View Full Version : APGAW Report: very strong recommendations on breed health

3rd November 2009, 12:36 AM


Reports urges health certificates for puppies after Crufts scandal
Valerie Elliott

Puppies should be sold with a full family medical history to alert new owners to the risk of genetic disorders, an inquiry will recommend today.

All future sales must be accompanied by a contract stating that the dog’s parents have undergone health checks before breeding to ensure puppies are born free from genetic disorders, MPs and peers will say.

The Associate Parliamentary Group for Animal Welfare recommends that breeders provide a veterinary certificate confirming that the dog’s parents have been screened for health defects prior to mating.

Other recommendations include:

? a statutory limit on the number of times a dog can sire puppies, to prevent inbreeding;

? random checks on breeders;

? that all pedigree dogs be microchipped;

? that champion showdogs undergo health screening before prizes are awarded;

? guidelines to inform owners about what to look for in a healthy dog.

The new rules should apply to all puppies sold as pets, whether from a breeder registered with the Kennel Club, a licensed puppy farmer or someone breeding dogs as a hobby at home.

The safeguards come after a year-long review into pedigree breeding after the controversial BBC documentary, Pedigree Dogs Exposed, was aired in August last year.

The programme featured a prize-winning Cavalier King Charles spaniel that was suffering from syringomyelia, a neurological condition that occurs when a dog’s skull is too small. It also featured boxer dogs with epilepsy, pugs with breathing problems and bulldogs that were unable to mate or give birth naturally.

The programme provoked a furore and led to the BBC scrapping its coverage of Crufts for the first time in 42 years. The rights for television coverage of next year’s show have been acquired by the More4 channel.

Ofcom, the broadcasting regulator, is still investigating a complaint from the Kennel Club about alleged bias in the programme, which was made for the BBC by Jemima Harrison, of Passionate Productions.

The inquiry report published today, A Healthier Future for Pedigree Dogs, found unanimously that many pedigree dogs suffered serious health and welfare problems.

It is thought that the puppy contracts will act as a powerful control to prevent inbreeding of dogs, improve their welfare and spare owners the anguish of having to put their sick pets through extensive surgery.

Eric Martlew, Labour MP and chairman of the group, said: “We have had numerous examples given of the distress and suffering caused by poor breeding practice.

“Dog owners find themselves faced with huge vet bills and have to endure the emotional distress of seeing their pet in pain and sometimes even being put to sleep.”

With a general election expected in the spring there is insufficient time to introduce the laws. But the report says that if positive change is not forthcoming as a result of breeders curbing their practices voluntarily, ministers will be urged to bring in the new laws.

Sweden has already adopted such an approach, and breeders are financially responsible for any health problems that occur within the first three years of a puppy’s life.

Insurance companies are also urged to encourage take-up of puppy contracts by offering discounts to pet owners who can produce one. Eventually, the contracts should be a requirement for owners to receive insurance cover.

The Kennel Club has been given a year to enforce the changes among breeders and breeding societies.

At present the club accepts dog registrations from anyone and only polices breeders signed up to its accredited breeder scheme.

MPs and peers want the club to refuse registrations from breeders who fail to comply with the health checks and puppy contracts.

A separate inquiry by Professor Sir Patrick Bateson, a zoologist at the University of Cambridge, commissioned by the Kennel Club and the Dogs’ Trust, is to be published next year.

3rd November 2009, 05:31 AM

What genetic disorders? I have never heard about any of these problems, all my dogs have lived long and healthy lives (average age at natural death 15 years of age) and MY dogs all have champion lines and couldn't possibly have any of these problems. And I have hired the same doctors that the cigarette industry hired (to prove cigarettes do not have harmful health effects) to certify my secret breeding scheme. How dare these ignorant government puppets and evil pet owners complain when they know NOTHING about the proper breeding of Champion dogs? What testing are you talking about? I use my trained breeder's x-ray vision and my extensive experience in deceiving innocent people to decide how to breed my dogs.

Kathy :badgrin:

3rd November 2009, 08:13 AM
Antigone, i actually thought you were serious for a minute, ;) and i assumed id gone to the wrong cavalier forum, icon_nwunsure does sound familiar di

3rd November 2009, 09:10 AM
Oh happy day.!!!!

3rd November 2009, 09:10 AM
Antigone ::rotfl::rotfl:
But seriously - that has to be good for the dogs. Any chance the Irish Government could adopt even some of these recommendations Karlin?

