Re the European Convention for the Protection of Pet Animals

Although retired from this debate for sometime, I am disturbed to hear RCVS is trying to stir up a hornet’s nest on the above subject. One wonders if half the time devoted by the professions politicians to puppy dogs tails had been spent looking after the health and welfare of the countries cattle may we have avoided BSE.

I would suggest that before its ruling Council acts upon such an ‘initiative’ there are a number of questions to be addressed. Whilst the Docking issue, much loved by those posing as welfare activists, has, inside and out of the Convention been a controversial issue. The accolade, for the most contentious issues, has to go first to ‘Article 5 Breeding’ and thereafter to ‘Article 2 Scope and implementation”

I have in front of me a copy of a letter written in 1995 by Mr Roger Green (then Chairman of the FVE Animal Welfare Working Party) in which he castigates HM Government for failing to prevent Docking. This castigation was in spite of said government having, on false premise, done precisely what the RCVS had asked of them i.e amend the Vet Act. I mention this point because, how ever right or wrong the College maybe, it certainly has the right to seek to amend the act under which it operates. I see nothing in that act that gives the RCVS the right to indulge itself in this present ‘initiative’.

Nobody is going to deny the RCVS interest in Welfare. It is, after all, the reason it was given an Act of Parliament. Ensuring, it was hoped, that that the owners of animals could rely on a certain level of competence in the treatment of their animals. It was not given a privileged position to pontificate to those owners. Nor indeed to those in the profession itself, who have undergone the required training for them to offer reasoned and competent advice to those requiring it. Whilst the members of RCVS have the privilege of giving advice this should be unfettered.

The docking issue is merely a tool, which power freaks, inside and out, of the profession wish to use to determine that they can enforce their views on others. Once a precedent is established who knows what might follow? I will return to how the RCVS could and should, within the provisions of the Veterinary Surgeons Act, enhance animal welfare

Back in 1995 an associate and myself endeavoured to establish who was orchestrating this Convention. After many letters and telephone conversations it was clear that in the main the input was Veterinary. Both the BVA and the then President of the RCVS tried to distance their organisations denying an involvement. [Much to the embarrassment of some Euro; officials. Veterinary & Council] But it became clear that UK involvement in the FVA was and had been considerable and in the formulation of many of the proposals may well have been fundamental. It seems more than likely that the FVE was responsible for most if not all of the input.

It was in the course of these enquiries that Mr Green’s letter [mentioned above] was received. It contained the following paragraph: –

“The FVE as a fully participating observer Expert on ETS125 has been invited to comment in general upon the breeding of Pet Animals. In order to be adequately briefed the Animal Welfare Working Party of FVE that I chair has commissioned the Danish Veterinary Association to prepare a paper on the subject consulting widely. This paper will be discussed at the next Working Party meeting in Brussels with a view to formulating policy for the FVE to promote at the next meeting of ETS125 in Strasbourg next year. The FVE delegate to ETS125 is Greek, Dr Ben Albalas. He is an internationally well known small animal practitioner and a Vice President of EFCAVA the European Federation of Companion Animal Veterinary Associations of which the British Small Animal. Veterinary Association is a member. Any opinions expressed or papers submitted to eminent organisations such as the Council of Europe are fully researched and agreed by all delegations beforehand”.

As far as I am aware, the said paper has not been published in the UK? If not why not? From the words and expressions used it would appear that this would be an important and informative document – “Consulting widely” Who? “Fully researched” By what means? It should surly be made available to those who the RCVS wish to consult. Mr Green obviously set great store by it!

This Convention thus far concentrates, in spite of its PET ANIMALS title, almost exclusively on the pure bred version of one species. Namely the dog. In connection with article 5 a resolution is adopted which pillories just about every breed that comes to mind and the Entlebucher Cattle dog, which doesn’t. [IT is condemned for having a “semi lethal” factor. It does have a stub tail and requires its dewclaws removed. Yes! That must be the lethal factor!] The Convention even has the audacity to threaten consequences!

