October 21, 2014. Location: The Thistle Hotel, Penny Lane Haydock, Merseyside. Occasion: Kennel Club Question Time, meaning to involve people with The Kennel Club. “It is also an ideal opportunity to meet the senior management of the Kennel Club and to understand when and why decisions are made – and have the opportunity to influence these decisions.”
Since The Kennel Club has refused to respond to my Open Letter, it seemed to be a perfect opportunity to ask the senior management about the dilute problem. Which we did. Professor Steve Dean (Chairman) and Caroline Kisko (Kennel Club Secretary and Communications Director) would be answering our questions.
Our question was: “What is the KC’s stance on the silver question and why are the KC registering dilutes?”
Professor Steve Dean didn’t know where to look, so Caroline Kisko took the microphone. Her reply comes down to the following: “A Labrador is a Labrador, whether it’s yellow, silver or pink. So they can be registered by the Kennel Club and entered in a show. Hopefully they will be binned by the judge, because they don’t meet the breed standard, as they would with a Lab who doesn’t meet the standard in any way. (…) Some people want these non-recognised colours.”
With regard to health tests she made clear that “We are the Registry and we will register any pups from KC registered parents, regardless of whether the parents are affected for a disease, or have say 30/30 hips. It’s up to the buyer to work out whether the test results are OK or not.”
It became clear to us that The Kennel Club is a commercial enterprise, with no interest whatsoever in the purity of the studbook or the future of the Labrador breed. They’re deaf and blind for the fact that the Labrador breed is increasingly being fouled with diluted mixed breeds from the United States. They refuse to demand a simple DNA test on the dilution allele, when it comes to imported Labradors. Such a test could prove if a Labrador is dilute-free or not, in other words if a Labrador is purebred or not.
It was an ideal opportunity to meet the senior management of the Kennel Club and to understand when and why decisions are made. It should have been the opportunity to influence these decisions. However, this only seems to be possible as long as there’s no money, love for the Labrador breed, or common sense involved.
The Kennel Club’s stance on this problem is extremely disappointing. Let’s hope that the Labrador Breed Council will be able to turn the tide.