Out of consideration for dog welfare, we cannot let this decision stand unchallenged by a higher court,’ says Tom Øystein Martinsen, chair of NKK’s executive board.
The NKK have gone through the judgement and considered it carefully. They do not take the content and conclusions of the judgement lightly, but they are certain that an appeal is the right way to go.
– As the judgement stands today, it’s only the most responsible individuals who are affected by the breeding ban imposed by Oslo District Court, which means that irresponsible operators can continue to breed the two dogs just as before.
The effect of the judgement is unclear
The main reason for this is that the effect of the judgement is unclear. Only the individuals involved in the legal proceedings have been banned from breeding these two dog breeds. The big question, however, is to what extent others are able to breed them.
The judgement states that, in general, breeding English Bulldogs and Cavalier King Charles Spaniels is contrary to the Animal Welfare Act. Yet the Norwegian Food Safety Authority, which administers the law, has said that breeding from these two breeds is not forbidden, and that any general bans of this nature must be legislated for by the Ministry of Agriculture and Food.
– We think it’s most important to clarify what this judgement actually means in principle. Its effect must be clearly defined. This is not the case as the judgement stands now, says Martinsen.
Health work continues
In the judgement from Oslo District Court, the defendants are praised for the health work that has been done. In collaboration with leading experts and institutions, the NKK will continue to work in a goal-oriented way to improve the health of these and other breeds of dogs. Together with breed clubs and breeders, we will also consider new measures that could help to further strengthen and advance our health work.
– With the help of the breed clubs and NKK, breeders have the best chance of breeding ever fitter and healthier dogs. Strict health requirements and having the known health status several generations back in time together provides a unique overview and control of breeding. It’s very important for the general welfare of dogs that this work is allowed to continue. The NKK isn’t part of the problem, it’s part of the solution, says Martinsen.
Stand united for the appeal
The Norwegian Kennel Club, the Norwegian Bulldog Club, the Norwegian Cavalier Club and the six breeders have all agreed to appeal against the judgement, and they will join forces for the next round in court, too. The parties have also chosen to change their legal representation. Their new lawyer is Anette Fjeld of the law firm Simonsen Vogt Wiig AS.
On 31 January 2022, Oslo District Court ruled that the Norwegian Kennel Club, the Norwegian Cavalier Club, the Norwegian Bulldog Club and six breeders had breached the Animal Welfare Act. If this judgement were to become final, it would mean that the defendants would no longer be allowed to breed English Bulldogs and Cavalier King Charles Spaniels.