The Open letter from the President of the FCI, related to the status of the brachycephalic breeds in the Netherlands, has been widely viewed and applauded around the world, ANKC Ltd will be sending a message of support to the FCI and the Dutch Breeders, the statement will carry far greater weight if it has the declared support of the breed clubs and National Breed Councils (where they exist) of the threatened breeds, Affenpinschers, Boston Terriers, British Bulldogs, French Bulldogs, Griffon Bruxellois, Japanese Chin, King Charles Spaniels, Pugs, Pekingese and Shih Tzu. Do not think that your breed is safe from this kind of Government Legislation, it may be at present, but who knows what may happen in coming years, some organisations whose objectives include prohibition of people owning animals, are gaining representation in State and Territory Governments and may reach the stage where they hold a balance of power and introduce restrictive breeding regulations, be assured that these political parties plus the RSPCA, AVA and individual Veterinarians will be inspired by such statements as “in the future, breeders must demonstrate that brachycephalic dogs are proven free of conformation related problems” and “the core of the report is a set of criteria about the conformation. When one is exceeded, this will lead to a prohibition of breeding, regardless of the other criteria. The criteria describe exaggerated conformations, which are not desirable within the breeds”. Brachycephalic breeders in Australia must work to ensure that their breed cannot be targeted for exaggerated features, and be able to demonstrate that, where recognised health schemes are available for their, breed they have embraced them.
For clubs to be included in the ANKC letter of support to the FCI and Dutch Breeders, please write to your Member Body or National Breed Councils so they can forward to the ANKC.
Mr Hugh Gent OAM Dr Karen Hedberg (BVSc) Sydney
President & Chairman of the Board Chairperson, ANKC Canine Health & Wellbeing Committee
22 May 2020
Pre 1987 British Bulldog Standard - Why did the ANKC amend it?
Recently there has been a great deal of comment on Facebook, regarding the decision by the ANKC to amend the British Bulldog Breed Standard, much has been made of what was done, without any mention of why it was done, the ANKC Directors believe that both sides of the story need to be told.
Until 1992, it was ANKC policy to adopt only The Kennel Club (England) Standards. Around 1987, the Kennel Club (England) urged all English Breed Clubs to revise their Standards, this was completed around 1994.
Due to Breed Clubs and breeders/owners in Australia disagreeing with many of the revised Standards, the ANKC agreed to allow Breed Clubs and/or owners, where there were no breed clubs. to choose between the Pre-1987 Standard, the revised Kennel Club Standard, the FCI Standard or the Country of Origin/Development Standard. The process to choose one of the above standards, the Breed Clubs, and owners where there were no breed clubs were required to conduct a survey of all registered owners of each breed, these results were then ratified at the May 1998 ANKC Conference, arising from the surveys a number of breeds, including the British Bulldog opted to retain the Pre 1987 Standard.
In the UK in 2008 the BBC aired a documentary “Pedigree Dogs Exposed”, it was a hard hitting expose of congenital defects in pedigree dogs, some of which were allegedly caused by poor breeding practices associated with exaggerations required in Breed Standards, one of the outcomes of the documentary was that during 2009 the Kennel Club held a comprehensive review, conducted in conjunction with a large body of experts, including vets, to ensure that they encouraged the breeding of healthy dogs. In this review every Breed Standard was rewritten to make it explicitly clear that the process of exaggerating features because they are seen to look good, when this at the expense of the dog's health, was not in any way acceptable.
Following the UK review, a recommendation from the ANKC Breed Standards Committee, that the ANKC cancel the current ANKC Policy of allowing breeds to adopt the Pre 1897 Kennel Club (England) Standards, and for the ANKC to adopt the current standard from the Kennel Club (England) or from the Country of Origin/Development, was endorsed by the Delegates to the October 2009 Conference, however after submissions from Breed Councils, the 2010 Conference resolved that no action be taken to implement the action from the 2009 Conference in relation to the Pre 1987 Breed Standard.
