This post is also available in: Nederlands (Dutch)

(this information is based on publications on internet of Commedia the pug breed club)

The “Breed & Health” working group of the Dutch Kennel club, organised a symposium on 21th of May 2018. Broadening of the gene pool by approving look-a-likes and crossbreeds was presented.  Again the Griffon (with the failed ‘Graussie’ project) was presented as a splendid example of crossbreeding.

Commedia, the Pug breed club – which at that time was hijacked by a crossbreeding-advocate board – asked the Dutch Kennel Club in September 2018 to open the studbooks for Pugs to include look-a-likes. The plan was to investigate crossbreeding possibilities and approve look-a-likes. This had to be further elaborated with the Dutch Kennel Club.

The Dutch Kennel club was ‘extremely positive’ about this ‘crossbreeding’ initiative.  

Written by the Pug breed club:

‘’We  have to prevent the ban on breeding and sale of extremely short-muzzled dogs. The lobby in The Hague, to ban a number of breeds (including the Pug) is strong’.

A post 18th of August 2018 on facebook of Marco Kraaijeveld, signed by Arjan Sterk, shows that the board of Commedia wanted to get clarity about the future existence of the Pug and to prevent a total breeding ban for the Pug. This by lobbying through intensive consultation with almost all parties involved.

The report from the breed Club Commedia, shows that Minister Schouten wishes to informally give the lead of this process to improve health (and breathing in particular) to the Kennel Club.  (November 2, 2018). This had to be done within the framework of the ‘Fairfok’ breeding plan. Of course, the Dutch Kennel Club would then have to come up with a convincing and elaborate plan. 

As far as we know, the Dutch Kennel Club did not make any comments or efforts to come up with a plan in the period between November 2018 and the presentation of the enforcement criteria in March 2019.

After the announcement of the enforcement criteria, Commedia continued to devote a great deal of effort into the cross breeding projects with the Pugs. However, it was useless. In May 2019 the confidence of the breeders in its board of the Pug breed Club had disappeared. This despite a last and desperate attempt by M.v.B. who,  through her lawyer Rachid Tamourt from the firm Verdonk lawyers, sent a letter on 28th May, persuading the prosecutors of the ‘no confidence motion’ by stating that no regulations would be violated with trial crossbreeding litters. They stated that in a meeting between the Dutch Kennel Club and the Board of Commedia on 24th of September 2018, the Dutch Kennel Club declared that they would open the studbooks for approval of look-a-likes. However, crossbreeds had to be carried out under Commedia’s own management. The reason being that it is difficult for the Kennel Club to do so if something like this is done according to official channels.

 This double standard of on the one hand stimulating crossbreeding and on the other hand not being able to participate further in cross breeding on the grounds of one’s own self-preservation, raises many questions.

Unfortunately, we have to conclude that the board of Commedia had recognised the need for intervention, but had chosen a road that was impossible for pedigree breeders. The cross breeders have chosen their own way with a club outside the organized cynology. Far away from enforcement criteria, health tests and regulations.

The new board of the pedigree Pug breed club ‘Commedia’ has abandoned the advocates of crossbreeding with the Pug.

The Trojan horse

On the other hand, the Kennel Club did not recognise the seriousness of the situation and ignored the Minister’s invitations by not presenting a concrete plan of action and simply did nothing from 2018 until it was too late in March 2019. Or had the Kennel Club already agreed with the content of the enforcement criteria yet to be published and had already abandoned the 12 short-muzzled breeds?

(from: Raadar number 4 March 2019, the magazine of the Kennel Club):

‘Simultaneously with the presentation of the Fairfok evaluation, Minister Schouten sent a letter to the Parliament, containing a number of measures. Focusing on dogs with a short muzzle. The Kennel Club was not involved in developing  the enforcement criteria and came up with a written response on 22 March.’ (after the announcement of the enforcement criteria).

We have already established that the Kennel Club had declined 2 invitations from the Ministry to discuss the enforcement criteria on 31th of May 2018 and 12th  of December 2019 (see also Dutch Kennel Club Exposed).  They were therefore entitled to state in Raadar (the magazine of the Kennel Club)  that they had not been involved in drawing up the enforcement criteria. We wonder if the Kennel Club had already accepted  the content of the enforcement criteria yet to be published and had already abandoned the 12 short-muzzled breeds.

This last thought is strongly backed up by a statement made by the CEO of the Dutch Kennel Club roughly 1.5 years ago at a dinner of judges in which he publicly stated that he is prepared to sacrifice the 12 short-muzzled breeds in order to create peace amongst the other breeds.  Shame must have been seen on many judges faces when they had to hear this from the CEO of the Dutch Kennel Club.  Mister Doedijns is also a judge of short muzzled breeds.

In fact, however, the Kennel Club has pulled in the Trojan horse with her attitude. For instance, the enforcement criteria does not concern 12 but at least 24 short-muzzled breeds. In the enforcement criteria for short muzzle breeds we can already find in the introduction that these criteria are the first in a row.  Next, we can find in the publication  ‘Breeding pets – what is allowed and what is not?’ by the NVWA of the ministry LNV,  the list of pedigree dogs for which also enforcement criteria could or will be developed:

– Hereditary Epilepsy

– Pituitary dwarfism

– Heart disease

– Hip and elbow dysplasia,

– Eye diseases

– Excessive aggression or fear

– Abnormalities of the spine.

Next:

– Very short legs

– Long back

– Excessive hair

– Lots of skin wrinkles

– Extremely small bred animals. With a possibility to a small skull.

If your breed is not listed here, there is still the possibility that your breed is included as collateral damage.  After all, the enforcement criteria must be easy to apply. This does not tolerate a thorough and expensive investigation by the NVWA (the law enforcers) to show whether the dog is healthy or not. The minister searches for assignable groups that are easy to distinguish, just as with the muzzle length. It more or less resembles the ‘profiling’.

The Dutch government is currently quite often guilty of profiling.

The question is whether the breed cubs, even the non-short muzzle dog ones, are now slowly waking up and want to continue with the current leadership of the Kennel Club, or whether they should go for a team that does not throw responsibility over the fence of the breeders when it getting too hot under their feet and demands to much work and effort and also recognises that the Dutch Kennel Club should be at the cradle of a good infrastructure. An infrastructure that wants to support breeding healthy dogs. An infrastructure that is now being seriously worked on in other countries around us. Or one chooses, in all apathy, to wait together with the current board of the Kennel Club until it is their turn to get a breeding ban.

The Dutch judges who did or did not attend this dinner should also ask themselves if they still want to judge according to the FCI standard or if they will have to make with mister Doedijns new rules themselves to judge crossbreeds.

In short, it is now for all the breed clubs and judges to choose.

Stichting Ras en Recht (Foundation for the rights of Breeds.)

Ir. E. Meyer Viol

19 June 2020

Dutch Kennel Club ‘exposed’ 4.0 Pug Breed club Commedia, the Dutch Kennel Club (Raad van Beheer) and cross breeding

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