Margaret C

The BVA/KC CMSM Scheme. A wasted feedback exercise

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Up till now all Offiicial Schemes have published full results.

In the case of the BVA/KC CMSM Scheme the Kennel Club proposed only the name of the dog and its age at scanning should be published.

UK Cavalier Club members have been sent a paper asking for feedback on this partial publication proposal (The proposal is shown at the end of this blog )
There are two options 'agree' or 'disagree' and a comments box.
The option for 'full publication' of results and for 'no publication' were not made available as options.

Today I sent the following email to the BVA & KC with copies to the Cavalier Club and some of the animal welfare organisations.

"As a breeder and Cavalier Club member, I am writing to register my concern about the the attached 'feedback paper' that has been sent out by the Club.

The paper sets out the proposal for partial publication of the BVA/KC CMSM Scheme results. It has two boxes for either an agree or disagree answer. There is also a comment box.

Although it is a welcome new development that the Cavalier Club and some of the regional cavalier breed clubs are making efforts to gauge the opinion of their members, I feel I need to point out that it would be a grave mistake to believe that any conclusions drawn from this exercise will be valid. This feedback paper does not allow for all the options available.
There was no box for for 'full publication of results' and no box for 'no publication of results'. This leaves those members that want these options unable to express their wishes.

To illustrate the problem, I ticked the agree box despite the fact I really want full publication. I felt that if these are really the only two options available I would prefer partial publication. I feared that if I ticked the disagree option it could be taken I did not want any sort of publication.
In discussion with another member, who also believes that there should be full publication, it appears she ticked the disagree box because she felt partial publication was wrong.

So, two members with the same view but who have voted in two different ways because the option of full publication is not on that feedback paper.

The results of this exercise will inevitably be skewed and capable of being interpreted in any way that anyone feels like presenting them. The comments may give an indication of the voters' true feelings but I doubt whether they are going to feature when the results are presented.

I fear that these results will be used to suggest that either the members want no publication of results at all ( if disagree votes are the majority ) or they have voted for partial publication ( if the agree box has the most votes )

I am therefore writing to the Kennel Club, the BVA, and the Cavalier Club to draw to their attention that no conclusions can be drawn from this survey because the full range of options were not made available to the members.

I had written to the Cavalier Club to highlight this problem prior to these papers being posted out, and suggested at the time that other options were added, but I had no reply and it did not happen"

Proposal for the recording and publication of results by the Kennel Club issued under the new BVA/KC CM/SM (Chiari-like Malformation / Syringomyelia) Scheme.
  1. All CM and SM grades will be recorded on the screened dog’s KC registration record.
  2. All CM and SM results and dogs’ details will automatically be passed to the AHT for research purposes.
  3. Neither CM or SM grades will be published, nor will they be accessible via the Health Test Result Finder.
  4. What will be published, next to the CM/SM Scheme name (i.e. BVA/KC CMSM Scheme, is the fact that the dog has been screened (MRI scanned) and its age at the time of screening (e.g. Screened at 4 yrs 6 months).
  5. Publication of the date of screening and age of dog will appear on KC registration certificates, the Breed Records Supplement and will be accessible via the Health Test Results Finder.
  6. Dogs that have not been MRI scanned under the Scheme will be identified as having ‘no result recorded’. This information will be available on the Health Test Result Finder and will also appear on any new registration certificate issued for the dog and on the registration certificates of any of the dog’s future progeny.
  7. Since SM appears to be a progressive disease, the same dog might have more than one MRI scan, taken at different ages, so any new scan result will replace an existing result.
  8. It is intended that this recording and publication plan remain in place until such time as Estimated Breeding Values (EBVs) are available for this breed, at which time we will engage in consultation with a view to publishing the EBV for individual dogs.

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