As stated in my previous article, ethics are the forefront of many professions like engineer, medicine, mechanics, etc.. and they all have professional associations to ensure these ethics. There is a need for a professional breeder organization to sanction ethical breeders and reject those with bad practices.
One might think that the AKC is the obvious choice for this given their Mission Statement.
The American Kennel Club’s Mission Statement:
- Maintain a registry for purebred dogs and preserve its integrity.
- Sanction dog events that promote interest in, and sustain the process of, breeding for type and function of purebred dogs.
- Take whatever actions necessary to protect and assure the continuation of the sport of purebred dogs.
AKC ‘s Objective:
- Advance the study, breeding, exhibiting, running and maintenance of purebred dogs
There are three obvious problems preventing the AKC from being an authoritative body.
- The AKC has been given no authority judicially to solely maintain a registry of purebred dogs in the United states. Unlike many countries such as Canada where Canadians have the Animal Pedigree Act that protects animal registries and owners of animals, the AKC survives on reputation only.
- The AKC is accountable to no one but its own reputation. Most national breed registries are members of the International FCI which governs registries throughout the world and guarantees standards are followed so each country can trust the other countries registry. The AKC is not an FCI member and is not bound by the FCI standards. They often choose to create their own standards separate from those of the FCI.
- The AKC’s only recourse against a bad breeder is to disqualify its dogs from registration as a purebred animal. This is in conflict with their need to grow their membership base for their own survival.
So in short, although it is in the AKC missions to prevent bad breeding, they certainly will not survive if they become the police of the very people they depend on for survival. The growth of their membership base is a key focus for the club to the point the club has lost sight of its mission a bit. (for example they now allow mixed breeds to register and compete in their events).
For a definitive professional breeding organization to be successful, we have to look outside the AKC, or we need to look for an outside authority to help solve the AKC’s conflicts in achieving its mission.
I will give my idea’s on possible solutions in a future article.