Before submitting a contribution, please read the General Introduction
1 November 2012
Never mind thanking God for the microchips, you need to thank him that the microchips were readable! There are thousands and thousands of chips in the recalled batch that are NOT readable.
I have yet to see the manufacturer advertising this in the public media. It seems they have only notified owners of dogs registered as having their microchips. I don’t believe that’s enough, especially when they’ve put an end date of 31st (sic) November on the free exchange deal.
Perhaps I’ve missed something in the media. If I have, please will someone enlighten me.
2 November 2012
Hi Carol, I understand most people’s concern regarding the Virbac malfunction however, I get a little irritated at the way some people have (gleefully?) gone about running the company down…..some of it competitor politics?
We have been ‘Virbacking’ our litters for the past 4 or 5 years and so, naturally, we have received the letter a number of times from Virbac advising us of the malfunction…..no problems detected yet.
I think we should agree, no matter how regrettable, malfunctions, in any form, do occur from time to time. Just ask all the millions of Toyota owners (worldwide) who have recently had their vehicles called back. Or the VW owners, in years gone by…..even Mercedes, if I recall correctly.
Clearly, the problem lies with a certain batch or batches of microchip. Virbac have done the sensible thing of advising all the owners that could be affected and have taken the responsibility of covering the cost of those that are affected. What more does one expect them to do? Yes, the time frame is debatable and yes, perhaps they could have put out a general warning in some public forum but, the fact remains, all those that could have been affected have been advised.
We will certainly not be put off Virbac because of some unfortunate incident.
Incidentally I have, on a few occasions in the past, had reason to make contact with their office and have found them most helpful!
Tamarack Miniature Schnauzers.
5 November 2012
DOGS PC Best of the Best Sub –Committee are pleased to announce that the list of Qualifiers for the Adult, Puppy and Handlers Best of the Best 2012 Competitions have been finalised. The full lists are available here.
Invitations are currently being e-mailed out but if you believe you have qualified and have have not received an invitation, please e-mail email@example.com.
Please note that the Veteran Competition is open to all resident Champion Veteran Dogs. See the schedule for entry details.
5 November 2012
Mike Gale must be one of the lucky ones. I've also been "Virbacking" for years and no smell of a letter in my postbox. I'm afraid I agree with Carol, the company has not done nearly enough to publicise the defective batch of chips.
My big gripe, however is with KUSA. Other than the hopelessly inadequate item on the website, there has been no communication to members. Rumours circulating are that about 20000 dogs on the KUSA database are affected by the defective chips. But not a word from KUSA. Have they negotiated an open ended date with Virbac? Who's going to pay for the issuing of new registrations? What happens to working dogs that are registered with organisations overseas or had testing done overseas?
This is a huge problem and as usual KUSA's head is firmly buried in the sand.
6 November 2012
My Mama always told me……. ‘never believe rumours’.
Seriously, has KUSA even registered 20,000 dogs during the period in question? Maybe, but it certainly wouldn’t be a hell of a lot more than that!
Never mind the fact that not all registered dogs have been microchipped since 2010. Can’t remember when compulsory microchipping started……about Sept 2010, I think!
Never mind the fact that there are at least 4 microchip brands in play.
Never mind the fact that we are told only a small percentage of microchips of the one brand are affected.
20,000 sounds a bit far fetched!
Secondly, both Virbac and KUSA have indicated that they will cover the costs of a repeat microchip and re-registration, respectively, if necessary. Refer to their respective notice on the subject, it is all on the Dogworld and KUSA website.
6 November 2012
I personally do not usually use Virbac, partly because I started using Identipet when they came out – as far as I am aware the first company in South Africa to do so, and so stuck with them.
