March 2nd, 2015Articles
We are delighted to interrupt your usual pre-Crufts programming to announce that Harvey’s Law (for mandatory collection, identification and contacting of owners whose pets are killed on roads) has been given the go-ahead by the Transport Minister after a debate in Parliament today. The happy result was announced on Twitter just after 6pm.
YES! Transport Minister to implement #HarveysLaw for mandatory collection, identification & contacting of owners of pets killed on roads
— Jason McCartney MP (@JasonMcCartney) March 2, 2015
This move comes after 122,200 people signed an e-petition calling for this action.
New legislation was not promised; but Halton Labour MP Derek Twigg, who campaigned for mandatory scanning to be brought back, said it was a “massive step forward”. He said the government would need to keep a “watchful eye” to ensure the rules are followed, otherwise legislation could be needed.
Until 2012, it was mandatory for Highways Agency staff to follow the canine fatality procedure, which involves checking collars and scanning microchips to trace the owners. The rules were unfortunately changed following a government spending review, and new rules which were due to be rolled out to the entire country from July 2015 would have meant that contractors would be under no obligation to attempt to contact the owners of deceased dogs.
Today, however, the Transport Minister has agreed to implement the following actions as part of future policy:
- Compulsory scanning of all domestic animals retrieved from the highways
- Log report filed and circulated to both Police and Dog Warden
- Photographs of the deceased to be held with the log report to be used for identification purposes
MPs said it would make sense to implement these new rules, especially with microchipping due to become compulsory by Spring 2016. (Motorists who hit a dog are still required by law to report the accident to the police.)
Transport Minister John Hayes will be writing to Transport for London and local highways authorities across the country to draw attention to the government’s position, because the majority of accidents happen on smaller roads.
This petition for more general compulsory microchip scanning by vets, rescues, dog wardens, highway agencies and network rail to help reunite still living stolen and missing pets could still use a boost in numbers.
Harvey’s Law is named after Toy Poodle Harvey, who died on the roadside just 21 minutes after he escaped his family home in November 2013. Unaware of his fate, his devastated owner spent 13 weeks and £8,000 looking for him before she discovered what had happened to him. Her experience inspired her to take action to prevent other pet owners having to go through the same thing. As interest in the petition grew, so did ‘Harvey’s Army’, a group of campaigners and social media sharers who worked tirelessly to ensure that his petition reached Parliament.
The full text of the debate is available here, and makes for some interesting reading: if ever you doubted that this is a nation of animal lovers, these MPs may go some way to changing your mind.
Derek Twig, MP for Halton, ended the discussion by saying: “To sum up, the closeness of the relationship that people have with their pets—dogs and cats, in particular—is profound and has a massive emotional impact. Many Members have related to that today. Many members of the Harvey’s Army campaign are present in the Public Gallery. Everything goes back to them, because they decided to campaign and raise the issue with Members of Parliament, the community and the national and local media. It is so much down to them that we got here today.”
Congratulations one and all!
Tags: Current Affairs, Harvey's Law
Well done to Harvey’s Law campaigners on a great success today with the policy change announced by the Minister.
— Derek Twigg MP (@DerekTwiggMP) March 2, 2015
March 1st, 2015Articles
Last week, 52 Dandie Dinmont Terriers and their human enthusiasts gathered in Selkirk on the Scottish Borders to participate in a one of a kind event. They were there to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the publication of Sir Walter Scott’s novel Guy Mannering, the book which introduced the Dandie Dinmont to the world.
Three Scottish mansions vital to the history and development of the breed opened their doors so the breed’s heritage could be celebrated over three days; Abbotsford, Bowhill and The Haining. The event has attracted significant media coverage, which we have attempted to collate for posterity below.
The Telegraph – Desperate fight to stop Dandies disappearing
BBC (w video) – Rare Dandie Dinmont terriers celebrated
Aberdeen Press & Journal – Prepare yourself for cuteness: 50 Scottish terriers return to ancestral roots
The Southern Reporter – Endangered breed comes home to Selkirk
Selkirk Weekend Advertiser – The Haining welcomes £13,000 Dandie Dinmonts art donation
Herald Scotland – Dandie Dinmont breed returns to Borders home in fight for survival
ITV (w video) – Dandie Dinmonts descend on the Borders
Want to learn more about the Dandie Dinmont? Visit their Discover Dogs stand or come find them in Hall 2, Ring 77 at Crufts 2015.Tags: Articles, VNB
February 26th, 2015Articles
An appeal has been launched to raise money for a one year-old rescue dog that needs an expensive life-changing operation to help him lead a normal life.