Now whilst it cannot be denied that all breeds have their share aberrations so do all spices, not least the human. Dog breeders work hard to eliminate these. It is part of their aim in life and it is usually at some expense to themselves, and advantage to the profession. We are not talking about those difficulties we are talking about differences of opinion in appearance. Again, notice how things you cannot see, like heart defects, – which Boxer breeders have been particularly diligent about, – fail a mention? No, the main concern with the Boxer is his teeth [or could it be that he is a docked breed]. Why are we not concerned about crossbreds, mongrels and other species?

It is the SPECIFIC NATURE of the contents of this Convention that make it totally unacceptable! The COUNCIL OF EUROPE is not a legislative authority. Although others would wish and will try to alter and manipulate the status of the COUNCIL [note the attempt, once again, to use the docking issue to try to establish by precedent a power to legislate] The Council is and should remain a debating forum for the establishment and agreement principals: –

“The Council’s aim of establishing greater unity among its member countries is achieved through: International treaties (“European Conventions”) which prescribe reciprocal obligations and lay down common standards, rules and practices, joint action decided by the governments: the continuous pooling of information and experience. Its overriding concern for the individual, his rights and his freedoms, is reflected throughout its activities.” (Dod’s)

Which brings us to the suggested advice that HM Government should sign and ratify ETS 125. What precisely do the RCVS want the Government to do? Sign a blank check perhaps!

Under Article 2, “Parties to the convention undertake to take the necessary steps to give effect to the provisions of the Convention “. This should be within 6 months of ratification. This is the legislation bit. Have the College considered the WHAT, WHO and HOW of the matter? [Because they are not now posing in Europe, we are here back in the UK] Somebody has to formulate ‘precise detailed legislation’ because of the ‘detail’ that has been written into the Convention. Who is going to supervise and police such provisions? How exactly do the proposes see the legislation working? If the response to the Colleges consultations is to be in anyway meaningful these questions have to be addressed!

Whilst it may well be different for Dr Ben Albalas in Greece, in the UK we have, in the 1911 Act. Probably the best and most flexibly enforceable of Animal welfare provisions. We don’t need this Convention.

Now before closing I should like to return to the matter of the Colleges involvement in Welfare. We will all agree that an animal’s welfare may well be determined by its owners ability to obtain satisfactory and affordable Vet treatment and in this respect the role of the RCVS is crucial: –

Why are the public not offered an appeals and arbitration procedure similar to that of the Legal profession?

Why is the College not regulating the charges made for drugs?

[Much is made of the high cost of drugs but why should the profession benefit from that cost by virtue of a mark up beyond the cost of dispensing? If an animal has a prolonged requirement for a drug why should this benefit the Vet?] [As far as the drugs themselves are concerned The Medicines Directorate notes on drugs reveal just how a change is needed to offer benefit to both profession and customer]

Should the Profession not establish a much broader approach to specialisation and diploma qualifications?

[Especially in the field of surgery where there appears to be little restriction]

The Trading legislation provides exemptions on the basis that the profession is self-regulating, so the publics redress in these matters is restricted. It would therefore be nice to see the RCVS spending more time on matters within its own competence and less on interfering in other people’s interests.

Ron Henney. Warwickshire

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DEFRA now looking at Convention despite saying IT WOULD NOT

Despite their national party policies, Labour and Liberal Democrat MP’s are divided over their attitude to the European Convention for the Protection of Pet Animals.

Prospective Parliamentary Candidates were questioned in the run up to the 1997 General Election, to ascertain the three main parties views on the Convention.

Labour is officially opposed to docking and in favour in principle of signing the Convention. However only 34% of the candidates who responded supported this view. Of the remainder, 13% said they supported the retention of docking and would not sign the Convention, while 53% expressed no view on the matter.

Of the Liberal Democrats who replied, 30% supported the party’s clear commitment to sign the Convention and ban docking. However, an almost equal number, 28%, opposed this view, while 34% expressed no view at all.

Conservative opposition to the Convention was strong. Of those candidates who replied, 84% were opposed to the Convention and supported the retention of docking, while only 1% would sign the Convention and see docking banned. The remaining 15% expressed no view.

