The Role of the Labrador Breed Council in the Dilute Controversy

freddemo3The Labrador Breed Council represents the thirteen Labrador Retriever Breed Clubs in the United Kingdom. It is the official channel of communication with the Kennel Club. Meetings are held once per year and each club nominates & sends two representatives to the annual meeting. Each club has one vote at the meeting. The Chairman and Honorary Secretary are elected each year by the club representatives.

The Labrador Breed Council is responsible for establishing a consensus from among the member Breed Clubs on Judging criteria, training, qualifications and lists, Breed Standard, Health issues, KC Registration.

MINUTES OF THE GENERAL MEETING OF THE LABRADOR BREED COUNCIL HELD IN THE BOARDROOM OF THE KENNEL CLUB AFTER THE AGM ON 12 APRIL 2012

3.
Breeds Council Liaison Council Report
Mrs. Shelagh Walton, our Breed Liaison Council Representative, was invited into the meeting to report. A copy of her report was handed around, reported and discussed.
(…)
3. Next Council meeting is on May 23rd and Mrs Walton noted the following items for BC attention:
4.a. Non-standard colour (it was agreed by the Breed Council to support this proposal to help with ‘silver labradors’.
(…)
Do we want to support non-standard colours. There followed some discussion around registration and whether the liaison committee should support. All clubs agreed unenthusiastically.
(…)
Silver Labradors – Mrs Marion Hopkinson of MCLRC reported this was now “dead in the water” as DNA testing had proved it was a Labrador.

These were the latest minutes published on the Labrador Breed Council website. No minutes of 2013 were found.

What we can learn from it, is that, as far as the Labrador Breed Council and the Labrador Breed Clubs in the United Kingdom are concerned, “non-standard colours are supported”. “Mrs Marion Hopkinson of MCLRC reported this was now “dead in the water” as DNA testing had proved it was a Labrador.”

This is extremely worrying. First, breed DNA tests have proved to be very unreliable [1][2], and they certainly were in 2012. So what scientific evidence did Mrs Marion Hopkinson have to prove that diluted “Labradors” are purebred Labrador Retrievers? Where did she get that evidence from, and how on earth was it possible that the entire Labrador Breed Council accepted it, without checking the facts?
Second, some DNA tests are reliable. Three renowned genetic laboratories, Vetgen, Laboklin, and the Van Haeringen Group, have confirmed to me in writing that the presence of the “dilute” (Dd or dd) gene in DNA can be shown. These studies have already been developed and can be used today. With 100% certainty it can be shown that the DNA of a dog contains genes which are alien to the Labrador Retriever breed, which means that such a dog CAN NOT be a purebred Labrador Retriever.

I refuse to accept the possibility that the people of the Labrador Breed Council and the thirteen Labrador Retriever Breed Clubs in the United Kingdom believe that the dilution gene is native to the Labrador Retriever breed. Therefore I can’t understand their decisions.

THE RESULTS OF THE LABRADOR BREED COUNCIL’S DECISIONS
Since 2012 “silver”, “charcoal” and “champagne” “Labradors” have been imported from the U.S.A. as “chocolate”, “black”, and “yellow” Labrador Retrievers, and they were registered in the United Kingdom without any restrictions. They produced “silver”, “charcoal”, and “champagne” offspring in the United Kingdom, which were also registered as “chocolate”, “black”, and “yellow” Labrador Retrievers, without any restrictions. And still are.

Although I stated earlier that The Kennel Club only followed the decisions of the Labrador Breed Council, this is not quite right. Below you will find the comments of Mrs Marion Hopkinson, which put the matter in a different light altogether.

WHAT CAN BE DONE TO SET THIS SITUATION RIGHT AND PREVENT FURTHER DISASTERS?
1. The thirteen Labrador Retriever Breed Clubs in the United Kingdom and the Labrador Breed Council can decide that any dog carrying the dilution (Dd or dd) gene can not be a purebred Labrador Retriever.
2. The thirteen Labrador Retriever Breed Clubs in the United Kingdom and the Labrador Breed Council can decide that therefore such dogs should not be registered by The Kennel Club as Labrador Retrievers.
3. The thirteen Labrador Retriever Breed Clubs in the United Kingdom and the Labrador Breed Council can decide that a DNA test of the dilution locus of every Labrador Retriever is required before registration by The Kennel Club.
4. The thirteen Labrador Retriever Breed Clubs in the United Kingdom and the Labrador Breed Council can decide that any offspring of any diluted “Labrador Retriever” already registered by The Kennel Club, will not be registered by The Kennel Club.

Mrs Marion Hopkinson: “I think there are a great many things that need to be clarified. 1st the English Kennel Club does not do what the breed council says — we can make suggestions, and submit them, the colour problem is one we have been fighting for a long time and the only reason I am quoted as saying it was ‘dead in the water ‘ is that at that time the kennel club organised the DNA test and found the dogs tested were proven to be pure bred according to the results given — so our own fight at that time was indeed quite dead in the water. Where to go from that — well we have still put the case to our Kennel Club and we are still keen to see this fraud corrected in the breed. You will find we have signed the petitions – sent them onwards and since the last letter from Mr Vanderwyk the breed clubs will, I am certain, be very keen to support the ousting of this problem and the breeders making it. We are unfortunately NOT in charge of Kennel Club policy — we like many other breeds have to be playing ‘catch-up’ when things like this are just given to us with no prior knowledge and the only explanation is that we ‘have a reciprocal agreement with the American kennel club — as though that makes it all ok!! — so without doubt we here in the U.K. back this move to get rid of these unwanted fraudulent colours.”

Jack Vanderwyk,
March 2014

[1] http://www.mnn.com/family/pets/blogs/dog-breed-tests-do-they-really-work Breed Tests – Do They Really Work?
[2] http://www.chromekennels.com/The_Great_Dilute_Debate.pdf The Great Dilute Debate, by Caroline Coile, Just Labs, 2012 (“Current DNA tests cannot be used to determine if the dilute Labradors are purebred or if they’ve been recently mixed with any other breed. Some claims exist that a DNA study proved the silver Labs were purebred, but no such study has been conducted.”)

Please sign and share our petition on Facebook, Twitter and E-mail! 

http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/no-to-silver-charcoal-and-champagne-labradors.html

Click here to download the print version of the petition, to be used at shows, events, etc.

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About Jack Vanderwyk

Hey! What am I like! :-)
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