The move was prompted after the BBC aired a controversial documentary, Pedigree Dogs Exposed, which highlighted how dogs suffering from genetic illness are not prevented from competing in dog shows.

The KC has also revealed that revised breed standards are to be in place by the end of the year and will be used to judge dogs competing in future shows.

The KC wants statutory powers to make its ‘Accredited Breeder Scheme’ – a set of requirements promoting good breeding practice, which breeders must agree to in order to become accredited – compulsory throughout the country.

If successful, this would mean breeders who are not part of the scheme and who have not officially confirmed their willingness to follow the health standards set by the KC would be unable to produce or sell puppies legally.

The KC’s Caroline Kisko said: “By asking the government for statutory powers, we will be able to take a tougher line with all breeders and breed clubs that fail to abide by our high standards. This in turn will enable us to extend the reach of our Accredited Breeder Scheme, so that all dogs will be bred by people who abide by our stringent rules and regulations for the breeding of healthy dogs.”

While the KC’s review of breed standards has been widely welcomed, many dog owners are wary of granting the club legal powers.

A spokesman for the RSPCA told Shooting Times: “In principle, a scheme that makes it easier for members of the public to identify breeders that are adopting best practice is a good idea. However, there are many aspects of pedigree dog welfare that still need to be considered before any new legislation is introduced.”


The rest of this article appears in 16 October issue of Shooting Times.

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