Miscellaneous Welfare Issues

Further Update on the Kennel Club’s “Fit for Function:Fit for Life” campaign.

On the 15th January the Kennel Club announced the changes that have been introduced into the breed standards of those breeds where such changes were considered necessary to satisfy the requirements of their ongoing “Fit for Function:Fit for Life” programme.  The Bedlington terrier breed standard in relation to “eyes” has been changed by removing the reference to “deep set eyes”.

The Kennel Club General Code of Ethics.

As part of its response to the publication of these reports the Kennel Club reviewed its  Code of Ethics, taking into account the requirements of the Animal Health Act, 2006. Significantly, it is now mandatory for all KC registered breed clubs to adopt this General Code of Ethics – and additions/departures from this code, e.g. extra items in the a breed club’s own Code of Ethics but not included in that of the Kennel Club, etc., must be referred to and be approved by the Kennel Club.  Moreover, all breeders/registered owners must accept and agree to conform to the requirements of this General Code of Practice – sanctions may be imposed for breech of the provisions of this code. Details of the General Code of Ethics can be seen at:


(This is the link that was set up for the “old” KC website - it currently opens the appropriate page but this may change in the future), in which case use the following procedure to access the page).


Click on the “Breeding” tab.  On the “I want to breed healthy puppies” page, click on “Novice Breeder” followed by “Kennel Club Code of Ethics” under “More Information” in the list on the right-hand side of the page.

British Veterinary Association calls for a review of Animal Breeding.

The British Veterinary Association has recently announced that, following a meeting of their Ethics and Welfare Committee, they have called for an independent Review of Dog Breeding and have expressed the view that all pedigree registered dogs should be permanently identified.

The Association believes that, after the recent adverse media coverage relating to the breeding of pedigree dogs, now is the ideal time to seize the opportunity presented, to ensure that significant progress is made in the improvement of dog health and welfare.

The KC’s Genetic Centre Mid-term and Final Reports.

The KC’s Canine Genetics Centre, based at the Animal Health Trust, has issued a “Mid-term” Report.  This report makes interesting reading although, at a brief first glance, there appears to be no mention of Bedlington terriers and copper toxicosis.

The report can be viewed/downloaded from:


Click on the “Health” tab, scroll down the page and click on “Kennel Club Publications and Statistics” and then “Kennel Club Genetics Centre Mid-Term Report”

The KC Canine Genetic Centre’s Final Report can be viewed/downloaded from:


Open this page then click on the “Final Report” link in the panel on the right-hand side of the page.

The KC’s Dog Health Group Annual Report, 2013

Copies of the 2010, 2011, 2012 or 2013 Annual Reports of the KC’s Dog Health Group  may be viewed, or downloaded as pdf files, from the Kennel Club website at:


Click on the “Health” tab, scroll down the page and click on “Kennel Club Publications and Statistics” and then “Dog Health Annual Report” and then select the required report.

Taking your Dog Abroad.

On the 32.06.2011 DEFRA issued a press release announcing changes to the UK Pet Travel scheme (the UK Pet Passport Scheme) to bring it in line with the rest of the European Union.  These changes came into effect on 01.01.2012.

Updated details relating to pet travel can be viewed/downloaded from:


Note that the information may seem a little confusing and anyone contemplating taking a dog abroad would be well advised to discuss this with their veterinary surgeon and/or contact their nearest DEFRA office.

Canine Welfare

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