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AKC ON TETHERING, MUTT IMPORTS, AND DOG TRAINING
What follows is the American Kennel Club’s proactive position on the value of dog training, tethering, and the consequences of importing potentially unhealthy dogs.
Barbara J. Andrews, Editor-In-Chief, SAAB
The following is verbatim, direct from AKC and should settle the "tying your dog" violation in the eyes of "animal rights" enthusiasts.
Canine Legislation Position Statement on Dog Training - The Board reviewed a newly proposed Canine Legislation Position Statement on Dog Training. The proposed position statement provides a basis for AKC to provide legislative comment on the value of dog training for dogs, their owners, and the communities in which they live. It notes that there are numerous accepted perspectives and approaches to dog training, and no one preferred protocol for training all dogs. Finally, it states that AKC opposes arbitrary government restrictions on accepted standard training practices.
The purpose of the proposed position statement is to encourage dog training for all dog owners and to recognize the value of preserving a range of training options so that the training needs of all dogs, their owners and their particular circumstances can be met.
AKC is concerned by a disturbing new class of legislative proposals at the state and local level that are aimed at arbitrarily restricting standard accepted training methodologies and approaches, and placing regulatory oversight of trainers and their professional practices in the hands of animal control or non-professional animal protection boards that may have little experience or expertise in dog training. Following a motion by Dr. Battaglia, seconded by Ms. McAteer, the Board VOTED (unanimously, absent Mr. Wooding) to approve the following position statement:
Dog Training: Training in appropriate behavior is an important part of responsible dog ownership and enables a dog to be a respected and cherished part of family and community life. Appropriate training can help prevent dogs from being relinquished for behavioral issues and can deepen the bond between owners and their dogs. Individual dogs respond differently to a variety of approaches. AKC recognizes that there are numerous effective approaches to training that produce desirable results such as obedience, field trials, hunting tests and Canine Good Citizen® designations. Government entities should not arbitrarily restrict accepted, appropriate and effective dog training practices.
Canine Legislation Position Statement on Tethering - The Board reviewed recommendations for a new canine legislation position statement regarding the tethering of dogs. This position statement provides a basis for AKC to comment, where appropriate, on proposed bans that have the potential for unintended harmful consequence for responsible dog owners.
In recent years the AKC Government Relations Department (GR) has tracked numerous legislative proposals that arbitrarily equate tethering to animal cruelty and establish bans or severe arbitrary restrictions on tethering. Such measures fail to recognize that responsible tethering may provide an option for restraining a dog in cases where other methods of restraint are inappropriate or ineffective. Arbitrary anti-tethering laws may also undermine positive canine activities such as field trials, conformation dog shows, dog training, grooming and other examinations that are part of responsible dog ownership and AKC events. Following a motion by Dr. Battaglia, seconded by Mr. Sweetwood, the Board VOTED (unanimously, absent Mr. Wooding) to approve the following position statement:
Tethering: The American Kennel Club recognizes that tethering is a practical and humane method for training and restraining dogs in a variety of circumstances. Dogs should never be tethered in a manner that could cause harm to them. Tethering is a common and responsible way to restrain dogs that do not respond well to other restraints (such as escape artists), or participate in activities that require acclimatization such as hunting, sledding and/or other obedience and performance events. Tethering may also be a responsible and appropriate option for handling dogs that are service dogs such as seeing eye dogs, dogs in training, and dogs that are being groomed or examined on a table. AKC opposes arbitrary restrictions on tethering, which can undermine the wellbeing of dogs, responsible dog ownership, and safe training and recreational activities.
Canine Legislation Position Statement on Pet Imports - The Board reviewed a newly proposed Canine Legislation Position Statement on Pet Imports. The proposed statement provides recommendations for a new canine legislation position statement regarding the importation of unhealthy dogs from overseas, and expresses specific concern regarding those obtained from random sources and imported for the purpose of sale/transfer in U.S. retail or “rescue” markets.
The proposed position statement affirms AKC’s concerns about the potential public health consequences of importing dogs with inadequate information about their health status. It supports strengthening government requirements for certifying the health of imported dogs to better protect public and pet health in the United States. Increasing requirements for health checks and valid certifications should at minimum bring U.S. standards for imports up to those of other developed countries.
The proposed statement also expresses support for legislation or regulation seeking more research and documentation on the number of foreign dogs imported into the United States each year and details about the sources of such dogs, the methods by which they are transported (e.g. private versus commercial flights, etc.) and where they go after they are imported. It advocates that no dog should be imported without a valid veterinary certificate demonstrating that the dog is fully immunized; and free of infection, parasites and contagious disease. It also states that dogs should be individually examined prior to entry and have documentation regarding the source of the dog and the party responsible for it upon arrival in the United States. Following a motion by Dr. Battaglia, seconded by Ms. Wallin, the Board VOTED (unanimously, absent Mr. Wooding) to consider the matter at this meeting waiving its normal notice procedures. Following a motion by Dr. Battaglia, seconded by Ms. Biddle the Board VOTED (unanimously, absent Mr. Wooding) to approve the following position statement:
Pet Imports: Protecting Pet and Public Health: The American Kennel Club recognizes the value of importing breeding stock from overseas, and ensuring that people may travel with their pets with a minimum of disruption. The AKC is also greatly concerned about increasing documented incidences of the importation of unhealthy, random-source pets into the United States, particularly for transfer, where public and pet health may be inadequately protected. AKC supports efforts to better understand the impact of large quantities of dogs being imported into the United States. AKC further supports strengthening efforts to ensure that all dogs imported into the United States are fully immunized, free of infection, parasites and contagious diseases, and are individually certified as such by a qualified veterinarian. No pet should be imported without an individual examination, valid veterinary certificate, and documentation regarding the source of the dog and the party responsible for it upon arrival into the United States.
Reference: April 2018 AKC Board Meeting Minutes ~ see Instant info on ii Quarantine Requirements? and wonder about all those imports.
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