– The Norwegian Kennel Club (NKK), the clubs and associated breeders are all passionate about the wellbeing of dogs, and we certainly acknowledge the problems that exist. That is precisely why it is vital for these individuals to continue doing their goal-oriented work. No one else would be in a position to do anything about the health situation of these breeds, says Tom Øystein Martinsen, chair of NKK’s executive board.
Out of consideration for the dogs’ welfare, the NKK, the Norwegian Bulldog Club, the Norwegian Cavalier Club and the six breeders have therefore appealed the judgement to the Court of Appeal. They concluded that the decision made by Oslo District Court should not be allowed to stand unchallenged by a higher court.
Will submit new evidence
By far the best way to improve the health of Cavalier King Charles Spaniels and English Bulldogs is to focus on the organised breeding of registered dogs in a goal-oriented way, and in close cooperation with the world’s leading experts.
– This breeding work is making good progress. We’re already seeing positive results just since the judgement in Oslo District Court, and these will be presented before the Court of Appeal, says Martinsen.
He is in no doubt that organised breeding helps to eradicate the diseases that these two breeds are predisposed to. The NKK, the breed clubs and the responsible breeders are therefore not part of the problem, such as some people make them out to be, but the most important part of the solution.
In addition to the presentation of new evidence, the legal details of the judgement will be reconsidered. The effect of the judgement as it stands now is extremely unclear. This means that many people are wondering what the judgement actually entails and who is affected by it. The NKK if of the opinion that Oslo District Court has exceeded its jurisdiction in this judgement.
– 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, who also fears the consequences for other pedigree dogs.
– If the judgement stands, it could set a precedent. It will open the door for a large number of different breeds to be targeted in the same way. Other kinds of pets and farm animals could also be affected, Martinsen continues.
Can continue documented breeding work
As there is an appeal, the judgement delivered by Oslo District Court is not final. This means that important breeding and registration work can continue as before, with healthy dogs as the main objective of breeding.
– In the judgement from Oslo District Court, the defendants are praised for the health work that has been done. This work will now continue in earnest, says Martinsen.
The Norwegian Kennel Club, the Norwegian Bulldog Club, the Norwegian Cavalier Club and the six breeders will also stand united for the next round in court. The parties have chosen to be represented by the law firm Simonsen Vogt Wiig for the appeal.
It is now up to Borgarting Court of Appeal to decide whether the appeal will be heard. If it goes ahead, there will be new court proceedings in a year’s time.
On 31 January 2022, Oslo District Court found 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.