The Bateson Report
The Independent Inquiry into Dog Breeding

David Payne

Bateson has recommended the Kennel Club to upgrade its Accredited Breeder Scheme PROMPTLY. If it is unable (or unwilling) to do so another body should step forward to supply an appropriately robust accredited breeder scheme. 

The current Kennel Club Accredited Breeders Scheme (ABS) is fundamentally flawed. It is impossible to police in a satisfactory manner or even in an effective manner. The checks and monitoring give the appearance of KC “window dressing”. 

Window dressing is something which runs through the Accredited Breeders Scheme like the names of seaside resorts runs through sticks of rock. One only has to consider the Accredited Breeders Scheme – ‘Health Screening’ aspects, it may surprise most people to learn that many of the health screening aspects are only recommendations, in other words entirely VOLUNTARY. This linked with the wholly inadequate policing and checks on the scheme render it fundamentally flawed, and again being a clear case of Kennel Club “window dressing”. 

You may now be having very serious doubts about the Kennel Club Accredited Breeders Scheme, and there are even more major flaws within it; 

Even with the scheme requiring Hip Dysplasia screening, whatever the hip score, high or low, they can still be bred from. INCREDIBLY there is simply a requirement to ‘screen for hip dysplasia’ and other diseases. 

Also, can there be any real value to this ABS scheme when the clear and unquestionable IDENTITY of each pedigree dog that is owned and used for breeding by each and every accredited breeder, is NOT a “requirement” of the scheme? 

Micro-chipping and DNA parentage tests, to guarantee a puppy’s accurate parentage, should be fundamental “requirements” to ensure that any health screening and consequently any breeding is in strict accordance with the required criteria. 

Can you imagine pedigrees indicating one thing and DNA parentage tests illustrating something different, where would incest breeding be in such a scenario. Without BOTH micro-chipping and DNA parentage tests of breeding stock, MOST conditions of the Kennel Club Accredited Breeders Scheme are based SOLELY on trust. Trust is something that pedigree dog breeding can ill afford and TRUST is all too frequently abused. 

The GSD fraternity here in the UK have for many years recognised the need for tattoo/microchip identification, DNA tests, Hip & elbows scores within acceptable limits, haemophilia test on all males, etc. PLEASE REMEMBER THESE FACTS, because the Kennel Club refused to accept proposals from the GSD partnership embracing these matters, and then publicly attempted to imply the GSD community were not co-operating with the Kennel Club on the Health and Welfare of the GSD breed. Utterly disgraceful behaviour from the Kennel Club. 

I would hope the Kennel Club will fully grasp the recommendations of the Bateson report, and NOT attempt to treat it like they have treated the GSD Partnerships proposals! For instance I hope they will grasp the following basic recommendations, PROMPTLY

a.  All pre-mating tests for inherited disease appropriate to the breed or breeds are undertaken on both parents. 

b.  No mating takes place if the tests indicate that it would be inadvisable in the sense that it is likely to produce welfare problems in the offspring and/or is inadvisable in the context of a relevant breeding strategy (see also 8.2). 

c.   Every puppy identified by microchip prior to sale. 

All other Bateson recommendations can be seen in the pdf file above. 

My frustration with the Kennel Club stems from the flagrantly disgraceful manner they have responded to the GSD community, represented by the GSD partnership, over the last year or so. 

The GSD community put forward carefully considered proposals to significantly improve the Health and Welfare of our GSD breed here within the United Kingdom, through the use of the Kennel Club (KC) registration system and through entry requirements into KC licensed shows, they also included suggestions to improve the KC Accredited Breeders Scheme with an “accredited GSD scheme” soundly based on our breeds existing and well established GSD Breed Survey. Incidentally our GSD Breed Survey includes compulsory health screening (with hip score limits) and identification. 

The Kennel not only shilly shallied with our GSD representatives, by cancelling meetings, and by refusing or failing to respond to most major points, at one point attempting to draw them into the fundamentally flawed KC Accredited Breeders Scheme, and being displeased with the somewhat ‘pointed’ response they received; The Kennel Club went on to completely ignore ALL the GSD partnership proposals and have gone directly to GSD breed clubs with an “undertaking” which is simply aimed at bringing the GSD community into line with their “dictatorial” ways and their “window dressing” style. 

In my firm opinion the Kennel Clubs policy on Health and Welfare of pedigree dogs is substantially influenced by an attitude of “out of site – out of mind” 

If you have any doubts remaining, then please read the following question to the Kennel Club, and their answer.


We are currently Exhibiting a GSD with a hip score of 3-47=50. We would be very grateful if you could please clarify for us that if a Judge is aware of our dogs hip score should they penalise him in the show ring although he is very sound and displays excellent movement?


In answer to your query, judges are only required to consider whether a dog is suffering from a visible condition which adversely affects its health or welfare.  

Therefore any knowledge which a Judge may have with regard to the health status of the dog, such as its hip score, should not be taken into account when judging, and it would not be appropriate to base any judging decisions on such information.


authors note:

Contrary to current rumours, I have not been proposed and seconded for membership of the Kennel Club, and this email should NOT be construed in any way as an attempt by me to seek such a nomination.

David Payne