In 2009, “Pedigree Dogs Exposed” was broadcast in Australia as part of the ABC “Catalyst” Program, thanks to pre-work by the ANKC with the AVA and RSPCA, who were provided with information on health testing programs adopted by a large number of breeds, the impact was not as great as it had been in the UK, however a focus in the “Catalyst” program was on the British Bulldog, in particular the words in the Standard that required the head to be strikingly massive and large in proportion to the dog's size, and the skull to be very large - the larger the better, and that most British Bulldog Bitches were unable to whelp naturally due to the size of puppies heads. This was the start of concerted efforts by parties such as, the RSPCA, the AVA and the ABC the vehicle for prosecuting the case attacking brachycephalic breeders, without input from the National British Bulldog Breed Council (NBBC) , ANKC found great difficulty in counteracting the criticism of over exaggeration in the breed standard, when engaging with aggressive interviewers who were aware of the changes to the standard made by the Kennel Club (UK), and who could not understand why Australian British Bulldog Breeders would not follow the actions of the country that was considered the home of the British Bulldog and where it was developed.
In a follow up article to “Pedigree Dogs Exposed” in the Sydney Morning Herald in December 2009, Assoc Professor Paul McGreevy from Sydney University commented that with many judges and breeders, asking them to change breed standards is like asking them to rob a granny.
From this time forward the ANKC was continually under attack, by the AVA, RSPCA, ABC and Academics from the Faculty of Veterinary Science at Sydney University, and individual Veterinarians. The main objective of these campaigns was to get ANKC to modify words contained in the British Bulldog Breed Standard head and skull description, such as “the head strikingly massive and large in proportion to the dog's size, the face extremely short, the skull should be very large - the larger the better”.
The crusade against breed standard exaggerations was ramped up in 2016, with the Australia wide release of the “Love is Blind” video, promoted as an animal health and welfare campaign between the Australian Veterinary Association and the RSPCA, to raise awareness of the problems caused by exaggerated physical features, such as brachycephaly, short limbs and excessive skin wrinkling, and calling for a fundamental shift in the way purebred dogs are selected and bred in Australia.
After the “Love is Blind Campaign”, the call for change in breed standards was joined by Academics from Sydney University Veterinary Science Faculty, Professors Nicholas and McGreevy who challenged ANKC to respond to such media statements as:
“In some cases, traits that are best regarded as defects, have actually been included in breed standards, e.g. brachycephaly in the British Bulldog. Breeders compete with one another to see how well they can produce phenotypes that conform to a written standard, including traits that have, at best, questionable welfare benefits. The British Bulldog is required to have a curved ‘roach’ back, it is therefore not surprising that British Bulldogs are sometimes born with twisted spines, i.e. hemivertebrae. For the British Bulldog, the skull should be very large, the larger the better’ (Pre-1987 Kennel Club, London). This is a breed in which, large foetal head size commonly leads to dystocia (difficulties in birthing)”.
Professor Nicholas also wrote:
“Of course, many of the members and governance personnel of Kennel Clubs are pedigree dog breeders. It is right therefore to pause and consider the extent to which welfare may have become subordinated to certain breed practices. It is not difficult to see how, after generations of owners have spent years focusing on the morphology of their dogs, some find it hard to see the proverbial wood for the trees. Breed standards can easily become entrenched in the minds of breeders, buyers and fanciers, as well as those (often interested parties) who are involved in the judging (and so promotion) of a breed and its ‘established’ characteristics”.
Until 2014 the ANKC had been meeting, on a regular basis, with the RSPCA National Office regarding health issues in pedigree dogs, despite being presented with overwhelming evidence, that many breeds had introduced health screening programs to reduce the incidence of known inherited health conditions, the RSPCA would not back away from their position that ANKC should remove breeding exaggerations required in Breed Standards, including of course the British Bulldog, as this issue dominated every meeting and, as ANKC was unable to provide a logical answer as to why British Bulldog Breeders would not agree to Standard changes, we terminated the meetings.
