Taken from Our Dogs Issue: 24/02/2012
Following an announcement made by the Kennel Club last week after a meeting of the General Committee on 14th February, there is now an immediate requirement for all exhibitors to identify their crates at shows with their bench number.
In an announcement headed 'important information for all dog show exhibitors" it was confirmed that with immediate effect at all shows exhibitors must display the exhibit/bench number on their crate, cage or container at all times. This is particularly important when cages etc are not on benches, and at unbenched shows.
The announcement goes on to say: 'Each exhibitor is responsible for providing their own crate or cage identification and should note that the original exhibit/bench number card, as provided by the show society, must not be used for this purpose.'
Apparently this requirement follows a recent meeting of the Show Executive Sub-Committee's Benching Working Party, where it was agreed that it is important to be able to contact exhibitors and identify dogs where a dog may be in distress or where the crate might be blocking a gangway. At benched shows soft crates may only be put on benches if they are the appropriate size for both the dog and the bench, and the crate can be securely attached to the bench.
The release went on to say: 'Both of these points have been introduced with the safety of all in mind, but most importantly that of the dog, and to minimise potential incidents and injuries. Exhibitors should note that the above requirements have been introduced with immediate effect and will therefore apply to exhibitors attending Crufts.
'The Kennel Club would also take this opportunity to remind exhibitors that Show Regulation F(1).17 requires that dogs should be present on their benches at all times except when being judged, prepared for exhibition or exercised.'
OUR DOGS posed a number of questions to the KC on this new requirement and as a result the following questions and answers have been published on the Kennel Club web sites under "Frequently Asked Questions" as apparently a large number of people had already started to ask similar questions regarding the new ruling.
Q. What has happened/ been brought up or whatever to make this necessary?
A .This requirement has been introduced as a possible solution to the risk of not being able to identify dogs which might be unwell, in distress or involved in some other type of incident; and to prevent the possibility of dogs manoeuvring soft crates off their bench due to the crate not being properly secured.
Q. How is the exhibitor at open shows supposed to know the number of their dog before they get to show - so as to be able to bring the appropriate number identification?
A. At open shows or unbenched shows where a bench number may not be known in advance or is not required, any form of exhibit / owner identification is acceptable. The purpose of this requirement is for show organisers to be able to identify a dog which may be in distress and therefore have some route to contact the dog's owner via tannoy messages etc.
Q. Why do exhibitors need to have a number on the crate ….Why not their name and address and mobile number - they know that before they leave home?
A. It is preferable for the exhibitor's version of the bench/exhibit number to be used as the primary form of identification (for simplicity). However, if exhibitors choose to provide alternative identification that still enables the show management to trace the dog's owner that is acceptable.
Q. Why can't the exhibitor use the original exhibit/bench number card, as provided by the show society?
A. If bench numbers are removed, exhibitors and the show management may be unable to trace the correct benches - this will cause a number of logistical problems. Bench / ring cards have a specific purpose and should not be used for any other means.
Q. Will the show society be providing me with an additional bench card?
A. No, each exhibitor is responsible for providing their own crate or cage identification.
Q. What do you have to write the number on? E.g. card, a label, luggage tags?
A. Any of the above is acceptable providing the chosen form of identification doesn't fall off the crate/cage. The importance being that if a dog is in distress the show organisers have some form of identification to trace the owner.
Q. What kind of fixture is suggested for metal/soft crates?
A. Any fixture which allows the crate/cage to be securely fastened to the benching chain is acceptable.
Q. Why has this requirement been introduced with immediate effect and without allowing exhibitors to make suitable arrangements to comply?
A. The requirement for owner identification is simple and generally good practice. It does not require a period of notice for exhibitors to comply. In respect of the safe use of benches, this been a longstanding regulation and was issued more as a reminder to exhibitors.
Q. The Kennel Club expects exhibitors to comply with its reminder that Show Regulation F(1)17 requires that dogs should be present on their benches at all times except when being judged, prepared for exhibition or exercised. Why then, if it, expects this regulations to be observed, does it feel the need to create requirements for numbering crates, cages or containers at all times, "when cages etc are not on benches"?
A. Firstly not all shows are benched and in the event of an exhibitor leaving their dog unattended in a crate or blocking a gangway show officials will be able to trace the owner. This requirement has been introduced with the safety of all in mind, but most importantly that of the dog, and to minimise potential incidents and injuries.