Kennel Club Calls for Feedback on Vulnerable Native Breeds

201.05 February 2006

The Kennel Club has requested feedback from breed clubs with regard to its Native Vulnerable Breeds initiative.

The Kennel Club’s Native Vulnerable Breeds Group and the British and Irish Dog Breeds Preservation Trust have collaborated over the last year to address the question of native breed vulnerability, using the Trust’s main aims of Education, Preservation and Promotion.

This has mainly taken the form of showcasing the native vulnerable breeds in the press, at Kennel Club events like Discover Dogs and Crufts and in the wider community via events such as the CLA Game Fair and the Wag and Bone Show. Further promotion for the campaign will also take place at Crufts 2006.

The Kennel Club is researching how best to present a suitable set of objective criteria to define vulnerability and work towards this is on going. Some of the clubs in breeds classified as ‘vulnerable’ have expressed concern at being identified as part of the list of vulnerable breeds.

The Kennel Club has therefore written to the secretary of each of the clubs representing breeds presently identified as a native vulnerable breed to ask for the club’s view as to whether they would wish to continue being associated with the initiative beyond July 2006.

The future plans for the group of breeds involved in this project will include, in addition to the promotional activities already mentioned, some or all of the following, depending on the breed concerned:

  • wider promotion via mainstream media (for example, encouraging the BBC to feature the breeds more in their broadcasts)
  • encouragement of new puppy owners to take part in the ‘sport’; whether it be showing, trialling, tracking etc
  • looking at avenues that might encourage new owners to become involved in the breed and breed clubs
  • investigation of routes to conserve old, established bloodlines in a breed
  • the establishment of sperm banks for vulnerable breeds

The clubs have been requested to submit their responses by the end of March 2006.

Should a breed or club decide that it does not wish to be part of the Kennel Club’s future plans for the vulnerable breeds, it is likely that it will be dropped from the active list of breeds. However, if in the future, the Kennel Club has reason to believe that health issues might affect the breed’s vulnerability the KC may continue to promote policies which will be of positive help to the breed concerned.