International Symposium on the Dog 
July 6th & 7th, 2009

The Kennel Club in the UK held its 'International Symposium On The Dog' in London at its world famous headquarters in Clarges Street.

Press: Mr. Matthew Stander – Dog News

The following is an extract from a report published by Matthew Stander.

“We all make the mistake of calling Jemima Harrison’s (“Pedigree Dogs Exposed”) work an investigative documentary revealing the so-called suffering of show dogs. The fact of the matter is that the greater part of the program in my opinion is a fictionalization which dramatically exaggerates a situation in order to prove a pre-concluded negative theory. Played with an even hand, in all likelihood the BBC would never even have aired the program since it would not have been controversial enough to sustain any interest. As it was it was played and initially proved a tremendous distraction within the UK, a distraction which in my opinion would have dissipated considerably earlier had the program not been treated with a respect and dignity it never earned nor deserved. And so the Symposium which began originally directed in one way soon became totally redirected as far as I can see as both an answer to the BBC program and an opportunity for the world at large to see The Kennel Club’s reaction to one of the animal-welfare charities’ spurious charge that “Crufts is a parade of mutants!!!” Can you just imagine the reaction in the States to Ron Menaker demanding a change in breed standards because PETA said, “jump!”

Well part of the program particularly the Fran Smith speech the first day, which bordered if not exceeded brilliance about line-breeding – a portion of which is now banned in the UK due to the same reaction of those so pre-occupied with political correctness must have fallen on surprised ears by the Brits in attendance. Fran Smith from Minnesota should be a required speaker on any dog show circuit, let me tell you that. What she had to say hardly supported their position which was recently taken and certainly lent strength to many in the UK opposed to the steps taken by their GC with regard to at least breed standards.”

"The second day I was shocked beyond words to hear Ronnie Irving (Kennel Club Chairman)and Ruth Barbour of the (Kennel Club) General Committee, both say that if breed clubs did not change their standards to the liking of the Kennel Club General Committee, they would consider disenfranchising the breeds in question. Indeed Dr. Barbour said specifically, “Like it or lump it” and Mr. Irving (Kennel Club Chairman) was even more direct by saying specifically that the breed would no longer be recognized in the UK. And this was confirmed to me – I thought at first I was hearing things by Americans in the audience as well."

FULL REPORT here is an augmentation of DOG NEWS,
The Digest of American Dogs