Brian M
3rd November 2009, 09:26 AM
Hi Kathy

Well said and Power To The People.:) and :crash: to those who disagree .

3rd November 2009, 09:50 AM
OMG Kathy, you had me going there for a minute. I actually felt my heart sink :yikes, 'till I realised I was being taken for a ride .

They asked for input, actually listened, and have acted accordingly. cl*p
These are very strong recommendations and if put into practice will improve the health and welfare of generations of dogs to come.Well done to all concerned.:jmp2:

3rd November 2009, 10:48 AM

3rd November 2009, 11:10 AM
:w*w::jmp2::) :mexwav::jmp::rah::jump::pi*no::wggle::w**h**::w*w ::p

I think you get how I'm feeling :)

3rd November 2009, 11:20 AM

Hopefully it will be put into practice :xfngr:

3rd November 2009, 11:30 AM
Great, well done and thank you at long last ! :mexwav:

3rd November 2009, 11:38 AM
Well they are recommendations, and we all know what happens to those dont we? But its given those wonderful people icon_whistlingat the Kennel Club a boot up the ---- , and something to think about.

Karen and Ruby
3rd November 2009, 11:57 AM
Im not holding my breath but I am hopefull :jmp2:

Margaret C
3rd November 2009, 01:34 PM
:w*w:It is a very powerful message to the dog breeding community.

It is only a start, but I am feeling very happy today.

Margaret C
3rd November 2009, 02:08 PM
The Kennel Club's first reaction is predictable............The APGAW Report is very very long, but just read the Executive Summary at the start, read Jemima Harrison's article in K9 Magazine, and then read the KC spin

http://www.apgaw.org/reports.asp (http://www.apgaw.org/reports.asp)

http://www.dogmagazine.net/archives/...s-about-apgaw- (http://www.dogmagazine.net/archives/4304/pedigree-dogs-exposed-filmmaker-speaks-about-apgaw-)report/ (http://www.thekennelclub.org.uk/item/2768/23/5/3)

http://www.thekennelclub.org.uk/item/2768/23/5/3 (http://www.thekennelclub.org.uk/item/2768/23/5/3)

3rd November 2009, 02:19 PM
This is a great start, hope they can bring it in eventually.:xfngr::jump::jmp::jump:

3rd November 2009, 02:37 PM
Just read the Spin put out by the Kennel Club !

Unfortunately there are now some Cavalier Breeders talking about not Breeding Cavaliers any more because of the APGAW Report .

What is their reason for this comment?

3rd November 2009, 02:51 PM
Should also have mentioned,is the Reading of the APGAW Report not referring to Breeders who have not carried out Health Checks on their Breeding Stock for known Health Problems particular their Breed,and if the Puppy they have sold ,then the Buyer will be able to have a Claim for up to 3 years against the Breeder.

Is this what others also make of this mention. ?

I would think this is a very sensible Recommendation.

This sure will catch out Puppy Farmers, BYB ,and those other Breeders who don't do Health Tests.

3rd November 2009, 03:00 PM
Unfortunately there are now some Cavalier Breeders talking about not Breeding Cavaliers any more because of the APGAW Report .

I'd guess it's the same as cavalier buyers who are considering not buying cavaliers any more......the feeling of being utterly deflated and demoralised by neverending webwars.


3rd November 2009, 03:29 PM
A new blog post (http://coldwetnose.blogspot.com/2009/11/year-off-for-bad-bahviour.html) on the issue.

And PDE producer Jemima Harrison's response to the KC's response to the APGAW report (in which they make it sound as if they were already doing all the recommendations in the report! The KC clearly are hoping no one will actually read its strong indictment of their inaction and for years on these issues).

The spinmeisters of Clarges St are clinging to the few morsels of comfort offered to the KC in the APGAW report. But make no mistake - this is a totally damning indictment of the mess pedigree dogs have ended up in under the KC’s watch. The KC has always deflected criticism by accusing its critics of bias, but now an independent report by an all-party group of MPs has also found a “serious welfare problem” that requires “urgent action”.
Indeed, the MPs have decided that the KC is so incapable of driving through the necessary reform on its own that it advises an independent dog authority – and wants to put the KC on a year’s probation.


• It is palpable nonsense for the KC to claim that the KC has taken measures to ensure that dog owners are “fully aware” of the problems and how to minimise the risk.

