A BENCH MARK WEEKEND
Before the AGM last Sunday, Simon Swift, Cardiologist, gave a talk to members to inform us of the present situation, current research and to update us on the new BVA/KC heart testing scheme that involves a number of breeds including cavaliers.
His talk was attended by about 25 members, including the committee, out of a current total UK membership of 1050. At the end of his talk Simon had difficulty in leaving the room for the throng of other members waiting outside for the AGM, chatting and drinking coffee, whiling away the time until his talk was over. So much for breeders’ interest in, and concern for heart problems within the breed.
The AGM then followed, attended by 63 members. The agenda contained a proposal from the committee that the Code of Ethics should include the recommended breeding guidelines for SM. These are not mandatory rules, merely recommendations, and would have been in line with Hearts and Eyes breeding guidelines, which have been in place for some years.
These proposals seemed to me to be innocuous and reasonable. However, the proposal was substantially defeated by the meeting. This was a triumph by the members present over neurologists and geneticists, and of course, over the committee. It would seem that cavalier club members continue to progress, like lemmings, towards mandatory breeding regulations that will surely come, as surely as night follows day. There are many members who are still not prepared to health check their breeding stock, and of those who do, it would appear that many would not hesitate to breed from affected animals. I have tried my utmost to defend and support the breed and the club. This weekend was proof, if proof is needed, that there is no point in deluding myself, or others, that self-regulation is possible.
Mrs Lesley Jupp
24th March 2009