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Meeting between President of Dogs SA and RSPCA 15th August 2018

MEETING DOGS SA – RSPCA SA – 15 Aug 2018 (President Brian Parker)
I met with the CEO, RSPCA – SA this afternoon to discuss a range of issues currently effecting both them and DOGS SA members. The discussions were quite fruitful and I expressed my concerns about the RSPCA nationally continually attacking pedigree dogs or the ANKC. I explained the lengths the ANKC and its member bodies have been pursuing over recent years to improve the health of the pedigree dog in Australia including the funding of Canine Research to the tune of over $70,000 per year through the $1 per puppy levy, the Canine Hip and Elbow Scheme (CHEDS) and the Australian Canine Eye Scheme (ACES). Plus a number of other initiatives which I detailed to him. He was quite surprised with the level of health testing registered ANKC breeders do.
There were two issues which we did agree on and the first being the sale of dogs and cats in pet shops. The RSPCA will lobby the state government to stop the practice and only allow bonifide rescue dogs to be sold in this fashion, all other dogs will have to be sold through the breeders. I ensured him that this was also the stance of DOGS SA would support any move to achieve this. The second issue we agreed on was the current system of Breeder Registration in DACO. The cost for the general BYB or puppy farm ($75) was far too cheap and particularly after I explained to him the costs a DOGS SA registered breeder must pay, including membership, Prefix registration, DCMB fee, litter registration, puppy registration and then transferring to new owner. The other issue was that Breeder Registration for BYB or Puppy Farmer’s was too easy to gain simply by going onto DACO and registering as a breeder with no checking or experience required to breed a dog or cat.
We further discussed the issue of rescue dogs and the number of pedigree dogs being rescued. I questioned how they would know what the percentage was when they had not requested DOGS SA to confirm if the microchip was registered on the ANKC database. This again was something new to him and he was going to investigate the matter further. I suggested that if they contacted DOGS SA we may be able to put them in touch with the owner or breeder if the owner registered on the microchip cannot be identified or found and that the breeder may recover their dog and assess if it was suitable for rehoming.
We went on to discuss the number of puppies whelped in SA each year and whether we believed there was a current glut on the market. Prior to answering I explained to him that a study by the ANKC and DOGS SA had been completed from statistics gained in 2014 and it is believed that only 17% of dogs whelped in SA each year are from ANKC pedigree breeders and most of these have a waiting list. He got the message from that response.
The discussion went on to the role of conformation showing, to which I explained to him that all dog breeds had an internationally recognised breed standard and that is what our breeders strived to breed to. Notwithstanding the requirements of the breed standard the dogs are also assessed on form and function.
This lead to further discussion all of the other disciplines that DOGS SA support including Obedience, Agility, Sled Sports, Lure Coursing and others. He was quite taken back by the number and diversity of activities that members could undertake with their dogs. I also explained that all of the activities had specific rules for the care and wellbeing of the dogs during all of the activities including the Hot Weather Policy.
The CEO asked what processes would need to be followed should the RSPCA wish to visit an event on a semi-official visit, e.g. one where there had been no report of mistreatment or breaches in legislation. It was requested that in these cases if the office could be notified in the preceding week so the DOGS SA Representative could be informed of the impending visit or in any case the inspectors would be in RSPCA uniforms with official identification and would report to the event manager or DOGS SA representative on arrival. He believed this should be standard protocol for his inspectors in any case so had no issues.
It is my belief that we do need to work with the RSPCA to slow the number of puppies produced through intensive puppy farming where there is a distinct lack of care for the animals. If we can educate RSPCA that ANKC pedigree dogs are not unhealthy and that we are doing out utmost to continually improve the health of not just our pedigree dogs but all dogs, we are taking a step in the right direction.
Brian Parker

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