While the clear support for the Convention from Labour and the Liberal Democrats must remain a matter of great concern to all breeders of pedigree dogs, it is encouraging to see the divergence of opinion which is now apparent.

Lobbying clearly set candidates thinking about this issue, and it is particularly interesting to see the views of Labour candidates. During the 1997 election run up, it was pointed out to Labour that even their own mascot, Fitz the bulldog, would be banned under the Convention, it seems that the party’s enthusiasm for the Convention has markedly cooled.

In May 2000 however, the Home Office stated the following:

“I can inform you that the Government is publicly committed to start a review of the question of whether or not the UK should ratify the Convention. We shall shortly be conducting a consultation exercise with interested parties about the Convention. It is not known at this stage when the review will be complete”

It was never completed in the first Labour administration, but in August 2001, Elliott Morley (the Minister for animal health and welfare) announced that a review would commence.

Nothing more was heard until DEFRA announced a full review of Animal legislation in January 2002 with NO MENTION of a review of the Convention being involved. Details can be found here.

On the very day that submissions to the consultation paper had closed, DEFRA issued a Press Release quoting Elliot Morley as follows: “DEFRA is also reviewing the UK’s position in relation to the Council of Europe’s Convention for the Protection of Pet Animals. Many of the issues covered by the Convention have been raised in DEFRA’s public consultation on animal welfare legislation.

Mr Morley said:

“Now would be a good time to look again at the Convention. It is too early to speculate on where we go from here – but a review, tying in with our own consultation would seem logical.”
The Convention was one of four matters which was expressly excluded from the Animal Welfare consultation. If Ministers were minded to consider signing up to this well-meaning but woolly piece of European legislation, would it not have been reasonable to invite comment on it at the same time as other welfare issue?

It seems likely that some of those 1,600 letter writers might have wished to have given DEFRA the benefit of their advice on the European Convention. Perhaps Ministers knew that the advice they would have received would not have been to their liking!

Dangerous Dogs, Dangerous Governments

Many dogs will not be eligible to enter that show !!! Not only the BSL dogs.

Since Germany applied its new law, in total contradiction with European laws and FCI rules : NO CROPPED OR DOCKED DOG WILL BE ALLOWED TO COMPETE IN GERMAN SHOWS ANYMORE AND THIS APPLIES TO EVERY DOG, GERMAN OR FOREIGN !!!!!!

It will now be even more difficult for any continental dog to achieve an FCI International Champion Title and it is worth considering if Germany should be banned from holding any International Shows where the CACIB is awarded as so many foreigners won’t be able to participate!

Boycott ? In fact, Germany has ensured that only home bred dogs can compete, a kind of “Lets have our own World Championship Special for Ourselves” !!!

Power Mad, Knee Jerk Governments Get it Wrong

Although this site is primarily pointing out the pitfalls of the European Convention for the Protection of Pet Animals, we feel duty bound to bring the following to your attention. The Dangerous Dogs Act in the UK is one example of knee jerk reaction by Government, but worst still is the even more draconian action being taken by the German Government, details of which follow.

We in the UK need to campaign against the actions being carried out in Germany as we could be next. Being part of the European Union certainly has its advantages. Unfortunately, it also has its disadvantages as the following could spread across Europe in no time at all:

The following articles have been reproduced with permission:


SIGN THE WORKINGDOGS.COM PETITION! in case anyone thinks its just pitbulls heres a more comprehensive break down:

This list varies according to which part of Germany you live in so you can cross the street and your legal dog suddenly becomes a banned dangerous dog!

American Staffordshire Terrier
Pitbull Terrier
Staffordshire Bull Terrier
Bull Terrier
Neopolitan Mastiff
Spanish Mastiff
Dogue de Bordeux
Dogo Argentino
Fila Brasileiro
Roman Fighting Dog
Chinese Fighting Dog
Tosa Inu

Estrela Mountain Dog
Pyrenean Mastiff
Pyrenean Mountain Dog
Tibetan Mastiff

and 15 other European herding breeds

The owners of these breeds must register with the stadt, and obtain a dog handling licence. Permission to continue to own one of these dogs will be granted if the dog has shown no evidence of aggression towards people, game, livestock, cats and other dogs for more than 3 years. The dog can only be exercised by a person over 18 years, and must wear a leash and muzzle at all times.

