Good Bye FCI

by Sandra LindbergJanuary 6, 2024

On an scorching hot day in August 2023, I boarded a train to Geneva with my Shar Pei, PanHu, to participate in the World Dog Show. My feelings were a mix of anticipation and uncertainty. Five days at an exhibition with over 20,000 dogs, in the midst of an extreme heatwave, didn't sound like a vacation at all.

Over these five days, we entered a surreal world, oscillating between wonder and shock. It was my first major event since I started delving deeper into the issue of breeding-related health problems. Every day, I roamed the exhibition grounds with open eyes, observing and reflecting.

I engaged in conversations with numerous exhibitors and visitors, even discussing the concerns of show judges who see their world threatened by activists in Europe. Most importantly, I encountered countless dogs that emphasized the urgent need to continue my work against health issues in breeding.


On the way back home, I couldn't help but ponder how my perspective had evolved over the years. What had brought about this change?

A few years ago, I firmly believed that the path to healthy and responsible breeding lay exclusively through national associations affiliated with the FCI (Fédération Cynologique Internationale). Receiving my official kennel certificate filled me with pride.

Over the past few years, I've had conversations with many breeders and Shar Pei owners, actively participating as both a spectator and a participant in various exhibitions. I've read numerous studies on breeding, genetics, and health and sought guidance from experts in the field.

Since the torture breeding discussion has been loud and intensive in some European countries, I have been following it and am happy to take an active part in it. Above all, I carefully observed the reactions of the FCI, its member countries, and their affiliated clubs.


During my time in Geneva, I didn't just scrutinize dogs of my breed; I seriously contemplated whether I could continue to support the FCI system with a clear conscience. The answer was clear: I can not. I can not identify with a system that downplays serious health problems and genetic defects, and simply tolerates the suffering of dogs.

I can not be part of a system in which FCI judges and breeders dismiss science and research simply because it doesn't align with their opinions.

"The controlled breeding of pedigree dogs is no Qualzucht," claims a German VDH Shar Pei Club, deceiving well-intentioned future Shar Pei owners who seek puppies with an FCI stamp of approval. FCI breeding clubs had many years to change their breeding practices, yet they continue to breed dogs that carry known "defective genes" within the breed, even if it violates animal protection laws. In Germany, every Shar Pei that is a single or double carrier of one or both of the two SPAID-related defect genes, falls into the category of "Qualzucht" according to §11b of the Animal Welfare Act.

Ethics & Suffering

This issue doesn't pertain to Shar Pei alone; it affects numerous breeds. From an ethical standpoint, I can no longer support this system because, at least for now, it shows no willingness to take the drastic measures needed to prevent further suffering among so many breeds.

In this regard, I say "Goodbye FCI" very consciously.