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The new Judges Competency Framework of the Kennel Club

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http://www.fci.be/en/Show-Judges-44.html

https://www.thekennelclub.org.uk/training/judges-education/breed-show-judges-training/judges-competency-framework

I follow the twitter account of Dog World, and on the 26th of April they tweeted about the new Judges Competency Framework. Reactions to this new “Framework” are mixed. I’ve read it twice and continue to go back and forth. I’ve also read commentaries and comments about this framework.

What can I pick up based on my research? It seems to be agreed upon by all that the old system needed to be changed. The most common reason being a lack of transparency with second being competency issues. It seems that the old system had transparency issues when it came to the procedure and process of acquiring a license, from initial breed all the way to all breed. The next issue of transparency seems to have something to do with judging assignments, the requirements and the judge selection and approval for an assignment. Finally we have the issue of competency.

Looking at the new framework, it quickly reminded me of an ISO Process and Procedural Manual. The framework will address issues of transparency which pleased a lot of people. However, I personally believe that transparency is a political/policy issue, meaning any policy to curb it’s lack, really depends on the admins effort to implement transparency policies. Having said that, the framework explains to every aspiring and existing judge where he or she is exactly, what he/she is exactly entitled to and the requirements for the next step. The framework covers procedure, requirements and performance measurements, matters that are addressed by ISO. If I were an aspiring judge, this framework is something I would appreciate.

The Kennel Club is also introducing the “The Kennel Club Academy,” an online education platform that can be accessed 24/7. A mandatory continuing education is to be attended every five years for existing whatever level you are in. Aside from the usual breed seminars, a mentoring program is now in place. The online education is the one that has had the most response in social media. There are mixed reactions, from it’s cost to it’s efficacy. Can online education replace actual live practicums?

The Devil is in the detail. My interest is how did the whole thing come about. Did they have Focus Group Discussions? Did they consult all stake holders? Did they ask help? The intention of the Framework is good but I see too many moving parts. I’m biased towards the FCI guidelines because it is simple albeit lacking in education curriculum which I believe the present Show Judges Commission is addressing under the Chairmanship of John Wauben. The Framework also seems to lack a timeline goal for a diligent, studious aspiring judge with a plan to become an all rounder which the FCI Guidelines has. I don’t have much to say on curriculum that will address competence until I’ve seen the online education platform but this effort shows that the Kennel Club is ahead of FCI in this matter. The bottom line is, if this Framework will make better Kennel Club Judges then we all wish them good luck.

The Yulin Dog Meat Festival and the 2019 Shanghai FCI World Dog Show

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The day that this burst into the news, I immediately got queries about my stand on the matter. I received electronic petitions to sign and tweets to retweet, of course I participated in everyone of them. A thinking person can and should respect the cultural background of such an eyebrow raising cultural gustatory practice. I know a person up north of the Philippine archipelago who is a hard working person, a dotting father and husband, a devout Catholic, who has never forgotten to give back to society and country and yes he has his share of occasional dog meat. Like I said it is a cultural thing. Laws and proper education has to be put in place the same way the Philippines has addressed this issue. We still have those who partake of it but I would like to believe that there is a constant downward trend, albeit a slow one, to eating dogs in the Philippines. The Chinese are also disgusted with this event and are the biggest organized activists on the ground. (http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/china/2011-09/21/c_131152295.htm)

A law has already been drafted in 2009 with corresponding fines and detention for acts of abuse and cruelty-Yuan 6000 (USD 961 at the time of writing) and 2 weeks detention. The selling of dog or cat meat- a fine not lower than Yuan 10,000 (USD 1610) not more than Yuan 50,000 (USD 8050). Guess what? It still has to be signed into law by Congress! Activists claim that a legal remedy that can be used is a regulation made in 2013 by the Ministry of Agriculture requiring all transported animals for slaughter to be quarantined. But of course local authorities have their hands tied between implementing a regulation on a popular local practice or just keeping mum.

The thing about Yulin is that it is a “Festival”. The culture of eating dogs goes back 600+years but the festival (an unofficial title) was only started in the 90’s around 1995. It is done in June as a celebration of the summer solstice. It is not like going to some hole in the wall in some back room, whispering your order to get a serving of a bootleg local dog meat delicacy. It is a celebration. In Yulin, our canine friends are actually blatantly paraded in makeshift cages, forelegs tied behind their backs, killed and slaughtered in public. Because it is a festival, everything is done under onlookers watchful eyes up to the point that they actually dine of what they just watched. The streets of Yulin are practically red from the exanguinated blood of our canine friends who are killed in public. The process starts by bludgeoning the dogs, and at times the Coup De Grâce isn’t just one blow. Because of this, at times, the dogs enter the second step still breathing! This next step (sometimes still alive) can be skinning them, or boiling them or torching them, this part of the procedure is to prep the skin which is served like crackling. This process will include basting with wine or some fruit juice. All through out this process, whining and whimpering of our canine friends fills the air.

