International Conference "A Dog Loving Society: Best Practices, Challenges and Perspectives"
On 21 December 2015 in Vilnius, Lithuania, the Lithuanian Kennel Club hosted a full-day international workshop entitled “A Dog Loving Society: Best Practices, Challenges and Perspectives”. The aim of the workshop was to encourage international cooperation between national canine organisations working on dog-related educational projects, to present national educational activities and best practices, to share experience, discuss challenges and to learn about activities carried out in other countries.
“Education is an inherent part of a contemporary canine organisation’s activities and it is by means of cooperation, sharing of experience and good practices we can receive desired results”, asserted Ramune Kazlauskaite, President of the Lithuanian Kennel Club, in her opening speech.
A member of the FCI General Committee, and International all-breed judge, Mr Tamas Jakkel, stressed in his speech that it is an obligation of any national canine organisation to go to the society and find connection with ordinary people in order to be acknowledged as professional organisation. One of the ways leading to this is education.
These thoughts only supported a priory expressed view of FCI Executive Director, Mr Yves De Clercq, who declared that dogs make a big and important part of our society and admitted that even though society is a very general concept, it may “shrink” to a family or an individual level, therefore, instilling certain values it is important to reach families.
The speakers of the workshop came from six countries including Austria, Finland, Ireland, Lithuania, Sweden and United Kingdom, whereas the overall 53 workshop participants represented twelve countries and over 30 different organisations including national kennel clubs, breed clubs, state institutions, animal welfare organisations, university students, etc. After the workshop, the Lithuanian Kennel Club presented its educational material “Safety Around Dogs” meant for the young dog lovers community.
During the summing up discussion, one of the workshop speakers, Mr Attila Marton, emphasised that the workshop covered one of the most important, though neglected area of animal welfare and protection: education. It is unquestionable that many issues in this topic are connected to the lack of information and knowledge. To heal this state, the only cure is education, where we can show pet keepers, breeders and even the whole society what they are doing wrong or could do better. Education is a real complex matter on its own. However, the world we live in at the moment speeded up. Technology and new communication tools have started to evolve rapidly and besides presenting handy solutions, they are also raising new challenges for everyone, including all those who operate in the field of animal welfare and protection.
Mr Marton finalised that international presence of the workshop involved many countries with different experience, problems and solutions. These sort of events, where participants can learn from each other sharing experiences and concerns, are vital for setting up action plans to solve any problems on a national level, experiencing what is working and which way and moreover, gaining tips and hints what can be done for a better life of dogs.