Shortly after the declaration of a State of Disaster in South Africa in April, the Federal Council of KUSA established a Task Team to consider the allocation of “new” dates for shows and events that had been postponed due to COVID-19. As time progressed, the introduction of further stringent lockdown measures, coupled with a soaring COVID-19 infection rate, made it increasingly evident that we were a long way from resuming dog shows in South Africa.
The Task Team was then mandated to consider what measures would be introduced when dog shows and dogsport were able to restart. Additional members joined the Task Team and a great deal of research has since been done on the protocols that need to be followed for the various branches of dogsport under KUSA’s jurisdiction. The Task Team received, and is extremely grateful for, the many submissions and suggestions from members of KUSA, Clubs and Sub-Committees, all of which are taken into consideration.
Now, as South Africa moves to Level 2 lockdown, the prospect of dog shows and dogsport events commencing again is becoming more likely. However, there are several misconceptions surrounding the reality of what is required in order for KUSA-licensed events to restart and therefore the Task Team deemed it prudent to highlight the following:
· KUSA’s activities are regulated by the Department of Agriculture, Land Reform & Rural Development (DALRRD), not the Department of Sports, Arts & Culture. KUSA is registered as a Breeders’ Society and Registering Authority by the DALRRD.
- Given its affiliation to the , KUSA’s events are classified as public gatherings for recreational purposes, not as sporting events.
- Although KUSA cannot specifically sanction dog-training by affiliated Clubs, it is also not in a position to prevent KUSA-members from training dogs individually. Moreover, KUSA has no jurisdiction over the activities of Professional Trainers.
· There being no certainty about the COVID-19 situation, or the lockdown levels, KUSA decided to rescind the few show licences which had already been issued for any events scheduled to be held before 31 December 2020. This was done in order to protect KUSA from possible adverse consequences of licensed events going ahead in contravention of Government regulations.
- KUSA has NOT cancelled all shows for the rest of this year. Should the holding of KUSA events become possible in terms of Government regulations in the near future, previously issued licences will be reinstated for those Clubs that wish to proceed with their events, and new licence applications will be accepted.
· Although restrictions on certain activities have been eased under Level 2 regulations, the changes do not materially affect any events where 50 or more people are likely to attend.
· Events attended by fewer than 50 people may also not be restarted without the prescribed permission from Government – in KUSA’s instance, the DALRRD.
- KUSA is therefore dependent on the assistance of in order to restart events and is making every effort to engage with the DALRRD’s officials on this matter. The Department is, however, also under severe pressure due to COVID-19 issues, which resulted in a series of office closures at the various DALRRD campuses.
Once KUSA-licensed events restart, the following should be borne in mind:
· Traditional and existing event dates will be respected and given preference.
· Strict protocols, tailored to each Discipline, will be introduced for all KUSA-licensed events.
· Detailed submissions will be required from Clubs regarding the implementation of protocols, before licences are issued.
· The adherence to protocols at events will be monitored and non-compliance will lead to the withdrawal of licences and a shutdown of recalcitrant events.
KUSA and the Task Team members look forward to the possibility of licensed events resuming in the not too distant future and we are making every effort to facilitate the process.
All Clubs and other interested parties will be notified immediately when the necessary clearances have been secured from the DALRRD.