Southern Counties SBT Society

Click here to edit subtitle

Saturday 17th November 2018 Secretary Report

Another year is ending and the year both for the Breed and the Show arena has been eventful. Not least with all the changes happening at the Kennel Club. The breed clubs have also seen changes with a few changes of Secretary, Morecambe Bay and Cumbria now has Elaine Pearson as Acting Secretary, Ken Meneer as Acting Secretary for Southern Counties, Vickie Kemp as Acting Secretary for Downlands, and after the weekend Merseyside will have a new acting Secretary as I have been informed by Fran Schofield, he is stepping down to concentrate on his new business. With all the goings on at the KC we must ensure we focus on our own Clubs and ensure that each and everyone one of them has the support from the others, it is the Breed Clubs from what I can see which are getting the higher number of entries compared to the Generals this decline at the Generals is across all breeds However, unless things improve, I can see the breed being dropped from Band E to Band D again. Thankfully now we as a Breed are still getting Breed Specialists, but rising costs of entries, car parking and food whilst in the shows doesn’t help when we are trying to plan our Show Year. The back to back weekends again has proved to be very popular.

The Breed Record Supplement for 2018 has made interesting reading, as of the Autumn 2018 edition which I have received this week. Again, the overall number of Staffordshire Bull Terrier puppies registered with the Kennel Club are predominantly blue. With 1408 puppies registered making a total of 253 litters they are again over 70% blue or containing blue. However, based on 2017 figures there has been an increase in the number of Stafford’s registered. Based on the figures for the same three quarters last year a total of 3087 Stafford’s were registered compared to 3685 Stafford’s registered so far in 2018.

Since the last meeting I have updated the Breed Council judging list however again I had very little feedback from the Breed Clubs out of 11 Constituent members I only received 6 Breed Clubs judging lists. This will have a knock-on effect when Canine Societies ask for the B list as I am sure there are people on the B list who don’t appear on the Breed Council B list. So, may I please ask that you ask your Club Secretaries to forward their B lists for me to update as until the new Judges Competency Framework kicks in we still need the compile and submit a Breed judging list. The Breed Council Show planner is nearly completed, and Version 11 will be posted on Social Media before the end of the month. This again is where I need to have the support of the Breed Club Secretaries as I have found out last night from Fran Schofield its Merseyside Open Show today, yet I wasn’t told by the Club their show dates or judges. It is important that when hosting the Breed Council meetings, we ensure that we do not clash with a breed club show or general show.

On the topic of the Judges Competency Framework as we all know via Social Media there has been a lot of discussion about its future and the Kennel Club should be listening to both the exhibitors, the judges and the Show Secretaries, this is being looked at again in various areas but will still be going ahead and will fall under the umbrella of the Judges Committee and no doubt in the coming weeks and months there will be some updates.

In January I will be e-mailing all the clubs with a reminder to forward their annual subscriptions which currently stands at £35.00, also included in the e-mail will be the Rules and Regulations which have been updated.

On a final note I want to thank everyone who has helped me over the last 12 months and I look forward to working with you all in 2019 which I can foresee as being very busy!!!!

Helen E Reaney. Secretary


Litter registrations continue to see the registration of Blue litters in abundance and I still personally get a large number of enquiries for blue puppies so the demand is still there it seems. All we can do is to continue to educate the public that the rare colours are indeed not blue! Perhaps the ‘chart/poster’ which Lesley McFadyen created is something we could all share on our Club facebook pages etc? Last year 73% of litters registered were blue puppies and a significant 90% of them were from blue x blue matings. Education is still the key to convincing the public that blues are indeed not rare!

An update on the letter I sent to the Kennel Club Liaison Council Meeting requesting it to be included on the Agenda for the 7th November meeting – which it was….this was requested by North West with the support of the BC.. Very briefly it was regarding litter registration charges being less for those litters bred from health tested parentage etc. The reply is only in verbal form at the moment, as the minutes from that Liaison Council meeting have not yet been produced and sent out...and as everything from meetings is deemed confidential until the minutes are out, I cannot pass anything on other than to say the proposal was not rejected and further work would need to be done to it…but as soon as the minutes are out I will contact you all with the information for you to feed back to your Committees and then you can advise me how to proceed.

We are still awaiting the announcement of the CC allocations from 2022 onwards, and until then we don’t really know where we stand but I’m given to understand that the Board meets at the end of this Month and we should all know something by then… let’s just hope it’s a positive step forward for our breed and all the Clubs have CCs and no more rotation, with all the effort put in by the Breed Clubs to encourage entries etc surely we should be afforded this.

On that subject of entries, taking a quick look at this year so far…(with only South Wales to add on) so far over 38 Shows/sets of CC’s we are averaging to date 136 so once again we have dropped for the second year in a row…last year we averaged 137… this may well see us drop down a band again but nothing has been announced as yet so we will have to wait and see if they give us ‘grace’ for another year and recognise the huge efforts we are putting in to gaining our entries. If we look at the Breed clubs and General Societies in isolation of each other, then the picture looks poles apart – so surely this must be an area which the Kennel Club should look at when making their decisions.

So far this year, the breed clubs have had 13 shows/CCs making an average of 183.4 and the General shows have had 25 shows/CCs making an average of 111.6 The generals have 3 times the number of CCs allocated and yet their averages are dragging us down into the grand overall total which is used for calculations and banding.

