Meeting held on Saturday 8th April 2017
The Fieldhead Hotel, Markfield Lane, Markfield LE67 9PS
Chairman – John Farley
Secretary – Helen Reaney
PRO – Alice Levy
KCBLO – Karon Jackson
Lead Health – Archie Bryden (also for North West)
There were 10 clubs in attendance and the meeting was quorate
Downlands – John Joyce
East Anglia – Gem Rowe
East Midlands – Maureen Ward and Dave Lee
North East – Jaci McLauchlan
North West – Archie Bryden
Notts & Derby – Mick Smith and Kirsty Summerfield
Potteries – Jackie Langley
Southern Counties – Alice Levy
South Wales – Julie Kemp Hale and Marie Davies
SBTC – Wayne Jackson & Paddy Enfield
There were two observers – Alan Hedges and Janet Higgins
At the start of the meeting there were 8 clubs in attendance at 11.20 Southern Counties arrived and at 11.30 South Wales arrived. Total in attendance 10
1. Apologies for absence. Scottish and Merseyside
2. Minutes of the meeting held on Saturday 12th June 2016 – Following the report from Alan Hedges regarding the meeting with the KC in August 2017 these minutes could now be ratified
Proposed Notts & Derby/2ndd SBTC - Carried
3. Minutes of the meeting held on Saturday 15th October 2016 & matters arising. These were proposed as a true record Downlands/2ndd East Anglia – Carried.
4.1. Chairman’s Report. See attached
4.2. Secretary’s Report. – See attached
4.3. Public Relation Officer’s Report. – See attached
4.4. Kennel Club Breed Liaison Officer’s Report. See attached
5. Correspondence & matters arising.
Various e-mails from clubs regarding the allocation of the spare set of CCs’ for 2019 and 2020. Also, an e-mail from KC regarding the CC allocation and asking for 2021 and 2022.
North of Scotland letter advising they are not remaining in the Breed Council
6. Propositions There were no proposals
7. Health Issues & Lead Health Coordinators Report Archie updated the Council it was also discussed about the KC control scheme which has gone no further after our request to have the Level 3 option whereby all tests must be carried out. It was agreed that Archie would contact the KC and update the clubs once he has received a response. Archie also advised that not all judges are returning the Health Form which is required after all judging at Championship shows. What is the KC doing about this? Archie to look into and report back at the next meeting.
8. Matters brought forward by delegates for discussion. It was at this section that we discussed the CC rotation. The Secretary read out the e-mails from the various clubs and those in attendance at the meeting gave their views. Downlands expressed their concerns as notice for this was only a couple of weeks ago. The Secretary responded by saying she had only received the e-mails from the KC and had forwarded them to all the clubs the same day.
8.1 It was proposed that no club who has already received the spare set of CCs’ be included in the draw until all clubs have had a chance to have the spare set. Proposed
This means that in 2019 those being voted upon would be North East and East Midlands
For 2020 clubs being voted upon would be North West and South Wales
For 2021, East Anglia and Southern Counties
For 2022 Western, Merseyside, MB&C and Potteries
SCSTBS/2nd SBTC - Carried
8.2 It was proposed that the best way to vote for the spare set was by drawing out of a hat. It was agreed that a member of the hotel staff would draw the piece of paper
Proposed N&D/2ndd Downlands - Carried
Other matters brought forward – SCSBTS had received concerns that the referee that was brought into the ring at Crufts who was the Terrier Group Judge had never judged the breed at CC level and felt that at the very least a referee should be from CC breed specialist or a group judge who had judged the breed at CC level. Also, it took a long time for the Group Judge to be located as it happens he was in one of the Bars. It was agreed that the Secretary write into the KC to put this suggestion forward.
East Midlands also suggested that those club who are on rotation who host Open Shows in that year need to get more support from the other clubs and the exhibitors. It’s a way of continuing to keep entries high and remain in Band E and show the KC that people do support these shows.