Cat.1 dogs, and those who have shown aggression, cannot be bred from under any circumstances. My understanding of the regulations is that if you can show your dog is of no danger to the public, you may be exempted from the muzzle/leash requirement.

Cat.3) Any dog over 40cm/20kg.

Cat.3 dogs should be on a leash in built up areas, and will be moved up to Cat.2 if they show any aggression. We’re going to have to wait to see what the final regulations are. from Angela in germany additional information As of 8:00 this morning, the ruling has come down early, due to the attack and death of a six year old boy in Hamburg.

The entire country of Germany has officially banned the following breeds: Pitbull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier and the Staffordshire Terrier. Those now in the country can be exported out. Any dogs that remain, must take a state run temperament test. If passed: spayed/neutered. If failed: euthanasia.

If you are caught breeding or buying one of these breeds, a $50,000 fine and six months jail term are imposed. The Bull Terrier is on this list in some parts of Germany as well, including the Miniature BT. In other parts, the BT must pass the temperament test (which is 3 hours long and videotaped, at a cost of $500.00 per dog) If the dog passes, the animal may be used in a breeding program, as long as the breeder is a member of the VDH. If failed: euthanasia.

The Minister of the Interior for our area is going to try and separate the VDH breeders from those who breed without papers, which will save our breed. The final decision on this will come middle September. There is no fighting this in the courts. Hopefully, all of the emails, letters and faxes from around the world will help to exclude the Bull Terrier from extinction in parts of Germany. But we were warned…if another serious dog attack occurs where the injuries are life threatening or death occurs, then all of these breeds are finished. This includes the other breeds I mentioned last month (Doberman, Rottweiler, Mastiff, etc.)

One region of Germany has 16 breeds on their ‘Forbidden List’. These laws are now before the politicians in Sweden, Italy and Spain. With the European Union in place, it is likely most of Europe will follow Germany’s decision. It is a sad day for the registered breeders of the VDH. We cannot breathe a sigh of relief yet, the BT’s fate is still hanging the air in some parts of the country. In other parts, it is over. There are a total of nearly 30 dog breeds on the A, B, C list. Some face extinction, others face severe limitations. It is a terrible day for dog owners and breeders nationwide.

Rudi and Cathie Dettmar

The above note may be duplicated unless stated otherwise (jan cooper) mailto:[email protected]

In Germany we have “Killing time” again. There are hot-lines were you can point out people who are owning a “fighting dog.” Dobermans, Rottweilers and a lot of other dogs have to carry bait bags all the time outside (since a few days). For _all_ dogs higher then 40cm and/or over 20Kg weight you need a special licence and you have to use a dog line for these dogs all the time.

We in Germany do as much as possible against this new crazy politics, but we need also help as much as possible. Today the county Hessen announced they will kill about 5000 “fighting dogs” soon… Of course there was no accident with one of these dogs in this county.

In my county the “fighting” dogs are: American Staffordshire Terrier, Pitbull Terrier, Staffordshire Bullterrier, Bullterrier, Mastino Napolitano, Mastino Espanol, Bordeaux Dogge, Dogo Argentino, Fila Brasileiro, Römischer Kampfhund, Chinesischer Kampfhund, Bandog, Tosa Inu, Berger de Brie (Briard), Berger de Beauce (Beauceron), Bullmastiff, Carpatin, Dobermann, Estrela-Berghund, Kangal, Kaukasischer Owtscharka, Mittelasiatischer, Owtscharka, Südrussischer Owtscharka, Karakatschan, Karshund, Komondor, Kraski Ovcar, Kuvasz, Liptak (Goralenhund), Maremmaner, Hirtenhund, Mastiff, Mastin de los Pirineos, Mioritic, Polski Owczarek, Podhalanski, Pyrenäenberghund, Raffeiro do Alentejo, Rottweiler, Slovensky Cuvac, Sarplaninac, Tibetanischer Mastiff, Tornjak.