Charlie, an Old English Sheepdog, was emaciated, riddled with fleas, had worms and kennel cough and was due to be put down, when he was rescued from the pound by a Kennel Club Breed Rescue organisation, the Old English Sheepdog (OES) Rescue & Welfare charity.
When OES Rescue & Welfare first took in Charlie, they noticed that, in addition to his other ailments, he was walking with a severe limp. Whilst it did not seem as though he was in pain, one of his legs did not seem normal and was a serious cause of concern for those caring for him.
After taking Charlie for the necessary veterinary care for his fleas, worms and kennel cough, he was taken to an orthopaedic specialist who diagnosed him with a severe case of hip dysplasia – an abnormal formation of the hip socket. This condition, if left untreated, can lead to crippling lameness and painful arthritis in the most serious cases and the only options to ensure Charlie’s welfare are a hip operation, or the total replacement of the affected hip, both of which are expensive procedures.
OES Rescue & Welfare is a registered charity, which relies on fundraising and public donations for the work it carries out to rescue and rehome Old English Sheepdogs, and in order to be able to pay for Charlie’s operation, the charity has launched the ‘Charlie Appeal’ and is calling on dog lovers to help support Charlie on his road to recovery.
Julie Love, a coordinator for OES Rescue & Welfare, said: “Charlie is a wonderful dog, with such a sweet personality and we are doing all we can to help him, but we are struggling to raise the funds needed to pay for his operation so are appealing to dog lovers who may wish to donate towards his surgery. There is a good likelihood that Charlie will ultimately need a full hip replacement, which can cost around five thousand pounds per hip, and as a small charity we just cannot afford those costs.
“Charlie just loves people, and we want to show him that this love is returned. Old English Sheepdog Rescue & Welfare saved him from being put to sleep and have been caring for him since then, and we really hope we will be able to raise the money to help make sure he lives a long and happy life, free of the pain that can come as a result of his hip problems.
“Charlie is not currently in any pain, which is the only upside, and he still loves to be around people and keep busy. He’s going to be making an appearance at the Kennel Club Breed Rescue stand in Hall 3 at Crufts on Friday 6th March, which he will absolutely love. We hope this will help boost our fundraising efforts and give people a chance to meet Charlie for themselves and find out what a lovely dog he is.”
For more information and to donate to the Charlie Appeal, visit www.oesrescue.weebly.com/
Old English Sheepdog Rescue & Welfare is one of hundreds of Kennel Club Breed Rescue organisations around the country. There is a breed rescue organisation, and often several, for almost all of the 215 pedigree dog breeds recognised in the UK. More information can be found at www.thekennelclub.org.uk/Tags: KC Press Release
February 20th, 2015Articles
With the largest dog library and collection of dog paintings in Europe and a history that spans more than 140 years, the Kennel Club can rival London’s most popular museums.
The Kennel Club has occupied 1-5 Clarges Street, Piccadilly, since 1956 but due to redevelopment work in the area it will be moving to another site later this year, so this is one of the last chances to see the Club’s long-standing home.
The Kennel Club is offering free guided tours to members of the public, breed clubs and canine societies. Anyone who is interested in finding out all about the Kennel Club, how it started, its growth and its continuing efforts to improve the health and welfare of millions of dogs in the UK is welcome.
Visitors will have the unique opportunity of viewing the world famous Keddell Memorial Trophy, awarded to Crufts Best in Show, and the famous painting ‘A Distinguished Member of the Humane Society by Sir Edwin Landseer, that is currently on loan to the Kennel Club from the Tate. They will also be invited to peruse the world’s biggest canine library.
The Kennel Club Art Gallery’s current exhibition, which showcases the winning photographs from the 2014 Kennel Club Dog Photographer of the Year competition, will run until 27th March and can also be seen as part of the tour.
