As you might be aware, KUSA adopted a new Code of Ethics (CoE) last year which came into effect on 1 April 2020. The CoE is partitioned into various sections to provide best practice guidelines across the various activities for which people join the Kennel Union as Members, e.g. as Owners of Registered Dogs, as Dog Breeders, as Competitors in Shows and Dogsport, as Elected or Appointed Officials, as Judges of Shows and Events, etc.
The CoE is embodied in Schedule 9 to the KUSA Constitution and may be accessed by way of the following link:
KUSA CODE OF ETHICS
and it is incumbent upon new or current Members to observe the CoE as part of their membership obligations.
In drafting the CoE for Dog Breeders, KUSA consulted widely and drew liberally on the Codes of other countries, as well as the Breeding Regulations of the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI). It is no secret that Dog Breeding is an emotive issue with the potential of inciting animal rights activists and animal protection agencies worldwide.
In the course of its extensive research, KUSA identified essentially four breeding practices requisite of inclusion in Schedule 9 – the Code of Ethics for Members of KUSA. These four practices are also integrated as associated Regulations in Schedule 2 – the Regulations for the Registration of Dogs. It is important to understand that the Schedule 2 Regulations do not forbid any of these practices, but simply make the registration of puppies resulting from any of the four practices subject to adjudication and sanction by KUSA’s Executive Committee. In its adjudication of the registration of litters emanating from any of the four practices, the Executive Committee will obviously take full cognisance of the circumstances, extenuating or otherwise, as well as veterinary opinion, frequency of occurrence of practices, litter statistics of Dams, etc.
The four breeding practices identified as those necessitating Executive Committee adjudication and sanction for registration of litters are:
- Whelping a litter from a bitch under twelve (12) months of age
- Whelping more than 2 (two) litters from the same Dam within a period of eighteen (18) months
- Whelping a sixth (6th) litter from the same Dam
- Whelping a litter from a Dam over eight (8) years of age
As South Africa’s National Canine Organisation, full member of the FCI and Breeders’ Society and Registering Authority registered under the Animal Improvement Act, KUSA advocates for ethical, responsible and scientifically informed dog breeding practices, which are defensible at all times and under any manner of scrutiny. KUSA is aware that qualitative dog breeding is often a discretionary pursuit, which not only varies from breed to breed, but might also be complicated by a variety of physiological factors. For this reason the breeding practices in question have been subjected to the flexibility of adjudication by the Executive Committee, thereby to ensure reputational protection for breeders as well as KUSA.
In the case of planned matings likely to transgress any of these Regulations, it will be prudent to submit veterinary reports or affidavits for advance adjudication by Exco. Pre-authorisation for the breeding of a litter will ensure a seamless and swift registration process.
KUSA appeals to its Members to uphold exemplary standards in dog breeding and to avoid indulging in reproductive practices which might compromise KUSA’s registry, or the esteem in which it is held as South Africa’s accredited and internationally recognised NCO.