Will Kennel Club Ban Breeder Who Killed Puppies?
Crufts week. It’s not started well. The other day a friend sent me a newspaper article with a headline about a ‘Crufts Winning Breeder’ that made my stomach churn. I reluctantly opened the link and read how Margaret Peacock, a Kennel Club registered dog breeder had been convicted of causing unnecessary suffering to nine puppies she had bred. The details of the case are highly disturbing, not only the manner by which she caused the deaths of nine puppies, but also that they were the result of a sibling mating. This Crufts award winning breeder who killed her puppies has owned and bred dogs for fifty years. She was registering litters with the Kennel Club as recently as 2015.
An outcry currently rages on social media and in the local community, both at Peacock’s cruel actions and at the leniency of her sentence – two concurrent 12 week jail terms, suspended for 12 months. She will serve no jail time, nor has she been banned from keeping animals, despite killing puppies by putting them in her freezer.This is a disgracefully weak sentence and once again the courts show why tougher sentencing is urgently needed.
In an attempt to prevent her from being able to register with the Kennel Club any future litters she might choose to breed, a petition in just a few days has gained over 18,000 signatures. But, at the time of writing, the Kennel Club are disappointing those who want them to act quickly, decisively and unequivocably – characteristics as rare as hen’s teeth when it comes to the Kennel Club dealing with disgraceful breeders.
This appeared on the Crufts Facebook page yesterday:
Quite why there’s a need “to await the outcome and absolute conclusion of the respective criminal proceedings (including any appeals) before taking any steps” is beyond me. The Kennel Club can, and do make up their own rules and regulations. They could send out a clear message here. But are choosing instead to issue their typical twattle. In the absence of custodial sentences that match the crimes committed against animals, people quite naturally look for hope in other places. But hoping the Kennel Club might demonstrate tough, meaningful actions in cases like Peacock’s is probably a waste of time sadly.
Precedents are not encouraging. A wolfhound breeder, banned by the courts for keeping animals for five years following a cruelty conviction was given a 10 year ban by the Kennel Club but told she could apply for it to be lifted after two. An outrageous message to send out. Now, if she’d been convicted of embezzling money, like Drew Littlejohn, the Kennel Club might have been considerably more forthright in the message they wanted to send out – and like they gave Littlejohn, issued her a 15 year ban from attending shows, or being involved in any aspect of KC activity. The discepancies are blatant.
So, we will await the results of the Kennel Club’s disciplinary investigations into Margaret Peacock. But I for one am not holding my breath that a clear message will materialise that killing puppies warrants tougher action than stealing money.
However, if you’d like to add weight to demands that the Kennel Club does impose a lifetime breeding ban on this Crufts award winning breeder who killed puppies you can sign the petition here.