The OEMC vs The Kennel Club regarding Incomplete Mastiff Pedigrees - Jengren Mr Milligan

After a period of 10 years involving letters, phone calls, DNA testing and the employment of Solicitors and a Barrister, the KC finally agreed to a compromise over the pedigree of Jengren Mr Milligan who’s Dam was unknown.  This settlement was agreed on 23rd November 2009 and a Notice of Discontinuance was lodged at the High Court.  At the time of the settlement over 119 registered puppies’ pedigrees were affected.

The exact wording of the relevant part of the agreements is as follows:

“The KC shall place a note on its data base of current registrations against the records of Jengren Mr Milligan and his progeny as follows:

The pedigree of this dog/bitch is subject to a query over the breeding of Jengren Mr Milligan x generations ago”

Both parties agreed to pay their own costs.

Brief Background to the Case

In November 2000, the Mastiff Association wrote to the KC about a breach of KC rule 42 stating that there was evidence to support that Jengren Wilma was not the Dam of Jengren Mr Milligan.  They received a reply promising to take up the matter with the breeder and to keep the MA informed. 

In January 2001 it transpired that the KC had agreed with the breeder that the pedigree was to be changed to ‘Dam Unknown’.  It was felt that this made a mockery of the KC’s registration system as there was no evidence provided to support that ‘Dam Unknown’ was a pedigree dog.  The reason given by the KC was that this was obviously a Mastiff to Mastiff mating.  The OEMC sent a letter of complaint to the KC and requested this be changed to ‘Mastiff Dam Name Unknown’ as damage limitation for the breed.  This was refused and the OEMC appealed the decision in June 2002.

In July 2002 the KC agreed to the amendment and the OEMC believed the matter closed.

June to August 2006.  Following continuing adverse publicity the Hon Sec at that time, Mr Glyn Payne, purchased a copy of Mr Milligan’s pedigree from the KC.  Mr Tugwell urged legal redress in this matter and hire a Barrister.  The committee decided on DNA testing first and letters were sent to owners of relevant dogs from whom blood samples were required.  All owners, with the exception of one, complied.  The samples were sent to a laboratory in Germany as no UK lab wanted to become involved in the dispute.  At this point there were 78 dogs with incomplete pedigrees.  All information was collated and sent to the solicitor.  The KC were contacted but refused to discuss the matter further.

In August 2006 Messrs Thomas & Tugwell re-homed 3 dogs as their owners were unable to keep them and it transpired that one of the Mastiff’s was Mr Milligan (he was thought to have died sometime before).  Further DNA samples were collated and sent to the legal team and Barrister acting on behalf of the OEMC & MA and a case was drafted. 

At the OEMC AGM held on 27th April 2008, members voted to continue with the court case against the KC.