Dear Readers,

2014 is drawing to an end. It was a successful year, with great achievements for the FCI and for dogs worldwide.

2015 will be a challenging year for our Federation. We are indeed faced with anti-canine legislations and different issues that might badly affect our beloved 4-paw friends. However, I am convinced that, working together, the FCI team, all over the world, will succeed in overcoming those difficulties, for the benefit of dogs worldwide.

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Rafael de Santiago
FCI President
“The highest result of education is tolerance…”*

*Quoted from Helen Keller, American author, political activist, and lecturer

The Education Centre to the Lithuanian Kennel Club has been carrying out various educational programmes about dogs aimed at young people for nearly three years now. Therefore, a one-day project carried out on November 16th, 2014 on the occasion of the International Day for Tolerance served as a test for our activities. The students from one of the schools in the capital city of Vilnius were offered a unique opportunity to have classes of tolerance conducted by an unusual tutor: American Staffordshire Terrier Nora. The uniqueness of the project lies in the fact that American Staffordshire Terrier is one out of the nine breeds included in the list of „dangerous breeds“ in Lithuania.

The class started with an active discussion about discrimination of both people and animals which is reflected in the restrictions regarding certain dog breeds. Children unanimously agreed that such actions violate not only animal but also human rights as every person should enjoy the freedom of choosing a pet of their preference and every pet deserves to have a loving home and responsible owner. The class proceeded with the explanation of the grounds for the existence of the mentioned list, which was followed by the statement that it is not the breed but rather any irresponsibly owned dog - regardless its breed - that actually causes harm to people and other living creatures. It was highlighted that numerous countries withdrew the list of dangerous breeds giving priority to education. The results of the survey carried out by the Lithuanian Kennel Club were presented, which revealed that 829 correspondents out of 856 were in favour of withdrawing the aforesaid list in our country. The worldwide dog bite statistics was also discussed.

Looking at ever tail-wagging, happy and friendly Nora students admitted that previously they had unfounded fear of this dog breed, but now had a different opinion. Obedient, active and amusing Nora encouraged further discussions about the breed and raised many questions and sharing of experience.

Our main message – creating a pet-loving country – has reached the audience. It was concluded that all animals are equal and despite their differences have to be tolerated. They all deserve the right to live, to be looked after and loved. The responsibility for dog‘s misbehaviour is erroneously put on various lists of dangerous breeds while it should rather be shifted on owner‘s responsibility. The existence of such lists creates false assumption that certain dog breeds are less dangerous than others which pose no threat to the society. Therefore, the Lithuanian Kennel Club is not indifferent to the problem and cooperates with various state institutions to solve the problems. Our activities are supported by local governments – educational programmes for young people are welcomed at national schools and public events. A working group also represented by our organisation for withdrawing the list of dangerous dog breeds at the state institutional level are discussing amendments to the law and this gives hope for positive changes in the future.

The Lithuanian Kennel Club