The New GL43 General Licence
A small collection of people who were once in positions of authority at the UK’s biggest dog welfare group (Kennel Club) are revealing the nasty truths of what happens behind closed doors on the training grounds with gun dogs. Three women who resigned from their positions have told their accounts of the violent nature of training that takes place across the country.
The Kennel Club has always had a massive reputation for looking after dogs with complete care and ensuring full health, but according to Bernadette Restorick, Sarah Baldock and Linda Perfect, not everything is as it seems. They’re claiming that abusive training methods are often seen as acceptable by trainers and judges, and those who disagree with it are threatened and forced to remain silent about the matter. The three ladies all worked at the Utility Gundog Society for Sussex and Kent but each resigned as they campaign for stricter punishments.
One of the protesters claimed that trainers will beat, bite and even use electric collars on their dogs in order to get fast results when teaching obedience. One of the big problems here is that when beginners come in looking for advice form more experienced trainers, they’re led to believe that aggressive behaviour is acceptable, so we’re in danger of creating a culture where everyone thinks that’s okay.
In particular, gun dogs are being targeted as the role they take on obviously requires them to be very focused and efficient. Dogs such as Labradors and Spaniels will be taught to collect any game that needs to be returned after a hunt, and months of training will need to be put in place to allow the dogs to get the hang of this. In no circumstances should this procedure be shortcutted, but it seems that this is what’s happening at many Kennel club affiliated sites in the UK.
It appears that although this behaviour is not being promoted as the ‘right thing to do’, it’s witnessed and people are aware that it happens, but it seems there are no issues made about it, people are not punished and it’s somewhat accepted.
When one of the three ladies from UGS complained about this in written form to the Kennel Club, she was told that it was a situation which should be sorted out internally by the local club - in other words, the Kennel Club would take any interest in the issue.
Within the next few days, the Kennel Club is set to receive a collection of documents containing the allegations made against them, which they will have to respond to before the appropriate legal interference is decided.
This is a problem which we should all be working to campaign against - it tarnishes the reputation of shooting as an activity, and puts innocent dogs in serious danger.