This as we know is very unbalanced and we as a strong breed should not be penalised because of the failure of the generals to attract better entries… entry fees are extortionately high plus parking fees, and that’s before you’ve stepped out of the door…. Breed club shows offer far better value for money and I for one would rather our breed clubs have the CCs than some of the underperforming over charging generals. I would suggest that I write to the Kennel Club on the Clubs behalf stating these facts in black and white. What do you think? This is an issue which possibly affects other breeds too so is a good point to raise and we would hopefully get the support from other breeds too.

  • Back in July this year saw ‘misguided activists’ (quoted by the KC) attempt to have Staffords added to the banned breeds list under the Dangerous Dogs Act. Fortunately this was vehemently rejected but it proves that we are not ‘safe’ by any means. The proposal caused reaction from the Kennel Club, RSPCA, Dogs Trust and Blue Cross urging MPs to reject calls from the misguided activists after more than 155,000 signatures in support of our Breed was recorded in just 3 weeks. We all know the way forward is no breed specific legislation, but focus on holding individual dog owners being responsible for their dog’s behaviour and actions.
  • To bring everything back to a lighter note…. The Breed has been having some very positive press of late with the rescue dog Cooper being trained as a Police working dog for detection of drugs, cash and arms… he was a guest at the recent East Mids champ show and he is a fabulous example of how intelligent, we know, Staffords are…… then we had the announcement of the new WATCHMAN VI who at just 12 weeks of age was the new kid on the block at the Staffordshire Regiment and soon to take over from WATCHMAN V as they work hand in hand over the next months…. They both took part in the Field of Remembrance parade in Westminster Abbey a week ago meeting and being petted by HRH Prince Harry – I’m sure you will agree that these three dogs portray a fabulous positive image for our breed which can only help with our mission to educate the public.
  • Lastly just to reiterate, I am here to help and promote the breed however I can and I offer my support and assistance to all Breed Clubs, I am another vehicle for us to use to put things from another angle to the KC… so please use me, I am here for you the Clubs and always the Breed.

Karon Jackson KCBLO

Lead Health Co-ordinators' Report - November 2018.

As most should now be aware, in collaboration with the KC Health Department, we currently have a general health survey up and running. This can only be completed on-line at but we trust Clubs will assist anyone who is not computer 'savvy', or having problems, to complete it. The survey will be running until the end of January but we would hope most would complete it sooner rather than later. We need as many responses as possible so we are asking Clubs to publicise it widely on their web sites and Facebook pages.

An immediate benefit of this survey is that it will hopefully provide up to date information on the Breed's current general health prior to the introduction of a Health and Conservation plan. As has been reported before, the Stafford is in the third wave of Health and Conservation plans and the KC Health Department will be starting on those early in the New Year we have been told. What this will entail we do not know but adequate discussion with the KC will undoubtedly take place.

While on the topic of surveys, the KC wanted us to include a section on reproduction in the health survey. This was omitted at our request as we felt it was such a wide ranging issue that might complicate the basic health study unnecessarily. Thus a separate survey on reproduction issues is planned but is in the earliest of stages currently and we would certainly wait until after the health one has finished before introducing it.

At the last Council meeting, the idea of a health subcommittee was raised. As a step in that direction a Facebook page has been set up for Club health 

co-ordinators. Response has been positive so far although it is up to each to decide how much or how little they wish to be involved. Again it is early days but we hope it will lead to better communication and provide better opportunities for personal input.

While on the matter of Club HCs, can we ask all clubs to inform us of any change in their HCs, please? At the moment, fourteen of the seventeen would seem to have a designated person in place although with one or two the secretary doubles up in the role.

We attended the Annual Breed Health Symposium at Stoneleigh in September. As ever it was interesting, but with only two main speakers the mistake of trying to cram too much into the day was avoided.

The first was Dr Mike Starkey of the AHT on ‘Cancer in Dogs’.

One or two points should be borne in mind. Firstly cancer is not one disease but has 200 different types. One in four dogs will be affected and it is the No1 cause of death in dogs over 10yo although this may be considered as part of 'old age'. Basically most types of cancer affect all breeds of dogs although some breeds have an increased risk of developing a certain type. Perhaps of greatest interest is the work being done on the genetics of cancers. It would appear that a number of mutations are required to turn a cell malignant and it is certainly not a simple dominant or recessive gene that is involved. Cancer research is one of those fields which involves slow steady process of trying to build up the full picture.

The second speaker was Prof Rosario Cerundolo of Nottingham University and Dick White referrals, who is a consultant dermatologist. His topic was 'Common Skin Problems in the Dog'. He started by covering allergies and their manifestations, notably those caused by food and those considered environmental and then branched into parasites, such as fleas, fungi and bacterial infections. His talk, which was backed up by numerous clinical pictures of .the various conditions, was very much a general one applicable to all dogs and did not include malignancies or anything that might apply to only a small number of dogs or specific breeds.

The morning session concluded with a Q&A session with the panel of mentors that has been set up. The mentors have all been health co-ordinators for their respective breeds for many years and any new health co-ordinator can ask to be put in touch with one for advice and assistance. The initiative is relatively new but it would seem the main benefit is simply providing re-assurance and some moral support. It is good that there is someone they can turn to and get any relevant advice required.

The afternoon session, as last year, was less formal. The speakers plus representatives from the AHT, VetCompass, the BVA, etc. had separate booths which allowed those attending to ask questions or seek advice as required, face to face on an individual basis. This format has proved most successful and also gives the various breed HCs to have informal discussions if necessary.

Archie Bryden & Kirsty Summerfield