Ciara Farrell, Kennel Club Library and Collections Manager, said “As the largest of their kind in Europe, the Kennel Club’s art and library collections are a must see for any dog lover.
“The tours that the Kennel Club runs offer a fascinating insight into the history of the Club and how all of the work that it does impacts on the future of dogs. Any dog lover or lover of art wanting to come on one of the pre-arranged group tours, a private tour or who wants to see the library and gallery should get in touch.”
All tour places must be booked in advance. Private group tours are available on request for a small charge of £5 per person, or open tours will take place free of change on the following dates:
- 11th March 2015
- 24th March 2015
Further dates will be announced in April 2015.Tags: KC Press Release
February 18th, 2015Articles
The British Veterinary Association (BVA) and its Welsh Branch welcome the announcement from Rebecca Evans, Deputy Minister for Farming and Food, that clarifies the Welsh Government’s timetable for the introduction of compulsory microchipping for dogs in Wales.
Rebecca Evans has clearly outlined the next steps towards compulsory microchipping in Wales, including further consultation around enforcement, implantation of microchips and the recording of information. The Welsh Government is now working towards bringing in compulsory microchipping in the Spring of 2016, in line with the date announced for compulsory microchipping in England.
BVA and its Welsh Branch are pleased to have a clear timetable after a period of uncertainty and welcome the consultation on details relating to enforcements, implantation and the way information is recorded. BVA continues to stress that it is vitally important that microchips are only implanted by those trained to do so and that all databases should be properly coordinated with a single point of entry.
BVA also fully supports the Minister’s commitment to cross-border working and collaboration between England and Wales. At the same time, BVA continues to urge the Scottish Government to commit to compulsory microchipping in Scotland.
BVA President John Blackwell said:
“We are pleased that we now have a clear timetable for the introduction of compulsory microchipping of dogs in Wales, with careful due diligence given to ensure the details of implementation are right. It is important that these details are worked out and worked through before microchipping becomes compulsory – for example it is critical that it is clear who can and cannot implant microchips. We look forward to working with our colleagues in Wales and the Welsh Government to create a robust, trusted system that works smoothly and efficiently for dog owners and vets alike. We also urge the Scottish Government to no longer delay in committing to compulsory microchipping so that we have alignment in microchipping policy throughout the UK.”
Rob Davies, BVA President Welsh Branch, commented:
“Our members across Wales will be very pleased that we have both a clear timetable and a clear commitment to getting the details of implementation right. We will work with Rebecca Evans and her team in the coming year to help get the message out to vets and their clients across Wales about the introduction of these important regulations in 2016, making sure that owners are well-prepared and know their responsibilities.”Tags: BVA Press Release
February 17th, 2015Articles
On February 24th, 75 Dandie Dinmont Terrier enthusiasts from 8 different countries, together with 50 dogs of this rare breed, will be joining Sir Walter Scott experts and VIP guests, at his former home – Abbotsford, near Melrose in the Scottish Borders to celebrate an important anniversary – 200 years since the publication of the novel – which through its immense success, inadvertently created the world’s first celebrity dog.
200 years ago, Sir Walter Scott’s introduced us to this adorable breed in his second historical novel, Guy Mannering which, became an unprecedented publishing success, selling out its first edition in just 24 hours. It was in this book, that the character ‘Dandie Dinmont’ was first mentioned, described as a local farmer who always appeared with his unique Mustard and Pepper Terriers, the character ‘Dandie Dinmont’ and his Terriers became celebrities overnight and following the instant success of the book, royalty, nobility, and the rich and the famous flocked to the Scottish Borders in search of “Dandie Dinmont’s Terriers” and a breed was born!
Sadly the fortunes of this most engaging and historic of breeds has declined so much in recent times that the UK only produces about 100 puppies a year whilst only around 300 are born annually world-wide and the Kennel Club have listed it as being a “Vulnerable Native Breed”
But Dandie Dinmont Terrier enthusiasts are a dedicated bunch and for three days, building up to this unique bicentenary, international breed enthusiasts of the endearing little Terrier, will gather in Selkirk in the Scottish Borders area to pay tribute to the origins of the breed and to draw attention to its current fight for survival.
