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Dog Breeding Welfare: Vets Respond

The Advisory Council on the Welfare Issues of Dog Breeding has recently published a report which sets out eight priority welfare problems.

Commenting on the report, BVA President Carl Padgett said:

“We welcome the Dog Advisory Council’s report which highlights key welfare issues of dog breeding and makes sound, practical recommendations for addressing them.” 

The eight priority problems addressed are:

    • Ocular problems linked to head conformation
    • Breathing difficulty linked to head conformation
    • Syringomyelia (SM) and Chiari-like malformation (CM)
    • Idiopathic Epilepsy
    • Heart disease with a known or suspected inherited basis
    • Breed-related and inherited skin conditions
    • Limb defects (including hip dysplasia and elbow dysplasia), and
    • Separation related behaviour: a serious but often hidden welfare issue for domestic dogs.

Mr Padgett continued:

“The Dog Advisory Council has covered these high priority concerns in some detail. I am pleased that the recommendations give strong support to screening programmes including the BVA/KC schemes for hip and elbow dysplasia and syringomyelia and that they suggest ocular examination under the BVA/KC/ISDS eye scheme should be regarded as routine for all dogs used for breeding. 

“I am also delighted that the Council has recognised the value of using a reputable puppy contract, highlighting the puppy contract and puppy information pack (PIP) recently launched by the BVA Animal Welfare Foundation and RSPCA. The contract and PIP arm buyers with the knowledge to give themselves the best chance of getting a fit, healthy and happy, well socialised pet to join their household and they have been designed to help good breeders demonstrate the care and attention they have devoted to their puppies’ breeding and upbringing.

“We must all continue to work together to address these welfare challenges and keep up the momentum to improve dog breeding.”

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