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Last Updated on October 9, 2023 by Fumipets
Clare Balding Calls for ‘Dog Ownership Test’ to Combat Unethical Breeding
In a thought-provoking address at the Henley Literary Festival 2023, celebrated TV presenter and author Clare Balding passionately called for the implementation of a “test” for prospective dog owners, aiming to combat the proliferation of “illegal markets” in the canine world. The event took place in Henley-upon-Thames, Oxfordshire, with The Independent serving as the exclusive news partner for the festival.
A Plea for Regulation
Balding raised concerns about the alarming lack of regulation governing dog ownership, highlighting the disturbing presence of profit-driven breeders who market dogs with minimal scrutiny of potential buyers.
“I firmly believe that we need more oversight—a deeper understanding of those who seek to own dogs,” Balding asserted. “I wholeheartedly endorse the idea of a fundamental test.”
The veteran broadcaster emphasized the urgency of addressing the rapidly expanding market that prioritizes financial gain over the welfare of the animals. She advocated for legislative measures to obstruct this exploitative channel, though she remained undecided on whether the onus should be on sellers or buyers to acquire a license.
Unveiling Unethical Practices
Balding offered insight into the grim reality of unethical practices in the realm of dog ownership during her new Channel 5 series, “Live: Lost Dogs with Clare Balding.”
“We encounter countless individuals who lack the knowledge to effectively handle dogs that may be experiencing frustration or inadequate stimulation. These individuals, unfortunately, fail to comprehend the essence of dog ownership. Some may have naively clicked a button, believing they were purchasing a mere stuffed toy,” she lamented before her captivated Henley audience.
Her words were unequivocal: “If you’re clicking a button to purchase a dog, you are, unwittingly or not, sustaining an illegal market. You are shirking the responsibility that comes with dog ownership.”
In addition to her compelling stance on responsible dog ownership, Balding regaled the audience with humorous anecdotes, revisiting some of her most memorable on-air blunders, including the famous incident involving relay swimmer Matthew Richards and his “phenomenal third leg.”
Beyond Balding’s powerful message, Henley Literary Festival attendees were treated to a diverse array of insights, including David Walliams’ encounter with Italian law enforcement and fighter pilot Nathan Gray’s poignant reflection on the loss of his esteemed instructor in a tragic 2002 accident.