9. Free discussion period on the Staffordshire Bull Terrier the PRO makes notes on this section and provides a report.
10. Adoption of the balance sheet & matters arising Secretary ran through the balance sheet and answered all questions put to her. The main one was why were Council Meeting more in 2016 than 2015. The secretary responded – one of the meetings in 2015 we didn’t pay for as the hotel had moved us to another smaller room as they had double booked. Also in 2016, we held three meetings rather than two.
Proposed as a true record NW/2ndd SBTC - Carried
11. Election of auditor. At present Mr Max King – The Secretary reported to the meeting that Max had reduced his fee from £50.00 to £25.00 as there was very little auditing to do. It was therefore agreed that we invite Max King back again next year to do our Accounts
Proposed NW/2ndd SBTC – Carried
13. Date of corresponding meeting next year. To be confirmed
14. Date of the next meeting.
Saturday 4th November 2017 – Booked
Helen E Reaney (Hon Secretary)
Circulated to all Member Clubs 29/4/2017
The Breed council as it says in the constitution is to co-ordinate the activities of the constituent members and to promote the well-being and improvements of the Staffordshire Bull Terrier. To have full membership would make us that much stronger and more effective in dealing with organization such as the Kennel Club. Why do clubs leave the council, I don't know but by doing so they lose their input to debates, agenda proposals and above all they have no vote on Breed Council Matters.
Is too much emphasis placed on social media where it appears matters relating to the Staffordshire Bull Terrier can be aired and discussed in quick time by individuals more easily, then breed club discussing these matters and then bringing these items to the Breed Council for the attention of all the constituent members.
I would like to thank all the clubs for their continued support during 2016, A lot has happened in the last the last 12 months not least the meeting we attended in August 2016 at the Kennel Club Building in relation to the changes from 2020. I am sure that during the next 12 months more details will come to light and will be debated in detail both at Breed club committee level but also on Social Media.
Reminding Clubs to forward their judges lists for 2017/2018 sadly we lost a few good people last year and some have retired from judging so I hope that lists will be forwarded with these changes. It is a very time consuming job sorting through all the lists, e-mails where possible please as this is proving to be the way forward when sourcing judges.
Can all the Breed Club Secretaries forward their subs for 2017 which currently stands at £35.00, I have already received some but I need these all to be with me by no later than 30th June. A couple of the clubs pay their subs directly into the bank, if any clubs wishes to do this please let me know and I will forward the bank details to them.
I would also be grateful if the Secretaries could forward to me their show dates for 2018 together with any judges they have in place so I can start to prepare the show planner. If any clubs have dates for 2019 in place they would be useful as well.
I can confirm that I have sent the updated Rules and Regulations and Standing Orders to the Kennel Club and once approved I will forward them onto all the breed clubs.
Again, the Breed Record Supplement shows a decline in registrations for Staffords, although the show entries been such that we are now back in Band E which is where we should be. I know from the enquires that I get people it is still Blue’s they are sourcing but I do take the time to talk them through the other issues with the breed, such as health and I have sourced puppies for 6 people who were wanting a blue who have now gone down the route of Black Brindle or Red etc. In fact, most are not aware of the health issues. Thankfully these people have said they changed their mind on the colour due to the information the breed clubs and breeders supply which is positive.
Again, over the last few weeks we have seen negative press but also positive press in relation to our breed and its down to you the clubs who along with others who are promoting the positive side of the Breed, Agility, Obedience, Good Citizen and therapy dogs. Crufts although I couldn’t attend due to ill health I received great feedback from those on Discover Dogs, and from around the ring and members of the public asking about the breed, this can only be a good thing.
Let’s hope that 2017 will be another good year for the Breed, although I can see there will be some difficult times ahead but hopefully we as a breed will continue to work together.
Helen E Reaney
FREE DISCUSSION PERIOD NOVEMBER 2016 BC MEETING
So this is my second PRO report but the first where I've reported on the Free Discussion so if I have not hit the spot or included too much information please tell me.
Karen quoted the latest registration breakdown showing that 72.3% had been blues.