These are my experiences.
a) Regarding the latest problem of unreadable chips – I found that three out of six pups from my latest litter fell within the faulty numbers. They had Virbac chips because the requirements for BAER hearing tests had changed and the pups now needed micro chipping at the time of the test, and Onderstepoort ONLY had Virbac available when I arrived there with them.
b) I was informed of the problem with the chips from a third party and contacted the new puppy owners. One had already been contacted by Virbac themselves, the other two had not. That presumably meant that those two pups were still registered at Virbac in MY name – BUT I have never received any correspondence from them. So, it would appear that notification to owners has been random.
c) I have a dog imported from overseas who has a Virbac chip from his country of origin – I was told that the number is NOT recognised here when I tried to register him – how many chips must I insert into a dog???. Will they be able to read them all, or just leave off checking after the first one?
d) A young locum vet who implanted on one of my litters commented that she was glad that I had chosen Identipet, as she herself had, after scanning the whole dog when the owners insisted that he was indeed micro chipped, found his Virbac had migrated into his left foot, from between the shoulder blades where chips are traditionally implanted.
e) I keep getting told by various people that “Oh, but Virbac is a one-off payment for life” – that may be, but I have micro chipped puppies with their rivals for what seems like decades. It is up to the purchasers to update the paperwork and I do not pay any further annual fees – and YET I have on several occasions been contacted by vets and SPCAs to tell me that “we have your dog “Miss Monkey” or whatever, here.” In one instance the owners were still at work and did not even know that their dog was missing. Where did they get my details? From the microchip company who do NOT clear their database for lack of up-to-date annual fees!
I was not present when my puppies were micro chipped at Onderstepoort, so cannot say whether they were then scanned – my vet always checks the number after implanting. So that begs the question, were the chips faulty PRIOR to implantation? If so, it doesn’t say much for the company’s quality control. If, on the other hand, they became faulty at a later stage, how are people supposed to know? How often will a dog need to be rescanned to ensure that the chip is still in working order? (I understand some of the faulty chips were up to two years old already.)
I don’t believe it is very satisfactory to have several brands of chip available – and I have seen adverts for a third and “cheaper” alternative. It cannot be supposed that vets, SPCAs and other animal shelters will constantly be replacing their scanners to accommodate ever more brands – in fact I already had an instance a few years back when I asked the local SPCA if they had scanned a specific dog (mine) and, no, they hadn’t thought it necessary because most animals aren’t chipped! On another occasion they blandly informed me that their scanner was broken, so that nothing was being scanned. I understand that in New South Wales (Australia) there are between nine and a dozen different brands of microchip. Each council requires the chip certificate when licensing the animal, but their dog rangers can only read certain ones, if the stray dog has come from a neighbouring council they won’t have its details on their database! How close are councils to each other? Well, when I lived there the odd numbers in my road were in one council and the even numbers in another!
I must also wonder exactly WHY KUSA requires chipping? Do they plan to scan our dogs before they enter the ring? They certainly don’t require them for the health testing results – in neither of my breeds are these results (with the exception of HD) included on the dog’s registration certificates. And in fact, I’m waiting with bated breath to see what happens with my latest litter registration, because I couldn’t even read what was on the KUSA copies of the microchip certificates and I KNEW what was on them! (Oh, maybe that’s why I haven’t got the papers back yet?)
I am a firm believer in the use of microchips to ensure that lost animals are reunited with their owners wherever possible, but I do get the feeling that it is fast becoming another of those inexplicable things “you have to do, no questions”.
6 November 2012
I'm not surprised that you don't sign your name, seems you cannot read.
KUSA Procedure with regards to Virbac (Back Home) Microchip recall
In the case where it is established that the first microchip implanted is faulty and a second microchip has been implanted, the owner/s of the dog/s are kindly requested to notify the Kennel Union of SA, in order that we can update our records accordingly. It is very important that all the documents, as listed below, are submitted to the KUSA office. Please ensure that the full KUSA registered name and registration number of the dog is recorded on the forms completed by the Veterinarian. Please do not use “pet” or “call” names.
Documents to be submitted:
Virbac document titled “For completion by Vet when replacement Back Home microchip is claimed”. (Must be fully completed, signed and stamped by Veterinarian).
Legible copy of second Microchip Certificate.
KUSA Certificate of Registration (original, no photocopies will be accepted).
To ensure the safe arrival of the documents at the KUSA office we advise that you send the documents via Registered Mail to our postal address, P O BOX 2659, Cape Town, 8000.
A replacement Certificate of Registration, bearing the new microchip number, will be issued free of charge by KUSA. Both microchip numbers will be reflected on the KUSA Certificate of Registration.
I checked with my vet, they replace free of charge if the chip is not working, so there you are, all you have to do is pay your petrol money to go to the vet with your dog...if the chip falls within the specified dates. (Vets fee goes to Virbac)
Don't tell me...you don't have a dog?