During the three days, the group will visit three historic houses that have all played an important part in the creation of the modern day Dandie Dinmont Terrier – Abbotsford, the historic home of Sir Walter Scott, that will privately open its doors, out of season, to welcome the loyal enthusiasts; Bowhill, the seat of The Duke and Duchess of Buccleuch, (The Duke is also Patron of the Abbotsford Trust) who will welcome the breed home to the Borders; and The Haining, Selkirk – a Palladian mansion now in the hands of a Charitable Trust where the father of the current day breed is recorded to have been born. More than 50 Dandie Dinmont Terriers will also attend, which believed to be the largest ever informal gathering of these little dogs in Scotland.
Although the breed has existed since the 1700’s, it became the first type of Terrier to be given a specific breed name, it has played it part in the foundation of several other breeds including the Bedlington and Sealyham Terriers and to this day remains the only breed of dog to be named after a character from fiction.
Paul Keevil, UK Coordinator of the celebrations said: “We feel privileged that, in 1815 Sir Walter Scott brought the Dandie Dinmont Terrier to prominence, and today 200 years later, we are extracting his help once again to create awareness of this lovely little dog and hopefully, save it from possible extinction.”
He added, “Abbotsford is now one of the Scotland’s most vibrant tourist attractions and we are most grateful to the team at the Abbotsford Trust for embracing the spirit of our celebratory visits, and opening up for us and our Terriers in the off season, specifically so we could bring the Dandie Dinmont Terrier back home to its roots in the Border Counties of Scotland. We also thank the Duke and Duchess of Buccleuch, at Bowhill, and The Trustees of The Haining in Selkirk for their kind support in highlighting the current plight of the breed.”Tags: VNB
February 15th, 2015Articles
In a bid to help the survival of the breed, a group of 75 Dandie Dinmont Terrier enthusiasts from 8 different countries, along with 50 dogs of this rare breed, will be joining Sir Walter Scott fans on 24th February, 2015, at his former home – Abbotsford House, near Selkirk in the Scottish Borders, to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the publication of Sir Walter Scott’s historical novel, Guy Mannering – the book that first introduced the Terriers to the world.
The novel was an unprecedented success, selling out its first edition in just 24 hours, and it was in this book, that the Dandie Dinmont Terrier first rose to fame. Described as a local farmer who always appeared with his unique Mustard and Pepper Terriers, the character called “Dandie Dinmont” and his Terriers became celebrities and following the instant success of the book at that time, Royalty, nobility, and the rich and the famous flocked to the Scottish Borders in search of “Dandie Dinmont’s Terriers” and a breed was born!
Sadly the fortunes of this most engaging of breeds has declined so much in recent times that for the last 10 years The Kennel Club has listed the Dandie Dinmont as a “Vulnerable Native Breed”. Britain produces about 100 puppies a year whilst only around 300 are born annually world-wide.
Now, to save this unique breed, as Sir Walter did 200 years before, they must once again draw the attention of the world. Where better to do it than at the very house that helped create this canine icon?
Paul Keevil, UK Coordinator of the celebrations said: “200 years ago Sir Walter Scott brought the Dandie Dinmont Terrier to prominence, and today 200 years later, we are extracting his help once again to create awareness of this lovely little dog and hopefully, save it from possible extinction.”
He added, “We are grateful to the Duke and Duchess of Buccleuch, at Bowhill, The Trustees of The Haining and the team at Abbotsford House for embracing our celebratory visits, and opening up in off season, specifically so we could bring the Dandie Dinmont Terrier back to its roots.”
Dandie Dinmonts have a dedicated band of international followers and for three days, building up to their unique bicentenary, the enthusiasts for this endearing little terrier, will gather in Selkirk in the Scottish Borders area of Scotland to pay tribute to the origins of the breed and to draw attention to its current fight for survival.
During the three days, the group will visit three historic houses that are known to have played their part in the creation of the modern day Dandie Dinmont Terrier. Bowhill, the seat of The Duke and Duchess of Buccleuch; The Haining, Selkirk – a Palladian mansion now in the hands of a Charitable Trust; and Abbotsford House, the historic home of Sir Walter Scott, will privately open their doors to welcome the enthusiasts. More than 50 Dandie Dinmont Terriers will also attend, believed to be the largest ever informal gathering of these little dogs in Scotland.