Soon we will find non of these dogs in Germany again. Please help us. Don’t make holidays in Germany, tell it to your friends, tell and or write it to organizations which may can help (but please don’t crosspost this through all Newsgroups – then it’s Spam).


Regards Michael from de.rec.tiere.hunde (german speeking newsgroup about dogs)

Yet again certain dog breeds have been brought into disrepute by owners actions , this time the tragedy resulted in the death of a six year old child and the destruction of two dogs , they two dogs involved were reported by the press as an American Pitbull and a Staffordshire Bull Terrier.

I say that it was owners actions even though the dogs were the ones blamed and culled , these dogs should never have been off the leash in the first place they are powerful and even in play can injure by knocking even the strongest person to the ground , my sympathies go to the family of the child killed and to the services who had to do the destruction of the dogs in this harrowing episode.

Knee jerk reactions to the medias so called devil dogs don’t work , there is no such thing as a bad dog only bad owners, rarely there are mitigating medical conditions that make a dog bad these would and should be noticed by a caring owner long before any tragedy can happen. A dog with a dislike for humans has a reason to dislike humans , like maltreatment by its owner and protecting its owner or their ground/territory. If the dog is protecting its owner and or its territory then its not the dog or the owners fault , rather its the fault of the other person or dog for not respecting the dog and its instincts in the first place.

Just because a dog looks menacing and scary doesn’t mean it is , although it should be given the respect it deserves, I myself was wary of the Staffordshire bull terrier breed, hell its hard not to be wary of a big muscle that ignores pain and has a mouth that big (most of the time its smiling though), but after buying one of my own as a companion for my disabled wife I have grown to respect them and love them as if a child of my own. I would lay down my life to protect or save my dog from harm, as I am sure my dog would for my family.

Rather than sterilisation, muzzling and destruction, why not have licences for these dogs and other dogs of the ilk and also a taxation system for them with mandatory chipping , DNA testing and compulsory personal injury insurance. It is tragic that children and adults alike are killed or maimed by dogs (mostly uncontrolled or street strays) around the world on a daily basis , and most of these tragedies are not caused by the so called devil dog breeds at all. What will it take globally to realise that staffords and their ilk will be ground to extinction for indescetion of a rotten few owners, because of power of print in the gutter press and vote chasing scaremongering members of parliament who know nothing of dogs or have one of s different breed our dogs could be destroyed.

Not all dogs are Labradors or retrievers , take heed MP’s. I have been attacked by a dog and it was a Rough Collie , my handicapped sister was attacked by a dog and that was a Scottish Terrier , both dogs were not raised from pups rather they were adopted at around two years old, yet I don’t pigeon hole these breeds for a couple of bad ones. I find that most people need educating on their dog and its breed , why not make it harder to own a dog in general by having to sit an examination and be vetted by the RSPCA as to the suitability of its intended surroundings , this is what is beginning to happen with certain breeds in the UK within the breeding fraternity unknown to the press and government.

In some cases I know dog owners are having them sterilised because of the responsibility involved in ensuring that pups are homed correctly , these people love their dogs and the breed so much that the stress involved in making sure that the dogs will not be abused and persons harmed is too great and their dog is spayed. I only ever take my dog off its leash in secluded areas where neither person or other dog can be harmed I consider that essential to dogs wellbeing and a matter of good handling. I will never muzzle my dog as I handle him correctly restraining him as persons or other dog approaches , he never goes for other dogs but instead when the oncoming dog is big he will lay down and wait for the other dog to attack first before retaliation , if the other dog is friendly so is he , if his mentality changes for the worse I would not have any hesitation in muzzling him.

While out on the leash with my wife a wandering uncollared collie cross growled at my wife (shes been around staffords and other breeds nearly 30 years) and drew close to her to bite her and my dog gave it a warning mouthing , he would never been able to do this being muzzled. Besides this another argument against muzzling on a hot day a dog lets heat out by panting and this cannot be done with a muzzle on.I am not against muzzling when the situation dictates , like a dog with a dislike for other dogs or humans , in general a muzzle protects a dog against being destroyed more than it protects the safety of other dogs and humans. Do think of it this way, on hot days or during moderate to heavy exertion the dog must pant , how would you like to wear a furry coat get your exercise on a hot day and not be allowed to cool down?