7 November 2012
Thank you to KUSA PR Officer Mike Dannatt for reminding us of the obvious.
Maybe he can now go back to his boss and find out –
1) How many KUSA registered dogs are effected by the recall
2) Who is going to pay for the re issue of the reg. Certificates – KUSA or Virbac. If Virbac, how much.
3) Who is going to handle the paper work to get our dogs test results transferred to a new chip by labs overseas
4) Who is going to do the paper work to get our dogs registrations changed with overseas clubs
5) Is Virbac going to issue chips with same numbers for breeders who request it like the latest rumour circulating says (I don’t see how this will work)
Thank you in anticipation,
7 November 2012
I really can’t agree with the two Mikes (Gale and Dannatt) about the Virbac microchip recall. Neither Virbac, nor KUSA, responded appropriately. Here’s why:
On October 9th, I had a problem with an unreadable Virbac microchip. I knew about the recall (having been advised by Identipet, not Virbac!) and took steps to have a replacement chip inserted. Not as easy as you would think, because when my vet contacted the wholesalers to order a replacement chip, the wholesalers hadn’t even received the replacement stock yet! Never mind, Virbac went out of their way to find a chip and have it delivered to my vet within an hour or two, for which I salute them.
I was, however, very disappointed that Virbac did not appear to take any steps to publicise the recall in the general media. It is all very well to email owners who are registered on their system, but not everyone registers their details with Virbac. One also wonders how many people would have advised Virbac of changes to their email addresses.
The problem needs to be announced in the press - on radio, the web, through vets, SPCAs, and wherever else possible to get maximum exposure and reach as many people as possible. Remember it’s not just KUSA-registered dogs that have microchips – they’re used on a myriad of animals from fish to birds to buck. Everyone needs to know.
However, of far more concern to me, was KUSA’s lack of action on the issue. KUSA’s website made no reference to the issue at all and a telephone call to the office ascertained that, although they were aware of the problem, no strategy had as yet been established to deal with it. Once again, my personal problem was quickly resolved, but I wondered about the larger issue.
That led me to address the following email to several people at KUSA (note the recipients), to enquire about how they intended to deal with the recall:
Sent: 09 October 2012 05:50 PM
Please can you advise me what KUSA’s stand is, or will be, on this issue.
In February 2012 Virbac identified that there may be a functionality issue with certain Back Home Biotec chips distributed since June 2010. Immediately Virbac instigated a close consultation with its third party manufacturer to investigate this issue further. Since then, there has been some evidence that some microchips do not work properly within batches of chips with the prefix 9000880 and the prefix 9000088 up to 900008800259208.
Virbac in conjunction with its third party manufacturer has already taken steps to improve the design of the chips, and adjust the manufacturing process to enhance the technology in the microchip itself. Therefore the company is confident that all Back Home chips supplied from April 2012 onwards will be unaffected by this issue.
Should you have stocks from these batches please return it to your veterinary wholesaler for credit.
Virbac RSA will be advising all pet owners with registered chips from the stated batch numbers to consult their veterinarian to have their chip checked and an additional chip implanted should it be found to be faulty. We will supply any additional chips, free of charge. Please request these, as required, through your veterinary wholesaler.
Virbac RSA is prepared to compensate an amount of R80 to the veterinarian per client to cover the implantation costs. In case of quarantine of the animal, the incurred cost will again be supported by Virbac RSA. This offer remains open until the 30th November, 2012
Please contact Harry Edwards at firstname.lastname@example.org before the end of November, 2012. We are advising that clients who intend to immigrate or export their pets are called in as a priority, to ensure there is no potential issue over border control.
Virbac has registered the recall with the Consumer Commission.
Virbac has a long-standing and continuing commitment to provide technical support to the veterinarian industry. Any technical queries regarding Back Home may be sent to www.backhome.co.za or contact Virbac South Africa on 012 657 6062.
During the Cape show week, several people, including the President, discussed the recall with me explaining their plans and ideas and agreeing that the impact on KUSA was enormous as there were over 17000 dogs on the KUSA database with chips in the faulty range. This figure is as per an extraction of data done by the KUSA office – it’s not a thumb-suck!
Based on these casual discussions, I looked forward to receiving a formal reply to my letter from KUSA and seeing a positive, urgent plan of action put into place by KUSA.
