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Karlin
11th December 2009, 01:58 AM
As this airs in the US and people return to the subject of this documentary, I want to highlight some of what this film has achieved, and what people who want to do something can do to make things change for cavaliers.

As Margaret rightly notes:

POSITIVE CHANGES FOR DOG HEALTH SINCE PDE AIRED

• The KC will no longer register the progeny of father/daughter; mother/son
or full-sib matings (unless convinced of a strong scientific reason for
doing so).

• The KC is running a prominent "fit for function, fit for life" campaign
(http://www.fitforfunction.org.uk/)

• The KC has made changes to 78 breed standards in order to
discourage/reverse exaggerations and has added the following clause to every breed standard:

"A Breed Standard is the guideline which describes the ideal
characteristics, temperament and appearance of a breed and ensures that the
breed is fit for function. Absolute soundness is essential. Breeders and
judges should at all times be careful to avoid obvious conditions or
exaggerations which would be detrimental in any way to the health, welfare
or soundness of this breed. From time to time certain conditions or
exaggerations may be considered to have the potential to affect dogs in some
breeds adversely, and judges and breeders are requested to refer to the
Kennel Club website for details of any such current issues. If a feature or
quality is desirable it should only be present in the right measure."

• the KC has commissioned an independent enquiry into dog-breeding that will
report in January. Headed by Professor Sir Patrick Bateson it is expected to
make strong recommendations regarding the need to preserve/improve genetic
diversity.

• two other independent enquiries - one from the RSPCA and one an all-party
parliamentary group - have come to the same broad conclusions as the film -
that there are serious welfare problems that need to be addressed urgently.
Both have favoured self-regulation rather than new legislation and also
recognise that there is not a one-size-fits-all solution.

The APGAW report is downloadable from here:
http://www.apgaw.org/reports.asp

The RSPCA report is downloadable from here:
http://www.rspca.org.uk/in-action/issuesindepth/pedigreedogs

• the KC, as part of a ‘stakeholder’ group compromising veterinary and
animal welfare organisations, has signed up to the following welfare
principles:

1) every dog should be born with the best possible chance of living a
healthy and happy life, well suited to its intended lifestyle

2) all those who breed dogs should prioritise health, welfare and
temperament over appearance when choosing which animals to breed, in order
to protect the welfare of both the parents and offspring

3) all those who benefit from dogs have a collective responsibility to work
together to protect dog welfare

More info: http://www.bva.co.uk/newsroom/1663.aspx

• the KC has announced that it is minded to allow the registration of
Dalmatians crossed with a pointer (known as LUA or NUA Dalmatians) in order
to alleviate the breed of a debilitating, sometimes fatal, condition caused
by high uric acid levels. Objections from the UK breed clubs (requested by
Dec 31 2009) can only be on the grounds of health and welfare (ie.not on the
grounds of breed purity). Although the KC has allowed some limited
outcrossing in the past, it is being more proactive in this area. See also:
http://www.bsdaofgb.co.uk/inter-variety_breeding.htm

• The KC has launched a new Canine Genetics Centre based at the Animal
Health Trust (the main developer of DNA tests in the UK)

• The Animal Health Trust says it has had a "huge increase in breeders"
wanting to help in the development of new DNA tests since the programme.

• The KC has improved judge's training inc that judges of gundog breeds must
attend field trials before being allowed to judge at Ch show level.

• Breed clubs' Code of Ethics are no longer allowed to condone the culling
of healthy puppies that don't meet the breed standard.

• The KC has withdrawn the allocation of CCs from GSDs in 2012, demanding
evidence that conformation problems in the breed are being tackled.
( http://www.thekennelclub.org.uk/item/2791/23/5/3)

• Many more cavaliers are being MRI scanned for syringomyelia. (A three-fold
increase in the number of MRI-scanned dogs listed on the UK Club's website)

• The KC has promised breed health plans for every breed. Part of this will
be an assessment of the genetic diversity of every breed.

• The RSPCA is funding the University of Sydney to develop a
veterinary-based disease-surveillance scheme.

____________________________

If you missed it, the programme can often be found online by googling or binging :) but also can be purchased here (http://passionateproductions.co.uk/shop.htm) if you want a clean DVD.

____________________________

And what can you do? As I posted elsewhere:

It is really, really important that puppy buyers and pet owners join together and say 'enough'.

For a whole list of things YOU can do -- who to write, what to say, how to help fund research, see Carol's comprehensive information here:

http://www.cavaliercampaign.com/how-you-can-help.htm

The strongest way to support good breeders and good breeding practice is to absolutely refuse to buy puppies from anyone who is not cardiologist testing and ideally, someone who has MRId their breeding dogs. Know what to look for and what to ask: for suggestions, look here (http://www.board.cavaliertalk.com/showthread.php?t=26677) and here (http://cavaliercampaign.com/buying-puppy.htm) and see these questions (http://www.ckcsc.org/ckcsc/ckcsc_inc.nsf/Founded-1954/breederquestions.html) recommended by the CKCSC in the US.

The next strongest is to write the clubs and the national clubs, the Kennel CLub and AKC and IKC and other national groups, expressing your concern at the lack of any formal guidelines on or requirements for health testing for this breed, and to make health -- as expressed in cardiologist results and MRI scans -- part of determining 'conformation' awards for show dogs.

You can also financially support research -- even the smallest donation helps -- for example by contributing towards Margaret's ongoing scheme, or buying Sandy's book (http://www.fortheloveofollie.com).

Donations towards cavalier syringomyelia DNA research can be made via Paypal. Entering the following email address at the PayPal site will bring up the 'SM DNA Fund' account: penny.knowler@ntlworld.com. Donations can be made in several currencies using a credit card or PayPal funds.

If you have a cavalier that has been scanned, results can go to Sarah Blott. If it is over 5 and has a pedigree, a DNA donation is VERY VALUABLE for research -- email Penny at the above email address.

For a lovely children's book that helps the DNA research:

http://www.sandjmilesbooks.com/iWeb/S%20and%20J%20Miles%20Books/Audrey%27s%20Tale.html

Wagtails
11th December 2009, 01:14 PM
Thank you so much for this, Karlin. It is so helpful to have such a useful summary of all that has happened since the release of PDE in the UK. :jmp:

Let's hope that the showing in the USA will also bring about more much-needed changes in attitude on their side of the pond. :xfngr:

Slowly, slowly, step by step, dog by dog, we SHALL overcome!!
http://i673.photobucket.com/albums/vv97/Cavviewagtails/Animations/cavsroundtheworldclipart.gif