Faced with continuing criticism for indecision in addressing exaggerations in the British Bulldog Standard, and with no positive information to address the adverse commentary, the ANKC Directors felt that they had no alternative but to take action to resolve the situation.
Subsequently, the ANKC wrote to the NBBC suggesting changes to modify the exaggerations in the head and skull description, the suggestions were rejected, later ANKC Directors were informed, by some British Bulldog owners, that they had not been consulted on the proposed changes to the head description.
In December 2017 the Board wrote to the NBBC, expressing their disappointment at the decision not to endorse the head changes, and as a result asked them to provide a rationale, as to why, they should be allowed to retain the Pre-1987 Standard with the head and skull exaggerations that were the cause of continuing censure, in April 2018 the Council replied with a series of statements, which the Board did not consider provided a rationale that could support the retention of the Pre 1987 Standard, and satisfactorily address the ani-brachycephalic campaigns.
In December 2018, the NBBC wrote to the ANKC with a proposal for a National Health Scheme, the ANKC Health and Wellbeing Committee considered that although the proposal was a promising start to control health issues with the British Bulldog, it did not address the concerns that had been raised in regard to the exaggerated head and skull descriptions, but agreed that if the NBBC wished to proceed to implement this scheme, they should do so under their own umbrella. In view of this initiative, the Board resolved to delay any further action on Standard alterations until the scheme was in progress.
At the October 2019 ANKC Board meeting, it was reported to the Directors, that the proposed National Health Scheme had not gone ahead, coupled with the Boards determination that the statements made by the NBBC, in April 2018 for retaining the Pre-1987 Standard, did not answer the December 2017 request for a rationale, it was resolved to give the NBBC a choice of adopting the Kennel Club (UK) current breed standard or the amended Pre 1987 breed standard, as proposed by the ANKC Board of Directors.
At the February 2020 ANKC Board Meeting, after reviewing the response from the NBBC, the Directors agreed, that the Council had still not addressed whether they wanted to adopt the Kennel Club (UK) current breed standard or the proposed amended Pre 1987 standard, and resolved to implement the amended Pre 1987 standard.
The NBBC have written to all Breed Councils seeking support for an approach to the ANKC to rescind the decision, as the NBBC have indicated that they are seeking legal advice, ANKC will only comment on why the amendments were made, and wish to restate that the changes were made solely due to health concerns within the breed, and to meet its obligation under ANKC Objective (e) “to promote the health and welfare of Canis Familiaris”, and to demonstrate, that the ANKC Ltd has taken seriously, the global commentary on health problems associated with the exaggerated requirements in the Pre 1987 British Bulldog Standard.
It is now 30 years, since the NBBC opted to retain that Standard rather than adopt the revised Kennel Club Standard, over those years there have been huge advances in research into morphological exaggerations in canines, and the British Bulldog has been a main focus of these studies, the consensus of the scientists is, that problems in the British Bulldog are directly related to the standard for the breed, and this has been adopted as the mantra for those who seek to alter or even ban the breed.
In coming to its decision, the Board took into consideration, that Veterinary research has identified that the shorter the face the more changes occur within the nasal cavity with septal deviations, stenosis within the nasal cavity as well as just the nares, elongation of the soft palate .... to mention the main ones, added to that within the British Bulldog is a narrowing of the trachea that is seen, and can considerably affect breathing.
The width of the neck can be fairly directly linked to the size of the head, so asking for a relatively large head, rather than one that is as large as possible, is common sense and moving in the right direction.
ANKC has invited the NBBC to work with the ANKC Health and Wellbeing Committee to institute health programs that will demonstrate that Australian Breeders are working to improve the health of the British Bulldog, who remains hugely popular, as a family companion for his great character and loyalty, the fact that the breed is so popular makes it all the more important that we find ways to improve and protect its health as a priority.