Although the breed has existed since the 1700’s, it became the first type of Terrier to be given a specific breed name and to this day remains the only breed of dog to be named after a character from fiction.Tags: VNB
Buster the Springer Spaniel is a retired RAF dog who has saved thousands of lives, as detailed in this new book from Ebury publishing.
The 2012 Friends for Life winner is unique in that he has served in three separate theatres of war: Bosnia, Iraq and Afghanistan. Buster is also the official lifetime mascot of the RAF Police; no other dog has been honoured in this way. Having retired a military hero in 2011, Buster now lives with his handler, RAF Police Flight Sergeant Will Barrow in Lincoln.
This is the story of the partnership of Buster and Will, as told by Will himself to Isabel George, describing how each came to save the others life. This is a relationship that produced some heroic feats in the dust and desert heat of Afghanistan – and beyond. In Afghanistan’s deadly Helmand province, Buster saved countless lives by sniffing out explosive vests – leading to the arrests of two suicide bombers. He joined his comrades repeatedly on foot patrols through the poppy fields hunting Taliban insurgents and tracking down booby trap bombs left behind for British and American troops. Buster, uniquely, has served five tours of duty – and has served in more separate campaigns than any other military dog.
“I have learned that you can trust dogs a lot more than most people and that their love is unconditional,” said Will. “With some dogs you share a boil in the bag breakfast and maybe a blanket on a cold desert floor. Some you wouldn’t leave in charge of your Grandma unless you wanted to find out just how fast the old girl could run. But, if you’re very, very lucky there will be the one dog you would lay down your life for – and for me that dog is Buster.”
RAF Police Flight Sergeant Michael ‘Will’ Barrow joined the Air Training Corps at 13. An inspirational recruiting video of the RAF Police encouraged Will to join the RAF at 18 as a Patrol Dog Handler. He then specialised as a Drugs Detection Dog Handler and an Arms and Explosives Search Dog Handler, and has served in the Falkland Islands, Northern Ireland, Bosnia, Afghanistan and Iraq. Will is now in charge of RAF Police section at RAF Henlow and lives in Lincoln with Buster, his German Shepherd Daggo, and his other spaniel also called Buster (in honour of the original).
Tags: Articles, Book Club, Friends For Life
“Brave Buster is a dog to write home about. This is a special book about a special dog.”
Since its inception in 2006, the Friends for Life competition has become an integral part of the Sunday night Crufts finale. The nominations are now closed for this year and a panel of judges have chosen their finalists out of over 180 incredible nominations, which was no easy task, as you can see below.
The Kennel Club have said that the finalists will be announced on 23 February, so watch this space!
Eukanuba Friends For Life is an inspiring celebration of man’s best friend. The competition celebrates heart-warming stories of friendship in adversity, and how humans and dogs transform and enrich each other’s lives.
The competition celebrates dogs that have truly earned the title of man’s best friend, through bravery, support or companionship. This might include assistance dogs, service dogs or everyday companions who have helped their owners in remarkable ways. This year we are also celebrating people who feel that they, or somebody they know, has truly transformed the life of a dog suffering terrible adversity.
The finalists will be invited to Crufts, where the winner will be announced in the main arena. The winner will be chosen by a public vote.
February 11th, 2015Articles
After a record breaking year with almost 13,000 submissions from over 60 countries for the Kennel Club’s annual Dog Photographer of the Year competition, the winners have been announced.
Steph Gibson from Australia has been selected as the overall winner of the competition with an image of her dog Swing working with sheep on her farm, which was the winner of the ‘Dogs at Work’ category.
Speaking about winning the biggest canine photography competition in the world, Steph said: “I started both dog training and photography before the age of 10 and both have been my life passions since.
“The photo was taken on a hot October afternoon when we moved the sheep up to the shearing shed for shearing the next day. The setting sun was golden, the dust in the yards was being kicked up – all coming together to portray the strength and determination needed in a stock dog to work in the hot and dry conditions here in the west. The dog in the picture is Hullabaloo Swing Rider or ‘Swing’, a working-bred, Texas-born Australian Shepherd. He is proof that a dog can be of excellent breed type and temperament as well as be a useful working dog.
