It is very hard to explain the UK dog breeding world and the Assured Breeders Scheme but I will do my best.
Originally Posted by sunshinekisses
The Kennel Club registers pedigree dogs for a fee. Historically they had not considered the health of the dogs they registered as part of their remit, that was the concern of the owners and the breed clubs.
Over the years as more emphasis was put on animal welfare the KC was forced to respond. They set up a KC Charity and later the Assured Breeders Scheme. This Scheme was meant for responsible breeders that agreed to inspections and to use the official health specific tests ( these were the only tests where the KC could check the results ) There were incentives including priority listing of litters for sale.
The problem was they had virtually no inspectors and only a handful of official tests. Most breeds had no tests at all. When they did the breeders did not have to remove a dog from their breeding programme if it failed. It was a puppy farmer's charter.
The KC have been forced to tighten up the rules over the years and there are more official tests being added. The KC heavily promote it to the Public as the way to find a healthy puppy. The truth is that in many breeds an ABS breeder is required to do no more than any other breeder. The ABS does not even ask for a basic health check on the parents of litters they register under the scheme.
Cavaliers have only two official tests. To be a required (mandatory) test under the ABS the breed clubs have to ask for it to be added. Eye tests are required & CMSM Scheme is only recommended ( which means you don't have to do it ) Heart testing is a club scheme and only recommended. The DNA tests have now been made an official scheme and the cavalier clubs could ask for it to be added, but the breeders that head up the cavalier health liaison committee are not proactive when it comes to health testing.
You do not have to be a member of the ABS to be a responsible breeder, a lot of breeders do much more than the few official tests that are listed on that scheme. I am on there for two reasons. I regard the ABS as a 'Declaration of Intent' by the KC that they will be forced to continue to improve, especially now it is to be audited by an independent organisation.
The second reason I am an ABS member is that puppy buyers contact me through the Scheme. Although I have no puppies it gives me a chance to explain just how old cavalier parents should be when mated and just what health certificates the buyer should expect to be shown.
Cavaliers......Tommy Tuppence 2000-2012 and a half share of Faith.
Japanese Chins.... Dandy, Benny, Bridgette and Hana.