Following the success of the first ever dog-specific manifesto in the run up to the UK General Election last May, the Kennel Club and Scottish Kennel Club have jointly produced a package of policy measures for dog welfare which they would like to see put in place by an incoming Scottish Government.
On Thursday 25th February, Kennel Club and Scottish Kennel Club representatives will be joined at the launch of the A Dog's Life manifesto, taking place in the Scottish Parliament, by Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs, Food and Environment, Richard Lochhead MSP, Shadow Minister for Environmental Justice, Claudia Beamish MSP and the Conservative Spokesperson for Environment, Fishing and Rural Affairs, Sir Jamie McGrigor.
Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club Secretary, said: "The Kennel Club and Scottish Kennel Club are very much looking forward to our guest speakers highlighting their respective parties' manifesto pledges relating to the welfare of dogs.
"Once again our manifesto focuses on our vision for legislative change which would do more to protect dogs at every stage of life; from breeding and acquisition to dog training, responsible dog ownership and everyday living."
The A Dog's Life manifesto contains calls for the Scottish Government to formally recognise the Kennel Club Assured Breeder Scheme, and in doing so, to review regulations on dog breeding. It also draws on scientific research to highlight the need for a ban on electronic training devices and to further develop the law on tail docking in order that working dogs are prevented from tail injury in the future.
Some of the key recommendations raised in the manifesto include:
• Breeding - calls to endorse the Kennel Club Assured Breeder Scheme and issue effective guidance and training to local authorities to achieve a more consistent approach to licensing and enforcement
• Acquisition - to prohibit the sale of puppies in pet shops and promote responsible sale of dogs from breeders breeding to the standard of the Kennel Club Assured Breeder Scheme
• Training - to prohibit the sale and use of electronic shock collars and adopt the Kennel Club Accredited Instructor requirements as an industry based standard for all dog trainers and behaviourists
• Responsible ownership - to investigate all serious and fatal dog bite incidents using the services of a suitable behaviourist to understand the causes, and aid preventative measures
• Routines in everyday living - to record information relating to restrictions on where dog walkers can go, and to amend the Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Act to allow tail docking for puppies which will be used to work on proven welfare grounds
• Free from animal tests - to put pressure on the Home Office to review the use of dogs as a second species for toxicity testing in human drug development in light of new research on the lack of usefulness of this practice