View Full Version : Times are definitely changing.......KC Breed Health Improvement Strategy

Margaret C
1st November 2012, 07:46 PM
The KC have just published a 39 page Breed Health Improvement Strategy book.

This is an enormous step forward by the KC and comes at a time they have been facing a lot of public criticism about their failure to tackle health issues.

Hopefully the need to produce detailed annual health reports will encourage a little more positive action from the Cavalier Health Liaison Committee............It is a damning fact that the Dog World Newspaper reported that at a recent Select Committee Sir Patrick Bateson and Dog Advisory Council chairman Sheila Crispin were asked whether clubs ever hindered their members getting involved with schemes which would improve a breed’s health.

"It certainly happened with the Cavalier,” Prof Crispin said. http://www.dogworld.co.uk/product.php/81792/1/breeding_standards_and_pedigree_health_questioned_ at_efra_debate



"This collection of toolkits is a resource intended to help Breed Health Coordinators maintain,develop and promote the health of their breed.. The Kennel Club recognise that Breed HealthCoordinators are enthusiastic and motivated about canine health, but may not have the specialist knowledge or tools required to carry out some tasks. We hope these toolkits will be a good resource for current Breed Health Coordinators, and help individuals, who are new to the role, make a positive start.
By using these toolkits, Breed Health Coordinators can expect to:

Accelerate the pace of improvement and depth of understanding of the health of their breed

Develop a step-by-step approach for creating a health plan

Implement a health survey to collect health information and to monitor progress

The initial tool kit is divided into two sections, a Health Strategy Guide and a Breed Health Survey Toolkit.
The Health Strategy Guide is a practical approach to developing, assessing, and monitoring a health plan specific to your breed. Every breed can benefit from a Health Improvement Strategy as a way to prevent health issues from developing, tackle a problem if it does arise, and assess the good practices already being undertaken.

The Breed Health Survey Toolkit is a step by step guide to developing the right surveys for your breed. By carrying out good health surveys, you will be able to provide the evidence of how healthy your breed is and which areas, if any, require improvement.

Further tool kits will be developed to cover other areas, including computing resources, in the future.
We hope that you will find these tools useful in your role as Breed Health Coordinator."

Margaret C
4th November 2012, 07:21 PM
The more I look at this the more impressed I am with the KC.


By using these toolkits, Breed Health Coordinators can expect to:

Accelerate the pace of improvement and depth of understanding of the health of their breed
Develop a step-by-step approach for creating a health plan
Implement a health survey to collect health information and to monitor progress

Most breeds are dependent on Breed Clubs, their members, and responsible breeders to ensure a healthy future. They are also influenced by current owners and potential future puppy buyers, without whom a breed is unlikely to be viable in the long-term.

Ensuring a breed’s long-term future is becoming increasingly challenging considering:

Puppy buyer and pet owner expectations that their dog will live a long and healthy life
Competition from breeders of so-called “healthier”, “designer breeds”, who can often sell puppiesfor as much, or more, than many pedigree breeds
Calls for legislation to control, or ban, the breeding of some pedigree breeds; either because of their conformation/health or their temperaments
Lobbying from campaign groups and individuals who feel strongly about the need to improve the health of pedigree dogs and who feel frustrated by slow progress

The publication of the three reports in 2009 (Bateson, RSPCA & APGAW) makes it clear that breed health improvement is the key issue that we have to address and this is not going to changeany time soon.

There are some sentences scattered through the booklet that are really worth quoting:

"TIP: Breed Health Improvement is not the responsibility of the Health Coordinator, or even your Health and Welfare Sub-committee; it is the responsibility of everyone who loves your breed and wants to ensure it has a healthy future."

Kate H
4th November 2012, 10:12 PM
The KC initiative really does seem like a gleam of light. I was very struck by something in the Boxer breed notes in Our Dogs recently. Breeders are contributing swabs and money for research into a hereditary disease called JKD (can't remember exactly what it is, they explained it several weeks ago). Dr Bruce Cattenach is sending updates on the research and wrote:

'At dog breeding level, I have also checked to see if there is any factual evidence to support the claim that the incidence of JKD cases might have declined ... I was stunned to see how few litters have been produced from transmitting animals over the past couple of years. Clearly stud dog owners and breeders have been doing their best to avoid JKD.'

Contrast this with the angry report on MVD that Simon Swift made to the Cavalier Club AGM a year ago, when he said bluntly that heart disease could have been eradicated from Cavaliers by now had breeders bothered to follow the guidelines. Perhaps the KC initiative will finally get our breeders to face reality and stop living in cloud cuckoo land about MVD and SM. Yes, there are an increasing number of breeders who are trying to breed for health, but there are still plenty that aren't, and they're not just the puppy farmers. So it's great if the KC is at last beginning to do what it was founded for - regulating the breeding of dogs. Now they need to put their money where their mouth is.

Kate, Oliver and Aled