ANKC want to see the breed prosper and develop, rather than seeing it banned in its entirety, which is still on the global agenda of many Veterinarians and Animal Rights Organisations who masquerade as Animal Welfare Societies.
In conclusion, after 12 years of attempting to defend the indefensible exaggerations in the Pre 1987 British Bulldog Standard, and 3 years of unproductive consultations with the National British Bulldog Council, to ensure improvement in the health and the future of the British Bulldog in Australia, the ANKC Board of Directors had no alternative but to modify the exaggerations in the Pre 1987 Standard.
Realising that bitches were mated or whelped prior to the introduction of travel and social distancing restrictions, the CHWC hopes that the following advice will help in the process of transferring puppies to their new owners.
In addition the ANKC has received many inquiries in regard to continuation of breeding during this time of Government limitations, this of course is a personal choice but the ANKC recommends that before you mate a bitch, you give serious consideration to difficulties that may be encountered in relocating puppies to their new homes, transporting puppies both inter and intrastate can be a problem as are limited flights between states.
COVID 19 – the basics
COVID 19 is one of a large group of Corona viruses that affect many species. These viruses, like most, are generally species specific and rarely transfer to or affect any other species.
Both dogs and cats have corona viruses, but these are genetically very far removed from COVID 19. There has been no recorded transfer of dog and cat Corona viruses to humans and vice versa.
Socialising during the COVID 19 pandemic
Because of the limited movement and social distancing of people during the COVID 19 lockdown, breeders will have to be more inventive with their puppy socialisation, particularly if there are no children around.
Lots of play activity, try having different outfits, hats, noises, toys; most of which are usually done anyway. Take a few puppies out at a time in a trolley or pram to walk around the park or the block to see different places, people running past etc.
Do more one on one handling, particularly in those breeds that really need the individualisation (GSD, Rottweiler, etc). Stress to new owners that they will need to keep up this socialisation after they leave your care.
Placing a Puppy during COVID 19 – Safety Advice
[Note: It has been brought to our attention that in some jurisdictions people visiting your home, to pick up a puppy may be considered to be non-essential and therefore a finable offence, please check you State or Territory COVID 19 Regulations before arranging for puppies to be viewed or picked up.]
Dr. Karen Hedberg BV.Sc
ANKC Ltd Health and Wellbeing Committee
MEETING OF NATIONAL BREED COUNCILS
NOTICE OF MEETING
Notice is hereby given that the next meeting of National Breed Councils will be held on Saturday, 4 July 2020 commencing at 10.00 a.m. at:
Dogs Victoria Bulla Exhibition Centre
5 Uniting Lane
BULLA Victoria 3428
National Breed Councils are invited to submit agenda items for this meeting to the ANKC Administrator, by no later than COB 11 May 2020 to allow sufficient time for the agenda to be promulgated prior to the meeting.
National Breed Councils are invited to send two representatives to attend the meeting. The names of your representatives are to be submitted to the ANKC Administrator, by no later than COB 19 June 2020.
Only those delegates confirmed by their respective National Breed Council will be permitted entry to the meeting.
ANKC Ltd Administrator
A survey was conducted by ANKC Ltd earlier this year to ascertain the feedback from all owners of registered Labrador Retrievers in relation to the Minimum Breeding Age for Labrador bitches being 18 months at the time of mating (unless a veterinary certificate is produced stating that for health reasons the bitch should be mated before 18 months). The response received indicated support.
As this was an amendment to current regulations, the result of the survey was referred to the ANKC Board of Directors for consideration at their October 2019 Special Board meeting where it was endorsed.
As a consequence the following new clause will be added to Regulations Part 6 – The Register & Registration which will be effective from 1 January, 2020:
8.12.2 The Minimum Breeding Age for Labrador Retriever bitches must be 18 months at the time of mating (unless a veterinary certificate is produced stating that for health reasons the bitch should be mated before 18 months). Breeders of litters whelped on or after 1st June, 2020, will be required to comply with the requirements as a prerequisite to registration of any litter on the ANKC Ltd Main Register. Litters which do not meet the above requirements will only be able to be placed on the Limited Register and will be flagged not to be upgraded.
