But ‘gravely concerned’ that the ban on Cavalier King Charles Spaniels remains
The Kennel Club has welcomed the Norwegian Court of appeal overturning the Bulldog breeding ban – a ban which it believes would be counterproductive - but has expressed grave concerns about the continued ban on breeding the Cavalier King Charles Spaniels in Norway, which it believes could have unintended negative consequences for health and welfare.
Bill Lambert, Health, Welfare and Breeder Services Executive, said: “Our firm belief remains that blanket breeding bans, which fail to distinguish between good and bad breeding, could have a damaging and detrimental impact on dog welfare.
“Whilst we have not yet seen the full judgement and rationale for the ruling, we are extremely heartened that the Norwegian Kennel Club and those representing Bulldogs have been able to demonstrate the significant progress being made to give responsible breeders and puppy buyers the tools and information they need to improve the health of the breed. Independent testimony was given in the case by Jane Ladlow, whose work on The University of Cambridge and UK Kennel Club’s ground-breaking Respiratory Function Grading (RFG) Scheme has been vital – enabling breeders to test their dogs and assess the risk of breathing issues associated with brachycephaly, known as BOAS. The Kennel Club, breeders and the welfare industry at large continue to work collaboratively to address the issues that lead to, and create demand for, dogs with extreme features that lead to health and welfare concerns, whilst continually developing a range of tools that help people to breed and buy brachycephalic dogs that are able to lead happy, healthy lives.
“We remain concerned however that a breeding ban, which is what the outcome of this ruling would appear to lead to for Cavalier King Charles Spaniels in Norway, will only affect those breeders working with the breed clubs and the Norwegian Kennel Club (NKK) and far from addressing health issues will simply fuel the unregistered and illegal markets.
“The Kennel Club believes a more effective approach to whole breed bans – which also send a dangerous and demotivating message that legislation will not distinguish between good and bad breeding when considering complicated issues such as breed health - is to continue to work collaboratively with breeders, vets, scientists and welfare organisations to research, understand and take evidence-based actions to reduce and ultimately eliminate the health problems that these breeds can face, and to inform and influence puppy buyers and breeders.
“The Kennel Club’s Breed Health and Conservation Plans for Cavalier King Charles Spaniels demonstrate that whilst the breed has numerous health challenges that have to be seriously addressed in a collaborative way, progress can be made by breeders who are using the breeding tools and health schemes we have developed, to tackle issues such as mitral valve disease and syringomyelia. It is the responsible breeders who are using these tools, in any breed, who should be encouraged.”