UK’s Kennel Club sorry for ‘misjudgment’ in rejecting Jerusalem as puppy name

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UK’s Kennel Club sorry for ‘misjudgment’ in rejecting Jerusalem as puppy name

A breeder had their registration document returned with a message that the choice was ‘unsuitable at this time due to the conflict in the Middle East’

The breeder tried to register a puppy as Jam and Jerusalem. Library picture: rawpixel/freepix
The breeder tried to register a puppy as Jam and Jerusalem. Library picture: rawpixel/freepix

A dog breeder in the UK trying to register a puppy with the Kennel Club was told their chosen name had been rejected for the reason: “Jerusalem unsuitable at this time due to the conflict in the Middle East.”

The breeder’s choice of name, Jam and Jerusalem, is the title of a British sitcom as well as an affectionate reference to the Women’s Institute in England and Wales, known for the making of jam and the singing of the hymn Jerusalem.

Leo Barnett, of Pinner, drew attention to a post on Facebook about the rejected name. “Who is that name going to offend was the big question for me,” said Barnett, the owner of a Kennel Club-registered labrador. “The person who made that decision is clearly not educated enough to make it.”

The Kennel Club’s initial rejection message when the breeder tried to register the name

When contacted by Jewish News the Kennel Club said the contractor who looked at the application had made a mistake and the decision had been reversed. It also confirmed that the contractor was based in the UK.

Checks on names supplied by breeders are done partly to “ensure they cause no offence”, the institution said in a statement on Friday. “The Kennel Club would like to apologise for the misjudgment made in this instance and for any offence caused – this was entirely down to human error in understanding and interpreting which words are permitted.”

The Kennel Club, founded in 1873 and with offices in Mayfair, central London, added: “There is absolutely no prohibition against the use of any place name. Our only rules relate to the use of a place in combination with another word or phrase that could then be interpreted as offensive. We will review our training to support the processes that we have in place, to avoid this happening in the future.”

People who saw the post made comparisons with an incident earlier this year when staff at a private company working with the Home Office were suspended after a birth certificate was returned with the word “Israel” scribbled out.

With the much-disputed capital out of the doghouse as far as the Kennel Club is concerned, it is hoped that the puppy now officially registered as Jam and Jerusalem will have a long and peaceful life.

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