• It is astonishing that the KC continues to peddle the ABS as the benchmark when the Report remarked on the low standards adopted by some ABS breeders – and specifically pointed out that the public may be being deceived into thinking a puppy from an accredited breeder will be free of health and
welfare problems.

• The KC has glossed over APGAW’s strong calls for tougher health testing both as a condition of registration and of winning rosettes, suggesting that the report supports the KC’s current softly-softly approach. This is a real distortion of APGAW’s findings.

• The KC has also misrepresented APGAW ‘s findings regarding the role of dog shows and has chosen to ignore the MPs’ sharp criticism of More4 for broadcasting Crufts 2010.

However, and regardless of the KC’s face-saving spin, the rollercoaster of reform is, surely, now unstoppable and that is very good news for dogs.”

3rd November 2009, 04:58 PM
It's great that this is making the Kennel Club finally take some action...but we still need to educate the majority of the puppy buying public...

Sadly many still do not know or even care about health issues - they just want to buy a puppy as near as possible to where they live.

I hate to sound so negative, but I, like many others, try so hard to help people and just end up wondering why we bother...

I hope that legislation will be put in place - as otherwise I can see that all that will happen is that other registries will spring up - and people will buy pups without Kennel Club registration, as they are cheaper :swear:

Margaret C
3rd November 2009, 05:20 PM
Many of the breeders who say they will no longer breed have been saying things like that for years.

If they are not up to the challenge of trying to produce beautiful but healthy cavaliers, then it is probably best that they stop breeding

4th November 2009, 12:26 AM
I've said many times and can only say again that pet buyers are equally part of the problem or part of the solution. There is no point in supporting healthier cavaliers and caring for the breed (or saying you do) if you take your single most meaningful and powerful action -- the buying of a cavalier puppy -- and turn your back on the health focused breeder in order to get a cheaper puppy, a puppy more quickly, a puppy closer by, from the casual breeder, the health-indifferent breeder or puppy farmer.

This is as morally bankrupt and as cruel and brutal to the breed and to individual dogs as indifferent breeding where health issues are ignored. The breed and the puppies bred by the junk breeder will suffer from such a self-focused and short-sighted decision.

I get so many private requests from people for referrals to health focused breeders. Then in many cases the people decide they won't travel; they won't pay what it costs to produce quality-bred puppies; they want a puppy this week as they decided Monday they want a puppy by the weekend; they can't get the colour they want and won't wait. So they go to the small ads, the family breeding on the side, the broker, the puppy farmer website.

Please always think of the wider consequences of your decision when looking for a puppy.

Karen and Ruby
4th November 2009, 12:40 AM
Very well said Karlin- couldnt agree more
It is those people who are just as detrimental to the breed as the people who do the breeding.
Why wont people wake up and smell the coffee!! Its right in front of us and these little angels will die out!

4th November 2009, 09:26 AM
"However, and regardless of the KC’s face-saving spin, the rollercoaster of reform is, surely, now unstoppable and that is very good news for dogs.”

Oh please, please, PLEASE let this be true! :rah::rah::rah:

4th November 2009, 09:33 AM
As Karlin says ,it's Cavalier Puppy Buyers who want a Cavalier Puppy immediately,who are not helping with the Health Troubles in our Cavalier Breed, but just supposing, after the APGAW and Professor Sir P Bateson's Committees Recommendations are followed through, and every Cavalier Breeder, including Puppy Farmers and BYB's,have to carry out Health Tests on Cavalier Breeding Stock, .

Then when a Cavalier Puppy Buyer wants a Puppy right away ,there will more chance of getting a Cavalier Puppy from Healthy Cavalier Breeding Stock.

The most probable way for Breeders to have their minds focused on Health Testing Breeding Stock, is the threat of being sued if they don't carry out Health Tests on Breeding Stock,and I think Professor Sir P Bateson has mentioned this, if the Puppy sold to a Buyer developes a Health Problem particular to that Breed and the Breeder,has no Proof of Health Tests being done on the Parents ,then the Puppy Buyer can go to court ,with the help of an Orginazation to pay the expenses for the Puppy Buyer suing the Breeder.

What a simple way,when you think about the Health Problems in Breeds ,this could be done ,no Legislation needed.

I believe Professor Sie P Bateson's Report is due out some-time in January.

5th November 2009, 11:04 AM
One of the results of this report is LBC are showing interest, most of the presenters are big dog lovers. Carol Fowler was on the programme this morning. It got a great response from the public.