October 6, 2023

(Upholding Responsible Breeding and Advocating for Healthier Futures)

The FCI Welfare & Health Committee has been a steadfast advocate for the welfare of dogs, issuing a comprehensive advisory regarding healthy breeding and overall dog welfare.

In alignment with our parent organization, KCP is publishing its Advisory on Dog Welfare & Health on our web portal to inform and guide all members and breeders.

1. The ill effects of unethical breeding practices, especially by unscrupulous breeders, permeate widely, severely impacting registered professional breeders not just through unfair competition, but also by degrading their reputations and through the cascading effects of subpar breeding.

2. According to FCI estimations, a staggering 80% of breeders engage in unethical practices.

3. It is paramount that we champion exemplary breeding and the propagation of healthily and ethically bred dogs.

4. Regrettably, registered breeders often bear the brunt of criticisms due to health issues emerging from unethical and extreme breeding practices, drawing negative attention to dog shows and imposing further constraints on genuine breeders, which poses threats to various breeds.

5. The fallout from unethical breeding casts a devastating shadow on ethical breeders, placing numerous dog breeds at global risk. To protect the future viability and desirability of healthy breeds and responsible breeding, we must:

    •    Ensure the safeguarding of breeds
    •    Establish dog breeding as a recognized profession
    •    Advocate for responsible dog ownership

6. Safeguarding breeds, especially brachycephalic breeds, presents a particular challenge due to perceptions that such dogs are predisposed to suffering. Implementing initiatives like the Brachycephalic Obstructive Airway Syndrome (BOAS) test and grading, and excluding dogs affected by BOAS from breeding programs, while also noting such grades in pedigrees, can serve as a protective measure.

7. DNA testing across various dog breeds will ensure the exclusion of affected dogs from breeding initiatives, thereby minimizing the transmission of major hereditary diseases.

8. Education is pivotal in redefining professional breeding. Educating not only breeders but also the public is crucial to reshape perspectives on dog breeding, facilitating its acceptance as a legitimate profession and promoting responsible dog ownership in the long run.

9. Promoting responsible dog ownership demands an elevation in awareness, particularly regarding health issues related to extreme conformation and hypertype. It’s essential to underscore that breed temperament supersedes physical appearance.

10. In unison with the vision of FCI, we believe that:

    •    Purebred dogs should be celebrated for their remarkable capabilities rather than merely their appearance.
    •    Dogs should be bred with a focus on fostering happiness and balance.
    •    Breeders must champion breed health.
    •    Owners should be well-versed in their dogs’ needs and exercise responsible care.

11. As responsible dog owners, our actions must be transparent and visible to veterinary organizations, pet owners, and governmental bodies.

12. The present moment beckons all ethical dog breeders and responsible owners to amplify their efforts. By networking and sharing knowledge and experiences, we can unify our stand for dog welfare and health, ensuring a robust and resilient future for all breeds.

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