Clearly I expected far too much. Despite a letter from the Vice-Chairman of DOGSPC to the President, copied to Fedco, urging swift action, only a very short note was posted on the KUSA website under NEWS & VIEWS. That’s where it all ended.
As I remained convinced that this matter had vast implications for KUSA, three weeks later I sent yet another letter to the KUSA President, copied to various KUSA staff and all of Fedco.
From: Carol Immelman
I am still awaiting an official KUSA response to my email of 9 October 2012. To date I have received nothing other than being copied in on Gerard Robinson’s email of 10 October to Greg Eva.
While it is rather annoying that no one has bothered to answer my email, I am far more concerned about KUSA’s reaction to the issue which has, in my opinion, been woefully inadequate.
I understand that in excess of 17000 KUSA-registered dogs are affected by this recall. That makes it a HUGE issue and either the KUSA membership are not being kept abreast of developments, or not enough is being done to resolve the problem.
A small notice has been posted on the KUSA website in the News & Views section wedged between other articles. Three lines describe the situation and links are offered to inadequate documents. In addition, unsubstantiated rumours are circulating throughout the dog world. That’s where KUSA’s reaction apparently starts and ends.
I’m not looking for verbal assurances from all and sundry that the problem is being dealt with. If it is, you could have fooled me. I’m looking for hard facts regarding what steps KUSA has taken to protect and assist its membership in this crisis.
This is what should be happening:
1. Notice of the recall should be emblazoned across the home page of KUSA’s website where absolutely no one can miss it. People need to be informed and encouraged to check their dogs' microchips. We do not want owners to find out when the dogs are lost with an unreadable microchip or under anesthetic for hip x-rays as had happened to me.
2. From there, the website should link to the correct documentation, i.e.:
a. The letter from Virbac to pet owners NOT the letter to vets. We’re not interested in how the vets should order replacement microchips from wholesalers. We want to know what we need to do if our dogs' chips are unreadable.
b. A form for owners to complete and present to their vet which includes ALL the information that KUSA requires, such as breed, registered name and KUSA registration number. None of these appear on the current form as provided by Virbac. How about KUSA, for once, being proactive and creating an improved version? I am sure Virbac would agree to its use.
3. KUSA should be supplying Virbac with a list of all dogs registered with microchips from the faulty batch, together with contact details of the registered owners. Virbac should, in turn, contact all of those owners, explaining the problem and the procedure for obtaining new microchips and updating the dogs' registrations. Bear in mind that many breeders and owners do not actually register their microchip details with Virbac; they microchip their dogs for identification purposes when doing health tests only. These people are not on the Virbac database and therefore have not been notified. They are, however, on KUSA’s records.
4. KUSA should be negotiating with Virbac regarding the “end date” of the replacement offer. The letter from Virbac to pet owners states 31st [sic] November 2012. That is nothing short of ridiculous. This offer needs to be open for years, and KUSA needs to fight for this on our behalf. Remember, KUSA introduced mandatory microchipping, no doubt increasing the revenue of the microchip companies substantially. Now it’s KUSA’s turn to go to those same companies and fight for the rights of all the loyal breeders who did not ditch them for another registration body when the requirement was introduced. I understand that a prominent breeder has a commitment in writing from Virbac that the end of November date will be extended. Sorry, that’s not good enough. I want it signed and sealed with KUSA and publicly advertised by both KUSA and Virbac.
5. KUSA should be negotiating with Virbac regarding the cost of re-issuing registration certificates. Once again, I understand they are, but KUSA’s members need to be informed of the process and the settlement. I do not want a single rand of the money I spend with KUSA going towards the re-issue of certificates. This is not KUSA’s fault; Virbac MUST cover all costs and the membership MUST know about it. I understand that negotiations take time, but this needs to be dealt with urgently and KUSA needs to display some transparency for a change.
6. KUSA’s process for re-issuing of registration certificates should be made as swift and seamless as possible. KUSA’s IT expert should set up a dedicated email address such as email@example.com . Scanned copies of the required documents (registration certificate, microchip exchange form and new microchip form) should be accepted and the new registration certificates should be issued and mailed to the owners. KUSA’s current demand for the original registration certificate to be returned is ridiculous. It makes no sense especially when our postal service is known for unreliability and inefficiency. In fact, KUSA recommends that we send the old certificates by registered mail. That will just cost owners time and money. Why? What does it matter if an owner ends up with two copies of the registration certificate? You can still only transfer a dog once on the KUSA system and anyone who is truly intent on fraud will buck the system anyway.
