Vet checks at Crufts applauded by BVA

(BVA Release) Veterinary checks of the Best of Breed (BOB) winners in each of the 15 high profile breeds were introduced at Crufts 2012, which took place at the NEC in Birmingham 8-11 March.

The British Veterinary Association (BVA) welcomed this move as a positive step by the Kennel Club (KC) to improve dog health and welfare in the show ring. The initiative will continue at all championship dog shows.

Six of the fifteen high profile BOBs failed their veterinary checks and were not represented in the group judging – bulldog (utility group), Pekingese (toy), Clumber spaniel (gundog) mastiff (working), Neapolitan mastiff (working) and Bassett hound (hound).

Commenting, Harvey Locke, Past President of the BVA, said:

“This initiative by the Kennel Club is to be applauded. It is a huge step forward in tackling the health problems in pedigree dogs as a result of their exaggerated conformation. The KC deserves the support of the veterinary profession and dog welfare organisations at this time.

“We also pay tribute to the two BVA members who were chosen to carry out the veterinary checks after responding to our open letter in Veterinary Record asking for volunteers.

“They have performed their duties in a highly professional manner and have certainly set an example to the show vets who will be carrying out these checks at future championship shows.

“What has happened at Crufts this year should act as a catalyst for all vets in practice. Firstly, to be more proactive in educating their breeder and owner clients on the health consequences of breeding dogs for extreme conformation.

“And secondly, to ensure that any caesarean sections and surgical procedures to correct conformation problems performed on KC-registered dogs are reported to the KC.”

The 15 breeds have been identified by the Kennel Club as having particular health problems often due to poor conformation as a result of having been bred with exaggerated characteristics.

The veterinary checks ensure the BOB winners are not suffering as a result of their conformation, such as eye problems, skin disease, lameness or breathing difficulties, which should have been identified by the judge.

A full Q&A on the veterinary checks is available on the Kennel Club website.

The BVA issued a statement following day one of Crufts, commenting on the bulldog and Pekingese veterinary checks.

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2 replies

  1. Congratulations to the BVA and the Kennel Club on the work done to get health checks in place at crufts this year. Still not a perfect scheme by a long way, but it’s a fair start, and I hope it will soon be extended to all breeds. Good breeders who exhibit only healthy and sound dogs have nothing to fear. I’m glad to accept the opinion of the show judge on the appearance, type and conformation of my dog AND the professional opinion of the vetr on the dog’s fitness and health
    And I look forward to the day when all vets routinely forward information to the Kennel about surgery, caesareans, and conditions other than DNA tests , hip and eye status, which should be on the dog’s records, and taken into consideration before the dog is bred from

  2. I am disappionte that the KC have been slow in providing information as to the reasons for disqualification. This has lead to speculation that the reasons did not apply to exagerations detrimental to the dogs concerned,but rather for reasons that could affect ANY breed of dog and not relevant to the watch list breeds. This was not what the KC led everyone to believe would be the case. In this situation the decison of the vets concerned has raised many questions among the dog show fraternity.

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