“My stock dogs and sheep made the Kennel Club’s ‘Dogs at Work’ topic a perfect theme for me. To have one’s passions collide together like this is truly one of life’s most wonderful moments.”
The other category winners were: Art Burasz from London, who won the ‘Dogs at Play’ category with a fun image of dogs playing with a ball at a sports club; Cat Race from Preston, Lancashire, who won the ‘Puppy’ category with an adorable image of a Great Dane puppy; Grzegorz Gebik from Poland, who won the ‘Dog Portrait’ category with a bold close up of a Whippet; and Carlos Aliperti from Brazil who won the ‘Man’s Best Friend’ category with a moving image of his wife and his Border Collie.
To view all the winning images visit: www.dogphotographeroftheyear.org.uk.
The winner of the new ‘Assistance Dogs and Dog Charities’ category was Ruud Lauritsen from the Netherlands who took a spontaneous image of his neighbour’s Labrador taking a break from his assistance dog duties. The prize money for this category will go to the charity, Martin Gaus Geleide & Hulphonden (Guide & Assistance Dogs). The prize money was donated by Samsung, the exclusive sponsor for Dog Photographer of the Year and the ceremony will be held at the Samsung stand during Crufts.
The winner of the eighteen and under category, ‘I Love Dogs Because…’, was 16 year old Abbie Lee from Bristol with her unique and comical photograph of her Airedale Terrier staring enviously at a sausage. Abbie expressed an interest in photography at a young age and is aspiring to be a dog photographer.
Speaking about her win, Abbie said: “I became interested in dog photography when I had my first Airedale eight years ago but I have only been doing it as a hobby for a couple of years. After entering the Dog Photographer of the Year competition for the first time last year and, to my surprise, coming runner-up in the ‘I love dogs because…’ category, I decided to take pictures more often in my spare time in between school work and revision.
“I like to keep my camera close by for any shot that I think is worth keeping so I decided to take a few photos on that particular day in the summer as I was eating. I liked the way that I could focus on the sausage which was what Peggy was focusing on whilst staring at it longingly in the background!”
This year’s competition is sponsored by Samsung, with the overall competition winner receiving a Samsung Galaxy NX camera, plus additional camera prizes for the other category winners. The winner will also have VIP access to photograph the 2015 Crufts Best in Show winner.
Judges this year included Janice McLaren from The Photographers’ Gallery; professional dog photographer Lee Beel; Emma-Lily Pendleton, Deputy Editor of Photography Monthly and Professional Photographer magazines; Steve Dean, Chairman of the Kennel Club; Rosemary Smart, Chief Executive of the Kennel Club; and Yung Kook Lee, Vice President and Head of Experience Marketing Group, Samsung.
Yung Kook Lee, Vice President and Head of Experience Marketing Group from Samsung said: “As an exclusive sponsor of Dog Photographer of the Year, being part of the judging panel was a thrilling experience. We truly believe that Samsung’s innovative technology makes our lives with our beloved pets far better by enabling them to connect with and express their love. Samsung celebrates dog lovers’ passions and hopes that everyone can keep sharing their affinity through our smart technology. We cannot wait to meet the winners and their art pieces at the Samsung stand during Crufts.”
Heidi Hudson, Digital Assets Manager at the Kennel Club said: “Dog Photographer of the Year continues to captivate dog enthusiasts and photographers across the globe. We were thrilled to have dog photographers enter from every corner of the world for 2014 with strong and emotive photographs that captured our universal love of dogs. It was a challenging task for our judging panel to choose our winners from such a fine selection of entries. We commend all the imaginative photographers who entered our annual dog photographer competition for 2014.”
All of the winning images will be on display at the Kennel Club Art Gallery in Mayfair, London from 12th February to 27th March 2015 and on screens at Crufts 2015, held from 5th to 8th March at the NEC, Birmingham.
The Kennel Club Dog Photographer of the Year Competition consists of seven categories: Portrait, Man’s Best Friend, Dogs At Play, Dogs At Work, Puppy, I Love Dogs Because – a category specifically for those aged 18 and under – and the new Assistance Dogs and Dog Charities category.Tags: KC Press Release