I understand that some of the KUSA office staff who will be receiving this mail do not have the authority to act on the suggestions above. However, I am amazed that those who do have authority appear to be either unwilling, or incapable, of dealing with this crisis.
As KUSA, surely you can see the vast implications of this recall? Surely you understand the importance of ensuring that your members are aware of the recall? Surely you want the re-issuing of registration certificates to be as painless as possible, for KUSA and for dog owners?
KUSA has a golden opportunity to turn a potentially disastrous situation around and prove its worth to its members and to the public. But time is running out and to date KUSA’s response has been painfully slow. This is an emergency, not a new judges' training scheme or a provincial council that needs resurrecting. This needs immediate attention and sensible action. I hate to drag up the old cliché, but we pay KUSA's salaries and we are the people who keep the dog world turning. Right now we need your help.
For goodness' sake, react proactively and show everyone that KUSA understands how this will affect us, that KUSA is capable of dealing with the situation efficiently, that KUSA does have some clout and that KUSA will use it to our advantage.
I live in hope of receiving a reply and witnessing a reassuring reaction from KUSA.
Five days have passed since I sent this email and, once again, apart from a sympathetic note from the Chairman of the KZN Provincial Council, I’ve had no reply from the powers-that-be at KUSA, not even an acknowledgement of receipt.
Presumably someone did take note, as a scrolling sidebar has been added to the KUSA homepage, but they couldn’t even get that right. Instead of saying: Important Notice - VIRBAC MICROCHIPS, CLICK HERE, it says: Import Notice - VIRBAC MICROCHIPS, CLICK HERE. Just a typo, you might say, but very misleading and downright shoddy.
Too little, too late, I’m afraid.
I despair. My only hope is that posting this on a public forum may lead to action on KUSA’s part.
8 November 2012
Well done Carol and thank you for enlightening us as to what is really happening, you certainly did not allude to all your involvement, in your opening post on the subject.
One point I will make. Rightly or wrongly, large organizations, such as Virbac, will not go public on a product problem, unless it has potential safety consequences or that it is so widespread that they feel forced to take action. It’s bad for business. They wouldl much rather deal with the affected parties directly, where they can, as they have, it would seem, in this particular instance……it is not their problem that the user does not take advantage of the various means offered to update contact details, which, to a point, defeats the whole idea of having ones dog microchipped, in terms of ‘lost’ animals.
I am not trying to defend Virbac, I am just stating an opinion.
Maybe I am hopelessly out of touch but I still can’t see where 17,000 (potentially) affected dogs on the KUSA database come from. We are talking a time scale of about 20 months…..does KUSA really register even close to, say, a 100 litters a month plus odds and sods! I am of course assuming that not too many older, already registered dogs, who had previously not been microchipped were, for various reasons, chipped during this period.
Sorry Carol, it doesn’t add up. It makes it even more unlikely when one considers that Virbac is only one of several brands used, which means that one would have been looking at possibly in excess of 50,000 dogs, if one were to use the above figure as a guideline, being registered during that period. Am I missing something here? I know that the annual registration stats are available….if only I could lay my hands on them!
I understand (but cannot vouch for it) that less than 5% of the affected batches are, in fact, malfunctioning.
That seems to put a whole new perspective on how serious the problem really is. Are we now talking of “10’s” of dogs or are we talking of “1000’s” of dogs? Is this the real reason why Virbac have not gone to the media? Perhaps they believe that the problem is not wide spread enough to get the media involved!
I am not trying to trivialize the problem however things just do not add up. But there again, maybe I am totally wrong!
I am in the process of contacting all my puppy buyers who took a puppy from us during that period to ascertain:
1 have they received a letter from Virbac?
2 have they had their puppy checked?
9 November 2012
Dear Mr Gale
In a communication dated 11 October 2012 to the members of Fedco and Exco, the President advised as follows:
“This is to confirm we now have the exact batch numbers that were affected and it would appear from our first pass at this that we could be looking at about 17,000 dogs.”
This seems to confirm the figure subsequently put in the public domain at the Cape shows. I must admit, it also seems high to me, but in the absence of an official communiqué from the KUSA office to the membership confirming the extent of the problem, we can all only speculate.