The solution to the dog and human safety debate is education , licensing ,legislation of owners/breeders and their responsibilities and ultimately insurance , not as some may believe sterilisation , destruction and blanket bans on breeding. I expect that my proposals wont be liked by the some of the long established dog owners and breeders ,who truly do know about their breeds and handling them although they dont see the need for these measures , but remind them you cant breed if the government wont let you because its been told not to let you from brussels.

If we the owners and breeders do not secure the correct kind of measures then our breeds will disappear , so is it not better that we the breeders , owners ,kennel clubs and the RSPCA should all work together to ensure the future safety of our breeds and safety of the public? It is unfortunate that if we must adopt legislation on our breeds ,then should we not have the say in the matter of how to best implement them? To ensure the wellbeing of human/canine safety and our breeds surviving then better we do the things I have mentioned than watch the breeds disappear into oblivion , or for that matter go deeper underground for the nastiest of things like fighting. Neither dog wins in a dog fight.

Yours, Chris Robertson [email protected]

p.s. As I’m not omnipotent (yet) feel free forward this letter to your MP or Govt. rep in your country and/or send a similar one of your own and get things moving within your dog clubs with petitions. Feel free to print copies or use on the web as long as the letter is used in its entirety , above all if these proposed draconion laws are put into practice on the continent they will eventually end up having to be adopted in the UK like other European rules and laws dumped upon our shores from brussels.

Examples of Breed Standard revisions quoted from the Resolutions

The authors of the Convention are convinced that in the breeding of several breeds or types of pet animals, mammals and birds, insufficient account is taken of anatomical, physiological and behavioural characteristics which are likely to put at risk the animals’ health and welfare.

They demand that if persuasive measures are not sufficient, governments should consider prohibiting the breeding and or phasing out the exhibition and the selling of certain types or breeds when characteristics of these animals correspond to what they consider to be harmful defects such as those presented in the following Appendix:
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The UK Kennel Club Intervenes

Reproduced from the Kennel Club Press Release

On the 7th June 2001 representatives of The Kennel Club travelled to Brussels to attend a meeting with Michael Scannell – a Member of Mr David Byrne’s* Cabinet, who specialises in Animal Welfare Legislation, and Paul Remits – a European Commission legal advisor, to discuss the current ‘dangerous dog’ legislation being perpetrated in Germany and other areas of Europe.
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Mr .Nicholas Baker M.P. Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State.

1st May 1996

Dear Mr Baker,


As Chairman and Secretary of the Chinese Crested Club of Great Britain, and writing on behalf of the members, we are all horrified and dismayed at most of these proposals, and urge you to vigorously oppose their implementation. Many points can be made:

No indications are given about how much evidence has been uncovered to prove that, for example, hairlessness which is a characteristic of the Chinese Crested Dog is in any way detrimental to its health and well being, and the same should be said of most of the other characteristics listed. Neither of the Clubs in this country have been approached for their comments. Just who are these pundits who seem to claim such intimate knowledge?
If it was possible in any form of breeding to comply with such exact and specific weights, measurements and proportions we imagine that every mother would give birth to a Tom Cruise or a Marilyn Monroe. These “experts” merely show their ignorance of genetics.
Hairlessness, which is a natural mutation in the genes and not a man made condition which appears to be implied by the proposals, has occurred in many species. i.e. the elephant, the rhinoceros, the pig, but the most obvious example is Man himself.
There is published evidence to show that natives in parts of Mexico, where some of the hairless breads originate, still breed and hunt with their hairless dogs and have done for generations. The existence of hairlessness is recorded in the dog in Mexico, China, Turkey, Peru, Ethiopia. Paraguay, Argentina. the Caribbean and the Philippines. In Mexico excavations in tombs have revealed skeletons and clay figures of hairless dogs, indicating that during the Toltec period of 900~1200 A.D, it was held in great reverence. Illustrations from a reference book dated 1866 clearly show a dog exactly similar to the Chinese Crested Dog as bred today. To go back even further, there is more evidence of a hairless breed in a painting by 15th Century artist Gerard David. In his painting entitled Christ Nailed to the Cross, there is a little hairless dog clearly showing an excellent crest, socks, and a plume on his tail. How then can it be said that hairlessness is life threatening when the breed still exists practically unchanged for so long?
As no indication is given as to what should happen to those dogs which fail to comply with the many criteria, and there will be many, as Nature has of course not read the Council of Europe proposals, would it not be more correct to conclude that these proposals are in fact more ‘life threatening’ than any of the conditions listed?
Please, please, do not let us support another ill thought out set of regulations like the Dangerous Dogs Act.

