The following are the Society's Code of Ethics that each member is bound by once agreeing to and being accepted as a full member.
(1) Will properly house, feed, water and exercise all dogs under their care and arrange for appropriate veterinary attention if and when required. (2) Will agree without reservation that any veterinary surgeon performing an operation on any of their dogs which alters the natural conformation of the animal,or who carries out a caesarean section on a bitch, may report such operations to the Kennel Club. may report such operation to the Kennel Club. (3) Will agree that no healthy puppy will be culled. Puppies which may not conform to the Breed Standard should be placed in suitable homes. (4) Will abide by all aspects of the Animal Welfare Act. (5) Will not create demand for, nor supply, puppies that have been docked illegally. (6) Will agree not to breed from a dog or bitch which could be in any way harmful to the dog or to the Breed. (7) Will not allow any of their dogs to roam at large or to cause a nuisance to neighbours or those carrying out official duties. (8) Will ensure that their dogs wear properly tagged collars and will be kept leashed or under effective control when away from home. (9) Will clean up after their dogs in public places or anywhere their dogs are being exhibited. (10) Will only sell dogs where there is a reasonable expectation of a happy and healthy life and will help with the re-homing of a dog if the initial circumstances change. (11) Will supply written details of all dietary requirements and give guidance concerning responsible ownership when placing dogs in a new home. (12) Will ensure that all relevant Kennel Club documents are provided to the new owner when selling or transferring a dog, and will agree, in writing, to forward any relevant documents at the earliest opportunity, if not immediately available. (13) Will not sell any dog to commercial dog wholesalers, retail pet dealers or directly or indirectly allow dogs to be given as a prize or donation in a competition of any kind. Will not sell by sale or auction Kennel Club registration certificates as stand alone items (not accompanying a dog). (14) Will not knowingly misrepresent the characteristics of the breed nor falsely advertise dogs nor mislead any persons regarding the health or quality of a dog. Breach of these provisions may result in expulsion from club membership, and/or disciplinary action by the Kennel Club and/or reporting to the relevant authorities for legal action, as appropriate. SUPPLEMENTARY CLAUSES (Approved by The Kennel Club) (15) All breeding should be aimed at the improvement of the Breed. (16) Members should discourage breeding from inferior stock and give careful consideration to temperament, soundness, health and type. Owners of stud dogs should refuse to allow them to service inferior bitches. (17) All members should undertake to have breeding stock tested for any hereditary disease in the ESS (as listed by the BVA) where such testing exists, or for which there is a KC/ESS Breed Scheme for DNA testing. (18) Owners of bitches seeking a stud dog should satisfy themselves that the dog is suitable in terms of temperament and hereditary conditions and diseases. (19) Owners of stud dogs should consider carefully whether to allow their dog to be used on bitches untested for hereditary disease. (20) In addition to the wearing of a tagged collar (see KC code no. 8), members are strongly recommended to use microchipping or tattooing as the recognised means of identifying their dogs (important for health testing purposes, as well as loss, stray or theft). (21) A member should not breed a litter unless they have the time and facilities to devote proper care and attention to the rearing of puppies and the wellbeing of the dam. A member should not provide stud services unless satisfied the owner of the bitch also has such time and facilities. (22) A member should not contemplate a litter unless reasonably sure of finding homes for the puppies. (23) No bitch should be required to have an excessive number of litters and no bitch should be mated at successive seasons without regard to her health. Please refer to the Kennel Club registration requirements, currently in force, with regard to this item. (24) Bitches under 20 months should not produce a litter. (25) Owners of stud dogs shall provide a receipt on completion of matings, detailing payment required. Where payment is not made at the time of mating (e.g. puppy in lieu of stud fee) both parties should sign. (26) The breeder should check prospective purchasers for suitability and inform them of the characteristics of the English Springer Spaniel and the responsibility of dog ownership. (27) Puppies should not be sold to homes where they will be left alone for long periods. (28) In normal circumstances, puppies should not leave their breeder until they are eight weeks old. The breeder should sell only those which, to the best of their knowledge, are in good health. A puppy which has any physical defect or which has any definitive departure from the Breed Standard should not be sold without the buyer being made fully aware of such defect and its possible consequences. (29) The breeder should also provide each purchaser, at the time of sale, a signed five-generation pedigree certificate which, to the best of their knowledge, is accurate, and written information about the care of English Springer Spaniels covering at least the following items: Diet – from puppy to adult, worming, grooming, inoculations, training, exercise and basic health. It is hoped the breeder will give information about the Southern English Springer Spaniel Society and consider proposing the purchaser for membership. (30) The breeder should register each litter with The Kennel Club and comply with the relevant KC regulations concerning the registration of any puppy. Breeders should not hesitate to endorse any registration if applicable under KC regulation B11. (31) When selling a puppy of registered parentage the breeder must provide the buyer, at the time of sale, with the partly completed KC registration certificate and inform the buyer how to transfer ownership. The purchaser of a puppy born from unregistered or partly registered parents should be informed that the puppy cannot be registered at The Kennel Club on the General Register. (32) The breeder should offer the purchaser copies of certificates for relevant health tests of both parents, at the time of sale. (33) The breeder should also provide, at the time of sale, a contract detailing the responsibilities of both breeder and purchaser. (34) A breeder should not knowingly sell puppies to laboratories, dog dealers or to persons known to be acting for the above. Stud services should not be provided for such persons. Note: A dealer is defined as any person who regularly buys puppies to sell for a profit. A person who buys a puppy or puppies for a known individual is not necessarily a dealer. (35) A breeder should be wary of anyone buying a puppy as a present for someone else – especially at Christmas. (36) A breeder should not sell to countries not operating anti-cruelty laws. If in doubt, The Kennel Club, RSPCA or DEFRA should be consulted. (37) Puppies should not be exported until they are at least twelve weeks old, unless travelling in the personal care of the new owner or their representative. For those travelling alone, a reputable canine exporting company should be used. (38) The breeder should take every care in ascertaining up-to-date and accurate details of the health regulations of the importing country. The best sources are a Veterinary Surgeon and DEFRA. (39) Whenever possible, the breeder should provide assistance or give advice to the purchaser of a puppy should a problem arise. The purchaser should be made aware of this at the time of sale and encouraged to contact the breeder about any problem. (40) Should circumstances arise making it impossible or undesirable for the puppy, or older dog, to stay with its new owner, the breeder should, whenever possible, take it back. If the breeder is unable to take it back, they should inform the owner how to contact ESS Welfare and provide all possible help in finding a suitable home for the dog. (41) Any agreement of a loan of the bitch for breeding purposes should be entered into with great care. The parties concerned should each have a written copy of the agreement signed by each party. It is recommended that the Kennel Club Regulations for Loan or Use of Bitch for Breeding Purposes be used (see KC Regs B, Annex C). (42) Breeders and owners of stud dogs should be as factual as possible when advertising. Exaggerations or unfounded implications of superiority should not be used. Untrue or unfair statements about other persons’ stock or their practices should not be made. (43) No member shall use social media to make derogatory comment - direct or implied - about another member, the Society or official of the Society. Such conduct may be considered incompatible with continued membership and lead to the expulsion of that member. (44) Any breeder experiencing a problem over any part of this code should seek assistance from the SESSS by contacting its Secretary. (45) The SESSS expects all of its members concerned with breeding, acquisition or disposal of ESS to conduct their business in an ethical manner whilst at the same time conforming to the rules of the SESSS and The Kennel Club. (46) Overseas members are expected to follow the spirit of this code whilst conforming to the rules of their governing Kennel Club.