12 November 2012
I see on the website that Kusa has now followed a lot of Carol Immelman’s suggestions in respect of the Virbac crisis. It says a lot about the leadership and strategic thinking at Kusa when an ordinary member has to show them the way forward. Whenever there’s a crisis they seem to run around like headless chickens not knowing what to do. Maybe they should think of employing Carol Immelman. Pity she’s not standing for President.
Tired of Kusa inefficiency
12 November 2012
As I have dogs affected by the Virbac recall, I have been following the Virbac postings carefully.
I am still not seeing anything on the KUSA web site about:
1. How many dogs on KUSA’s registry have faulty micro chips?
2. What is the end date that KUSA has negotiated with Virbac?
3. What is Virbac going to pay towards KUSA’s cost of re issuing the certificates?
Please make a statement KUSA. As your members we have the right to know.
17 November 2012
I thought with all the stress on Dogworld regarding the faulty microchips that I would let people know what my experience has been. I discovered on Tuesday this week after taking my one girl to the vet, that her Virbac Backhome chip was not reading.
Now here's the problem. She was born on the 5/10/2007 and does not fall within the reported Backhome faulty batches of 2010. After speaking to KUSA and being told that because this does not fall within the numbers they have, this would mean a new certificate being issued at a cost of R72.00 and the amendment of the computer database at a further fee of R65.00 (totalling R137.00) - all for my cost. Needless to say I was not a happy camper.
I then got onto the phone and spoke to Mr. Harry Edwards of Virbac, who was the most polite and helpful person. He assured me that as Virbac stands by their product, they would pay for the chip and the vet's bill to put in a new one. Then I discussed the paper change at KUSA. Again, no problem. He told me and I quote "Virbac will pay and I will sort this out with Mr Greg Eva". So now comes another problem; my vet only uses Identipet microchips.
I had left a message the previous day for Virbac's Cape Town Rep, Mr Ivor Moodie to contact me, and again he proved to be most helpful. He is dropping a chip off at my Vet next Wednesday, and the invoice is to be sent to Mr Edwards with a covering letter from my Vet stating that there is no chip to be found.
I then phoned Dawn at Kusa and told her about my conversation with Mr Edwards and she has asked me to send an email to her and to cc Greg Eva.
So I fear that it is not just the batches that they are talking about that have been affected. I would suggest that you, like me, have all your dogs (and possibly other animals) rescanned.
June De Wet
20 November 2012
On the 2/11/12 I had the pleasure of picking up my new puppy from the Cargo docks at OR Tambo airport, well never having done this before did not know what to expect, what happened, was to me a nightmare and to me boarders on animal cruelty.
Flight from Atlanta arrived at 16.12 puppy arrived at cargo at 16.40 , this after a 15 hour flight plus a six hour drive to Atlanta airport. Upon my arrival I was assured that the state vet had been informed several times during the course of the day, and that my puppy as with all live imports would have to be checked by the State vet. Well the State vet finally cleared my puppy at 19.15, over 3 hours after having landed!!! , meanwhile my poor puppy was left in a dark empty office all by herself and left to cry, only when I asked someone to check on her was this done. even though they could hear her cries themselves
When I repeatedly enquired as to why the State vet was taking so long to attend to her I was informed that the vet is not answering the phone as it is going straight to voicemail !!!
I am curious to know from others who have imported puppies/dogs is this the norm? or was what happened to me and my puppy a unusual and unpleasant case?
1 December 2012
Donna, this is completely normal. Although my personal experience has generally been good. But I do know many people who have had to wait for hours for "Himself/Herself" to arrive. A friend whose dog arrived after 22h00 had to wait overnight in her crate until 7am the next morning for them to arrive. (She had been in the crate for over 24 hrs). Damn it all they do is stamp the blasted papers, they don’t even LOOK at the dog.
This is what this country has come to, prior to 1994, the State Vet was either there waiting for YOU to arrive, or at the most one waited for 15 minutes. Makes one think three or four times whether to import or not. Let’s face it they just don’t care, an animal is just that to them, an animal, now if it was cattle/sheep/goats etc., you can be assured that they would be cleared pronto.