Archie argued that this was not due to an increase in blue registrations but more a reduction in registrations of all other colours which was also having a knock on effect to show entries. Where SBT registrations had been over 12,000 with negligible blues, it was now only 4,000 with roughly 75% being blues so we have actually lost 10,000 non-blue registrations. He suggested we should consider a dedicated web page to promote SBT.
Leslie (EA) said that she was out and about quite a lot with the EA agility and blue banner events which brings a large number of contacts and interactions with the public. Many people she spoke to said they only got a blue because they could not find any other colours. She also said she knew the owner of Ramsey, a blue dog which is getting a huge amount of media coverage and online interest. He is a commendable SBT owner and he too said he only got a blue because no other colours were available. Ramsey has been invited by the KC to be the instagram dog of choice where he already has 33,000 followers. Lesley says he knows that Ramsey is not an ideal model for the breed but he gets a lot of media attention and KC are using him to promote Crufts/Discover Dogs. He was even invited to the Animal Heroes Awards event by the RSPCA.
If Ramsey can attract this much attention, why don't we use him too?
This idea raised a number of concerns as using Ramsey would be using a dog that does not really meet the Breed Standard and it could be taken that we are promoting blues above other colours. It could also further fuel the desire for blues. Another query raised was that with so many blue registrations and so few coming into the show circuit, how many blues are being tested?
Archie advised that even for the lowest level of testing (eyes) he cannot get a colour breakdown.
Linda reiterated that we need to create an internet presence
Karen brought up the dog attack yesterday on Archie Darby and the fact that the dog had been described as a SBT.
END OF FREE DISCUSSION PERIOD
PRO REPORT - BC MEETING 8TH APRIL 2017
Picking up on some of the issues brought forward in my first report and other new matters
Archie Darby attack - It transpired that this dog was owned by a serving police woman. Archie was her nephew and the family had only recently moved in with her. This continues to get a lot of media coverage and almost always the dog is referred to as a SBT or SBT type.
Defra Animal Welfare Consultation - Defra have now published a Summary of Responses and a Next Steps document and will be working to provide draft legislation. These documents can be found at Next Steps -
https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/588817/animal-licensing-review-next-steps.pdf and Summary of Responses -
The 1709 responses were made up as follows
6.28% Animal Welfare Organisations 7.22% Local Authority
2.24% Veterinarians 7.22% Dog Breeders
2.67% Riding Establishments 6.39% Animal Boarding Establishments
2.02% Pet Shops 3.39% Business or Industry
48.7% Member of the public with an interest in this subject
What strikes me is the large % (over 1/8th of all responses) of Other and just what these "Others" might be?
From the Next Steps document the key points are
The proposal to prohibit the sale of puppies below the age of 8 weeks was overwhelmingly supported by 90% who felt "that puppies need to stay with their mother and siblings until they are 8 weeks for socialisation, support, training, learning bite inhibition and to develop immunity against diseases". Obviously this is something we already know and do but it was highlighted that this measure could help to reduce the number of "back street breeders" as they would make less profit but, on the other hand, the disreputable could always state a puppy was 8 weeks old even when it is not.
Others wanted this to go further and make the minimum age, particularly for giant breeds, between 9 and 14 weeks. Other additional requirements mentioned were compulsory vaccination, provision of pet passports and microchipping prior to sale; all of which would be the responsibility of the breeder before sale or transfer. These ideas have currently not been included in the key proposals.
The minority who disagreed with the 8 week proposal tended to be members of the public, dog breeders or industry.
In addition to the official survey there were emails received from members of the public raising additional points such as
Again, these ideas have not been included in the published proposal which, in my opinion, is a shame.
Also, a number of letters and emails were received from organisations raising additional key concerns such as
The RCVS called for mandatory inspection of veterinary practices to be incorporated into the regulations and the creation of a list of competent vets for the inspection of dog breeding facilities.