Yours sincerely,

Chinese Crested Club of Great Britain

CHAIRMAN: Mrs Sue Jones, SECRETARY: Mrs Brenda Taylor.

Photo Credit

Fight For Our National Breed

As a Bulldog Breeder I am writing to you to let you know my feelings towards the European Convention for the Protection of Pet Animals and the impact it will have on our breed should our government sign. As you are aware over 100 breeds are listed to be altered or banned, the bulldog is to be either “redesigned” or banned completely.

This carries with it several worries as a bulldog breeder. Firstly, the redesign of the Bulldogs Head. This is something that cannot be achieved without outbreeding, therefore the Bulldog will no longer be pure bred, this will lose over 100 years of history for a dog that is shaped as he is because he needed to be that shape to be able to carry out his original role in society; namely bull baiting. Every part of our bulldog was bred in deliberately over 100 years ago, the teeth were positioned to allow the dog to grip, the nose short so he could still breathe whilst doing so, the wrinkles to take the bulls blood away from the dogs eyes, the heavy front and short front legs to give him the strength to hold the bull and the shallow joints to allow him to jump from a standing position.

Thankfully the so called “sport” of bull baiting is long gone, but the breed remains with us and is a part of this Countries heritage. The bulldog was never meant to be agile, he was never meant to be able to walk for miles, he was designed for his strength and stamina. The question of course is what do we outbreed to? And what guarantees to we have that we do not re-introduce the aggression of the original bulldogs? The aggression is the only part of the bulldog that has been lost over time making him one of the most gentle dog breeds known to man. I’m sure you will agree that if it was possible to produce bulldogs that could be guaranteed not to suffer from soft palate related problems and didn’t carry too heavy wrinkles our rings would be full of such specimens. As it stands the ring does not always show us perfect bulldogs and there are certainly specimens that never make the ring for various reasons, but then many of these bulldogs are based on breeding lines where although the breeders did the best they could they didn’t have the technology that we have available to us today.

I feel there is a far greater understanding of genetics today, that breeders are far more aware of what their dogs can produce just by understanding how the genes are passed from one dog to another, as a direct result breeders are subsequently far more careful as to which dogs enter breeding programmes. Besides we now have the use of DNA profiling available to us and it isn’t going to be many more years before we will have the technology available to us where we can pinpoint carriers of particular faults and diseases and as a direct result all breeds are going to improve without the need for Europe intervention

There are many breeders of this noble breed who would rather see their bitches die virgins rather than out breed the history, besides I can see many breeders continuing as they are and the result will be bulldogs without papers, this will have a direct knock on effect to the Kennel Club as their registrations fall further. There is currently so much bad press on this breed that the general public are being led to believe that all bulldogs can’t breath, that all bulldogs have skin problems and that all bulldogs are genetic disasters which is far from the truth.

The European Convention is being sold to the public under the heading of “tail docking” and because many of the general public are opposed to tail docking they are assuming that this can only be a good thing for our dogs. What they are not being told is that there are many many other breeds on the hit list for reasons other than tails and dew claws, of which the bulldog is one. There is currently an Internet petition running which can be found at

Once again we have to fight for our national breed.

Regards Tania Holmes/Shaloney Bulldogs