You can walk in to a restaurant to order dog meat cooked or you can buy the meat freshly butchered along the streets. It is commonly served on the streets in Kebab form with the meat cubed or diced. In a restaurant, the festive meal starts with a serving of lychees and the dog meat served as a stew, it has a characteristic aroma, your olfactory senses will pick up garlic, ginger and some kind of citrus, all these are common ingredients of game meat cooking. Understandably some chefs are coming out with gourmet dishes using dog meat. Pricing of the meat is based on the difficulty of the process of preparing the meat and the reputation of the butcher of selling savoury meats. The festival has even converted some attendees who came to the festival with plans to shut it down, (http://nationalreport.net/yulin-dog-meat-festival/).

So what’s my stand on this first issue? I frown on the practice but an equal part of me respects cultural heritage and practices, and most of all cultural practices that are very hard to change. Rights groups have been up in arms for years against Yulin and this festival, but it is only now that awareness has been heightened due to the popularity of social media. Join or donate to NGOs, Civil Society, Activist Groups who share the same disgust, you can also sign petitions. There are non militant things that can be done. Surveys done show that those born in the 90’s and up, this would mean the Millenials-Generation Y, are the people disgusted with this sort of practice. They say that social cultural practices are passed from one generation to another, so all it takes is for one generation to be disgusted and eventually the practice gets to be stopped.

Click this link https://www.change.org/p/chen-wu-please-shut-down-the-yulin-dog-meat-festival and sign up.

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https://www.facebook.com/no.for.WDS2019.in.China

Above is the link to a petition to Boycott the 2019 World Dog Show to be hosted by China in Shanghai (distance from Yulin is 1326 Kilometers as the crow flies). Nordic Kennel Club an FCI Member was the quickest at the draw to make a stand on this matter to the point of starting a campaign to boycott the 2019 Shanghai WDS. They have instructed all Norwegian exhibitors not to join any show in China much more the 2019 Shanghai WDS. They have also instructed their judges not to accept any assignments in China, again specifically the 2019 WDS. The Finnish Kennel Club also made a statement that they did not vote in favor of China to host the 2019 show BUT qualified their statement (in so many words). The Kennel Club has instructed it’s members not to attend. Due to their concern for the welfare of the entered dogs during the long haul travel to Shanghai, The Kennel Club will not be represented. A snowball effect is starting to happen even if this event is 4 years away. People are disgusted with this festival and need to take it out on someone and now sights have been aimed at the 2019 Shanghai WDS.

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This boycott reminds me of the boycott United States did on the 1980 Moscow Olympics and the East Bloc Countries led by Russia on the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics. I still remember a powerful photo of the US Women’s Volleyball team, proud in their US uniform, behind the net, but with a tear cracked at the corner of their eyes. What does sports have to do with politics?! 4 years is a long wait for an athlete for the next Olympics. Would there be a Jesse Owens if the US boycotted the 1936 Berlin Olympics of Hitler (admittedly the US government did not support Owens and the Nazi regime was in place but Hitler wasn’t on a warpath yet nor genocide atrocities being probably committed, yet). I believe there was also a move to boycott the 2016 Moscow WDS because of gay rights issues. Again what has the Moscow WDS have to do with gay rights? Not all means of effecting an embargo is the right one, much more hardly may it be effective at all, unless a hidden agenda is behind it.

My take on this second issue is- WTF! has the 2019 Shanghai WDS have to do with the Yulin Dog Meat Festival! Come on! CKU didn’t make the rule book on eating dogs! I have been accused of being a suck up, kiss ass to the FCI and it’s leadership. I would like to think I’m very objective, well maybe with a little sprinkling of bias. The thing is that China won the bid with the utmost transparency (FCI has made a statement on this matter), everything was on the up and up! Through the years and to the best of their capability, CKU constantly condemns and tries to stop this practice.

Politics seems to have reared it’s ugly head again. NCO’s that did not support the China bid are now probably having a heyday. What is really disappointing is that a fellow FCI NCO is taking cheap shots at another FCI NCO. Let’s get our act together and not give non FCI clubs something to gloat on. At the end of the day we are all FCI members and not just FCI Section members. The reply of FCI APac hits the nail on the head and yes I will attend the 2019 WDS in Shanghai and all the other WDSs wherever it will be held! As to eating dogs, hell yes we have to stop it but also wars, conflict, racism, poverty, hunger, and human trafficking.

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