DOG ATTACKS - these seem to be happening with more frequent regularity than ever. The latest was on March 20th 2017 when a man was attacked by his SBT. He died in hospital 2 hours later and the dog has been destroyed but there are some very interesting, little publicised, facts around this case. It is reported that the man was the subject of a restraining order and a BBC crew was present filming him and his dog for a dog related programme. Unfortunately, the BBC were not actually filming at the time of the attack.
Dog attacks in Devon and Cornwall continue to rise, according to Devon & Cornwall Police but they offer no reason as to why this might be. At the same time the RSPCA received 3,496 complaints of animal cruelty across Devon in 2016, a rise of over 8%.
Orchestrated attacks by dogs on wild animals has become epidemic and the extent of a gang's activity in South Wales was revealed after one of the gang was arrested for poaching. He had tried to throw away his phone but it was found and revealed thousands of text messages including one in which he claimed to have used his dogs to kill 178 deer, 894 rabbits, 28 foxes and 22 hares in just 2 months. The men would arrange to meet up and travel to Devon where they would use their dogs to kill wild animals.
MAN ATTACKS DOG - Turning the tables, in November 2016 Kieren Milledge was jailed for 21 weeks for cruelty to animals and, to be served concurrently, 8 weeks for breaching a suspended sentence order and 6 months for a weapon offence after he was caught on CCTV abusing his SBT (Ronnie) in a "continued and brutal attack". This happened on a train between Braintree and Witham Essex. He also has an indefinite ban from keeping animals. He has pleaded guilty to animal cruelty and possession of a bladed weapon
CCTV footage shows a vicious and sustained attack over a period of 20 minutes. He is seen to hang Ronnie by the lead and swing him against the wall of the train and pushing his foot into the dog's face. Ronnie appeared to lose consciousness and fouled the seat he was on. Ronnie died 3 days later.
There is live footage of the CCTV coverage online.
What I want to know is, was there anyone else in the carriage? and, if the attacked lasted for 20 minutes why did nobody do anything which might have saved Ronnie some suffering and possibly his life.
In another incident, in December 2016 John McLellan was spared jail despite a horrific 30 minute attack on his dog and only received a 12 week prison sentence suspended for 18 months and was banned from keeping animals for 10 years. His neighbour said they could hear continuous thuds and yelping through the wall. Bam, a beautiful red SBT owned by his partner. Neighbours say they called through the wall and went straight over to the house and found Bam, frightened, finding it difficult to walk and urinating blood. The vet found bruising to the abdomen and genital area, air crackles under the skin and urine in the blood. McLellan's solicitor countered that if the attack has been as ferocious as had been described the injuries would have been far greater. McLellan was also sentenced to a 30 day rehabilitation order and ordered to pay costs of £500 and a victim surcharge.
Again, why did it take 30 minutes for the neighbours to go "straight round". Why did they not do something or call the authorities sooner?
AND NOW THE GOOD NEWS
ANIMAL CRUELTY (SENTENCING) BILL - The objective of the Bill is to increase the maximum sentences available to the court for specified offences related to animal cruelty; and for connected purposes.
The 2nd reading is not due until 12th May 2017 but there was a some television coverage shown late at night. The house was virtually empty and those MPs who did speak encouraged stiffer sentencing whilst citing the many instances of cruelty such as a dog being rescued by chance after being bound and buried alive.
This is a Private Member's Bill which was moved by Anna Turley (Redcar) (Lab/Co-op) on 8th November 2016 and the details are worth reading at https://hansard.parliament.uk/Commons/2016-11-08/debates/94464817-A82C-4D93-95A3-3CBA1D234A37/AnimalCrueltySentencing.
