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About the direction the Dutch Kennel Club entered

What can we expect from this board of the Dutch Kennel Club?

The first bad sign was the change of name:

From:

Dutch Kennel Club, for the pedigree dog

To:

Dutch Kennel Club, keeping dogs.

This change of name makes the change of direction visible. The planned new earnings model of the Dutch Kennel Club (Raad van Beheer) can be found in its name. And at the same time they collect the money from the pedigree dog breeders. The board members of the Dutch Kennel Club are responsible for this change of direction and the communication to the members and the breeders. After all, the Board actually needs the approval of those members. The big question is when has this radical change been discussed with the breed clubs and breeders?  After countless ‘hijackings’ of breed clubs by cross breeders, now so far the board members of the Dutch Kennel Club guides, supports and facilitates the breed clubs to a board consisting of cross breeders.

Important co-organizers of this policy turn out to be the CEO and the veterinarian, both in salaried service of the Dutch Kennel Club, who on the one hand represent the Netherlands abroad with crossbreeds and out of standard pedigree dogs and on the other hand, in its own country, best breeder – winner of more than 300 best in show prizes including the ‘Oscar’ of best in show namely that of the Westminster Dog Show in New York- advices that the breeder should put a Spaniel on her Affenpinschers because the ‘longer nose should be on it’. At KLM such a remark to the customer alone would have led to be fired immediately. That besides the fact that Affenpinschers are one of the healthiest brachy breeds there is and have no problems with BOAS at all as can be found in the Agria insurance ranking in Sweden by Brenda Bonnet on place 77 of ‘upper respatory problems’.

Outside the Netherlands it is difficult to understand what is going on in the Netherlands and why the Kennel Club treats her breeders and judges the way they do. The newest trick from the Dutch Kennel Club, to prevent many cancellations at exhibitions in the Netherlands, due to the choice of ‘wrong’ judges, is that now the judges of short muzzle breeds at dog shows are announced as late as possible after payment of the registrations. Also here every sensibility and respect is lacking.

Also, the Dutch Kennel Club does not want to speak out clearly about the direction they want to go to, hoping that their problem will be solved by ‘kicking the can’.

A board member of the Kennel Club is in doubt about what to answer when the judges ask the board member to speak out in favour of judging by the FCI breed standards. The board member avoid a clear answer. This says enough already.

The strange thing is that they could have done a lot to the health of the pedigree dog by just demanding that the judges comply with the FCI breed standards. Question is whether they do not know at the Dutch Kennel Club that the wide open nostrils is in the breed standard of for example the Griffon (lit. 6) as well as the French Bulldog (lit. 7). Here they can – without deviating from the FCI breed standard – already make a big hit. After all, the BOAS team of the University of Cambridge has calculated that BOAS is already 32% caused by closed nostrils (lit 3). However, the muzzle length/CFR – if they have their scientific literature in order (see list below) – has hardly any influence. In short, if they want to improve the health of the short muzzled pedigree dogs, they should not go down the road of the enforcement criteria but of the BOAS team at Cambridge.

The promise of getting pedigrees back.

The fact that the Board of the Dutch Kennel Club is now in discussion with the short muzzle breed clubs to get the pedigrees back is only because of the ultimatum letter of last June from the short muzzle breed clubs. Probably to correct their mistake to withdraw issuing pedigrees for short muzzle dogs. This also to cover up their deceptions towards FCI and to eliminate this problem as soon as possible before the FCI finds out. Basically, they only give back something that they should never have taken away. It wouldn’t surprise us that the Dutch Kennel Club will also try to make the breeders believe that it was their effort and thank the breed clubs for their cooperation. This if the Dutch Kennel Club does not chicken out of this whole plan (exchanging health breeding regulations for pedigrees) out of fear for the reactions of the Fairdog partners.

Other partners in Fairdog (lit. 8) ‘take over’ the Dutch Kennel Club.

Because this board does not choose a clear direction and thus looks weak, we have to look at the direction that the other partners of Fairdog, (a program for the improvement of dogs in general with the Kennel club, Vet faculty of the university, Dier&Recht the activist group against pedigree dogs, organisation of vets, etc.) have set for the pedigree dogs. After all, the Dutch Kennel Club has become a subject of the other partners in the Fairdog program after confidence was lost in the failed Fairfok program (a program of the Dutch Kennel Club to improve the health of pedigree dogs 2014-2019). These participants have already clearly communicated the future of the pedigree dog to the outside world.