12 November 2019
The ANKC Ltd Retrieving & Field Trial Hall of Fame pays homage to those PERSONS and DOG that have made outstanding and significant contributions to the sports of Retrieving or Field Trials.
As Convenor of the ANKC Ltd Retrieving & Field Trial Hall of Fame Election Panel, it is with pleasure that I announce the inductees for 2019.
Mr Allan Bartram
Mr Russell Thomas
GR.RT.CH. Acolon Prince of Cypher (IMP UK)
Owned by Mr K E Britton
Inductees in the category of Prominent Persons are acknowledged as being exceptional people who have made an outstanding contribution to the sport over an extended period of time.
Inductees in the category of Outstanding Gundogs are recognized for their outstanding achievements in the disciplines of Retrieving or Field Trials.
The Election Panel congratulates the new inductees for 2019.
The Board of Directors at their meeting held in Melbourne on 22 June, 2019 resolved effective immediately to rescind the decision to implement compulsory DNA parentage testing on 1 January 2020.
As a result of this decision Clause 6.13 has been removed from ANKC Regulations Part 6 – The Register & Registration.
16 July 2019
Belgian Shepherd Dog Survey Results
A survey was conducted by ANKC Ltd last year to ascertain the feedback from all breeders of registered Belgian Shepherd Dogs in relation to amendments to Regulations Part 6 – The Register & Registration Clause 9.17. The response received indicated support for the regulations to be amended.
As this was an amendment to current regulations, the result of the survey was referred to the ANKC Board of Directors for consideration at their February 2019 Special Board meeting where it was endorsed.
The following amended regulations are effective from 1 July 2019:
9.17 Belgian Shepherd Dog (Groenendael); Belgian Shepherd Dog (Laekenois); Belgian Shepherd Dog (Malinois) & Belgian Shepherd Dog (Tervueren).
9.17.1. Judged separately with each variety receiving separate Challenge Certificates.
9.17.2. Inter variety breeding is conducted as per FCI Breeding Recommendation outlined in 9.17.4
9.17.3. Each individual progeny registered as per “coat/colour” type.
9.17.4 Traditionally acceptable breeding combinations as recommended Oct 2016 by Royal Society St Hubert, Belgium.
1. Groenendael x Tervueren
2. Malinois x Tervueren
3. Laekenois x Malinois.
FCI recommends - Avoid breeding long coated to wire coated or risk of untypical coat texture.
20 March 2019
Notice is hereby given that the next meeting of National Breed Councils will be held on Saturday, 27 July 2019 commencing at 10.00 a.m. at:
Dogs Victoria Bulla Exhibition Centre
5 Uniting Lane
BULLA Victoria 3428
National Breed Councils are invited to submit agenda items for this meeting to the ANKC Administrator, by no later than COB 3 June 2019 to allow sufficient time for the agenda to be promulgated prior to the meeting.
National Breed Councils are invited to send two representatives to attend the meeting. The names of your representatives are to be submitted to the ANKC Administrator, by no later than COB 12 July 2019.
Only those delegates confirmed by their respective National Breed Council will be permitted entry to the meeting.
ANKC Ltd Administrator
In June 2018, at the request of the Turkish Kennel Club, Kopek Irklari ve Kinoloji Federasyonu (KIF) the General Committee of the FCI, in relation to FCI Breed Standard 331 Anatolian Shepherd Dog, approved a change in the breed name to Kangal, and a new Standard.
Having regard to the disruption caused in Australia in 1998, by the separation of Anatolians and Kangals, ANKC Ltd sought further information from KIF expressing the concern that the change would have a deleterious effect on some owners of Anatolians who would be angry at again having to change their breed name and not being able to breed any of their dogs who did not conform to the new standard, the following response was received from the President of KIF, Umit Ozkanal.
