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Kennel Club embroiled in legal row over affix

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THE chairwoman of the Kennel Club of Jersey has resigned and a major financial backer has withdrawn its funding as a result of a legal row with two members.

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The club, which can trace its history back to Victorian times, has issued a statement regarding the dispute, which is over the non-granting of an affix – a word attached to the name of a dog that identifies a breeder and for which an annual fee is paid to the club.

The club says its decision follows clear regulations, but the two members have involved lawyers to resolve the issue. In response, the Kennel Club has engaged its own legal representatives.

Chairwoman Margaret Bayes has resigned from the post she had held since 2014 and pet food supplier Raw N More, the main sponsors of the club and its championship shows, has withdrawn its financial backing.

In a statement on its website, the club said that Helen Lester has been appointed acting chairwoman and that another party was potentially also preparing legal action. The statement read: ‘With the loss of our main sponsor as well as legal bills this has all cost the club greatly following the actions of these two members.

‘The members concerned shall remain nameless for the time being as the matter is still with the lawyers as well as the committee’s decision to respect the fact that there is the additional possibility that further legal action could well be taken by another party.

‘However, please be advised that the remaining committee members are pleased and totally committed to putting their support behind Helen Lester who now steps up to acting chair.

‘We hope it’s not too late for the club and will, with Helen’s leadership, be working hard to ensure the continuance of this club whilst ensuring that our constitution and its regulations are upheld.

‘We would like to think that the membership will appreciate this communication and get behind the committee, thus helping to put an immediate stop to the appalling behaviour that has invaded our club following these recent events.’

The Jersey Dog Club was founded in 1888 when the Jersey Poultry and Dog Society was dissolved. Apart from a break during the Occupation, it has held dog shows ever since. Members voted to change the name to the Kennel Club of Jersey in 2004.

Its current patrons are the Bailiff, Timothy Le Cocq, and the Lieutenant-Governor, Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Dalton.

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