1 December 2012
I cannot speak for imports from the USA, but I have to say that after using SAA and their co-whatever you like to call it, for many, many years and being very happy with them, I found that things change (with a capital C). Now I do realise that my experiences will not apply to flights from America, but perhaps you can, with my experiences, look around for a better alternative.
My first non-SAA experience was bringing in a dog from New Zealand, he came via Qantas. They were absolutely amazing – phoned me from NZ to let me know he had arrived with their approved travel agent, where he would overnight after being vet checked; they phoned me when he was loaded on the plane to Sydney, when he arrived there, when he left there several hours later, three times on the long flight from there to Jhb, when he arrived and even then once again to find where I was (we were at Jan Smuts cargo, but hey, they didn’t tell us the building we needed wasn’t labelled Qantas, did they). I was given my dog and told to take him home, they would see to all the necessary customs clearance the following morning. I thought it was fantastic service.
At the beginning of this year I was organising the rehoming and transport of a rescue dog to Zim; I was advised about a specific travel agent who was “excellent” and so she proved to be (contact me for details). Everything was organised through Comair, who are not only cheaper than SAA and their partners, but also have a lovely “lounge” for arriving and departing pets and I found their care of the animals to be outstanding. Just not being in “cargo” with noisy forklifts, yelling labourers, dropped and noisy pallets, is a huge plus factor.
I don’t know if it’s actually possible to research for the best option, or whether we need to rely on other peoples’ experiences, but I now tell overseas puppy sellers who I want to use – if necessary I’ll pay for the greater expense. They know everything at their end, but they cannot have any idea of what happens at this end.
11 December 2012
Before I start, congrats to all the winners and please don’t take this the wrong way.
BUT how can we have two different points systems that actually contradict each other. If you look at Animal talk 100 Ratings. The top dog is the Whippet but in KUSA showdog of the year the whippet is 4th.
TOP 100 KUSA Showdog
1 4224 JESRAE TAKE A CHANCE WHIPPET 4
2 3995 FABULOUS MOMENT VALENTINA'S MAGIC MALTESE 5
3 3826 AVIVA T'SCARAMOUCHE AFGHAN 1
4 3489 MIDNIGHTDREAM THRILL F'VICTORY SHIH TZU 2
5 2662 ANNAN BURNING AMBITION SAMOYED 3
If I look at it and this is my opinion, how can a dog that has beaten 4224 dogs be 4th to KUSA. I feel that the Animal Talk Top 100 rating is a fair calculation as it is on how many dogs a dog has beaten and not on a BIS which could have been as much as 800 dogs or as little as 80 dogs. Is it really fair for a dog getting BIS over 800 dogs to get 10 points and a dog winning BIS over 80 dogs to also get 10 points. I don’t think so!!!!!!!
It is very confusing for people overseas as well as for us in SA.
12 December 2012
My WHY is far more mind boggling than the one tendered by G. Brits.
The South African representative at the Eukanuba World Challenge is Slovakian!! What kind of representation is that? And WHY is that allowed? So should it win who takes the credit? I mean really.
12 December 2012
Well congratulations to the NAPC & the DOGSPC Judges sub- committees for getting the learner Judges seminars on the go. I wonder when the esteemed WCPC judges sub-committee will follow suite?
12 December 2012
Donna, sad to say but this is the norm. The State Vet at O.R. Tambo airport always TAKES HIS TIME, to come out to do the clearance for imports. My 5 month old puppy waited 4 hours for the state vet, stuck in his crate after a long trip from Hungary. I also know of several other people that have had similar experiences, and I agree with you that it amounts to animal cruelty.
13 December 2012
Giselle has a very valid point.
Is it actually fair that a dog who wins a BIS at a champ show with an entry of over 700 dogs is awarded by KUSA 10 points, then a dog who wins BIS at a show ( Namibia ) with an entry of 70 dogs is also awarded the same amount of points?
I think not!
KUSA should a) revise the point allocation system OR b) scrap it and work only on the Animal Talk Top 100.
I am in favour of option b).
Another idea is for KUSA to a) sponsor the Animal Talk Top 100 event or b) work with Animal Talk Top 100 and give recognition to the top achievers.
Once again I am in favour of option b.
Come on KUSA, be proactive and let us see some sort of return for our money that we have paid to exhibit our dogs.
Here is wishing you all well over the festive season and a prosperous 2013.