the proposed legislation, people who have a collection of animals for education or exhibition will have to be licenced.

An example would be someone who has a collection of snakes that they take to schools etc. I may be entirely wrong but I think the KC are barking up the wrong tree on this occasion.
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Re: Proposed Regulations in Wales Regarding Showing Dogs

Post by zeta1454 » 24 Sep 2019, 16:41

Schnauzer Sam wrote:
24 Sep 2019, 14:55
Leigh, I've read this legislation very differently and really don't think it affects dog shows at all. That said, I can understand why people would want to see dog show specifically be exempted as there does seem to be an unusually wide interpretation of the proposals possible.

My interpretation is that it is for mobile animal exhibits (MAE) that are using a loophole in the law to circumvent current legislation and that this is an attempt to close that loophole. Under the proposed legislation, people who have a collection of animals for education or exhibition will have to be licenced.

An example would be someone who has a collection of snakes that they take to schools etc. I may be entirely wrong but I think the KC are barking up the wrong tree on this occasion.
Hi Sam, I do understand that dog shows are not the sole focus of the legislation but mobile animal exhibits are only one of ten different categories of proposed "licensable" activities, many of which probably should be requiring some form of inspection / licence. However, there are three separate clauses which are very much of concern to anyone who shows their dogs in Wales or who is from Wales and shows elsewhere and which are the reason that the Kennel Club has raised concerns.

A dog show of any kind, whether a fun or charitable event, breed club show or Championship Show can be viewed as dogs being exhibited "to an audience attending in person" and, as such, is regarded as a licensable activity under the proposed legislation. This is stated on page 17 of the regulations defining "licensable activities" :

Exhibiting animals for the purpose of the licensable activity includes—
(a) the exhibition of animals to any audience attending in person,


It also states that a licence is required by:

"Any organisation or person based outside of Wales that brings an animal into Wales for exhibition.
An application for a licence must be received by a local authority where the animals have a home base (where they go to rest)."

And:
"Inspectors must be satisfied, where a pet is exhibited, this is unlikely to be an ongoing activity. Examples include pet dogs exhibited at local dog shows once or twice a year for recreational purposes..."

Specifically stating "once or twice a year" is a severe limitation on families or individuals who may attend more than this number at a variety of fun, local or national shows through the summer months which many dog breed enthusiasts do..as well as some people who only show their dogs at fun events. The fact that dog shows are not included as an exempt category as a whole and are specifically mentioned in the way described in the above paragraph is why there is particular concern. Although currently this is just a proposal in Wales, there will inevitably be worries that attempts might be made to extend it to other parts of the UK too.
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Re: Proposed Regulations in Wales Regarding Showing Dogs

Post by Schnauzer Sam » 25 Sep 2019, 12:02

Thanks Leigh.

I do wonder if this is the unfortunate consequence of something that has not been fully thought through. It's hard to believe that the showing of dogs under the authority of the Kennel Club would be thought of as being undesirable and requiring regulation.

Have you read anywhere if the Welsh Assembly have had this drawn to their attention and have they given any clarification?

Sometimes politicians do appear to defy common sense (Really - I hear you say!)
Here in Guernsey there is a suggestion by the state vet to introduce a DNA database of all dogs on the island so that dog poo that's not picked up can be traced and the owner fined. Although the cost has not been worked out, it's thought that this would be paid for by an annual registration fee of around £100 per dog. There has never been a prosecution in Guernsey to date, even though it's the law to pick up. It seems a mad solution to a relatively small problem.

Returning to Wales, I agree that the bigger problem they should be solving is the regulation (i.e. shutting down) of the puppy farms.
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Re: Proposed Regulations in Wales Regarding Showing Dogs

Post by zeta1454 » 25 Sep 2019, 13:27

Schnauzer Sam wrote:
25 Sep 2019, 12:02
Thanks Leigh.

I do wonder if this is the unfortunate consequence of something that has not been fully thought through. It's hard to believe that the showing of dogs under the authority of the Kennel Club would be thought of as being undesirable and requiring regulation.

Have you read anywhere if the Welsh Assembly have had this drawn to their attention and have they given any clarification?

Sometimes politicians do appear to defy common sense (Really - I hear you say!)
Here in Guernsey there is a suggestion by the state vet to introduce a DNA database of all dogs on the island so that dog poo that's not picked up can be traced and the owner fined. Although the cost has not been worked out, it's thought that this would be paid for by an annual registration fee of around £100 per dog. There has never been a prosecution in Guernsey to date, even though it's the law to pick up. It seems a mad solution to a relatively small problem.

Returning to Wales, I agree that the bigger problem they should be solving is the regulation (i.e. shutting down) of the puppy farms.
Sam - as this is still at the consultation stage which ends on 21 November, I don't think there will be any clarification or amendments until after that date. It is hard sometimes to work out whether proposals are poorly considered or whether there is a behind the scenes influence at play with their own agenda. This happened not that long ago with the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons who were influenced by a particular individual member to try and prevent fully qualified veterinary surgeons offering homeopathy as a frontline treatment to clients who were happy to choose this route (also covering other complementary treatments) and to prioritise pharmaceutical treatments only, despite the fact they had, only six months previously at a council meeting, accepted the validity of treatments that did no harm and had the confidence of both integrative care professionals as well as the pet owners and farmers who used alternatives to pharmaceutical products in appropriate situations.

The DNA database idea with dogs whose owners are not picking up the poo is, in some form, I believe, being used at certain places in mainland Britain. I think some local authority parks were trying to limit access only to those dogs whose DNA had been submitted and recorded for the same reason - so only on a voluntary basis and very limited in scope. How successful this has been anyway I don't know :D It is another one of those "good ideas" that would seem to me to fall apart as soon as it is really looked at in terms of carrying it out, monitoring etc.

I suspect with most of these crazy ideas, even if passed, they will fail due to lack of resources although they may well have been devised as a means of raising finance through fees paid by the public. Sadly, it seems to me that with new licensing schemes of many kinds, responsible people will pay up and the irresponsible/ criminal element won't bother. This was one of the reasons behind the scrapping of the original dog licence scheme which was not financially viable or efficiently enforceable.
Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole. ~Roger Caras

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