If the other (not short-muzzle) breed clubs think they can get away with it, they will be disappointed because this board of the Kennel Club has brought in the Trojan horse. After all, in the ‘enforcement criteria of the short muzzled dogs’ (lit. 5) the following is stated on page 4:

 ‘The outcome of this project will therefore be an important prelude to the further development of enforcement criteria for breeding with dogs (and other animals) with regard to a greater number of health and welfare risks.’

Next we look at the publication ‘pet breeding – what is allowed and what is not’ by the NVWA of the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality (lit. 4). This contains the list of pedigree dogs for which enforcement criteria could be developed:

– Hereditary epilepsy

– Pituitary dwarfism

– Heart disease

– Hip and elbow dysplasia

– Eye diseases

– Excessive aggression or fear

– Spinal anomalies

Next:

– Very short legs

– Long back

– Excessive hair

– Lots of skin wrinkles

– Extremely small bred animals with possibly small skulls

The planned solution:

If we look at the last slide of the presentation given in April 2019 in response to the introduction of the enforcement criteria ‘Ban on Bambino, BOAS and Forest’ by Marjan van Hagen of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine of the University of Utrecht (lit. 9) we see the solution for inbreeding and hereditary diseases showed under the FCI logo:

‘outcross’ ……..with an exclamation mark. (crossbreed)

This also explains the path of Veterinary Medicine of the University of Utrecht to start with the CFR (craniofacial ratio). This ‘easy’ to measure external characteristic that is clearly visible can only be seriously solved by crossbreeding of breeds (0.3<CFR). If this is ‘successful’ one starts with the pedigree dogs with 0,3 < CFR < 0,5. After all, in the enforcement criteria, the orange text in the matrix of the criteria clearly states the word

 ‘for the time being’ 

which means that within a few months or years the limit of the breeding ban will be scaled up from 0.3 to 0.5. Instead of 12 breeds now 30 brachy breeds will be the target. The choice of the CFR was well thought over and has less or nothing to do with the health of short-muzzle pedigree dogs but with the obligation to crossbreed to get a longer nose within 1 generation. However, the scientific reality is that the BOAS team of Cambridge (lit. 3) replaced the CFR of Packer et al (2015) (lit. 2) with open nostrils, neck girth NFR and obesity as early as 2017 and is now looking for the last link namely the genes that causes the soft palate.

Cross breeders and lovers of crossbreeds could take a look at the study of Wageningen ‘Limits to genetic rescue by outcross in pedigree dogs’ by Windig and Doekes (lit. 1, 2018) and take a look at the limitations of crossbreeding before they get serious about it. This may put crossbreeding in a different position. 

And how to proceed?

The Dutch Kennel Club turns its back to the breeders of pedigree dogs over and over again, the members of the Kennel Club have to ask themselves if they want to continue a fight against their own institute that should defend their interests or if they want a board that stands for the pedigree dogs and provides an infrastructure for the healthy pedigree dog and communicates openly to its members, the breeders as well as to the outside world. After all, the members of the Kennel Club have the last word on this. Despite how many rules they try to make to avoid it.

The next question for all breed clubs, kennel Clubs worldwide and the FCI is to support the challenge of the CFR and stop the virus, the beginning of the end of the pedigree dogs. Not only for the Netherlands, but for all countries that wants to follow this way blindly and without their own research, the way of the authors of the enforcement criteria for short muzzle dogs is one of the gradual introduction of a ban on breeding of pedigree dogs in the long term.

(for donations  www.rasenrecht.nl  ).

Foundation Ras en Recht (Foundation Justice for pedigree dogs)

Edwin Meyer Viol

13th of August 2020

Used literature and publications:

lit 1

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/jbg.12330

lit 2

https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0137496#:~:text=Our%20results%20show%20that%20breeding,at%20increased%20risk%20%5B11%5D.

lit. 3

https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0181928

lit. 4

https://www.nvwa.nl/onderwerpen/honden-en-katten/huisdieren-fokken

lit. 5

https://www.rijksoverheid.nl/documenten/rapporten/2019/03/18/fokken-met-kortsnuitige-honden

lit. 6

https://keurmeesters.nl/compacte_standaarden/fci09/9.3_Griffon_Bel_Brab_Brux.pdf

lit. 7

https://www.hbc-fransebulldog.nl/het-ras.html

lit. 8

https://www.houdenvanhonden.nl/contentassets/574135fc5a364b4fba01a74adc91136f/fairdog_rapport2020.pdf

lit. 9

https://www.sibaritas.nl/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/4.-Marjan-AE-van-Hagen-Ban-op-BambinoBOAS-en-BOS.pdf

Time for choices

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