“they do not have to be angry. We have just corrected a very big mistake!. Turkey is a very big country and there are at least 5 different shepherd dogs. There is no breed called Anatolian here in Turkey. Those who have dogs away from the standard will not breed their dogs officially since there is no breed called like that. They still keep their beloved dogs but no breeding under Kangal please”
In August 2018 ANKC Ltd advised that any member who wished to change from Anatolian Shepherd Dog to Kangal Shepherd Dog should contact their relevant Member Body office with full details of the dog they wish to change by 12th October 2018, which was just prior to the ANKC Board Meeting,
when there would be a review of the number of dogs still registered as Anatolian Shepherd Dogs.
This announcement resulted in a large amount of correspondence to ANKC Ltd and it became apparent that whatever decision the Directors made on the future of Anatolians in Australia it would not be unanimously accepted. The submissions from both sides of the argument were very impassioned and indicated the breeding expertise and large amount of money that has been invested in developing the Anatolian breed in Australia. Despite the ANKC Ltd even handed approach in giving all Anatolian breeders the opportunity to voice their opinion we received threats of legal action if a decision was made that disenfranchised certain breeders, the following statements illustrate the divide amongst breeders.
“We believe that it would be highly disrespectful to KIF to disregard their wishes regarding Anatolian Shepherds and it would be convoluted to adopt, for example, the AKC Anatolian Shepherd Dog Standard. The parties opposed to having their dogs not listed as Kangal are those whose dogs don’t comply with the new standard, in particular, in terms of colour”
“The new breed standard from FCI/Turkey is not in keeping with 2018 community standards for the breeding of healthy and sound working / farm dogs, as the new standard decimates the gene pool and falls into the 'poor kennel club breed decision' rhetoric of pedigree dogs exposed - culling healthy dogs from the gene pool based on modern arbitrary show 'ideals'.”
All correspondence was considered by the Directors and the National Breed Standards Coordination Group, and prior to discussion at the ANKC Ltd Board Meeting it was reviewed by Member Bodies. Comments were received from people claiming to be Anatolian breeders who were not financial members of any ANKC Member Body or were not recorded as having ever registered a litter with ANKC Ltd.
In determining how many members would be affected by their decision the Directors noted that in Australia there were only five (5) current Financial ANKC Ltd Anatolian Shepherd breeders.
At the Board Meeting held on 13th/14th October 2018
It was resolved that ANKC Ltd adopt the National Breed Standards Coordination Group recommendation to retain both breeds with Kangal Shepherd Dogs to use the current FCI standard and the Anatolian Shepherd Dogs to use the Kennel Club (UK) standard. Anatolian Shepherd Dogs which meet the requirements of the Kangal Shepherd Dog have until 31 December 2018 to transfer to the Kangal Shepherd Dog register.
Current breeders and owners are the Guardians of the breed and must be vigilant to ensure that only Anatolian Shepherd Dogs which meet the requirements of the Kangal Shepherd Dog Standard are accepted as Kangals, recent Facebook Postings give cause for concern that some people owning Anatolians who have not applied to be re classified as Kangals are promoting them as such whilst not meeting the requirements, concerns should be reported to the relevant Member Body.
ANKC has received a number of inquiries as to the eligibility of Anatolians and Kangals with pedigrees from organisations other than the FCI, to provide answers to these queries ANKC will need to consult with the FCI, KIF the AKC and the Kennel Club, this process will obviously take some months, if before definitive answers can be provided, any of the detailed scenarios arise they will be considered by ANKC on an individual basis after consultation with the relevant Kennel Club to authenticate the dogs Pedigree.
At the time of this Statement 14/10/2018 there are only 4 (four) Kangals registered with the ANKC.
Hugh Gent OAM
President & Chairman of the Board of Directors