She cites the cases of Scamp, a dog found with a nail driven into its head and Baby, the Bulldog cruely abused byAndrew and Daniel Frankish who were convicted of causing unnecessary suffering. They had several phone clips of them repeatedly throwing a Bulldog (Baby) down the stairs, standing on her, jumping up and down on her, repeatedly stamping on her neck and head butting her. Baby was put to sleep 3 months later after losing the use of her back legs. The MP goes on to comment that Baby was “totally submissive throughout, not even making a noise when she lands on the stairs, bouncing to the foot of them where there is a baby gate which she crashes into before hitting the ground." The brothers pleaded guilty and received A suspended sentence, six months’ tagged curfew between the hours of 8 pm and 6 am and £300 in costs. No one can feel that the justice system did its job that day.She also states that this case only came to light 2 years after the abuse took place because the mobile phone footage was on a memory card found on a supermarket floor by a member of the public. Interestingly she cites a US study which identifies pet abuse as one of the four predictors of domestic violence. Researchers have found that between 71% and 83% of women entering domestic violence shelters reported that their partners also abused or killed the family pet. Another study found that in families under supervision for the physical abuse of their children, pet abuse was concurrent in 88% of the families. In the UK, a new academic study—the first of its kind in Europe—by researchers at Teesside University has also identified a link between animal abuse and domestic violence.
ANIMAL FIGHTING (SENTENCING) BILL A Bill to amend the Animal Welfare Act 2006 to increase the sentence available to the court for those convicted of a criminal offence related to animal fighting; and for connected purposes.
Another step in the right direction this is another Private Member's Bill introduced by Kevin Foster (Torbay) (Con) which was introduced in 2016 and also due it's 2nd reading on 12th May 2017. There is currently no Hansard report on this as there was no debate when it was introduced.
PAT DOG OF THE YEAR - Sausage beats all comers at Crufts. Sausage, owned by Angie Seedhouse, is also known as SBT Jsy CH Granitangel Zircon PdH.
There are over 5,000 PAT dogs registered in the UK and each year Yours magazine run a competition for Pat Dog of the Year, sponsored by Hilife pet foods. From the thousands of votes cast in 2016, the winner was Sausage.
Angie and Sausage come from Jersey where Sausage is a regular at St. Ewolds residential home and works with people suffering from phobias. He has even helped one man to overcome his fear of dogs. Angie says: “If he senses that someone is having a bad week or has been unwell, he spends more time with them. One lady, who is 102-years-old, loves it when he does the ‘Sausage roll’.”
Residents at St Ewolds say, "Sausage day is the best day of the week"!
SUPER STAFFORD "ROMEO" WINS PET HERO MEDAL https://www.bluecross.org.uk/story/super-staffie-wins-pet-hero-medal
The Blue Cross Medal was reinstated in 2014 to mark the centenary of the First World War when they awarded a number of medals to honour horses which had served on the battlefields. Steph Hartley's 5 year old SBT, Romeo, from Welwyn Garden City, was awarded the prestigious BCM in December 2016 for his work as a regular blood donor at the RVC, visiting stroke patients in hospitals, residents and dementia sufferers of a local care home (as a registered PAT dog) and taking part in charity runs.
One of the judges, TV presenter Chris Packham, commented "Staffies sadly do suffer from a bad reputation and Romeo completely transforms the stereotype for this lovely breed with all the incredible ways he helps out people and other dogs. He even gives blood - what a dog!"
In January 2017, Romeo was also awarded a PDSA commendation (dog honours) award. The PDSA Commendation was instituted in 2001 to recognise acts of animal devotion or bravery.
The general body of our question was that any and ALL Judges whether from FCI or within the UK or anywhere else overseas, should have to meet exactly the same criteria to award breed CC’s … i.e. number of dogs/seminars/experience of breed etc…
To date the only real response from the Kennel Club regarding this is the new KC and FCI mutual agreement which was put together and duly signed for both Organisations four weeks ago…. I have approached the Kennel Club on numerous occasions asking for a copy of said agreement but apparently up to today (FRIDAY) it is not available! Saying that it is to be implemented from 1st May 2017 you would think it would be available beforehand so everyone and anyone interested can read and digest it before it gets off the starting blocks! Not so apparently….. so as soon as I have sight of it I will be posting it on the media as a point of interest.!
Karon Jackson / KCBLO