Margaret C

What is the Alternative to the BVA/KC MRI Scheme?

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A question that those who want to reject the Scheme do not seem able or willing to answer, despite being asked many times.

The truth is probably something they are unable to admit to openly.

* They do not want a scheme.

* They do not want to scan and
remove SM affected cavaliers from their breeding programme.

*They want to go on breeding as before, without doing any health checks.

For those that have been confused by the recent discussions, these are the advantages offered by the scheme to a Breed that already has over half the young cavaliers being scanned affected with SM.

1. Permanent identification of the dog by microchip or tatoo. The identity of the dog is matched to the scan.
In the past some scanning centres did not verify the dogs' identity, so there was no way of knowing the MRI was actually that of the named dog.

2. All KC registration documents to be presented at the time of the scan.
Some reports have only showed the dogs' call names and there is no way that they could be linked with the registration papers.

3. Owners must sign to say details are correct, and that the results can be published in the KC Breed Record Supplement and on the KC web site. Owners will also give permission for results to be used with the Mate Select Programme and for research purposes.
Results have not been automatically sent to research and the EBV projects. Information has not been available for pet buyers or breeders to verify results, unless they faced the embarrassment of asking to see written evidence that a a MRI scan had been done.

4. An agreed standard to make sure that the latest findings and research into SM are taken into account and the MRI scan is done in the best way possible. This will minimise the risk of a very small syrinx not showing up on the scan.
This standardised protocol will let many more centres throughout the country participate in the scanning scheme, although all interpretation of the scans will be by the expert panel.

5. An official standardised interpretation of each scan from two or even three experts from a panel of BVA neurologists and radiologists.
Different interpretation of the same scan will no longer happen, there will be two knowledgeable experts giving their opinion and agreeing on the grading of each scan

6. An agreed grading system and one standard certificate which will give uniform results.
At the moment there is a confusing variety of certificates reporting on different aspects of the scan.

7. A grading on CM, something which has not happened before.
There will be more information on the certificate, which will help other breeds with CMSM as well as Cavaliers.

Full notes on the BVA/KC seminar can be found here:

There has been a long and very revealing internet discussion about the new scheme.

It has been known for a long time what the scheme would offer, indeed one of the current most strident critics of the official scheme had attended the original meeting, where details were agreed.

When an official scheme was in the far distant future, anti-scanning breeders used the flaws in the unregulated scheme to their own advantage, quoting them as an excuse for not scanning their dogs.
Now that a well regulated process has been agreed there is a move by these people to reject the scheme.

Unfortunately some of the most vehement objectors are top commercial breeders, who have the ability to influence the outcome because they hold the position of regional health representatives.

I will post another blog in the next few days showing some of the most memorable quotes from the internet discussion.

My favourite is one that demonstrates the breeder ability to contradict themselves, and use doublethink in just two sentences........

" Scientific Proven Facts are what count and are the Only thing that will save this breed, Not running around like headless chickens. I have seen the scientists interfered in Livestock before now & get it wrong and the Stockmen had to put it right."

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