and I think many breeders will not take the scheme seriously until this is changed.
You raise some good points, Nicki. I agree fully with your point above; this is a huge issue. Either the Accredited Breeders scheme has to mean something -- and require proof of actual testing and adherence to whatever the defined best practice is, or it becomes (as it has been in the past) a meaningless promotional tool that can be exploited by puppy farmers.

The scan issue IS a headache for breeders -- you are very right -- but I think is a tangle that needs to be taken up with Chestergates and the BVA by the new Club committee in some formal meetings. I do think however that many breeders surely should have seen these issues coming a long while back -- many breeders knowingly chose a scanning centre that has always been outside the existing organised assessment programmes for grading dogs with SM (Chestergates has never participated in the grading scheme, for example) -- but at the same time to be fair to them and their long-standing generosity, has provided great support and service to breeders at a budget price. Budget services often mean limitations are to be expected though and it surprises me that breeders would be really shocked to find the scans don't suit whatever strict scan definitions are needed for a formal scanning assessment programme like the proposed BVA scheme (and is a bit ironic if on the other hand there's a complaint that the Accredited Breeders scheme be more strict for many of the same reasons -- schemes mean little without standard requirements). Also while some are clearly honestly very upset, many of those complaining are those who have tried openly or behind scenes to discredit scanning, researchers, research projects, incidence figures -- and now they are shocked, shocked at this development which --surprise! -- gives them another drum to bang to encourage people not to participate in a scheme they went through the motions of supporting once upon a time (funny how many projects and programmes suddenly become unreasonable for these usual suspects when it comes to actually accepting results or actively participating...).

Also, the possibility of issues around Chestergate scans for a strict scanning assessment programme have been there for quite some time and should really have been pretty obvious to the previous club committee -- who were involved in discussions on the BVA scheme -- and many scanning breeders. For example, there has been a recommended minimum standard for scans that many scanning centres jointly backed way back when the BVA scheme was first mooted and initial meetings were held (and Chestergates were part of these meetings). Though Chestergates were never part of the grading scheme, many -- perhaps most -- UK breeders opted to have scans done there anyway, and then assign their own grades, which has always been a problematical situation, given that if a centre was not following a set of guidelines agreed upon by grading neurologists and actually assessing scans on some different elements as well, then it is very hard to have had consistency in interpretation. This is made difficult too by the fact that no digital scan disk is given with Chestergate scans or will be shared with other neurologists. That meant that breeders and clubs have always, in opting with Chestergates, worked outside some existing scan standards (yet so many breeders at the same time were worried about consistent interpretation and scan positioning -- obviously the issue became cost, but these are some of the reasons perhaps why scans cost more in some locations than others).

At the same time, Chestergates has enabled hundreds of breeders to get scans they might not otherwise have been able to afford; have given good basic information, and benefited breeders, clubs and dogs who might not otherwise have been diagnosed while identifying better breeding prospects.

For a grading programme to be meaningful, the BVA has to create a scanning programme that is the best possible, is consistent, and based on sharable digital scans that conform to some selected standard -- in this case, specific head positioning, time of exposure, quality of MRI machine, etc. These elements were discussed very early on -- breeders attended at least one of the initial meetings as well. If scans have been done that fall outside the standard, or a scanning centre chooses not to participate in the BVA scheme, that seems an issue the CKCS Club committee should be meeting with the BVA and Chestergates about. For many of the dogs already scanned, they will within just a couple of years be beyond breeding age anyway. For studs, if they are 6 then perhaps they can be scanned by Rupert's Fund money... the Chestergates issue really is very short term as scans are not a meaningful grade until the dogs are 2.5, and most girls will stop being bred by 5 or 6 so there's only a 'live window' for a scan of about three years. But it would be well worth the effort to have Chestergate scans be part of the scheme in future -- which again seems to be a good initial mediation issue for the UK Club committee to take on on behalf of their membership!

Finally -- as neurologists have stated and research is already showing, rescanning (or scanning) dogs at 5 or 6 is almost certainly MORE important than scanning the dogs for earlier breeding at 2.5 -- it is the status of those dogs at age 5 or 6 plus that really indicates the SM status of the breeding dog and line. Many cavaliers that scan well at 2.5 may go on to develop significant syrinxes (just as heart clear 2.5 year olds may get MVD by 5) and breeders need more to know the status of the middle aged dog to get a real picture of that dog and line. Statistician David Harwood, who many breeders have listened to as he has carefully studied pedigrees and research, believes it is more valuable to scan any breeding dog's parents than it is to scan the breeding dog if you really want useful information. And he believes scanning dogs age 6+ is absolutely critical, especially for the genome research -- where he believes the Rupert's Fund dogs have been groundbreaking for the research results. So there are really excellent reasons for rescanning the slightly older dogs. And there is a fund to help those scans happen -- researchers are actively looking for age 6+ stud dogs for example.