Press Release May 26, 2022

The Spanish FCI kennel club (RSCE) has been fined €142,996 for repeatedly violating anti-trust laws, both nationally and on a European level. The Spanish authorities had received a complaint regarding anti-competitive practices by the Real Club Espanol de Perro Aleman Pastor and three other clubs that had joined them.

The condemnation based on these European laws has also been observed in Germany (Düsseldorf) last year. In a statement from the FCI and the German Kennel Club (DHV), the influence of this ruling was limited to the German Shepherd Society (SV) and the World Shepherd Society (WUSV) both based in Germany.

So it turns out that it is not as limited as it was claimed to be. The judgment in Düsseldorf was also based on Article 101 and 102 of the anti-trust law.  In the Spanish judgment, a laundry list of complaints was linked to the conviction. Here too, reference was made to European anti-trust law Article 102. The list of complaints concerned:

– Abuse of dominant position by imposing restrictions on dog owners and associations to access the international market. This by not issuing export pedigrees to non-FCI pedigree dogs.

– The Spanish Kennel Club has abused its dominant position in order to prevent other organisations from accessing different markets.

– FCI kennel club imposed fines on judges if they participate in dog shows of non-FCI associations.  This is contrary to the anti-trust law.

– The Spanish FCI kennel club requires pedigree dogs that register with FCI studbooks to register with other studbooks. This is not allowed under the Anti-Trust Law.

– Discriminating in fees and erasing the history and the service record of the dog when registering with the RSCE.

– Establishing and using an organisational structure of cooperating members and clubs by having them sign exclusivity and non-competition clauses.

This is all against the European anti-trust laws art. 101 and 102.

FCI Pedigree dogs, Kennel Clubs and the FCI itself fall under the anti-trust laws because the dogs represent an economic value and the value of the dogs is increased if they have an FCI pedigree. Prices at shows increase also the value of these pedigree dogs.

The Spanish Justice already demanded that pedigrees of non FCI Kennel Clubs were recognised by the Spanish Kennel Club as equivalent if they met the same requirements as the FCI pedigrees and the free exchanges of Judges. This was still not complied with, hence the fine,

This is already the second country where the European regulation was confirmed by a national judge.

We have also received reports that in another country another lawsuit is pending under the anti-trust law.

The question is how long it will take before the European Commissioner for Competition will definitively impose the anti-trust rules (art 101 and 102) on all 27 countries of the European Union.

Stichting Ras en Recht

SRR/Foundation for Pedigreedogs

Edwin Meyer Viol

Spanish Kennel Club receives fine for violating European anti-trust law

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