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Disciplinary Case - Harsh Handling

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At its meeting on 29th April 2015, the Kennel Club Disciplinary Sub-Committee considered a complaint brought by the Kennel Club under Kennel Club Rule A11 a (1) (a) against Mr S Kelsall of Cheadle, Stoke on Trent.

The complaint was namely that he behaved discreditably and prejudicially to the interests of the canine world and in breach of Kennel Club Regulation J.9.b (10) with the alleged harsh handling of an English Springer Spaniel, Countryways Lapwing, by kicking the dog at the Coventry and District Gundog Society Any Variety Novice Cocker Trial at Old Hemploe Shoot, Elkington, Northamptonshire, on 14th November 2014.

The Committee upheld the complaint and imposed the following penalties:

1  To warn him as to his future conduct.[A11 j (1)]

2  To censure him.[A11 j (2)]

3  To disqualify him from exhibiting at, taking part in, attending  and/or having any connection with any event licensed by the  Club. If any person disqualified under this sub-paragraph  shall attend any canine event whilst disqualified the  General Committee shall have the power to increase the period  of disqualification.[A11 j (4)]

4  To disqualify him from being or becoming a member of any canine club or society registered with or affiliated to the  Kennel Club.[A11 j (5)]

5  To disqualify him from acting as an Officer or serving on  the committee of any canine society.[A11 j (6)]

6  To disqualify him from taking part in the management of any  event licensed by the club.[A11 j (7)]

7  To disqualify him from judging at any event licensed by the  Club.[A11 j (8)]
The above listed disqualifications are to be for three (3) years from 29th April 2015.

The Committee, following the imposition of these penalties, would draw the attention of the Respondent to the effect of Rule A12 sub-section n.

There was clearly physical contact made with the dog and it is a question of degree that is in issue. The Committee is satisfied with the consistency and corroboration from the statements supporting the allegation that Mr Kelsall had kicked the dog.

The dog committed an eliminating fault and the Committee is satisfied that
Mr Kelsall reprimanded the dog and did so, excessively and harshly, by kicking the dog. That conduct is unacceptable in any context.

Mr Kelsall has tried to minimise his actions and has not apologised or shown any level of contrition.  Mr Kelsallís comments made to those who tried to admonish him on the day were inappropriate. 

Those engaged in canine activity should ensure that their dogs are handled well and to fail in that responsibility and to reprimand a dog harshly by such means as kicking will not be tolerated.

STAND! Updates
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Whilst not an update to STAND! It's worth noting that the Kennel Club do act on complaints made to them.  The Complaints and Objections process is explained in STAND! on pages 96 - 97